Dentistry at Work

When I was hired lo, those 5 years ago, my very first task was to create a help desk process.  Before I came along, people would ignore the on-call schedule entirely and simply contact their favorite IT person for help.  They certainly got helped quicker this way but they were only creating more problems for themselves in the long run, because no one in IT had any time to concentrate.  Add to that a culture of hand-holding, and we had ourselves a minor chaotic disaster.

So I came along, mustered the troops, forced them into a line and created a single point of contact help desk process out of sheer will-power and not much else.  I know it was due only to my will-power because whenever my will-power gets distracted or wanes the slightest bit, the whole process slides back down into chaos, like so:

Email:

To: Tom, Linda
cc: Jessie

Subject: High Priority policies need to be loaded.

Help Desk,

Please load these policies asap effective today.  Please let me know when it is done.

Jessie

To explain our help desk process a little bit:  there are several ways to create a ticket.  One is to log into the web portal and actually create the ticket yourself.  This is my preferred method, because I have a lot less to do when they choose to do this and also we have a quite extensive knowledgebase they can search–not that anyone ever uses it.  The second method is to email the Help Desk, which has a very obvious email address, namely: helpdesk@company.com.  When one does send an email, one gets a confirmation email back noting the work order number. Note that in this case, Jessie has failed to use the help desk email.  She sends this email on Thursday morning.  Her job apparently done, Jessie goes about her business for two days and a weekend until Monday night, when she realizes that her help desk request hasn’t been done yet.  So she sends this:

To: Help Desk, Tom, Linda
cc: Jessie

Subject: Re: High Priority policies need to be loaded.

Help Desk,

Please let me know the status of this.  It needs to be dealt with ASAP. 

Jessie
________________________________
To: Tom, Linda
cc: Jessie

Subject: High Priority policies need to be loaded.

Help Desk,

Please load these policies asap effective today.  Please let me know when it is done.

Jessie

Jessie has found her original email, hit “reply all” and added the help desk email address but fails to acknowledge to the actual help desk personnel that she didn’t actually send this to the help desk the first time.  Add to that our help desk system doesn’t process anything with “re:” in the subject, because people can’t abide by the rule “Don’t reply to this email” and have a tendency to create multiple work orders.  They get forwarded to me instead.  But I’m out on Mondays due to the furlough, so I don’t get the message until Tuesday morning, whereupon I send this:

To: Jessie
cc: Tom, Linda

Subject: Re: High Priority policies need to be loaded.

Jessie,
It appears you never sent this to the help desk.  Did you ever get a confirmation? Please send it to the help desk without the “re:” so that it can be processed.

_____________________________________
To: Jessie
cc: Tom, Linda

Subject: Re: High Priority policies need to be loaded.

Help Desk,

Please let me know the status of this.  It needs to be dealt with ASAP. 

Jessie
________________________________
To: Tom, Linda
cc: Jessie

Subject: High Priority policies need to be loaded.

Help Desk,

Please load these policies asap effective today.  Please let me know when it is done.

Jessie

Jessie knows this.  She’s a manager, and we’ve had this conversation many times about the help desk process, usually about people under her.  But she also knows that in the past, IT has just gone on and created the damn help desk ticket for her, so she tries again:

To: Aileen, Tom, Linda
cc: Jessie
Subject: Re: High Priority policies need to be loaded.

I noticed that, that is why I sent it up to you.  No, I never got a confirmation.  Should I send it again without the re: ?

_______________________________________________
Jessie,
It appears you never sent this to the help desk.  Did you ever get a confirmation? Please send it to the help desk without the “re:” so that it can be processed.

_____________________________________
Subject: Re: High Priority policies need to be loaded.

Help Desk,

Please let me know the status of this.  It needs to be dealt with ASAP. 

Jessie
________________________________
To: Tom, Linda
cc: Jessie

Subject: High Priority policies need to be loaded.

Help Desk,

Please load these policies asap effective today.  Please let me know when it is done.

Jessie

What I want to do now is go down and strangle her, so I open up a blank email and write:

No, Jessie, what I’d like to do is continue to have a conversation about an email confirmation that you never got from an email you never sent.  Can we do that instead?

But I can’t do that, because it is unprofessional.

So instead I write back:

Jessie, if you want it to go to the help desk and be assigned, that would probably be a good idea.

Okay, open wide… I’lll just take these pliers and…. my!  What strong teeth you have!  They sure don’t pull out easy!!

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: