Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sharing the pain

There was a series of staff meetings wherein, among other things, we learned the actual reason behind the latest stupid policy of not actually troubleshooting remote access issues. Since late last year, the Help Desk has experienced a three-fold increase in remote access calls. Most of those calls have been because some flaw in the latest version of the software has cause password violations to occur even when the user is not being prompted for a password. Fully 5% of all are calls are to address this issue.

Well, in taking this increase to The Bank to try to get second level support to do something about it, say, fix the software flaw, the Help Desk is met with shrugging shoulders. They don't see an increase in their workload (because we're doing all the work) and so refuse to believe there is any issue.

"So", I said at the meeting, "what were doing is offloading all this work we've been doing for them onto second level so that they will have to recognize that there is actually a problem rather than burying their collective heads in the sand."

The Tactical Manager said, "Yea. Pretty much."

"Good. Because if you had justified it any other way, you and I would have been having a private meeting after this one."

We've played this political game several times before but this is the first time Management has come out early in the process and admitted that this is what they were doing. It's nonsense, to be sure, but it is nonsense I can understand.

When another analyst asked what we were to say to users who called and wondered why we couldn't help them anymore I jumped in before Management had a chance to make something up.

"We tell them the truth, or at least the root part of it. We say that Second Level Support is investigating a number of root causes for these ongoing problems and we need to direct these issue directly to them so they can figure out what's going wrong and fix it rather than the band-aids we've been applying up to this point."

The Managers immediately nodded their heads in agreement and said they would send out an email to that effect to the entire Help Desk so that there will be a consistent message.

Again, it's nonsense, but understandable nonsense. Just because I have a degree in political science, doesn't mean I like politics.

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