Common Sense is so uncommon…

Today, I was instant messaged not once but twice by the same Tier 1 Desk Monkey for problems at two separate sites. The first time in the morning, the Desk Monkey asked me to update him on an issue out of a site in which patients couldn’t call into a pharmacy line and get their prescriptions refilled by phone. The second one later that afternoon was for an update on an error popping up for a couple users for their EHR GUI program at a completely different site.

There were several problems with these two issues I was presented with:

  1. In both cases, the tickets were sent directly to the sites in question, bypassing my team completely, meaning my team had no idea either of these tickets even existed, prior to the Desk Monkey IM’ing me.
  2. Both tickets were under 20 minutes old when the Desk Monkey IM’d me for both of them, meaning the local sites’ IT departments likely had no time to even acknowledge the existence of the tickets, let alone work on them.
  3. As direct a result of #2, there were no troubleshooting notes whatsoever in the tickets, meaning there was absolutely no information I could give the Desk Monkey regarding these issues.
  4. The Desk Monkey also asked if I was going to declare either of these issues a Site Outage, when there was nothing in the ticket to justify anything close to it.
  5. I asked the obvious question to the Desk Monkey, “Why are you IM’ing me instead of the local site for an update? I wasn’t even aware of the existence of this ticket until you told me about it just now.”

The Tier 1 Desk Monkey’s response was simply that his department’s policy was to specifically contact my team for any and all questions on tickets THEY (the Tier 1 Desk Monkeys) submitted, even if my team wasn’t aware of the ticket’s existence. Yess… you read that correctly, even though his team received the call for the problem, and even though HIS team put in the ticket and submitted it to the local site, WE were supposed to be providing HIM with answers and updates on it, even if we were completely unaware of the ticket’s existence.

I just shook my head after each instance, and after the 2nd instance of this happening, which made the 5th time this week I got pinged for something like this, I decided to send an email up the chain with my concerns about this. I laid out the arguments I had made above, as well as a copy/paste of both IM chats. I also made the point of asking why the Tier 1 Desk Monkeys would choose to IM specific people in my team as opposed to sending an email or calling our team’s number, saying that the IM method was impractical for several reasons. We could be otherwise indisposed, away from our desks, on the phone or conference call when they IM, and we can’t break away to answer this IM. And several members of the team have stated that on several occasions, even when they’ve marked themselves as “Busy”, “Be Right Back”, or “Do Not Disturb” on the IM, they still get hit up via IM by the Desk Monkeys for updates on tickets and outage requests.

I also made mention in the email of one recent and memorable case. A Desk Monkey contacted one of my coworkers on my shift with an update for a ticket, only for her to tell the Desk Monkey that neither she nor the rest of our team knew anything regarding the ticket and that she couldn’t give him an update. The Desk Monkey misconstrued what she said, instead writing in the ticket notes the claim that she refused to help him with the ticket, that our team refused to take the ticket, etc. She was quite upset about this, so she replied in the ticket notes that she never said any such thing, only that our team was never even notified of the ticket, nor were there any notes in it, so she couldn’t provide him with any kind of an update.

I also made mention that upon a cursory examination of both tickets and making a few calls after the fact, neither of them came even remotely close to the level of being declared a high priority ticket, let alone to the level of declaring them a site outage. In the case of the first ticket, it turned out three patients who always had trouble with the line, complained when they couldn’t put their patient ID numbers in after being successfully connected to the aforementioned pharmacy line. And the 2nd issue regarding error for the EHR GUI, turned out to be only 4 people getting a connection error, while they were in a shared office known for its faulty wiring.

One thought on “Common Sense is so uncommon…

  1. And nothing will happen because, as you have mentioned before, nobody with any authority to do anything actually has a spine. I seem to recall a Dilbert strip where Dogbert was trying to organize the engineers into a union; he brought with him a number of strap-on portaspines. Sounds like there might be a need for them in your admin space…

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