Strange Cheetah Behavior

“Strange Cheetah Behavior.” I don’t work in a zoo, but that was the title of a trouble ticket assigned to me. Now Cheetah is the code name for one of our internal systems, so that was actually the only word in the title that conveys any meaning, and it did fall within my purview.

I studied the details in the ticket, and it sounded like a genuine bug to me. I kicked it over to the developer who supports that software, and he replied with this unhelpful but probably accurate disposition: “Works as designed.” I then discussed it with the developer’s manager, who filled me in on the background on why Cheetah was designed the way it was.

So I closed the issue and told the submitter three things:

  1. Works as designed. The designers did not have your use case in mind and I can see why you want changes. If you want to pursue this, reopen it as an enhancement request rather than a bug report.
  2. Your department has a history of ignoring some of the data coming out of this system. Unless there are changes on your end, all we’ll accomplish would be ignoring the data faster. (Yes, I actually wrote that in my comment in Jira.)
  3. This last one I didn’t put in writing. But I told them to give the new issue a more descriptive title than “Strange Cheetah Behavior”, or else I would have to assign it to a wildlife psychologist.

Outside my scope of support

A few days ago, I picked up a call ane began with my standard schpeal. The lady on the line was a nurse located at a site somewhere in the Pacific Nrthwest. I only say that to emphasize the distance between her and myself, as I’m located somewhere in Sunny South Florida.

She called in because she insisted that it was “critical to patient care” that she receive a 2nd monitor, and so she can do her job. I informed her that her local IT folks would be responsible for it, and she replied that she was given our number by the local IT shop. Confused as to why they would do that, I explained to her that my group in The Matrix handles issues far more sizeable than a request for a monitor, and none of my group works even remotely close to her facility. Getting agitated, she insisted on knowing why I couldn’t just give her a monitor.

That’s when I began breaking it down for her. I told her first that we didn’t even have any monitors to give her, as we are not her local IT shop. Secondly, we were not in the habit of doing work simply because an IT team decided to be lazy.  Third, the travel costs from Sunny South Florida to the her office in the Pacific Northwest would be sky-high, and the travel and budget folks would have my head on a silver platter, and that’s even if I somehow got it approved, and found a monitor to give to her. And lastly, a 2nd monitor hardly qualified as being “critical to patient care”, and if I had to hazard a guess, one of her coworkers in the ward got a 2nd monitor, she saw how shiny said 2nd monitor was, and wanted one as well. I told her to call the local IT folks back and request a 2nd monitor, and if they had any trouble, to call me.

I never got a call or an email back.

Little behind the times…

Got a call today, saying there was a critical notification reminder from a site. Some folks in one area couldn’t dial 1-800 numbers from their work phones, but they could dial extensions and other outside numbers, demanding their ability to dial 1-800 numbers be fixed immediately, insisting that it affected patient care.

I guess at some point, the people who couldn’t dial the 1-800 numbers, and the Tier 1 Desk Monkeys didn’t realize that cell phones exist and can dial these numbers, since no where was it listed anywhere in the ticket and the notification reminder that anyone even tried that.

But it affects patient care…

Guess you didn’t get the memo…

Today, I got a call from a Tier 3 Desk Monkey, stating a site was experiencing a major disruption and they wanted it elevated to my level for support. The Desk Monkey stated (and I quote), “A fax machine is down, and they’re claiming it affects patient care & want it fixed immediately.” I almost spit out my water when I heard that. I had to get the Desk Monkey to explain to me why a single person experiencing a problem with a single fax machine was of sufficient merit to warrant a call to Tier 3 Region-level support. He said the user dropped the “patient care” phrase, and even if it’s a bald-faced lie, they have to proceed with it. He went on to say the user was trying to send a fax to a number and the number was busy, so he called support, claiming it was a patient care issue. To his credit, when the Desk Monkey asked what the user was sending, the user replied that he was faxing a takeout order to a local restaurant.

Yes, boys and girls, you read that right. A single user faxing a takeout order to a restaurant called for help when the number was busy, instead of… oh, I dunno, calling the restaurant to place the order, or using this handy-dandy thing we know as the Internet to place an order online, and then claiming this was a patient care issue when their fax couldn’t get through. Guess they didn’t get the memo that we now live in the 21st century…