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-   -   Dear UsersÖ (A thread for Sysadmin, Technical Support, and Help Desk people) Part 10 (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=352419)

CORed 21st July 2021 07:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13535227)
Users are advised that any use of this technology will increase the amount of entropy in the system. While no liability is implied, this will eventually lead to the heat death of the universe.

Hey, don't think you can duck your liability so easily with that smarmy disclaimer. If your product causes the heat death of the universe, I will sue you for everything you've got.


Seems to be a flaw in that plan, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Filippo Lippi 21st July 2021 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Filippo Lippi (Post 13544751)
Last night I had a nightmare that I had been woken up and made to go and test all of the connectivity to and from our application in a three hour window.

It's fine though, in actuality I have just under a month to invent a big team of people, train us all up in the application (millions of lines of code), the connection technologies, and then design efficient, thorough, but fast protocols to test it all.

And run two other projects being staffed by a very inexperienced team.

"It'll be fine," he says as he Googles for jobs elsewhere.


Actually, it won't be fine.

Thank ****, my concerns have been heard and have been raised at "the top." Whether it trickles down the other side and things change is another matter

Filippo Lippi 21st July 2021 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alfaniner (Post 13544907)
I have this recurring dream that I'm back at my old operations job, having to follow a schedule, and I've mostly forgotten how and when to do everything. It's been over 30 years since I did that job, and it still has the power to stress me out!

One of our next tasks is to bring the QA batch into line with production so we can start running in a couple of weeks.

"Our" task, but, importantly, not "my" task

Filippo Lippi 22nd July 2021 09:31 AM

It is my task

gnome 22nd July 2021 10:03 AM

I hear that as one of those contradicting Morgan Freeman voice overs.

Wudang 22nd July 2021 10:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Filippo Lippi (Post 13546116)
It is my task


As foretold by prophecy.

Filippo Lippi 22nd July 2021 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gnome (Post 13546156)
I hear that as one of those contradicting Morgan Freeman voice overs.

If anything my voice is richer, more velvety than Morgan's

arthwollipot 28th July 2021 08:35 PM

So I took a fun call this morning. The Chief Financial Officer of one of our smaller agencies submitted a request to get access to SAP Financials. We require a business case. His business case was:

Quote:

I am the Chief Financial officer for <agency> and I require full access to <agency>'s financial management information.
Our Definitive Media Library replied:

Quote:

Unfortunately, the business case provided in your SAR does not provide enough details for us to approve the installation of the software. Your business case needs to clearly explain what you will be using the software for and how it applies to departmental, programme, policy or project work outcomes. Please do not use acronyms in your business case. Please provide the license key details to allow DML to assign the key to you.
Regards
Definitive Media Library (DML)
He lost his ****. He threw a massive wobbly. He called me and chewed my ear off for five minutes, talking over me while I explained that yes, he will have to resubmit the request with a more detailed business case, and advised him of the established procedure for submitting feedback to our Service Delivery area. His rage was barely suppressed.

Now we've received the (strongly-worded) feedback, and all the agents are having a good laugh in the Teams chat.

ETA: This is his feedback:

Quote:

I find this disgraceful that my business case is being rejected. I indicated in my form that I am <agency>’s Chief Financial Officer and require full access to SAP financials for <agency>. This is inefficient, stupid and makes no sense. Why some nameless and contactless folk referred to as DML can make such a dumb decision for the CFO of an independent commonwealth entity is beyond me.

zooterkin 29th July 2021 01:07 AM

I can see his point of view.

Darat 29th July 2021 01:09 AM

Who actually makes this decision? Surely not the technical team?

arthwollipot 29th July 2021 01:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13552064)
Who actually makes this decision? Surely not the technical team?

It's the DML. And they do so according to a very strict set of rules. There is no-one that those rules do not apply to.

Procedure doesn't exist to inconvenience people. It exists to make the job of providing services to an 8,000 strong workforce easier and more streamlined.

Gord_in_Toronto 29th July 2021 06:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13552075)
It's the DML. And they do so according to a very strict set of rules. There is no-one that those rules do not apply to.

Procedure doesn't exist to inconvenience people. It exists to make the job of providing services to an 8,000 strong workforce easier and more streamlined.

My response in this sort of situation, based on being on both sides of the fence on various occasions, is to accept that "Them's the Rules". You can rail against them and potentially do your career and mental health irreparable harm. Bur it is better to conform (or "play along", if you will) and get the results you want.

Whatever you do, don't take it out on the poor guy responding. He did not make the rules and you don't know who his friends are or what damage he can do if he is the vindictive sort.

malbui 29th July 2021 08:48 AM

Over the years on different consulting assignments I've taken great pleasure in refusing this kind of request. Show me a business case and exactly which data and functionality you need access to. "All the data" just doesn't cut it. In my experience, the more senior the role, the lesser the need to actually get their hands dirty.

At one company the access rights were such a disaster that the board decided to remove all application access rights over one weekend and wait for people to complain on the Monday morning, after which we'd reactivate rights based on our assessment of operational need. My analysis a month later showed that only about 25% of user accounts were brought back to life, which shows just how necessary the thousands of previous accounts actually had been.

arthwollipot 29th July 2021 07:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto (Post 13552240)
My response in this sort of situation, based on being on both sides of the fence on various occasions, is to accept that "Them's the Rules". You can rail against them and potentially do your career and mental health irreparable harm. Bur it is better to conform (or "play along", if you will) and get the results you want.

Whatever you do, don't take it out on the poor guy responding. He did not make the rules and you don't know who his friends are or what damage he can do if he is the vindictive sort.

Yes. 100%. Later that day, one of the other T2 agents took a call from someone who was being similarly unreasonable. It was that kind of day. She's pretty new, and she has some stress and anxiety issues, but she handled it very well.

BowlOfRed 29th July 2021 11:36 PM

Tell her to embellish the experience and write it up on NotAlwaysRight.

arthwollipot 29th July 2021 11:42 PM

"...and everybody applauded." :D

catsmate 30th July 2021 12:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13553130)
"...and everybody applauded." :D

"So that's why I tracked down his desk and, on my next visit, sprinkled some zinc phosphide on his unattended latte".

Gord_in_Toronto 30th July 2021 09:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by catsmate (Post 13553142)
"So that's why I tracked down his desk and, on my next visit, sprinkled some zinc phosphide on his unattended latte".

Not hugely imaginative. And much too fast. An incident I remember from the days when Batch Processing was king was the story from a friend who knew the guy who maintained the payroll system for a large US city. The guy was hassled by a city cop and told him, "Your paycheck will never be right again". It never was and every two weeks the poor cop had to deal with the payroll department to get it corrected.

TragicMonkey 2nd August 2021 12:16 PM

Dear User: if you're going to ask me for the spreadsheet, please don't do so by replying to the email to which the spreadsheet in question was attached. It demeans us both.

JoeMorgue 2nd August 2021 12:35 PM

When people move desk (which the do way too often for no reason but that's neither her nor there) I move IT equipment. I do not move anything else.

Like I honestly do try to maintain a good working relationship with my users but I'm not "the help." I don't work for your company. My company has a contract with your company for me to perform very specific actions.

I'm not the janitor, I'm not the on call "there's a spider in the bathroom" guy, I'm not the electrician, I'm not the "Do things on my computer that are my job but I never bothered how to do" guy.

So do not make some backhanded appeal to "We're both on the same team" because we're honestly not.

TragicMonkey 2nd August 2021 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 13557022)
When people move desk (which the do way too often for no reason but that's neither her nor there) I move IT equipment. I do not move anything else.

Like I honestly do try to maintain a good working relationship with my users but I'm not "the help." I don't work for your company. My company has a contract with your company for me to perform very specific actions.

I'm not the janitor, I'm not the on call "there's a spider in the bathroom" guy, I'm not the electrician, I'm not the "Do things on my computer that are my job but I never bothered how to do" guy.

So do not make some backhanded appeal to "We're both on the same team" because we're honestly not.

What a terrible lack of teamgetherness and syngergisticism! Why, in those situations, the proper and professional thing to do is say "Twenty bucks." If they decline, mutter "I know what your car looks like" and slink off. They'll think twice about ad hoc requests from now on. And isn't that the goal of support? To get people to stop calling for it? Mission accomplished!

TragicMonkey 2nd August 2021 12:54 PM

I just told someone "Claudia handles those things" and now he won't bother me again. I don't know who Claudia is. I don't think there even is a Claudia here. But I performed helpful service so the requestor is satisfied, and I prevented myself from having to possibly do something, so I'm satisfied. Claudia, if and when she exists, may not be satisfied, but I can't be responsible for other people's happiness, even if they exist. That would be too big a burden.

Wudang 2nd August 2021 12:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey (Post 13557045)
What a terrible lack of teamgetherness and syngergisticism! Why, in those situations, the proper and professional thing to do is say "Twenty bucks." If they decline, mutter "I know what your car looks like" and slink off. They'll think twice about ad hoc requests from now on. And isn't that the goal of support? To get people to stop calling for it? Mission accomplished!


Very good point. Apparently some people want us to think of people at work as "customers" and what do customers do? Complain Pay!

arthwollipot 2nd August 2021 08:08 PM

We refer to "clients". I was told many years ago that some people objected to being called "users" (despite the TRON reference) so for a long time I avoided that term. I think people are less precious about it now.

TragicMonkey 2nd August 2021 08:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13557432)
We refer to "clients". I was told many years ago that some people objected to being called "users" (despite the TRON reference) so for a long time I avoided that term. I think people are less precious about it now.

I think they're better off not knowing what I call them.

arthwollipot 2nd August 2021 11:11 PM

I just found out that we're shifting to the ServiceNow environment in 5 weeks. 5 weeks! :eek: I was expecting next year.

I am also given to understand that it is not ready. Not five weeks away from being ready, at least. The TLs and management have been doing UAT and it appears to be frustrating.

Norman Alexander 3rd August 2021 12:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13557595)
I just found out that we're shifting to the ServiceNow environment in 5 weeks. 5 weeks! :eek: I was expecting next year.

I am also given to understand that it is not ready. Not five weeks away from being ready, at least. The TLs and management have been doing UAT and it appears to be frustrating.

Hi from the SN salt mine!

arthwollipot 3rd August 2021 01:55 AM

Another day, another hell client who was suddenly a lot less hellish when I was speaking to them.

This may be my superpower.

Hellbound 3rd August 2021 05:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13557595)
I just found out that we're shifting to the ServiceNow environment in 5 weeks. 5 weeks! :eek: I was expecting next year.

I am also given to understand that it is not ready. Not five weeks away from being ready, at least. The TLs and management have been doing UAT and it appears to be frustrating.


This is the most common mistake I see.

SN can be a very powerful tool, and provide enormous efficiencies, but it takes careful planning and solid groundwork to be truly useful. I see a LOT of companies jumping to it without those plans and groundwork, then complaining about how awful it is (which is because of the poor implementation).

Most of the issues I see are, #1 by far, an inconsistent CMDB and a lack of policies/procedures to keep it accurate. Without that, SN isnít much more useful than any ticketing system.

SN is NOT just a help desk ticket system. In a mature implementation, itís a combination of asset management, configuration management, project management, business lifecycle management, change control, knowledge base, and several other components. Itís power lies in that combination, allowing each system to feed data to other systems, and leverage all functions to assist others.

When we went live at my last job it was the same kind of thing; our license got CA was coming due, so they decided to swap to SN for ticketing early. It took us 3 years to get to past that SNAFU and make SN truly useful. Most of that was cleaning the CMDB, streamlining and optimizing discovery, getting procedures in place for for manual CIs (non-discoverable assets), and data normalization. Once that was mostly done, the system started becoming enormously more useful.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Norman Alexander 3rd August 2021 06:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13557671)
Another day, another hell client who was suddenly a lot less hellish when I was speaking to them.

This may be my superpower.

That...and the bullhorn.

Norman Alexander 3rd August 2021 06:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hellbound (Post 13557767)
This is the most common mistake I see.

SN can be a very powerful tool, and provide enormous efficiencies, but it takes careful planning and solid groundwork to be truly useful. I see a LOT of companies jumping to it without those plans and groundwork, then complaining about how awful it is (which is because of the poor implementation).

Most of the issues I see are, #1 by far, an inconsistent CMDB and a lack of policies/procedures to keep it accurate. Without that, SN isnít much more useful than any ticketing system.

SN is NOT just a help desk ticket system. In a mature implementation, itís a combination of asset management, configuration management, project management, business lifecycle management, change control, knowledge base, and several other components. Itís power lies in that combination, allowing each system to feed data to other systems, and leverage all functions to assist others.

When we went live at my last job it was the same kind of thing; our license got CA was coming due, so they decided to swap to SN for ticketing early. It took us 3 years to get to past that SNAFU and make SN truly useful. Most of that was cleaning the CMDB, streamlining and optimizing discovery, getting procedures in place for for manual CIs (non-discoverable assets), and data normalization. Once that was mostly done, the system started becoming enormously more useful.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

++1000. Especially the CMDB, which is what I am working on right now.

Also, having the feature modules separately licensable means penny-pinching organisations leave out critical components, deeming them "not useful just yet". Gah!

TragicMonkey 3rd August 2021 06:18 AM

My company switched to Service Now a few years ago. The switch went okay, but the team responsible for supporting Service Now all quit within two weeks of going live. That seems to hint there was some drama behind the scenes.

And managers never bothered to learn how to do the things they're supposed to do so a lot of tickets languish "awaiting approval". The ones who did learn to click a button mostly do it without reading the tickets they're approving, so they scream at you later for doing work they approved but didn't want done. But that's not unique to SN.

catsmate 3rd August 2021 09:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey (Post 13557050)
I just told someone "Claudia handles those things" and now he won't bother me again. I don't know who Claudia is. I don't think there even is a Claudia here. But I performed helpful service so the requestor is satisfied, and I prevented myself from having to possibly do something, so I'm satisfied. Claudia, if and when she exists, may not be satisfied, but I can't be responsible for other people's happiness, even if they exist. That would be too big a burden.

Personally I'd have avoided "Claudia". I prefer something a little more generic, like "Kathy" or "whats-her-name, her with the browny-blonde hair".

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wudang (Post 13557057)
Very good point. Apparently some people want us to think of people at work as "customers" and what do customers do? Complain Pay!

They also get ignored a lot.

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13557432)
We refer to "clients". I was told many years ago that some people objected to being called "users" (despite the TRON reference) so for a long time I avoided that term. I think people are less precious about it now.

Thick clients, fat clients or dumb clients?

catsmate 3rd August 2021 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13557595)
I just found out that we're shifting to the ServiceNow environment in 5 weeks. 5 weeks! :eek: I was expecting next year.

I am also given to understand that it is not ready. Not five weeks away from being ready, at least. The TLs and management have been doing UAT and it appears to be frustrating.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norman Alexander (Post 13557620)
Hi from the SN salt mine!

Not personally familiar with SN, though I've been to several of their events. Good lunches and excellent swag.

Blue Mountain 3rd August 2021 11:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13557595)
I just found out that we're shifting to the ServiceNow environment in 5 weeks. 5 weeks! :eek: I was expecting next year.

I am also given to understand that it is not ready. Not five weeks away from being ready, at least. The TLs and management have been doing UAT and it appears to be frustrating.

Count yourself lucky you're not moving to a new payroll system [wikipedia.org].

BowlOfRed 3rd August 2021 02:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13557671)
Another day, another hell client who was suddenly a lot less hellish when I was speaking to them.

This may be my superpower.

I hate it, but I've determined my superpower is that I exude something that causes unwarranted belief that things are going okay. I can put up with it when it's something that I actually know and work with. But when it's outside my field, I feel dirty.

I do Unix work, some python stuff, used to do a ton of storage. I can probably create a table in a SQL database and do a lookup, but I am *not* a DBA. A client of ours had a few of our staff on contract. One of the other jobs was having some argument with client and it was escalating. I "solved" some DB problem for them by walking over and asking a couple of questions. The clients went from screaming at the others to looking fairly pleased. But since I had no idea what was happening, I was stressed out. Unfortunately for me, the other folks at our company told me that they like being able to use me as a totem and drag me around to calm down folks.

Another power of mine is "Consultant hands", but I think most IT staff have that as well. That was what we called it when the helpdesk folks do the exact same thing the customer does, but it works. All due to consultant hands.

theprestige 3rd August 2021 02:13 PM

A conversation I had today:

THEM: Can you show me how to change my default browser.

ME: End users, right? Sure!

THEM: I'm IT, but I'm not *that much* in IT!

ME: How?

Norman Alexander 3rd August 2021 03:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BowlOfRed (Post 13558379)
Another power of mine is "Consultant hands", but I think most IT staff have that as well. That was what we called it when the helpdesk folks do the exact same thing the customer does, but it works. All due to consultant hands.

Been in that game for 20 years. You don't even need Consultant Hands, you just need to be nearby. I learned that if you sit beside them and ask them to repeat the actions that "went wrong" but to do it slowly so you can "take notes", it will work then as well. Who hasn't heard the phrase "Well, it didn't work last time I tried it!" (Inevitably PIBKAC :))

rdaneel 3rd August 2021 03:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by theprestige (Post 13558401)
A conversation I had today:

THEM: Can you show me how to change my default browser.

ME: End users, right? Sure!

THEM: I'm IT, but I'm not *that much* in IT!

ME: How?

I've put this up before, but your post sounds a lot like this clip, especially because the woman in this clip is the supposed to be the head of the IT department.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

arthwollipot 3rd August 2021 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by theprestige (Post 13558401)
A conversation I had today:

THEM: Can you show me how to change my default browser.

ME: End users, right? Sure!

THEM: I'm IT, but I'm not *that much* in IT!

ME: How?

Especially since if you open your non-default browser, a little message generally pops up saying "This is not your default browser. Would you like to make it your default browser?"


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