International Skeptics Forum

International Skeptics Forum (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/forumindex.php)
-   Computers and the Internet (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=23)
-   -   Dear Users… (A thread for Sysadmin, Technical Support, and Help Desk people) Part 10 (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=352419)

Armitage72 13th August 2021 10:06 AM

In the past our email system has sometimes had temporary problems that would block external emails. Employees could email each other, but customer emails would vanish into the ether.
I emailed the IT help desk with a quick FYI because a customer in Canada emailed me twice this morning, once at 10:25 and again at 11:24. The 11:24 email arrived at 11:42, and the 10:25 email arrived at 12:00. I wanted to make sure they were aware if there was a problem.

I was told that traffic is backed up at the border today. :)

TragicMonkey 13th August 2021 10:36 AM

Reminds me of a lady at my company who used to send out tons of emails to tons of people, all on subjects they didn't care about. It was work-related to her work, but not really needed by the people she was continually blasting emails to. Eventually she switched to a different position in the company and ran into a curious problem when it came to communicating actually relevant work-related information: it turns out that dozens of people had set up an Outlook rule to immediately route any email from her into the trash.

JoeMorgue 13th August 2021 10:38 AM

That's another common trait of the "Don't actually have a job" types I mentioned earlier. They absolutely love to forward other people's e-mails to the same people who already got it with an (at most) one line addition of "Let me reiterate what so and so said about blah blah blah" or something to that effect.

malbui 13th August 2021 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 13569305)
That's another common trait of the "Don't actually have a job" types I mentioned earlier. They absolutely love to forward other people's e-mails to the same people who already got it with an (at most) one line addition of "Let me reiterate what so and so blah blah blah" or something to that effect.

I once had a kind of senior manager without portfolio in my hierarchy who'd be copied in on mails sent to managers and forward them to the same manager five minutes later with a comment saying 'I think we need to act on this.'

One of the few good things about SOX was that he got canned when it became clear that he didn't add any value to any business processes.

TragicMonkey 16th August 2021 07:10 AM

This morning's fun: explaining, and then demonstrating with examples, why dividing a given set of data up into subcategories to get averages then averaging the averages of those subcategories together yields different results from getting the averages across the larger categories to begin with. It's a math thing, I don't have control over how math works. And the person I'm explaining this to is a director in the finance department...

JimOfAllTrades 16th August 2021 11:44 AM

I used to go through this with accountants all the time. For some reason they just didn't seem to understand that if you round off the amounts in your financial reports (to the dollar, to the nearest $1000, whatever) then the total of all your sub-reports may differ from the total of the main report by as much as 1 (dollar, $1000, whatever). As you say, it's out of my control how rounding works.

gnome 16th August 2021 05:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey (Post 13572179)
averaging the averages

HISSSSSSSSSS

Norman Alexander 16th August 2021 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey (Post 13572179)
This morning's fun: explaining, and then demonstrating with examples, why dividing a given set of data up into subcategories to get averages then averaging the averages of those subcategories together yields different results from getting the averages across the larger categories to begin with. It's a math thing, I don't have control over how math works. And the person I'm explaining this to is a director in the finance department...

Just give him the data in a giant spreadsheet and leave it to him to get the standard deviations of the mean average modes or whatever. Just make sure you call the spreadsheet Jims_own_private_database_of_stuff.xlsx

Filippo Lippi 16th August 2021 11:01 PM

We have a weekly IT newsletter. One of the features is the "new starters," and we're growing rapidly so there's a lot of them. The format is a photo of the colleague, their name and where they'll be working. Except there's rarely any photos, just the silhouettes from the template. The result is a webpage that's not very informative and looks terrible. Week after week. No one has time to fix it, I guess. Indicative

Norman Alexander 17th August 2021 01:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Filippo Lippi (Post 13572959)
We have a weekly IT newsletter. One of the features is the "new starters," and we're growing rapidly so there's a lot of them. The format is a photo of the colleague, their name and where they'll be working. Except there's rarely any photos, just the silhouettes from the template. The result is a webpage that's not very informative and looks terrible. Week after week. No one has time to fix it, I guess. Indicative

Were any of the new hirees web jockeys?

Filippo Lippi 17th August 2021 02:57 AM

There will be a fair few.

Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk

Norman Alexander 17th August 2021 07:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Filippo Lippi (Post 13573041)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Me
Quote:

Originally Posted by Filippo Lippi
The result is a webpage that's not very informative and looks terrible. Week after week. No one has time to fix it, I guess. Indicative

Were any of the new hirees web jockeys?

There will be a fair few.

Then at least one of them is not doing their job, it would seem. ;)

Filippo Lippi 17th August 2021 07:32 AM

I think it's just that internal comms is very low priority

Darat 17th August 2021 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Filippo Lippi (Post 13573267)
I think it's just that internal comms is very low priority

I've noted in many companies that people have an idea like an internal website page as you describe, it will initially get some resources and made live but no provision is made for ongoing resources to keep them up to date or even relevant.

Wudang 17th August 2021 12:31 PM

<triggered> Some 15 years back BigBankUK decided it needed an internal website. Naturally they hired consultants who decided the ideal metaphor for an internal website was "The High Street". So you'd have Library (for knowledge), Bank (for anything financial) etc. This was obviously brilliant stuff and acclaimed widely until some smartarse asked a stupid question like "How the **** is that supposed to work?" producing unnecessary embarassment for many talented and eager people.
There's always one.

arthwollipot 17th August 2021 06:21 PM

You know, I think "library" would be a much more user-focused term than "knowledge base". I bet something like 80% of my callers have no idea that our publicly-searchable knowledge base exists.

gnome 17th August 2021 07:22 PM

A knowledge library project at one of my tech support workplaces was highly unpopular at first. The doctrine was, to reduce time troubleshooting, for any ticket with a known issue you would search up the solution, apply it to the ticket, perform the steps as noted, and then manually document further only if the results deviated from expectations, otherwise affirming the resolution. If the documented solution was not best practice, before taking the next call the tech was to submit an update, which would be cleaned up by the technical writing team, and then be submitted to a tech lead for approval.

If the solution was not already in the knowledge base, and it wasn't a one-off situation, the tech was to submit the steps they took, in order to make it a new solution. The same cleanup and approval applied.

It wasn't well liked, making a lot of the reps feel like script monkeys, when in fact we were able to troubleshoot up to what's considered level 2 solutions. (Level 3 was at the sysadmin/developer tier). However, after a while it proved quite valuable. The solutions started to be a good match to what steps we usually used, saving documentation time. In particular one frequent process that I recall used to spell a 20-minute call or longer was improved to be a reliable first call resolve in about 12 minutes. Quite a bit of expertise was shared and solution processes improved.

Then we all got outsourced. Doh!

arthwollipot 17th August 2021 08:26 PM

I've said previously that every single job tracking system I have used has had an integrated knowledge management functionality that was unused in favour of an external knowledge base.

Dr. Keith 17th August 2021 08:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gnome (Post 13574006)
Then we all got outsourced. Doh!

That's just a fringe benefit of really good documentation, right?

Norman Alexander 17th August 2021 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gnome (Post 13574006)
Then we all got outsourced. Doh!

They paid you well to write the manual so it was good. Now they only want to pay monkeys with bananas to use the manual.

NB. It's almost always about the money.

arthwollipot 17th August 2021 10:34 PM

So my laptop camera hasn't worked ever since this machine was deployed to me. I had a zoom meeting today and I mentioned this, and someone asked if I had flicked the slider above the camera. "I don't have one of those," I thought as I felt around the camera for it. Suddenly something moved under my thumb and my camera started working. I hadn't even seen it, and I've been looking directly at it for months!

zooterkin 18th August 2021 12:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gnome (Post 13574006)
A knowledge library project at one of my tech support workplaces was highly unpopular at first. The doctrine was, to reduce time troubleshooting, for any ticket with a known issue you would search up the solution, apply it to the ticket, perform the steps as noted, and then manually document further only if the results deviated from expectations, otherwise affirming the resolution. If the documented solution was not best practice, before taking the next call the tech was to submit an update, which would be cleaned up by the technical writing team, and then be submitted to a tech lead for approval.

If the solution was not already in the knowledge base, and it wasn't a one-off situation, the tech was to submit the steps they took, in order to make it a new solution. The same cleanup and approval applied.

It wasn't well liked, making a lot of the reps feel like script monkeys, when in fact we were able to troubleshoot up to what's considered level 2 solutions. (Level 3 was at the sysadmin/developer tier). However, after a while it proved quite valuable. The solutions started to be a good match to what steps we usually used, saving documentation time. In particular one frequent process that I recall used to spell a 20-minute call or longer was improved to be a reliable first call resolve in about 12 minutes. Quite a bit of expertise was shared and solution processes improved.

Then we all got outsourced. Doh!

These things start out with good intentions, but then fall foul of management by metrics, in my experience. In one project, we had this system, where if a case had a new solution, we'd flag it, and one of a team of technical authors would write up a readable version for future use, referring to the support engineers for details if necessary. Then budget cuts removed the technical authors, so the solutions were not so well written, as the support engineers had to write them up themselves, at a point when they were just interested in closing the case. Then targets were introduced to encourage support engineers to submit solutions to the knowledge database. This led to poorly written solutions to non-problems being submitted. The least able engineers submitted lots of these, so the knowledge base became less and less useful as the quality of information in it declined.

That's leaving aside the issue that most of the search tools for these knowledge bases were inadequate.

Blue Mountain 18th August 2021 01:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13574112)
So my laptop camera hasn't worked ever since this machine was deployed to me. I had a zoom meeting today and I mentioned this, and someone asked if I had flicked the slider above the camera. "I don't have one of those," I thought as I felt around the camera for it. Suddenly something moved under my thumb and my camera started working. I hadn't even seen it, and I've been looking directly at it for months!

Had you filed a trouble ticket with the support department? :p

Dr. Keith 18th August 2021 05:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blue Mountain (Post 13574186)
Had you filed a trouble ticket with the support department? :p

My first thought, too. I wonder what level it would have gotten to.

TragicMonkey 18th August 2021 06:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13574112)
So my laptop camera hasn't worked ever since this machine was deployed to me. I had a zoom meeting today and I mentioned this, and someone asked if I had flicked the slider above the camera. "I don't have one of those," I thought as I felt around the camera for it. Suddenly something moved under my thumb and my camera started working. I hadn't even seen it, and I've been looking directly at it for months!

My coworker had the same issue with his new laptop, but worryingly the problem was intermittant. Apparently the slider can be jostled open and closed if you move the laptop much, so you should still check to be sure the camera's not on when you don't want it to be.

Wudang 18th August 2021 07:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13574112)
So my laptop camera hasn't worked ever since this machine was deployed to me. I had a zoom meeting today and I mentioned this, and someone asked if I had flicked the slider above the camera. "I don't have one of those," I thought as I felt around the camera for it. Suddenly something moved under my thumb and my camera started working. I hadn't even seen it, and I've been looking directly at it for months!


I think we've had a couple of people on here who would have preferred the explanation that you had been in one reality where your laptop didn't have a slider then you slipped into a different reality where it did.
Parsimony.

arthwollipot 18th August 2021 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr. Keith (Post 13574283)
My first thought, too. I wonder what level it would have gotten to.

It probably would have gone to Desktop, who would have sent someone around who would look at it, then calmly reach over and flick the switch, then walk off without saying anything.

I know these folks. That's absolutely what they'd do.

Norman Alexander 18th August 2021 08:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13574869)
It probably would have gone to Desktop, who would have sent someone around who would look at it, then calmly reach over and flick the switch, then walk off without saying anything.

I know these folks. That's absolutely what they'd do.

Indeed I would.

arthwollipot 18th August 2021 08:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norman Alexander (Post 13574876)
Indeed I would.

I'm pretty sure that's what I'd do too.

Dr. Keith 18th August 2021 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13574880)
I'm pretty sure that's what I'd do too.

Exactly what I was thinking. I can even see your tie fling out dramatically as you spin on your heel to walk away without comment. The slight smile not visible.

arthwollipot 18th August 2021 10:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr. Keith (Post 13574894)
Exactly what I was thinking. I can even see your tie fling out dramatically as you spin on your heel to walk away without comment. The slight smile not visible.

...because I'm wearing my mask like an essential worker has to.

There have been close contacts in my building.

arthwollipot 19th August 2021 12:39 AM

We're getting to play around in the new ServiceNow environment in earnest. I'm doing some test scenarios in anticipation of getting real training next week. It does things quite differently from SCSM, but it's looking pretty smooth. I think I actually kind of like it. I expect that there'll be a steep learning curve, but once I'm at the top I'll completely forget what SCSM was like.

SCSM is awful. I won't miss it.

novaphile 19th August 2021 03:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13574947)

...

SCSM is awful. I won't miss it.

Hey. It could be worse. You could be using Heat.

(Heat needs to die in a fire).

arthwollipot 19th August 2021 07:29 PM

I do like that I've been working in this position long enough that when someone calls and asks questions, I can just answer them without having to check with someone else. I routinely get people saying that I've been very helpful. It's nice.

TragicMonkey 19th August 2021 08:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13575664)
I do like that I've been working in this position long enough that when someone calls and asks questions, I can just answer them without having to check with someone else. I routinely get people saying that I've been very helpful. It's nice.

This sounds like one of those things in magical childrens' books, "you had the power all along, you just didn't realize it". Why, I've been confidently answering people's questions for years and years, even when I have absolutely no idea what they were talking about. Just like with dogs, the words you say don't matter, only the tone of your voice. They want to hear a reassuring, confident tone! And if they come back to say it didn't fix their issue, simply use the same reassuring, confident tone to explain that they must have misunderstood. With skill and practice you can keep this up until they give up entirely and learn to live with their problems. That's adaptation, which is nature's miracle of life and what enables species to survive and evolve. Start helping the universe by furthering this noble goal!

Some of you possibly disagree, but that's only because you're reading this. I assure you, were you hearing me say this in my reassuring, confident tones you would believe it so hard!

catsmate 20th August 2021 01:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey (Post 13575700)
This sounds like one of those things in magical childrens' books, "you had the power all along, you just didn't realize it". Why, I've been confidently answering people's questions for years and years, even when I have absolutely no idea what they were talking about. Just like with dogs, the words you say don't matter, only the tone of your voice. They want to hear a reassuring, confident tone! And if they come back to say it didn't fix their issue, simply use the same reassuring, confident tone to explain that they must have misunderstood. With skill and practice you can keep this up until they give up entirely and learn to live with their problems. That's adaptation, which is nature's miracle of life and what enables species to survive and evolve. Start helping the universe by furthering this noble goal!

Some of you possibly disagree, but that's only because you're reading this. I assure you, were you hearing me say this in my reassuring, confident tones you would believe it so hard!

The art of consultancy. Well the real art is being paid for telling people what they want to hear or already know.

malbui 20th August 2021 03:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by catsmate (Post 13575800)
The art of consultancy. Well the real art is being paid for telling people what they want to hear or already know.

Borrowing their expensive watches to tell them the time.

TragicMonkey 20th August 2021 05:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by malbui (Post 13575854)
Borrowing their expensive watches to tell them the time.

Borrowing their expensive watches to tell them they need to learn how to tell the time on their own.

Senor_Pointy 20th August 2021 05:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13574112)
So my laptop camera hasn't worked ever since this machine was deployed to me. I had a zoom meeting today and I mentioned this, and someone asked if I had flicked the slider above the camera. "I don't have one of those," I thought as I felt around the camera for it. Suddenly something moved under my thumb and my camera started working. I hadn't even seen it, and I've been looking directly at it for months!

I got issued a new laptop at work a few weeks ago, and wondered why someone had drawn an ugly little dot on the camera slider with a silver paint marker. Now I’m guessing our (criminally overworked, two people for 400+ users) on-site IT department has heard this one before.

catsmate 20th August 2021 08:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey (Post 13575908)
Borrowing their expensive watches to tell them they need to learn how to tell the time on their own.

If they're from MCKC, not returning the watch.


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:25 PM.

Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2015-22, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.