Typical calls…

Since moving to my new team, here’s a short smattering of the kinds of calls I’ve been getting…

“Hi, I don’t know if I got the right group but… (proceeds with the Lord of the Rings in length version of her password problem)”

“Hi, I have a major incident, I can’t log into $program all of a sudden”

“I need a new monitor for my computer”

“Hi I need to reset my password”

Bear in mind, ours is the very last option on the call tree and very clearly states that we only handle major incidents affecting multiple sites, states, regions or the whole country, and not problems with individual computers or user issues. People up the food chain have sworn up and down  since March that they will remove our number from the help desk call tree, but have yet to do so, and on a hunch, I called in a few times to one of the other options and the shortest wait time I was quoted was 90 minutes. And when I tell these poor souls they have to call somewhere else, I’m usually met with a mix of indignation, resentment, resignation, requests to be transferred (which we can’t do since our phones have no transfer button), and outright anger since they confuse our inability to help them with an unwillingness to help them. In fact, some local IT shops specifically tell the users to call us directly and avoid the other options entirely, even though we have no way to help them due to our lack of access to many systems.

And yet, between this, the new management that has little to no clue what their doing, the utter lack of direction, being pulled in a half dozen different directions to do things I was never trained to do with programs I didn’t even know existed, the complete absence of anything resembling SOP’s, call lists, or any other written policies on how to perform this job (as well as many other things I haven’t mentioned), it’s no wonder most of the people in my group are actively looking for outside positions, dusting off their retirement papers, or otherwise loooking elsewhere for gainful employment.

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…