Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dear User... I Sometimes Do Other Things

Dear User,

I understand it can be frustrating when you have an issue and don't get a resolution right away. Guess what? It's also mega-frustrating when you assume that I have zero issues to deal with besides yours. Especially when your issue is of your own making and I have a backlogged pile of about three projects and twenty other issues that need seeing to.

First of all, I'm kind of amazed that you managed to forget how to do a thing that you've done, bare minimum, twice a year, for the past 20-plus years. Especially when you last did it just one month ago. You pull up a single record in a screen, change the dates, save and that's it. And forgive me if I'm extra-amazed that you managed to totally forget how to do this while attempting to train another user how to do this in your absence. Yes. That's right. You were sitting down with a fellow user to show them how it's done, and suddenly, you are unsure how to do the thing. You have no idea how this thing works. You didn't once take down a note, screenshot, or even, prior to sitting down with your trainee, whip out that brand new iPhone I know you have and take a picture of the screen? Apparently not.

So excuse me for kind of losing my mind with you on the phone because 1) You suddenly have no idea how to do a thing you've done on a regular basis since I was in middle school. We all have our off days and moments of "I can't believe I did that!", but this leads me to the second point... 2) You never once took notes on this very important thing that can hold up billing statements being sent out to students. Yet I'm supposed to drop everything and figure it out for you because it is, emphasis yours, VERY IMPORTANT. If it's so important, you think maybe you should write the steps and the values that never change down somewhere? Like maybe in case we all get hit by buses or something? Or in case my head actually does explode one of these days and I'm not around to figure it out for you? Or, God forbid, I actually take a day off and fail to notify the entire campus so they can cease forgetting how to do very important things in my absence? 3) You seem to expect that I should know how to do your job when you don't know how to do your job. Up to and including what is a policy question, not a computer question. If you don't know what your policy is, why would I know? Why should I know?
 Amazingly enough, I also have some other stuff to do. I'm trying to do about three IT jobs alone, because this college thinks just saying "lean and mean" enough means one employee can magically do the work of four. Because that extends to the other offices, not just IT, I'm in high demand. This is to say nothing of the project I've been attempting to work on, with zero success, for the last two weeks because people will not freaking leave me alone for ten minutes straight.

On occasion, I have to do things that do not include "hawking my email inbox constantly on the off chance that you have sent me another email message about this issue that I thought I had already resolved after a set of three highlighted screenshots and a fifteen minute phone conversation to explain what I already explained in writing". So, no, don't be so sure I'm already looking at your message when you phone me after I fail to respond fast enough for your liking. And please don't give me the "very important" line again, that is doing you no favors. The other five people breathing down my neck think their things are very important too.

And then I feel bad because I'm frustrated and sound frustrated.

And this, people, is one of the reasons why I run.

P.S. I figured out the one thing that needed to be changed on the screen somehow, despite the user's insistence that she had "tried everything", and the day was saved, at least until the next time someone forgets their own policy and decides it's my job to know their job even thought they have no clue how to do my job. Or theirs.

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