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

arthwollipot 12th September 2021 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 13596006)
Our SLA gives us 3 business days to make new user accounts.

HR has sent us 12 new hire requests since 3:30 for people who start first thing Monday morning.

We get that. They send the NSR on the day they commence. We make them wait the 3 days.

arthwollipot 13th September 2021 12:19 AM

I got a call at 4:59:36 today. I'm glad it was me that took the call and not someone whose shift ended at 5:00.

They were calling while driving.

Norman Alexander 13th September 2021 02:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 13596006)
Our SLA gives us 3 business days to make new user accounts.

HR has sent us 12 new hire requests since 3:30 for people who start first thing Monday morning.

Welcome to Contractor's World! What I call the "Just Before You Go's". Their time is precious but yours is not.

"Just before you go...fix my smoking heap of a PC by tomorrow, will you?"

"Just before you go...can you make this report print backwards...and sort it in Cyrillic order?"

"Just before you go...rewrite the whole asset register module to comply with American accounting practices. [this was an Australian subsidiary]"

"Just before you go...can you change all the RAM in this server - I think it's got memory leaks."

And so on.

The solution is to hide somewhere in the building from about 16:00 onwards. Then you can't be assailed by these passing asshats at 16:45.

The other solution I did for management I could not avoid was to tell them I would fix their problem doohickey as long as they stayed back with me to test it was working afterwards. In other words, I would leave when they did. Testing could take MANY hours, perhaps even overnight... It was that or else their problems could wait until they were back at their desk tomorrow or in a few days time or whenever. Funnily, only one ever did pick unwisely...and lived to regret it by 3am.

catsmate 13th September 2021 08:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norman Alexander (Post 13597941)
Welcome to Contractor's World! What I call the "Just Before You Go's". Their time is precious but yours is not.

"Just before you go...fix my smoking heap of a PC by tomorrow, will you?"

"Just before you go...can you make this report print backwards...and sort it in Cyrillic order?"

"Just before you go...rewrite the whole asset register module to comply with American accounting practices. [this was an Australian subsidiary]"

"Just before you go...can you change all the RAM in this server - I think it's got memory leaks."

And so on.

The solution is to hide somewhere in the building from about 16:00 onwards. Then you can't be assailed by these passing asshats at 16:45.

The other solution I did for management I could not avoid was to tell them I would fix their problem doohickey as long as they stayed back with me to test it was working afterwards. In other words, I would leave when they did. Testing could take MANY hours, perhaps even overnight... It was that or else their problems could wait until they were back at their desk tomorrow or in a few days time or whenever. Funnily, only one ever did pick unwisely...and lived to regret it by 3am.

I favour the "Overtime rate starts in one minute. You'll need to authorise it before I continue this call".

JoeMorgue 13th September 2021 08:28 AM

Hell if anything it's an improvement over how it was when I first started when we'd get a panic, angry banging on our door from some team lead or frustrated phone call from a site manager on a Wednesday morning because their new hire started on Monday and still doesn't have an account and we hadn't yet received the paperwork from HR.

TragicMonkey 13th September 2021 08:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norman Alexander (Post 13597941)
Welcome to Contractor's World! What I call the "Just Before You Go's". Their time is precious but yours is not.

"Just before you go...fix my smoking heap of a PC by tomorrow, will you?"

"Just before you go...can you make this report print backwards...and sort it in Cyrillic order?"

"Just before you go...rewrite the whole asset register module to comply with American accounting practices. [this was an Australian subsidiary]"

"Just before you go...can you change all the RAM in this server - I think it's got memory leaks."

And so on.

The solution is to hide somewhere in the building from about 16:00 onwards. Then you can't be assailed by these passing asshats at 16:45.

The other solution I did for management I could not avoid was to tell them I would fix their problem doohickey as long as they stayed back with me to test it was working afterwards. In other words, I would leave when they did. Testing could take MANY hours, perhaps even overnight... It was that or else their problems could wait until they were back at their desk tomorrow or in a few days time or whenever. Funnily, only one ever did pick unwisely...and lived to regret it by 3am.

"Oh, too bad, you just missed it by a minute! I've started the nightly server defragmentation alignment. It's automatic and can't be stopped once it's started...none of the fluvial functions will work until the optimization is completed overnight. And because this is the scheduled weekend for the registry parallax it won't be finished with the retro-index schema until Monday morning. Sorry, buddy, nothing we can do until then."

Wudang 13th September 2021 09:45 AM

ITIL is a 2-edged sword.
https://www.theregister.com/2007/07/13/bofh_episode_24/

JoeMorgue 13th September 2021 09:46 AM

I'm gloriously happy for IT folks who are in the sort of positions where they can play games with their clients/users when they get unreasonably stupid.

I'm not.

Wudang 13th September 2021 09:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 13598254)
I'm gloriously happy for IT folks who are in the sort of positions where they can play games with their clients/users when they get unreasonably stupid.

I'm not.


Yeah been there with a set of twats as managers. Sorry.

arthwollipot 13th September 2021 06:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 13598168)
Hell if anything it's an improvement over how it was when I first started when we'd get a panic, angry banging on our door from some team lead or frustrated phone call from a site manager on a Wednesday morning because their new hire started on Monday and still doesn't have an account and we hadn't yet received the paperwork from HR.

My clients are distributed over forty separate buildings in all seven states and territories. We don't get people banging on our door. Anyway, it's an open-plan office - we don't have a door.

gnome 13th September 2021 07:52 PM

Right now being asked to make specific weekly predictions of work volume based on inputs that cannot be forecasted with precision.

It's not really a problem so far as long as the couple of people planning to use it take it with a grain of salt somewhat. And I'm making them aware of the broad assumptions being made that enable even being able to have an educated guess. I think if they treat it as a sort of sensitivity model more than a crystal ball they'll be alright.

Norman Alexander 13th September 2021 08:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by catsmate (Post 13598163)
I favour the "Overtime rate starts in one minute. You'll need to authorise it before I continue this call".

Contractors don't get overtime. They are already considered "overpaid" just by being there. And this was invariably delivered in person.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey (Post 13598174)
"Oh, too bad, you just missed it by a minute! I've started the nightly server defragmentation alignment. It's automatic and can't be stopped once it's started...none of the fluvial functions will work until the optimization is completed overnight. And because this is the scheduled weekend for the registry parallax it won't be finished with the retro-index schema until Monday morning. Sorry, buddy, nothing we can do until then."

Aye aye, cap'n!

Didn't matter how much effluvium had to be enervated. As long as they weren't there to help mop it up, they felt free to call out their parting requests anyway.

arthwollipot 13th September 2021 08:12 PM

Right now we've got four New Starter Requests each demanding that they be completed before the others, each with an appropriate business case and executive-level approval.

Norman Alexander 13th September 2021 08:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 13598254)
I'm gloriously happy for IT folks who are in the sort of positions where they can play games with their clients/users when they get unreasonably stupid.

I'm not.

It's a two-way street. If you look at just about all the IT war-stories from the days of soldered discrete-component circuit boards to Snapdragon, it's a classic mistake for management to make all sorts decisions and promises that involve extensive IT services without actually even talking to IT about the issues first. Leaving their involvement to the last day or so to do weeks of work and then wondering why IT folks get angry is endlessly frustrating. Which is why we do get perverse joy out of needling some of the dimmer ones who pull these types of mindless stunts.

The obverse is those managers who do get IT on board up front usually get great service, because we are grateful to do our jobs with some sense of pride.

Norman Alexander 13th September 2021 08:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gnome (Post 13598680)
Right now being asked to make specific weekly predictions of work volume based on inputs that cannot be forecasted with precision.

It's not really a problem so far as long as the couple of people planning to use it take it with a grain of salt somewhat. And I'm making them aware of the broad assumptions being made that enable even being able to have an educated guess. I think if they treat it as a sort of sensitivity model more than a crystal ball they'll be alright.

Easy one. Make whatever adjustments you can to the prediction model that will give you the maximum time to complete the task, budget to buy stuff, or days off (combine to suit your taste).

Norman Alexander 13th September 2021 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13598690)
Right now we've got four New Starter Requests each demanding that they be completed before the others, each with an appropriate business case and executive-level approval.

*Rolls 20-sided die...* It's a 6! Whoever's employee number starts with 6, you're up!

gnome 14th September 2021 12:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13598690)
Right now we've got four New Starter Requests each demanding that they be completed before the others, each with an appropriate business case and executive-level approval.

"Your prioritization request conflicts with others of equal authority. To resolve please report to the fighting cage where you will earn preferential treatment by defeating all rivals in the ring of honor."

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

arthwollipot 14th September 2021 12:47 AM

Sooo... we've had a confirmed case of COVID in the building.

I've been WFW through the current lockdown as I have an Essential Worker permit because I don't have the space at home for the ergonomic equipment I require due to my WHS assessment. The case isn't on my floor - it's two floors up - and all the staff on my floor who have been to that floor have tested negative. But we're all WFH tomorrow until we know more. I'm pretty sure we'll just be a "monitor for symptoms" contact, but it's annoying. I haven't WFH for a while now.

Norman Alexander 14th September 2021 12:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gnome (Post 13598798)
"Your prioritization request conflicts with others of equal authority. To resolve please report to the fighting cage where you will earn preferential treatment by defeating all rivals in the ring of honor."

Nice! Stole!

catsmate 14th September 2021 03:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norman Alexander (Post 13598685)
Contractors don't get overtime. They are already considered "overpaid" just by being there.

:eek::boggled::eye-poppi Really? You need a proper contract. I certainly get overtime rates.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norman Alexander (Post 13598685)
And this was invariably delivered in person.

Well in that case it's "My working day ends in one minute. Who's authorising the overtime?".

JoeMorgue 14th September 2021 05:30 AM

The other issue is new hires aren't as simple as just popping in Active Directory and making a user account, creating a mailbox in Exchange, and calling it a day. I can do those steps in about 10 minutes in my sleep at this point.

A new hire will need between one and four, depending on their position, external accounts for various medical software and I don't make those, I have to send their basic user information to a 3rd party and then I'm at their mercy for whenever they make them. Usually it's pretty quick, but I have no guarantee nor anyway of speeding up the process if it isn't.

But it's "all IT" to the people screaming at me because the person they hired at 4:59:59 on Friday isn't working at full capacity exactly at 8:00:00 on Monday morning.

TragicMonkey 14th September 2021 07:41 AM

Dear Users: don't call any document you happen to have "specs" for a technical thing. Do not just send any document you have lying around to your technical guy and tell him "here are the specs, build the thing". Particularly when those "specs" you provided are a PowerPoint presentation to executives making a business case for why something needs to be done, with zero specifics of what to do or how it should be done.

Darat 14th September 2021 07:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey (Post 13599069)
Dear Users: don't call any document you happen to have "specs" for a technical thing. Do not just send any document you have lying around to your technical guy and tell him "here are the specs, build the thing". Particularly when those "specs" you provided are a PowerPoint presentation to executives making a business case for why something needs to be done, with zero specifics of what to do or how it should be done.

You will never make management with an attitude like that - sweating the little details is for "them" not us!

arthwollipot 14th September 2021 09:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by catsmate (Post 13598865)
:eek::boggled::eye-poppi Really? You need a proper contract. I certainly get overtime rates.

You get overtime rates, but you don't get overtime. When I was a contractor I was paid a certain amount per hour. If I worked more hours, I got paid more, but not at a higher rate. If I worked a weekend or a public holiday, I got paid at a higher rate.

As an permanent employee, I have the option for flexible working hours (flextime), but the hours in which I can do that are limited. If I work outside those hours, I get overtime, which is paid at a higher rate. And again, if I work a weekend or a public holiday, I get paid at a higher rate.

Norman Alexander 14th September 2021 10:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13599714)
You get overtime rates, but you don't get overtime. When I was a contractor I was paid a certain amount per hour. If I worked more hours, I got paid more, but not at a higher rate. If I worked a weekend or a public holiday, I got paid at a higher rate.

As an permanent employee, I have the option for flexible working hours (flextime), but the hours in which I can do that are limited. If I work outside those hours, I get overtime, which is paid at a higher rate. And again, if I work a weekend or a public holiday, I get paid at a higher rate.

Yep, that's how it worked for me too as a contractor. You get paid for your hours at the one rate. No hours = no pay. 100 hours = 100 x hourly rate. Some clients would not vary the rate for weekends or PH's either. :(

arthwollipot 14th September 2021 11:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norman Alexander (Post 13599761)
Yep, that's how it worked for me too as a contractor. You get paid for your hours at the one rate. No hours = no pay. 100 hours = 100 x hourly rate. Some clients would not vary the rate for weekends or PH's either. :(

Yeah I was contracting for the public service, so they were pretty good. Contrary to our reputation, the APS is actually great to work for, especially if like me you do get an ongoing position, which isn't that hard in this industry. APS awards rock.

catsmate 15th September 2021 12:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13599714)
You get overtime rates, but you don't get overtime. When I was a contractor I was paid a certain amount per hour. If I worked more hours, I got paid more, but not at a higher rate. If I worked a weekend or a public holiday, I got paid at a higher rate.

As an permanent employee, I have the option for flexible working hours (flextime), but the hours in which I can do that are limited. If I work outside those hours, I get overtime, which is paid at a higher rate. And again, if I work a weekend or a public holiday, I get paid at a higher rate.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norman Alexander (Post 13599761)
Yep, that's how it worked for me too as a contractor. You get paid for your hours at the one rate. No hours = no pay. 100 hours = 100 x hourly rate. Some clients would not vary the rate for weekends or PH's either. :(

Interesting. For us it's a baseline for 35 hours pw, all time in excess of this (and anything on Saturday) is at 1.67x, up to ten additional hours, after that the rate is 2.5x (and for any Sunday/holidays/booked time-off hours).
Also we have the Minimum Billing Period.. :)

arthwollipot 15th September 2021 01:06 AM

I just realised that I have managed an entire day WFH with no network dropouts whatsoever! Given the proven track record for Direct Access from home, I have no idea how I managed it.

Kid Eager 15th September 2021 01:36 AM

I'm thinking from your recent posts that we might have significantly less than six degrees of separation...

Darat 15th September 2021 03:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13599816)
I just realised that I have managed an entire day WFH with no network dropouts whatsoever! Given the proven track record for Direct Access from home, I have no idea how I managed it.

Sorry to disappoint you but that was a dream, you've yet to start your real day...

TragicMonkey 15th September 2021 05:43 AM

Dear Users: my function is to retrieve data from Source A. Do not request things from me that rely entirely on definitions and usages that exist only in Source B. "Can you give me a list of widgets?" from Source A will not work because "widget" is defined only in Source B. If you want data on them from Source A you will need to list them all out by whatever names they go by in Source A. At this point you should be realizing that the reason Source A doesn't use that terminology is because it doesn't need to, the proper source for all widget related data is actually Source B. Please insert Source B forcefully up your rear and leave me the hell alone. Thoroughly professionally hoping you die, TM

Kid Eager 15th September 2021 03:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey (Post 13599947)
Dear Users: my function is to retrieve data from Source A. Do not request things from me that rely entirely on definitions and usages that exist only in Source B. "Can you give me a list of widgets?" from Source A will not work because "widget" is defined only in Source B. If you want data on them from Source A you will need to list them all out by whatever names they go by in Source A. At this point you should be realizing that the reason Source A doesn't use that terminology is because it doesn't need to, the proper source for all widget related data is actually Source B. Please insert Source B forcefully up your rear and leave me the hell alone. Thoroughly professionally hoping you die, TM

That’s like one I had from earlier this year. I tell business line manager that for their new enterprise app to work properly, the business rules for record assignment and approval levels need to be defined. They say “okay”. I look at them. They look at me. Time passes. I say “you need to provide those business rules.” Their response: “just use the ones the app comes with”. Me: “You need to provide the logic and the who , for the rules to work.” Them: “why don’t you put some together for me and then I can see whether I like them or not…”

Norman Alexander 15th September 2021 03:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kid Eager (Post 13600525)
That’s like one I had from earlier this year. I tell business line manager that for their new enterprise app to work properly, the business rules for record assignment and approval levels need to be defined. They say “okay”. I look at them. They look at me. Time passes. I say “you need to provide those business rules.” Their response: “just use the ones the app comes with”. Me: “You need to provide the logic and the who , for the rules to work.” Them: “why don’t you put some together for me and then I can see whether I like them or not…”

Aka "Do My Job For Me So I Can Be Paid Heaps".

arthwollipot 15th September 2021 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13599858)
Sorry to disappoint you but that was a dream, you've yet to start your real day...

The followup to that is that half an hour after my shift ended, I lost all internet access for about five hours. I checked with my ISP and there was a widespread outage.

I'm back in the office today. There was a confirmed case in the building - two floors up from me. All the people from my floor who had gone up to that floor tested positive, but they wanted us all to WFH for a day to make sure.

theprestige 15th September 2021 06:24 PM

Three months ago, we migrated one of our internal services from an on-premise server to the vendor's cloud-based offering. When we did so, our service name changed from "example.onprem.com" to "example.com". We spent a month shepherding our very larger user community onto the new service name.

Two months ago, we retired "example.onprem.com" completely.

A month ago, one of our users returned from a lengthy vacation, having missed the move to "example.com" entirely.

Today, she sent us a nastygram. Her complaint:

- For several weeks, her links to "example.onprem.com" have been broken.
- This is severely impacting her productivity.
- She can get to "example.com", but what about "example.onprem.com"?
- Is there any plan to fix her links?
- Why are her teammates telling her they can still get to "example.onprem.com"?

The mind boggles.

arthwollipot 15th September 2021 06:31 PM

We're switching to ServiceNow on Monday. I don't feel sufficiently trained at this time, but there's another training session tomorrow (Friday) and I love being dumped into deep water.

Norman Alexander 15th September 2021 07:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by theprestige (Post 13600666)
Three months ago, we migrated one of our internal services from an on-premise server to the vendor's cloud-based offering. When we did so, our service name changed from "example.onprem.com" to "example.com". We spent a month shepherding our very larger user community onto the new service name.

Two months ago, we retired "example.onprem.com" completely.

A month ago, one of our users returned from a lengthy vacation, having missed the move to "example.com" entirely.

Today, she sent us a nastygram. Her complaint:

- For several weeks, her links to "example.onprem.com" have been broken.
- This is severely impacting her productivity.
- She can get to "example.com", but what about "example.onprem.com"?
- Is there any plan to fix her links?
- Why are her teammates telling her they can still get to "example.onprem.com"?

The mind boggles.

Hers doesn't, though.

Norman Alexander 15th September 2021 07:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13600669)
We're switching to ServiceNow on Monday. I don't feel sufficiently trained at this time, but there's another training session tomorrow (Friday) and I love being dumped into deep water.

Heh heh heh heh! *Rubs hands with glee*

theprestige 15th September 2021 07:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 13600669)
We're switching to ServiceNow on Monday. I don't feel sufficiently trained at this time, but there's another training session tomorrow (Friday) and I love being dumped into deep water.

Like every other ticketing system, Service Now is great right up until the moment when the client ignores its basic features and starts customizing.

Norman Alexander 15th September 2021 07:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by theprestige (Post 13600687)
Like every other ticketing system, Service Now is great right up until the moment when the client ignores its basic features and starts customizing.

Aww, come on! Don't ruin the surprise! :boxedin:


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