Tuesday, August 20, 2013

One Does Not Simply Walk Into Mordor

That goes triple on a Friday.

I work in higher education. I work in IT in higher education. Now, I've been at the institution that employs me for 14 years now, so obviously I usually enjoy what I do and have developed Stockholm Syndrome strong emotional attachments to many of the fine people I work with. People don't go into IT because they like saying "no" or because they hate making people happy by making their lives easier or giving them what they need to do their jobs or making technology work minor miracles. People definitely don't go into IT areas that involve "customer service" because they're misanthropic or anti-social, despite the stereotypes. We all have personalities fully intact in our department and can hold a conversation like a real, live human being. I've also only rarely fantasized about strangling people and there are many enjoyable and highly hilarious opportunities for venting with other overworked, understaffed brothers (and one sister) in arms. 

What I'm trying to say is, "We like helping you, users, but for the love of all that is holy, people, you are not the only person on campus with a need, and there are only eight of us, and some of us occasionally like eating, sleeping, going home and other recreational activities that do not involve hovering expectantly in case you decide that, I, personally, have a thing to be done for you. So do lots of other people. Get in line. We occasionally even go outside in order to work on someone's computer or have a meeting with someone. Do not bank on us sitting right next to the phone to pick up your call or assume we have less than four hundred other messages in our Inboxes."

But even 14 years on, I still comically rant with major amusement at how many people will wait until 2:50 P.M. on a Friday, during one of the busiest times of the year, only to directly email/call one person in the department, vaguely describing a thing that gets run for them once a year, all puzzled that they didn't get the person they originally directly called at the last minute because he's done this crazy thing called "Taking his well-deserved and hard-earned Floating Holiday before the college takes it back". And act equally puzzled that you don't immediately know which report out of the many hundreds of reports lying about the place is the one that they refer to as something along the lines of "you know that list I get once a year with the mailboxes on it?" might be.

And then when you ask when they need it, they answer, "I was hoping to get it this afternoon."

This afternoon. The afternoon of which there are two hours left? That one?

So, because you actually like doing things for people, you promise to look, but ask that they do what they should have done in the first place, put in a helpdesk request. The helpdesk where their request would have had a better chance of being noticed and assigned to someone who is actually on campus if it's so darned urgent. When you find it, you go to see them and they are nowhere to be found, despite "hoping to get it this afternoon". They still haven't put in that helpdesk call that you asked them to put in. And since you're trying to actually prove with real, live statistics that you are, as you have always been, not equipped with enough bodies to handle all of these "hoping to get it this afternoon"s, you end up having to put in the helpdesk call on their behalf as well.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I am occasionally tempted to just keep running some mornings before work.

No comments:

Post a Comment