Company structure

I haven’t been working at my present workplace for that long so there are still some things that I have to get use to yet. I’ve never worked at a place that is structured like this company. The company runs on some sort of hierarchal tree where things are escalated to the person above you. I’m not use to that because when I see a problem, I fix it. I don’t want to have to rely on someone else to do the work.

The other night, I received a call from a client regarding some issues with his online registration form. I visited his website and attempted to create an account for myself. When I submitted the registration form, I received an error message. This was the error that the client was talking about. I have a programming background so I knew what was causing it. I took a screen shot of the error messages and emailed to the appropriate people.

I didn’t just email it to the right person, I emailed to just about everyone who works in the technical side of the company. I assumed that the person who’s going to be fixing his issue will want to see the error message so he doesn’t have to waste time trying to duplicate the problem. And just so my fellow coworkers are aware of the issue, I sent them a copy as well.

The next day, I get a reply from the Engineering Manager suggesting that I not forward the information to the other Engineers. I couldn’t understand why I shouldn’t pass on this information to the other Engineer since it’s the other Engineer who’s going to be working on this issue. He will get the information eventually anyway so I don’t see what’s the problem.

Don! Please do not CC your requests or information regarding any task to any Engineer, just send it directly to me. If you have any update about a task previously assigned to an Engineer, then you should CC that information to the engineer as well. Sending unnecessary and unrelated emails to engineers wastes a lot of their time in reading and answering such emails.

I’ve looked over computer code before and I know how much of a hassle it is to track down bugs. Computer programs can have a lot of line of code and narrowing down the section that is causing the error can take some time. Most compliers will tell you what line the error occurred at but it’s not as accurate. That’s if it’s a compiler error. If it’s a logic error, you have to run through the code in your head to make sure it’s doing what it’s supposed to do.

If I was coding something and someone found an error in my code and told me exactly where to look, I would appreciate the help. I don’t really care who tells me, as long as someone tells me.

Firstly, I don’t see the harm in passing along useful information. Secondly, I don’t know how reading a short email is a waste of time. It’s email for crying out loud. How much time can that consume? It’s not like I took a picture, hand wrote the letter and snail mailed it to him. He didn’t have to carefully rip open the envelope with a letter opener, take out the letter and read it.

I’m sure the email client would have downloaded the email, displayed my message and showed the attached image. Something like this takes half a minute or maybe not even that long. You’d have to be living life at light speed to think that reading email is a waste of time.

In the email, I didn’t ask for a response. I only passed along the information and with an image of the error message. I didn’t email it to them and asked what they can do about it. I’m sure they know what do, they don’t have to tell me what they’re going to do. I’m not their boss. I just want them to know so they can do their job and make the customer happy.

If there’s anyone who’s wasting time, it’s him not me. If I emailed him the information, he would read it over and then decide who to forward the information to. Once he decides who the task gets delegated to, he will forward the information that I’ve sent him to the correct Engineer. Is it not faster if I just sent a copy to the correct Engineer in the first place? I already know who’s going to be fixing the problem so why not skip the middle man and go straight to the source?

But no, some people want to be in control of things. I don’t really care who’s in control, I just want someone to fix the problem. The customers like to complain about things and Tech Support gets to hear about it. I don’t understand why they’re complaining to me since I have no power to do anything about it. I’m at the bottom of the ladder while the person whom they should be speaking with is higher up.

When I was working at McMaster University, I fixed things. If I was busy with something, my boss would fix things. The staff members would open up a trouble ticket and who ever saw it first would take care of it. Every trouble ticket that I opened was closed before I left work for the day. Any task that I had to do was taken care of that day.

At my present work place, task can be left alone for days, weeks or even month. I don’t understand why it would take that long to get something simple done. The Engineers don’t want to do anything unless there is a task opened for them to do it. If a task hasn’t been opened and you ask them to do something, they’ll say they get on it but they don’t tell you when they’ve started or finished.

This is bad because now, Tech Support has to play the role of Customer Service. When I’m at work, I’m the only one there. If the customer asks for an update on a task, I can’t give them a specific answer other than the fact that someone is working on it. But according to the task logs, nothing is being done. It’s just sitting there. If I had the ability to work on it, I would because you have to keep the customers happy. And they’re not happy customers if they’ve been waiting months on an simple issue.

I think the company needs to be restructured a little bit to tweak some things around. It would be nice to have an Engineer on site during the same time as Tech Support. If anything goes down, at least there will be someone with authorization to fix the problem. Not all of the Engineers like to answer their phones at 4:00 in the morning. Tech Supports needs to get more access as well. Our access level is limited and we can’t do much. Heck, if I wanted to know the date, I don’t even have enough authorization to double click on the system time to bring up the date and time properties window.

I’m not sure how long I’ll be with this company but judging by the way things are going, I doubt I’ll be there for too long. It’s an easy job and all but there just isn’t any room for improvement. Everything that I’ve learned my at job are things that I’ve learned on my own, at least, majority of it is. I would like to start out where I am now and maybe work my way up but I don’t think I want to. Not for this company.

3 replies on “Company structure”

  1. Don’t worry Don, I feel your pain.
    You always hear how bad techsupport is (well, I did when I used to work day shift), but half (or more) of the tickets have tasks that haven’t been looked at for quite a while.
    I also don’t get the whole “Don’t have time” argument. Again, when I used to work there, they used to talk to each other quite often, about things not related to work.
    Yeah, our level of “clearance”, so to speak, is pretty pathetic. They can’t even trust us with the local computer (even though we’re all quite proficient with computers), yet they trust us with servers that run the whole company.
    Okay, it’s late, I’ve been at work for a while now, and I’m tired, and ranting. I’ll stop now.

  2. I don’t mind waiting… but it shouldn’t take a month just to make some minor changes. it’s the customers that has to wait because it’s their time and money that’s being wasted…

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