Get to work

It’s hard to do group work because you have other people to rely on to get things done. Your group members also rely on you to get your share down as well. When I work in a group, I try to get my part done because I don’t want to disappoint my group members. If I don’t do my part, it could end up in a failing mark.

The good thing about working as a team is the fact that it’s less work for each member. The workload is divided so you get a lot more done in the least amount of time. It can be very productive if everyone does their part. But if one of the team members isn’t performing well, it can lead to a lot of turmoil.

Since the day that I started working in Tech Support, there has been a big emphasis on making sure that all the trouble tickets are looked after during my shift. I thought that looking after all of the trouble ticket was a big task because there have been times when there are over sixty trouble tickets opened. If there was half as much, I wouldn’t worry. But when the trouble tickets starts to get around seventy, I panic a little.

After working with the system for over three months now, I have become familiar with it and I know what to do when the customers have a certain problem. The majority of the trouble tickets are not hard to solve if you know where to look. On a good day, I can probably go through the first ten trouble tickets within the first hour of my shift. On a bad day, I could take an hour to investigate a trouble ticket.

Lately, my coworkers have become a bit annoyed with another coworker but they don’t feel that any work is being done. Before I started working here, the Tech Support staff had a system where one person would call the customer for updates and by the time the next shift started, the customer would reply and the trouble ticket could be closed. So they were use to having the majority of the trouble tickets looked after in a timely manner. With this system in place, they kept the number of trouble tickets low.

For the last couple of months, the number of trouble tickets has jumped all over the place. There were days when there were less than thirty tickets and within a day or two, it would jump to seventy. But from what I see, the number of tickets shouldn’t have jumped so high. The others think that the one coworker isn’t doing much during his shift. I didn’t think too much about it because I didn’t care. During my shift, I go through all the trouble tickets no matter what. But now, I am starting to understand why they would be a little pissed off.

I had an afternoon shift one day and arrived to see the Tech Support desk empty. There should be someone sitting at the desk until 3:00pm but that day, the desk was unmanned. I thought nothing of it and started my work. When I logged into the system I saw that the majority of the trouble tickets had my name on it. I had worked the night shift and got off work at 7:00am and I had to be back to work by 3:00pm. I scrolled down to the bottom of the page and saw that only the bottom part of the tickets were looked after. The number of tickets that the morning shift updated was less than a third of the trouble tickets. I didn’t think it was that busy during the day.

The afternoon shift and the night shift have a little extra work than the morning shift. During the morning shift, the Customer Service Department is in charge of answer phone calls for a new product that the company launched. When the CSR department closes that phone gets transferred to Tech Support. The night shift has a bunch of nightly activities to run like updating the database, ensuring that the scheduled tasks are run properly and checking the balance of an account.

The person working the morning shift doesn’t have a lot to worry about because there aren’t any extra tasks to cover. The CSR department handles the phone calls for the new product and there aren’t any activities that need to run. So I’m wondering why only a third of the trouble tickets are being updated.

When I work the night shift, I’m done at 7:00am whether someone shows up or not. I have to drive back to Hamilton as soon as possible so I don’t get stuck in rush hour. The longer I am on the road, the sleepier I’ll become. Usually before leaving home, I left some things running incase something happens and the next shift needs to attend to it. I keep myself logged into MSN but my status is set to “away.” I leave the Remote Desktop Connection running incase there are ports failing. So when I get home, I sign into my MSN to see if the morning shift has logged me out. Usually by the time I get home, the next shift has already signed me out and signed himself in so I know he’s actually in the office but whether he’s doing work or not, I couldn’t tell you.

Sometimes another computer signed into MSN and kicks the Tech Support off. So to make sure that is not the case, I’ll sign into the system and check the trouble tickets. To my surprise, all the trouble tickets showed my updates. It’s been an hour and none of them have changed. I give the morning shift the benefit of the doubt and think that maybe there was a trouble ticket that required a thorough investigation but I don’t recall there being a trouble ticket like that.

I went to bed and woke up a few hours later. Out of curiosity, I checked to see how many trouble tickets got updated. I logged into the system and saw that there were ten tickets updated by the morning shift. That’s about a quarter of the trouble tickets being looked after. The morning shift is either under qualified to do his job or he’s taking his time to go through the tickets. By doing so, it is only making it harder for the rest of us. There are certain things that can only be doing during that shift that can’t be done doing others like call customers in certain part of the world. A lot of the trouble tickets are awaiting updates from the customer. So just by simply calling them, the trouble ticket could have been closed. The afternoon shift can’t do that because by the time the shift starts, it’s too late to call. The night shift could probably do it but by the time they come across that trouble ticket, the time isn’t right.

On one trouble ticket, I specific asked the morning shift to call the customer to get an update. The majority of the times, it’s a lot faster to get an update from them if you call them than it is to wait for the emails. So what does the morning shift do when he gets to the trouble ticket? He updates saying that he’s waiting for an update from the customer. He didn’t even bother to call the customer up and ask. When the Tech Support guys call the customer, we have a call log identification number that we use to update the tickets. I have no once seen any of the morning shift’s update that contacts this number. For all I know, none of the customers are being called at all.

If a customer does reply with an update, that update is basically ignored. Recently, the morning shift updated a trouble ticket with the customer’s response. The customer said that they tested and it is still not work. The morning shift guy updated the trouble ticket with that feedback and left it alone after that. It’s as if he’s under the impression that if he updates the trouble ticket once, he’s done.

No work will be completed in a timely manner if this keeps up. A lot can be done in an eight hour work shift but that’s if work is being done in the first place. From what I see, there doesn’t appear to be a lot done during the morning shift. Sometimes there are things that I need to pass on to the next shift but I can’t do that because the guy is never there at 7:00am. I don’t want to stay there any later because I just want to sleep.

And if there’s anything that he needs to pass on to the afternoon shift, that can’t be done either because he leaves fifteen minutes before his shift ends. He makes up for the fifteen minutes by not taking a break. But there’s also the issue with the fifteen minutes at the beginning of his shift that he doesn’t make up for.

There are a lot of things that the morning shift does wrong but I haven’t heard of him getting in trouble for it. Instead, my friend gets in trouble for doing the same thing that the morning shift does. That doesn’t sound fair to me. My friend is just doing what he was trained to do and now he’s getting lip for it. That’s the part that pissed me off. My boss is working during the morning shift so if that guy does something wrong, he should hear about it in person. During the afternoon/night shift, no one is in the office so we hear about it via email. We don’t know if the morning shift has been told that he’s doing something wrong because we assume that he’s being informed verbally. But he continues to do the same things, day after day so now we have to assume that no one is saying anything to him. If he was told then he would have stopped doing it.

It appears that my boss may be showing some favoritism towards the morning shift because nothing is being done to change his work habits. This is unfair for everyone else. If one person gets in trouble for doing one thing then the next guy should get in trouble as well. Everyone is at work is here to do the same job. I don’t mind doing extra work but I hate doing extra work that I didn’t have to do. I go to work to work. What else are you supposed to do at work? I slack off once in a while but I get my work done. I’m not going to sit around staring at the monitor, doing nothing. That’s just going to put more workload on the next shift. I have something called a conscience and I use it.

2 replies on “Get to work”

  1. I totally agree with you man. And when I’ve been in the same place, I’ve always spoken up about it. Now I’ve learned, it’s not worth it. When I spoke up before, my manager turned on ME. Telling me that it wasnt my job to go over others work and blah blah blah….in the end, it was like the manager was out to get ME.

    I’ll bet the favortism has something to do with the fact that they are from the same country. Grrr…I feel your pain. I really really do.

  2. I didn’t mind it all that much, not until recently that is. I guess my frustration was cause because of the frustration of others. The others had enough and I wondered why they didn’t say anything but I agree with you… it’s not worth it to say anything.

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