Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lead by Example

I work for the government doing what I like to call "computer crap." Tech support...IT...whatever... My friend heard my stories and thought I should start a blog. I wasn't sure I'd have enough to write about, but what the goes...

I have the fun job of researching the processes used by our IT department and trying to improve them. I used to have this job but I quit because even though the problems were easy to find (you could not, NOT find them!), everyone was set in their ways, so I was simply banging my head against the wall. Anyhoo...this week I was reassigned back to that same job, but with a new manager. Okay, I can deal with this. She always has candy and pretzels in her office, so how bad can it be?

I settled down at my desk for an intense search for any flawed process in the technical realm. That took all of 4 seconds. (like shooting fish in a barrel)

Here is a little background... Because we are a big organization, we use a "trouble ticket" system to track all the computer problems. A user reports the problem, the issue is then logged into the computer system, and a ticket number is generated. Once the ticket is created, its sent to the office in charge of that type of work. Theoretically, that office will fix the problem and then "close" the ticket.

Well, I found that one office had 50-some tickets assigned to them that no one was doing anything about any of them. Most of them were 3-12 months old. So, I emailed the girl in charge of that office. I tried to be nice and not come right out and say, "yo, your work." It was kind of a "ahem" just to get her attention and let her know the tickets were assigned to their group.

It turns out she knew they had the tickets assigned to her group. Her reply: "I talked to my predecessor and those tickets were sent to us by mistake, so we are not going to do anything about them."

That's lovely. Instead of reassigning the tickets to the correct group or sending them back to the persons who mistakenly assigned them in the first place, their standard operating procedure is to simply ignore them. Meanwhile the users are sitting around waiting for someone to stop by and fix their Microsoft Word or whatnot.

You might be thinking, "tell their management they aren't doing anything." Good thought. But, you see...this office is the HQ of the entire IT department. Yes...the HEADQUARTERS. You know...the big wigs...the head honchos...the big cheeses. Wow...can you imagine the mission statement? Must be something like, "Quality IT service guaranteed! -- unless, of course, we don't want to help you."

So, that's my first day back to this job. Can't wait for tomorrow!


slinkytownpittfan said...

That "mission statement" is used by a lot of IT departments.

First commenter wins what?

Mick said...

Hey Man. I don't know if you remember me. I am an ex-coworker/friend of Chris's. I used to go to a Steeler bar in VA with you, Chris and Kim to watch games. I also saw you guys act once or twice (can't remember the play).
Chris told me about your situation, and I thought I would send you a quick note. I haven't lived in the DC area for some time now. Currently, I live in Atlanta. I'm sure it sucks right now, but keep your head up. Things will get better. Take care. Mick