Wait your turn

It’s been a very busy day at work so far. The beginning of the work week started out busy as well. I have a lot of desktop, laptops and monitors to deploy before the end of July. Last month, I had to prepare about twenty monitors before we shipped them back to Dell because their lease is up. That took a while to complete. This month, I have to prepare one hundred fifty units and get them ready to ship back to Dell. The hardest part of it is getting a hold of the units because not all of the equipments are on site. Some of the laptops are at another location because we have field service workers. Other equipments are located in other buildings in the plant. And other equipments are just missing in action. On top of that, I have to continue doing my regular duties like troubleshooting user’s problem and repair old desktop and laptops.

There’s a system in place to inform the I.T department of issues that users are having. They have to call down to Tech Support and try to get assistants. If Tech Support isn’t able to resolve the problem, they send the trouble ticket to my department. We’re considered a level two support. Tech Support is level one and they troubleshoot the problem remotely. If they can’t fix it, it means that the problem requires more attention.

When the ticket arrives in my department’s queue, everyone in the department sees it. Depending on what the problem is, each one of us will either take on the issue or assign it to another technician. Often times, if it’s something small, I will get assigned the ticket. I work on the ticket which has the highest priority first and then the lower priorities later. Usually, most of them have the same level of priority so I’ll work on then on a first come first serve basis.

As easy as that sound, there are always people who are impatient and want their problem fixed first. If they’re nice about it, I don’t mind attending to their problem first. But during the odd times, I’ll get a user that doesn’t care about other people’s priorities. They want it their way or nothing at all.

Today, I had a user walk into my department and complain about the length of time it has taken us to get to his ticket. He called to Tech Support and opened a ticket with them yesterday. After he called, he walked over to my department and told us that he opened a trouble ticket. He didn’t tell us directly, he told my manager and my manager escalated the problem.

There’s no need for him to even be in our area. If Tech Support takes a long time to send us the ticket then he’ll have to wait until the ticket arrives. Escalating the issues to my manager is just going to waste time and it’s not fair to the person who was in line first.

This user had a problem with his monitor. He informed Tech Support that it was too blurry and he wasn’t able to see what was on the screen. His old monitor was recently replaced because I replaced it myself. I gave him a 17″ IBM CRT monitor but then he switch it with a 15″ Dell CRT that was sitting at another desk. He said that the IBM monitor wasn’t working properly and the Dell that he switched it with was blurry. I had a hunch that the problem wasn’t with the monitor.

Recently, I’ve been deploying 19″ flat panel LCD monitors around the office. People who have monitors that are end of lease received a flat panel monitor as their replacement. If they had a desktop, they would receive an LCD but if they had a laptop, they would get a CRT. The user that complained had a laptop so I assumed that he wanted an LCD. He’s not eligible to receive an LCD since his laptop already has one. Since LCDs are more expensive than CRTs, we’re only deploying LCD to desktop users.

I would have replaced his monitor the day that he first complained but I didn’t have any extra ones lying around. There wasn’t anything that I could do at the time since I was already busy as it is. I didn’t get an extra monitor until today because another user swapped monitors with his coworker.

I was going to bring the spare monitor over to the complainant but I had the other ticket to attend to first. That’s when he walked into the department again and complained that he had received his new monitor yet. He came over to my desk and asked me what was going on and why it was talking so long. I told him that we didn’t have any spare monitor until just now. He saw the monitor that he was going to get and asked if there was any better one. I told him “no” because we’re short on monitor as it is. At the time, I could sense that he wanted an LCD but I wasn’t going to give him one. He spot some dirty on the spare monitor and asked if I was going to clean it before delivering it to him. I told him that I would give it a quick shine. I was too busy working on other things to argue with him. I don’t know what his rush was since he has a laptop and the LCD isn’t broken or anything. He could have easily used the LCD on the laptop if the CRT monitor was blurry. Sensing that he was impatient to receive a new monitor, I bet he wanted an LCD.

I cleaned up the monitor quickly and swapped it with the one that was at his desk. I brought the blurry monitor over to my desk and plugged it into a laptop that I was working on. I don’t know if he’s blind or something but there was nothing wrong with the monitor. I looked at it without my glasses and saw that nothing was blurry.

Having worked in the I.T. field for the last year or so, I’ve noticed that end users are very impatient. They want things done right away. Even if the problem is beyond our control, they want us to become magicians and make it happen. It’s a good thing that I have the patients to deal with these issues or else someone would have gotten an ear full.