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Old 9th July 2021, 04:08 PM   #41
TragicMonkey
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Dear Consultants:

You may feel the need to demonstrate your value to the client by finding fault with an existing piece of work or process. This is understandable. However, before you air any criticisms of a piece of work you should probably find out who actually did that work. Or you may wind up accidentally calling a powerful executive an idiot to her face in a conference call that went very, very wrong very, very fast.

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TragicMonkey, who may distribute the monthly XYZ Report, but does not make the monthly XYZ Report, because that's compiled by Senior Vice President "Amy Sauron", aka "The Butcher", who just wants someone else to QC some data then send it out for her.
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Old 11th July 2021, 11:14 AM   #42
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Today I got the treat of seeing my mom handle her online banking. It was quite educational.

Step 1: Log into your bank's website. Okay, that went okay. She did have to search through a sheaf of loose papers and rubberbanded index cards and try a couple of different passwords (she never writes down the capitalization or punctuation of her passwords, so if the password is 1999KittyCat! you have to try several variations) but still, on the whole, it went okay.

Step 2: If you're there to look at your credit card, ignore the link to your credit card. What you want to do is navigate to the PDF of the monthly statement that was generated at the end of last month. You definitely don't want data from today.

Step 3: Look at the PDF, and copy what's on it by hand to a notepad. You shouldn't waste time being careful to get each entry, or write down the numbers correctly. Transposing digits is just fine, it's only money.

Step 4: Using a cheap calculator purchased in 1992, add up some but not all of the numbers you partially copied onto your notepad. Complain about the result, and accuse the bank (bonus points if you accuse a different bank than the one you're doing this with) of messing up your credit card.

Step 5: Ask your son what's wrong, why is he silently clawing at the air, unable to speak.
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Old 11th July 2021, 02:57 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I actually had opportunity to make use of the technical support for my ISP very recently. I gave them all the relevant information up front, and did everything they told me to do. They were able to fix my problem in about fifteen minutes. After the call, I gave positive feedback.
Not Telstra?
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Old 11th July 2021, 03:00 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Today I got the treat of seeing my mom handle her online banking. It was quite educational.

Step 1: Log into your bank's website. Okay, that went okay. She did have to search through a sheaf of loose papers and rubberbanded index cards and try a couple of different passwords (she never writes down the capitalization or punctuation of her passwords, so if the password is 1999KittyCat! you have to try several variations) but still, on the whole, it went okay.

Step 2: If you're there to look at your credit card, ignore the link to your credit card. What you want to do is navigate to the PDF of the monthly statement that was generated at the end of last month. You definitely don't want data from today.

Step 3: Look at the PDF, and copy what's on it by hand to a notepad. You shouldn't waste time being careful to get each entry, or write down the numbers correctly. Transposing digits is just fine, it's only money.

Step 4: Using a cheap calculator purchased in 1992, add up some but not all of the numbers you partially copied onto your notepad. Complain about the result, and accuse the bank (bonus points if you accuse a different bank than the one you're doing this with) of messing up your credit card.

Step 5: Ask your son what's wrong, why is he silently clawing at the air, unable to speak.
You're on mute?
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Old 11th July 2021, 08:37 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Not Telstra?
Not Telstra. Telstra is one of the call centres that I made a solemn vow never to work for.
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Old 11th July 2021, 09:41 PM   #46
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They've got me doing VoIP again, which is a nice break. I actually remember how to do almost everything.

But this is the kind of thing I have to deal with: There were three Call Pickup Group requests in the queue this morning. These are requests to add or remove one or more people from a Call Pickup Group, which is a dedicated number that rings on the phones of everybody who is a member of the group and can be answered by any of them.

Not one of these three requests actually needed to be done. Two of them were to remove a person who is not a member of any call pickup groups from a call pickup group, and the other was to add three people who were already members of a call pickup group to the call pickup group that they were already members of.

Well thanks for wasting my time.
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Old 12th July 2021, 01:15 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
They've got me doing VoIP again, which is a nice break. I actually remember how to do almost everything.

But this is the kind of thing I have to deal with: There were three Call Pickup Group requests in the queue this morning. These are requests to add or remove one or more people from a Call Pickup Group, which is a dedicated number that rings on the phones of everybody who is a member of the group and can be answered by any of them.

Not one of these three requests actually needed to be done. Two of them were to remove a person who is not a member of any call pickup groups from a call pickup group, and the other was to add three people who were already members of a call pickup group to the call pickup group that they were already members of.

Well thanks for wasting my time.
Is there a suitable RESOLUTION option? Action Not Possible or similar?
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Old 12th July 2021, 01:17 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
Is there a suitable RESOLUTION option? Action Not Possible or similar?
Oh, yes, I can just complete the activity with the text "user is already a member of this call pickup group".
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Old 12th July 2021, 06:40 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Oh, yes, I can just complete the activity with the text "user is already a member of this call pickup group".
It doesn't generate a return email to the originator containing words like 'Idiot' then?
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As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
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Old 12th July 2021, 07:20 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Oh, yes, I can just complete the activity with the text "user is already a member of this call pickup group".

Due to technical difficulties with our manipulation of the space-time continuum, I am unable to process your request. Please resubmit your request when time travel has been achieved.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 12th July 2021, 07:39 AM   #51
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Today someone questioning my logic thought to ask rhetorically "how many X can there be?" Don't ask rhetorical questions of the person who runs the database queries. There are 2,140,119 Xs as of this morning at 12:03 a.m. I can send you the list if you'd like to spend a few years reading it, Nancy. Do you want that, Nancy? Shall I email you two million rows of data in Excel? I can write a Perl script to automate an email, and run a query to retrieve the complete list of X every day and automatically email it to you every morning. Or every hour. Or every second of every day for the rest of your life, Nancy. I can build a necromantical apparatus that will send this data after you into the next life, Nancy. I can hound you down the corridors of eternity, throwing billions and billions of lines of data at you through heaven, hell, and everything inbetween. Don't **** with me, Nancy. Don't. ****. With. Me.

So how's your Monday going? Mine's a teensy bit irritable.
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Old 12th July 2021, 10:32 AM   #52
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Today, I asked a colleague how he'd done a thing, because I needed to do the same, but over here, not over there. He said he didn't even know if he'd done it.

So, I asked our "techie team" what I needed to do to request the thing.
"Fill in the form"
Do I need to, can I just say "make this thing exactly like that thing my colleague asked for, but over here?"
"No, that may confuse things. We need a complete form using the template"
Well, do you have an example of a completed form so I can see how it's done?
"It's a new form. Fill in the form and we can tell you where you've gone wrong."

looking at the set up of the thing over there I found a reference to the the form that my colleague completed 14 months ago. It's the same form as I'm supposed to be using now. So I copied it and changed "there" to "here" couple of times. I may get in trouble as it might be some awful right of passage that we're all supposed to endure.

Ironically, at the top of the form it says, "if you have any problems completing this form, please contact the techie team"

Hell of a catch, that Catch-22
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Old 12th July 2021, 12:03 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Due to technical difficulties with our manipulation of the space-time continuum, I am unable to process your request. Please resubmit your request when time travel has been achieved.
Too good an opportunity to miss by saying that.

"Just for you, I got into the TARDIS we keep for really important requests, went back in time and performed it before you asked."
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Old 12th July 2021, 10:06 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post

So how's your Monday going? Mine's a teensy bit irritable.
I had a root canal.
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Old 13th July 2021, 12:08 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Due to technical difficulties with our manipulation of the space-time continuum, I am unable to process your request. Please resubmit your request when time travel has been achieved.
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.
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Old 13th July 2021, 05:08 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Today someone questioning my logic thought to ask rhetorically "how many X can there be?" Don't ask rhetorical questions of the person who runs the database queries. There are 2,140,119 Xs as of this morning at 12:03 a.m. I can send you the list if you'd like to spend a few years reading it, Nancy. Do you want that, Nancy? Shall I email you two million rows of data in Excel? I can write a Perl script to automate an email, and run a query to retrieve the complete list of X every day and automatically email it to you every morning. Or every hour. Or every second of every day for the rest of your life, Nancy. I can build a necromantical apparatus that will send this data after you into the next life, Nancy. I can hound you down the corridors of eternity, throwing billions and billions of lines of data at you through heaven, hell, and everything inbetween. Don't **** with me, Nancy. Don't. ****. With. Me.


Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
So how's your Monday going? Mine's a teensy bit irritable.
It was quite pleasant, still munching the left-overs from Saturday. Today I think we'll need to cook again. I shopped. The weather was changeable. No lightning or flooding here.

How's your Tuesday?
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Old 13th July 2021, 06:24 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
How's your Tuesday?
My boss's boss has been misrepresenting the data I've been collecting, and now I have to go to a meeting to explain what my data actually means and how I get it, and it will be in her best interests to discredit me. She fired my previous boss last summer. So, it's a fun day already!
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Old 13th July 2021, 06:34 AM   #58
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Users,

If you can't get to a webpage but you can get to every other webpage and the webpage is not returning an error/message from our firewall, antivirus, or content filtering...

... then the webpage is down and we can't do anything about it.
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Old 13th July 2021, 07:51 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
My boss's boss has been misrepresenting the data I've been collecting, and now I have to go to a meeting to explain what my data actually means and how I get it, and it will be in her best interests to discredit me. She fired my previous boss last summer. So, it's a fun day already!
Is recording conversations legal where you are? Here we have the Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages (Regulation) Act to allow us to gather evidence for later action.....
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As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
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Old 13th July 2021, 09:13 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
My boss's boss has been misrepresenting the data I've been collecting, and now I have to go to a meeting to explain what my data actually means and how I get it, and it will be in her best interests to discredit me. She fired my previous boss last summer. So, it's a fun day already!
Any way to give her some of the credit for figuring out the problem (however undeserved), so that she has to embrace the accurate methods?
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Old 13th July 2021, 09:37 AM   #61
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It's not that kind of issue. The issue is that various parties are trying to measure Thing X, which is their important work they're doing. If Thing X does well, they are rewarded. If Thing X does badly, their heads roll. The problem is that measuring Thing X is highly complex. So defining precisely how it can/should be measured is critical.

Boss's boss was the main driver of the first definition. Thing X can be measured by looking at A, B, C, and D, using these lists of items to include, this to exclude, this date range, this and that other thing. So after much effort I was able to write the queries necessary to pull that and only that data using that and only that definition.

Nine months in, however, two other, separate, and competing parties involved in Thing X want to alter the definition. One wants to alter it so they can get the data from a different tool, one that is not compatible with using the current definition. Another party doesn't care what tool is used, they want to redefine the measurement method to a way that makes their side of the numbers look better. The easiest way to achieve this is to attack the current definition.

So boss's boss can either a) fight back to keep the current definition (that everyone is consistently calling "mine" even though I only follow instructions, I didn't invent the damn thing) as it is; b) throw me under the bus saying that I incorrectly implemented her instructions and created a flawed measurement and thus everything I've done for a year now is crap, or c) she can graciously concede the need for a redefinition without accepting or assigning blame. In the last case it just means I'll have a heap more work to do but at least I can compel everybody and their uncle to sign off on precisely what they're asking and acknowledging precisely what they're getting so they can't complain later that I screwed it up alone.

So I'm looking at anything from being rewarded for my stellar work to being fired for gross incompetence. My boss's boss in the same position. Her bosses are looking at getting bonuses or not getting bonuses. And the contracted firm is looking at gaining or losing their however-many-millions contract. All because people want to measure Thing X which is not a thing actually spelled out clearly in the only database I have access to.
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Old 13th July 2021, 09:38 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Filippo Lippi View Post
Today, I asked a colleague how he'd done a thing, because I needed to do the same, but over here, not over there. He said he didn't even know if he'd done it.

So, I asked our "techie team" what I needed to do to request the thing.
"Fill in the form"
Do I need to, can I just say "make this thing exactly like that thing my colleague asked for, but over here?"
"No, that may confuse things. We need a complete form using the template"
Well, do you have an example of a completed form so I can see how it's done?
"It's a new form. Fill in the form and we can tell you where you've gone wrong."

looking at the set up of the thing over there I found a reference to the the form that my colleague completed 14 months ago. It's the same form as I'm supposed to be using now. So I copied it and changed "there" to "here" couple of times. I may get in trouble as it might be some awful right of passage that we're all supposed to endure.

Ironically, at the top of the form it says, "if you have any problems completing this form, please contact the techie team"

Hell of a catch, that Catch-22

There was a bit of a change when we spun out from a rather bureaucratic multinational to a smaller one, which is probably part of a larger multinational now.

before it was like that. Now the guys on the CAD support fix most of the requests via instant message and fill out the forms themselves afterwards. Requests for software that's new to the system obviously has more of an approval process, but it's still reasonable.
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Old 13th July 2021, 09:51 AM   #63
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Oh, and in my opinion (which nobody asked), Thing X cannot be adequately measured using data from that database, no matter what definition you use. Thing X is a complex series of events whose critical information is either not collected at all, or is collected and stored elsewhere.
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Old 13th July 2021, 12:32 PM   #64
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Yep that's when you go for what you said above, where they write down exactly what they want you to do and put their name on it.
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Old 13th July 2021, 12:36 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Oh, and in my opinion (which nobody asked), Thing X cannot be adequately measured using data from that database, no matter what definition you use. Thing X is a complex series of events whose critical information is either not collected at all, or is collected and stored elsewhere.
I hope you're documenting this as much as you can friend. This reads a lot like getting caught between two sides and there's a bus coming that you could wind up under the wheel of.
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Old 13th July 2021, 01:23 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I hope you're documenting this as much as you can friend. This reads a lot like getting caught between two sides and their bus coming that you could wind up under the wheel of.
Yup would an email trail help?
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Every year since 1990 the US Public healthcare spending has been greater than the UK as a proportion of GDP. More US Tax goes to healthcare than the UK
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Old 13th July 2021, 03:34 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Oh, and in my opinion (which nobody asked), Thing X cannot be adequately measured using data from that database, no matter what definition you use. Thing X is a complex series of events whose critical information is either not collected at all, or is collected and stored elsewhere.
Sounds like it is time for the database backup to glitch and need your concentrated attention for the next...oh, say. 3 month? During which time Thing X progress reports will not be possible. Then you will have to degauss the database after that, just to be sure. Another month or two will do it.

So meanwhile the various parties might like to conference and decide how they are going to measure progress without the database data. You will be busy, so you will leave it to them to decide.
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Old 13th July 2021, 06:47 PM   #68
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I nearly just deleted the phone number for the Service Desk.

Service Desk agents have the Service Desk number listed on their profile so that users can't call individuals for matters that they really should be calling the Service Desk for. This week I've been processing phone requests, and that includes Exit Advice Notifications (EANs). This is when someone leaves their employment with the department and we clear all their accounts, including their phone details so that we can reallocate the number if we need to.

I just processed the EAN for someone who left the Service Desk. Operating purely on muscle memory, I'd copied and pasted the number into the search field before I realised what I was doing. Fortunately I caught myself before I hit Find, which is the step right before hitting Delete.

It would have been interesting if I hadn't been paying attention.
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Old 13th July 2021, 07:50 PM   #69
Norman Alexander
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I nearly just deleted the phone number for the Service Desk.

Service Desk agents have the Service Desk number listed on their profile so that users can't call individuals for matters that they really should be calling the Service Desk for. This week I've been processing phone requests, and that includes Exit Advice Notifications (EANs). This is when someone leaves their employment with the department and we clear all their accounts, including their phone details so that we can reallocate the number if we need to.

I just processed the EAN for someone who left the Service Desk. Operating purely on muscle memory, I'd copied and pasted the number into the search field before I realised what I was doing. Fortunately I caught myself before I hit Find, which is the step right before hitting Delete.

It would have been interesting if I hadn't been paying attention.
At least nobody could have called in to complain about it.
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Old 14th July 2021, 01:13 AM   #70
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This is the only place I can think of to vent about this. We have a Pending queue where we place incidents where we're waiting for something - a callback, more information, etc. We have to follow up every three days - if we follow up twice and are still unable to contact the client we can close the incident with the resolution status "Reporting user non-responsive".

Today there are a bunch of items in the Pending queue from last week where I cannot for the life of me fathom why they were put in Pending instead of immediately escalated. The person who did it left the cryptic message "Unable to contact client - left VM asking to call Service Desk." Nothing about why we wanted to call them. All of them had all of the information required for escalation to a Tier 3 team. None of them were something that we could do over the phone.

I've taken the followup calls from these users, too. They call, I look up the job, and I have to say "okay, well I have no idea why we were asking you to call about this. I'm just going to escalate it."

The reason why I have to vent here is that the person who has been doing this left the Service Desk at the end of last week.
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Old 14th July 2021, 03:57 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
This is the only place I can think of to vent about this. We have a Pending queue where we place incidents where we're waiting for something - a callback, more information, etc. We have to follow up every three days - if we follow up twice and are still unable to contact the client we can close the incident with the resolution status "Reporting user non-responsive".

Today there are a bunch of items in the Pending queue from last week where I cannot for the life of me fathom why they were put in Pending instead of immediately escalated. The person who did it left the cryptic message "Unable to contact client - left VM asking to call Service Desk." Nothing about why we wanted to call them. All of them had all of the information required for escalation to a Tier 3 team. None of them were something that we could do over the phone.

I've taken the followup calls from these users, too. They call, I look up the job, and I have to say "okay, well I have no idea why we were asking you to call about this. I'm just going to escalate it."

The reason why I have to vent here is that the person who has been doing this left the Service Desk at the end of last week.
Ah yes. I've been there, with a sammy (Sales Account Manager) who was leaving and wanted the commission on sales, without the effort of planning for the implementation.
My revenge took nearly two years.....
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Old 14th July 2021, 04:23 AM   #72
Norman Alexander
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
This is the only place I can think of to vent about this. We have a Pending queue where we place incidents where we're waiting for something - a callback, more information, etc. We have to follow up every three days - if we follow up twice and are still unable to contact the client we can close the incident with the resolution status "Reporting user non-responsive".

Today there are a bunch of items in the Pending queue from last week where I cannot for the life of me fathom why they were put in Pending instead of immediately escalated. The person who did it left the cryptic message "Unable to contact client - left VM asking to call Service Desk." Nothing about why we wanted to call them. All of them had all of the information required for escalation to a Tier 3 team. None of them were something that we could do over the phone.

I've taken the followup calls from these users, too. They call, I look up the job, and I have to say "okay, well I have no idea why we were asking you to call about this. I'm just going to escalate it."

The reason why I have to vent here is that the person who has been doing this left the Service Desk at the end of last week.
Obviously "clearing their desk".
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Old 14th July 2021, 11:06 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
It's not that kind of issue. The issue is that various parties are trying to measure Thing X, which is their important work they're doing. If Thing X does well, they are rewarded. If Thing X does badly, their heads roll. The problem is that measuring Thing X is highly complex. So defining precisely how it can/should be measured is critical.

Boss's boss was the main driver of the first definition. Thing X can be measured by looking at A, B, C, and D, using these lists of items to include, this to exclude, this date range, this and that other thing. So after much effort I was able to write the queries necessary to pull that and only that data using that and only that definition.

Nine months in, however, two other, separate, and competing parties involved in Thing X want to alter the definition. One wants to alter it so they can get the data from a different tool, one that is not compatible with using the current definition. Another party doesn't care what tool is used, they want to redefine the measurement method to a way that makes their side of the numbers look better. The easiest way to achieve this is to attack the current definition.

So boss's boss can either a) fight back to keep the current definition (that everyone is consistently calling "mine" even though I only follow instructions, I didn't invent the damn thing) as it is; b) throw me under the bus saying that I incorrectly implemented her instructions and created a flawed measurement and thus everything I've done for a year now is crap, or c) she can graciously concede the need for a redefinition without accepting or assigning blame. In the last case it just means I'll have a heap more work to do but at least I can compel everybody and their uncle to sign off on precisely what they're asking and acknowledging precisely what they're getting so they can't complain later that I screwed it up alone.

So I'm looking at anything from being rewarded for my stellar work to being fired for gross incompetence. My boss's boss in the same position. Her bosses are looking at getting bonuses or not getting bonuses. And the contracted firm is looking at gaining or losing their however-many-millions contract. All because people want to measure Thing X which is not a thing actually spelled out clearly in the only database I have access to.
Have you planted a time bomb in the database yet so that it won't work after you are fired for doing and not doing what everybody wanted?
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Old 14th July 2021, 12:22 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Have you planted a time bomb in the database yet so that it won't work after you are fired for doing and not doing what everybody wanted?
Sadly, I lack that degree of power. I'm a reporting monkey--I only have read access to everything.
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Old 15th July 2021, 07:09 PM   #75
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I've actually come to enjoy doing VoIP. I have two modes - either active problem solving, or the copy alt-tab paste alt-tab cycle that I've described before. I'm very comfortable in both modes.

The other thing I like is because I've become very comfortable with it, I can power through the queues. It's very, very satisfying to see both the VoIP Incidents and the VoIP Service Request queues at zero by 11:30.

It's also rather amusing to see the variety of ways in which people mess up their Phone Button Templates.
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Old 19th July 2021, 05:50 PM   #76
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New week, new tasks. New Starter Requests are a whole lot nicer to do now that the Jabber component is automated.
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Old 20th July 2021, 10:47 PM   #77
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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.
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Old 20th July 2021, 10:50 PM   #78
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I'm currently processing a new starter request for someone whose job title is listed as "Automated Tester".
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Old 21st July 2021, 01:02 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I'm currently processing a new starter request for someone whose job title is listed as "Automated Tester".
It's good to see your employer is being forward in hiring AIs.
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Old 21st July 2021, 05:10 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by Filippo Lippi View Post
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.
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!
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