Monday, November 03, 2014

Laugh, Cry, Whatever

I'm on site this week.  I have a customer who is experiencing a problem with their PRI provider.  They have an existing span which fails when they move it to our equipment.  It's actually a very interesting failure as this absolutely SHOULD work.

So why am I dragging my butt out of bed, putting on my pajamas and blogging about it?

I am a low-level minion now at COMPANY NAME REDACTED so my job is to answer the phone, work the problem and move on.  I was passed over for promotion and I would normally say something like, "The other guy is really good and they had a tough choice" except for I was hired for that job.  I was supposed to be a low-level minion at COMPANY NAME REDACTED while I learned the product and then I was to be moved to a mid-level minion.  Instead, I am in support queue Hell.

Low level minions are NOT supposed to go on site.  So why am I?  As my boss put it, I am just the eyes and ears for our top-level minion.

Of course, he didn't respond to my IMs or emails all day today, so I did what I do.  I worked the problem.

I shouldn't gripe but I've been doing support for fifteen years at this point.  The way to be successful at support is to get the call, work the call, fix the problem.  Three simple steps.  Support isn't like making widgets where each widget is exactly the same and you should be able to make 30 an hour or whatever, each support case is different, different things have been tried, the setup for each is different, you must be flexible and it takes however long it takes.

With the advent of "The Great Recession" (tm) employers started hiring "Consultants" (remember kids, if you aren't part of the solution, you're a consultant) to review "Metrics".  Metrics are all about how to do more with less.  So the assembly line of support is created.

Get the call, work the call, give the customer something to do, get off the call and onto the next call.

I STRONGLY disagree with this model as I am one of the guys who gets the frustrated and now pissed of customer who has been fighting a problem all day long and feeling like he's getting the run around.  I (and some others) wind up working the call and trying to recover the customer and making sure the problem gets fixed.  This is great for CSAT, but total crap for Metrics.  I take longer to work calls and therefore pull fewer.  Although when I do send a case up, chances are fair that it is a legit problem. (Not always, I am human.)

So my stubborn insistence on doing things the right way directly impacted my moving to mid-level minion.

So, what does this mean?  Nothing really.  No time to write (beyond this), no time to rehearse music, no time to play in a band outside of church, no time for illustrations.

In short, no time for fun in life.  Makes you wonder, "Why bother?"