Thursday, June 21, 2007

Root cause

Things have sucked here at the Help Desk all week. Mostly because of a string of system failures. On Monday a number of mail servers went down at the same time that our ticket generation and mainframe went down so we couldn't create tickets or change passwords. On Tuesday there were print spooler issues. Yesterday there was an issue with anti virus definitions being out of date. The heavy call volumes for all three days have completely screwed the metrics for the month so that now we are being told that scheduled breaks are canceled for the rest of June.

One of the Corporate Overlords sent a message (inappropriately, to everyone at the Help Desk) in response to this three days of crap: "Without understanding a root and/or systemic cause, going 3 days in a row with these metrics is unacceptable"

So, let me explain the "root and/or systemic cause". . . the Help Desk is staffed to just barely handle a normal call volume. To have extra staff would cost too much money when the call volume is low. Management despises having employees not being busy. But when something goes wrong and the call volume climbs, we never have the staff necessary to handle it. Have a widespread issue and we miss our metrics for the day. Have several and we miss our metrics for the month.

So really, YOU are the systemic cause in not allowing the Help Desk to be staffed sufficiently to handle things when things go wrong. Really, that's what we're here for, to fix things when they go wrong. And if you're too cheap to hire enough of us to handle the call volume, that's YOUR fault, not ours.

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