Monthly Archives: May 2013

Rethinking Workplace Dating

When you get older, it seems like you’re more limited in ways to meet the right person. For me, I feel I have basically two options–online dating and workplace dating. Between the two, I’d much rather meet someone at work. And one thing I will say for where I work, even if I don’t like my actual job, is there are tons of beautiful women there. I don’t actually recall the last time I’ve been anywhere that is full of beautiful, smart, successful black women. But my company is full of them!

Over the last few days, I’ve realized I really have a crush on the chick from my last post, whom I am calling Belinda here at LO. I’ve been thinking about her all weekend. I saw her Friday at work and got all nervous, especially since she looked so good. And while I was working, the co-worker who sits beside me got a call from her. He said her first and last name, and my head immediately shot around towards his direction. At first I sat there smiling to myself, and then I jumped up from my seat and ran over to him to listen to their call. Then after they got off the phone, I asked him all kinds of questions about why she was calling and how often he has spoken to her.

Gosh, I totally feel and sound like a high school kid.

But I have to forget about it, and her.

See, this weekend while I’ve been thinking about Belinda, I also realized that I can’t date her even if she wanted to date me. In fact, I probably can’t date anyone at my company. Or maybe not “can’t”…perhaps “shouldn’t” is the better word.

[Sigh]

I work in the f*cking IT department, man. That means we interact with absolutely every other department at my company. There is nobody where I work whom I can absolutely say our work would never intersect. In fact, I looked through my company’s directory and realized I interact with people in Belinda’s department on a damn-near daily basis from a tech standpoint…people whom I know she knows–especially her manager.

Belinda’s a supervisor in another department. She’s not even just another f*cking employee–she’s a goddamn supervisor. She’s the equivalent of the dumbass for whom I work in IT. And although I don’t know my company’s rules on workplace dating and though I don’t really think it’d be wrong or detrimental to her for her to date me since I’m not one of her subordinates, I do see ways that my dating her could hurt me at work. Liiiiiiike…if things don’t work out…she has the power to go to my supervisor or his supervisor and complain about me, say, the way people complained to him about Lazy Tech…and then it’d be my word against hers when she’s the one in a position of power.

And because of the nature of my job, I can’t just avoid people. If things didn’t work out and she continued to contact tech support for various things–which, according to my co-worker, even though I’d written before that she hardly ever contacts tech support based on my own experience, he says he gets calls from her just about every other day–I can’t pass her phone call off to someone else or tell someone else to respond to her emails. I’d have to deal with her, and if I didn’t then, again, she could complain to my supervisor.

This last point also makes me think about what it’d be like if I dated just anyone at my company and it didn’t work out. I’d never be able to avoid whomever it is. And if the person is vindictive, she could go to my supervisor with all kinds of lies or just silly complaints. And then what would my defense be? “Yeah, I was fucking her after work, and now she’s all mad at me and trying to get me fired.” Right, like I’m going to tell my supervisor my business…or like I’d want to be in a position where I might have to or even where people actually know anyways without my telling them. In my last post, I mentioned how one of my co-workers came up to me and was telling me about how Belinda wanted to meet me. It was kind of uncomfortable…I had to keep a straight face and act like it was no big deal. But it did matter, because I’ve noticed her. And the fact that someone came up to me and mentioned it…it feels like the person is trying to get in the middle of something or start something. Basically, why did my co-worker even tell me that, you know?

Part of me thinks that, hey, she’s a supervisor…she should know better, so that must mean that she’s just being friendly and that’s it. Of course, supervisors don’t always know better, but still. I’m also not going to forget that she was kind of a bitch with me one time because I wouldn’t do something she wanted. I felt at the time that it said something about her, and I still think that could be the case.

In fact, I’m starting to wonder if she’s one of those high-maintenance women. There are different ways to be high maintenance, but some of them intersect most of the time. I’m not saying it’s always a bad thing; my mother is a type of high-maintenance woman. It’s a little annoying waiting two hours on her to get ready just so we can go to Walgreen’s, but that’s better than being the type of high maintenance woman who will dump ya because you can’t or won’t go into the poor house buying her schitt–my mother’s not that type, although she definitely likes to live a certain way and admitted that, at this point in her life, if she were dating she couldn’t date someone who didn’t make enough money for her to live the kind of life she has gotten used to. Still, I do think a fairly good percentage of high-maintenance women have certain personality flaws that I probably can’t hang with, to put it euphemistically.

I have noticed Belinda’s physical appearance more, which I don’t know if she has just stepped her game up or I just wasn’t paying attention before or what. Like my mother, she’s one of those women whom you can tell likes to look good and puts the time and effort in. She’s got a great body, great hair and her clothes look like they were tailor-made for her. She comes to work looking more like she’s going on a date or trying to attract someone. I’m not saying she looks inappropriate, but sometimes she just doesn’t look like anyone else who is just going to work looks. She certainly doesn’t look like any supervisor I’ve ever seen. Between that and the mini-tantrum she threw the one time I didn’t do something she wanted, I just have to wonder if she’s the classic “pretty bitch” (and again, my mother is high maintenance…love mom, but she is at least kind of difficult and demanding). If she is, she’s not someone I want to take chances with at work as far as things not working out if we date. Who knows how she’d react.

This is all theoretical at this point–highly theoretical–but still very important to realize. With the type of job that I do, it’s probably best if I just look but don’t touch while I’m at this particular company. It sucks, though, because it takes away what is probably the most likely way for me–and many other adults–to meet someone who is relationship material.

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Women Who Smile and Wave From Across the Room

The last two days at work have been hysterical.

For starters, Lazy Tech finally got fired. I guess we’re not really supposed to cheer things like this, especially in a time when the economy and unemployment are just horrible and so many people struggle to find work, but some people really deserve to lose their job. I just wanted to burst out laughing all day after finding out he got fired. But the main thing that makes me happy about his getting fired is it gives me a little more hope that good workers really can be valued and bad workers can get what they deserve instead of always being tolerated or having their shortcomings overlooked because they are personable. You don’t see this all the time in the workplace, so it’s good to see it’s possible.

Second…so, a while back I wrote a little about this woman at work who works in another department. The short version, to recap, is she is someone whom I sometimes see in my company’s lunch area. We had never met, but she just randomly started smiling at and acknowledging me, which is not always about anything, especially in the South. I wasn’t sure if she knew who I was, but I didn’t think so. Unfortunately, we’re popular in tech support (and to think, most of us went through school wanting to be popular, and now here I am saying “unfortunately” I am–just want to be left the f*ck alone, honestly), so sometimes people know who we are when we’re away from the IT department just trying to take breaks or go to the restroom. Anyways, one of the last times she emailed tech support, she kind of got pissy with me, and I just thought she had issues. But that’s how I found out her name and that she was the same person from the lunch area. I am still not sure if she knew who she was getting pissy with, though.

Okay.

So, for the last few days I have seen her regularly in the lunch area, and I have also spoken with her at work via telephone most of those same days. Normally, she does not call tech support, but she has started calling with schitt that is really not a big deal, which is great–I like schitt that’s not a big deal…those calls are quick and easy. Anyway, she still has been smiling and waving and all this, as if we know each other. Again, we have never spoken in person or been introduced.

Yesterday, she called tech support and she asked me a non-technical question, just really simple bs. It was, like, a 15-second call, and I transferred her to someone whom I knew wouldn’t act psycho about me transferring someone to him. Just really no big deal. Next thing I know, this chick shows up in the IT department, pops her head into the cubicle where I work and then basically pops out. Without thinking about it, I said, “Hey, Belinda” when she popped her head in, as if we talk all the time and as if someone had told me her name or she’d told me herself. I hate it when people come directly to us with stuff, so I always overcompensate to not show my displeasure by acting very friendly and more than happy that they showed up. They are not supposed to come to us anyway–they’re supposed to call or email only–but I never tell them that. Prior to, particularly, this job, I had no earthly idea that I could be so f*cking fake. I really would talk bad about myself and my fakeness if I were someone else. It’s just sickening.

Anyways, when she just kind of stuck her head in the cubicle and said hi and then started off again, I was like…? I put on my fake friendly schitt and was like, in a very customer service-type voice, “What do you need?” And she said something like, “Oh, I was just in the area.” And then she was gone.

I’m like…”Okay, this is weirdness.”

Today when I was beginning my lunch break, I saw her in the lunch area. I didn’t stay there very long…I wanted to go outside, but it was raining. In fact, there is a psycho storm where I live now and the streets are flooded. So I went back in the building, walked through the lunch area and then walked out. And because I saw her, I started thinking about yesterday. And I passed one of my co-workers, who I pretty much never spend time speaking with and whom I’m pretty sure is a lesbian. My co-worker stopped me and was like, “You know how Belinda stuck her head over in your cubicle yesterday?”

Apparently, this chick told my co-worker that she wanted to meet me. That’s why she came down to the IT department. According to my co-worker, she said it is nice to call tech support and get someone who is nice on the phone (for the record, the only person who wasn’t nice was Lazy Tech–everyone else is fine). I don’t know what else, if anything, was said, but it’s just a little bit interesting that Belinda was talking to my lesbian co-worker about this. Now, I still wouldn’t exactly say we met. For example, I did have someone come to meet everyone in tech support last week, although I do think she specifically wanted to meet me (because I heard one of my co-workers ask if she was looking for me, and then there she was), and she at least stuck out her hand–not just her head–and introduced herself formally. We talked, and we found out we’re both Michigan girls–she’s originally from Michigan, and she was happy when she found out I attended Michigan. This doesn’t happen often, though, and when it does the people wanting to meet me/us don’t work at our location. They just talk to tech support enough that when they finally have to come to our location for some reason they might drop by.

Anyway, I did see Belinda today and she did her smile/wave thing.

So, what does this mean? Who knows. I certainly don’t. And I was thinking I’d never get to find out because I’d probably be getting another job soon, but I might end up staying where I am after all. The co-worker who told me about Belinda also encouraged me to talk to my supervisor about moving back off tech support now that Lazy Tech is gone, which I wasn’t going to do until she mentioned it. I did, and my supervisor said he’d see what he can do. Now, if I can go back to doing what I was doing back in March, I might actually stay where I am. I just don’t know.

Anyways, as far as Belinda is concerned, I’m probably thinking too much, and it makes me feel like I’m back in school a little bit. One thing I hate about being a lesbian is you just don’t have a clearcut way to read women in heterosexual environments, and it seems like the best thing to do would be to follow a male/female dynamic…despite the fact that you’re both females. This seems to necessitate that one person kind of “be the man,” i.e. just go up to a woman who smiles and acts welcoming and initiate things, and I think a lot of the time it would be expected that this falls to me just because I am not that feminine (Belinda is pretty feminine, as are all women I find myself interested in), even though I’m also hardly butch. And I have a problem with male/female dynamics anyways, plus I’m not an initiator at all. And I’m still not sure I’d want to initiate anything even if I were that type.

A guy knows (or should know) that if a woman is smiling, waving, looking he should go up and talk to her, and that if he doesn’t he probably loses out. It’s more complicated than that with women, unless you happen to be in a predominantly lesbian or LGBT environment. For starters, you don’t know if the chick even likes chicks. And then in the South, people often greet people they don’t know.

[Shrugs]

We’ll see.

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Response From the Service Desk: 12 Pieces Of Advice For IT Service Desks – From A Customer!

I can’t believe I have been keeping this blog for over a year now. I was looking for something to read today during some of my downtime at work, and I just get the most random ideas for topics to search on the internet. Today was a particularly hell-ish day at work, so I felt inspired to do an internet search on what people expect from tech support. What I found inspired me write a post venting/explaining things people don’t understand about tech support-slash-help desk-slash-service desk-slash whatever else you want to call your IT people at work, similar to a post I wrote just over a year ago to vent/explain things about the hotel industry from a [formerly] insider’s perspective.

Here is the article I will reference, i.e. quote and respond to. It is called “12 Pieces Of Advice For IT Service Desks – From A Customer!” posted by Stephen Mann but written by an anon customer who has obviously dealt with people like me at work. I would like to respond just based on the two places where I’ve worked tech support, and, hopefully, this will provide some insight for many others out there who have had to deal with IT or will have to in the future. Just as the post provided by Mann was from one customer’s standpoint, the response is from my standpoint, although I know there are customers and IT professionals who agree with both respective standpoints.

Old Skool IT Support Seemed To Work

First of all, there are still places that have one or two IT guys who go around and help everybody at their location. At some of the locations my company has worldwide, this is the case. My co-worker from my last post would be one of those “IT guys” at the location to which he’s trying to go, because he’d be working in some podunk city that has relatively few employees to support. Where I work, we not only support our headquarters, which is a huge building with four floors worth of people…we also support every location worldwide–including, ultimately, that podunk city. We’re the people the IT guys at Podunk call when they don’t know the answers…which seems to be several times a week.

The one thing I will say–well, three things, actually, but they boil down to one base–I have a problem with when it comes to having a “service desk” vs the IT guy: 1) IT guys and ladies at Podunk often don’t know schitt because they were placed in those positions without the proper background and/or the proper training; 2) When you have a big worldwide company with various locations, you can have techs at Podunks, but there is probably one location–often headquarters–where certain issues must be sent and only those IT people have what’s necessary to resolve them; 3) My company ranges from having “service desk” at headquarters to having absolutely nothing at other locations, not even an IT guy, which makes all those people have to rely on the “service desk.”

All three of those things are nonsense, to me, and it’s one of the reasons why tech support has gotten worse and more difficult for customers to deal with. Every company that calls itself having “IT” assistance needs to have it on site somehow, especially when you’re talking about a worldwide company. There’s no efficiency in my being in the Southern USA being the only support for people in Australia or Puerto Rico, but that’s precisely the way it is. That’s bad for so many reasons, from time zone differences to language barriers. It’s hard enough to assist customers, but then you throw in factors such as never really having support when you need it because our office hours are drastically different from Europe’s or Australia’s hours and native speakers of Asian languages or Spanish trying to communicate with me in their 2nd or 3rd language. These people all need their local IT guys and ladies, even the US Podunks. And those IT people need to know their schitt instead of being pulled from the Accounting department because they can tinker with computers a little bit. And they need to be able to do everything without us at headquarters having to be involved.

Obviously, part of the reason why there’s not just an IT guy everywhere now is due to money. But there are also now more service desks than IT guys at businesses because there’s more technology used in business now. It’s not just about web sites, email and desktop computers anymore. It’s everything from laptops and elaborate networks to iPads and cell phones. You really can’t just have one guy taking care of 50-100 people anymore. I can’t for the life of me understand why people at my company need a “company iPad,” but they rolled those suckers out to hundreds of thousands of people and now we have to support that schitt on top of laptops, desktops, cell phones, web sites, email, ftp, vpn, printers, software, servers, etc.

…all my colleagues and I want to know is “Why can’t I log into my email?” and “Can you fix it quickly, please?”

Oh, that’s “all”? Here’s why that’s not so simple:

1) Don’t implement strict procedures whereby you will only deal with issues that are submitted as a ticket and confined to the service desk.  Instead take in requests/incidents via every method of communication available to you and your customers – make yourself more widely accessible.

See, “service desk” doesn’t implement anything. That’s the problem. If we implemented things, your life probably would be easier. But no–we have managers, and our managers have managers. They are the ones who come up with the most convoluted bullschitt ever. We know we sound completely psychotic and roadblock-ish to you when we’re telling you the rules, but the sad truth is we don’t make them and we’re not about to risk getting yelled at or even fired to make life easier for you.

While we’re being truthful, truth is that our managers and their managers want to make people in IT less accessible to you. They want everything going through the service desk, despite the fact that service desk workers often can’t actually do schitt to resolve your problem. The guys who can resolve it don’t want to speak to you, though, and our managers don’t want them to speak to you. These people only want you to speak to us, the people who can’t help you 80% of the time. We at the service desk would be happily turning flips if we could just transfer you where you need to be instead of opening a ticket for the person who makes $90,000/yr to help you whenever he feels like it, but we can’t without eventually getting lectured about it by our manager and/or without the person who actually can help you getting pissy with us because we tried to make him do his job.

Convoluted, yes?

2) The customers’ problem may not be of high importance to the IT department but it’s important enough to the customer for them to have taken time out of their precious working day to seek advice and help.

This is not always true. I have people call me often and tell me it’s not important, they were just wondering or figured they’d ask, as if we have all day. There are just people who feel very comfortable picking up the phone to call “service desk” absolutely any time for absolutely anything, and I just don’t get it. Just the other day my co-worker and I were talking about this, and I told him that even if I weren’t in the IT industry I just can’t imagine ever calling IT unless it was one of those things that absolutely has to go through them.

I have a psychology degree and then I went to law school; I did not major in Computer Science or Information Technology or Management Information Systems. I know what I know about computers for two reasons: 1) When I had technical issues, I played around and figured out how to resolve them myself, and 2) When I had technical issues, I did [and still do] research to learn how to resolve them myself. But there are people who literally call me every…single…day. Sometimes the same person calls with one issue and emails with another issue on the same day. These people who contact us daily quite simply do not have urgent issues every single day. They just think we exist to serve only them, that’s all, i.e. they’re self-centered/self-important. The worst is when it’s one of the Podunks’ IT guys or ladies calling every day (and several of them do). They need to figure it out on their own the way I learned to do back in the 90s.

3) Nobody wants to hear the word “no” or “we can’t help.”

The one thing I liked about my previous “service desk” job is we were allowed to tell people “no” or “we can’t help.” They drew a line on what they’d assist people with. For the most part, we’re not allowed to do that where I work now. Because of that, sometimes I get stuck with issues that are above my head but don’t technically belong to one of the little sectors of the IT department, meaning there’s no correct person to hand it to for resolution. I also get stuck with issues that are going to be time-consuming to figure out, but no one who works service desk has time for time-consuming issues because issues are constantly coming from all directions. In these cases, you’re not going to get issues resolved quickly.

The truth is that we don’t know everything. There are also just some things that can’t be done for security reasons or just literally can’t be done because there’s no technical way to do it or because it’s a software/site that we don’t administrate, i.e. Google.

4) Don’t make a decision based solely on how it works for the IT department. You need to think about how it affects the people in the organization. Remember that if IT fails business people cannot do their job properly, and chances are these are the people making money for the business. Remember that they probably pay your wages – you are their overhead. Put yourself in their position in the context of IT and support.

Again–you need to talk to my dumbass manager and his manager. Also, if you can figure out the direct line to some of these lazy/anti-social $90,000+/yr IT guys, please give them a call about this one, as well.

5) Treat customers as human beings. Know who they are (including their names) and what their IT needs are.  Do not regard them simply as a “ticket number.”

I’ve got bad news for you–if we know who you are, that probably means we don’t like you because you’re one of those people I mentioned above who contacts us way too much. Either that, or when you contact us it’s always something crazy or hella-difficult. Nobody’s ever just a ticket number to me and they’re never treated that way, but most of the people I assist whose names I know very well are the people me and the other guys who work around me just groan, shake our heads and talk about how annoying they are. So, it might be at least a little bit better if we don’t really know you.

6) Help your customers understand life on the service desk. Maybe if your customers better understood the issues you are facing (and the larger corporate IT issues) they might be less inclined to complain about service and IT as a whole?

That’s what this post is for. Incidentally, I don’t really think any customer has ever complained about me–at least not to the point of going to my supervisor or even my co-workers. I actually get, “Thank God it’s you” or “I was hoping I’d get you” at times when I answer the phone, which surprises me, but I think it’s a customer-service thing more than anything else. I have gotten complaints about others, though. Obviously, those of you who know about my rude co-worker Lazy Tech know that’s a customer-service thing, as well. I don’t think our service desk as a whole receives complaints, just individuals.

7) You need to know how to say sorry for IT mistakes regardless of whether you caused them or not.

This is a big, big thing with me and one of the reasons I absolutely must get away from service desk jobs. I… cannot… stand… getting… blamed… for… schitt… not… my… fault! Well over 90% of issues are not service desk’s fault, but service desk is the face and voice of IT, which I think really just enables everyone else in IT to be lazy, to make mistakes and to not take ownership. I’ve had experience with this enabling factor, but we’re the ones who get harassed about the issues not being resolved, the issues reoccurring repeatedly and being told one thing when it’s not the case. I’m just not going to apologize for these people, to be honest with you, because we work harder, take more schitt and earn less money. Some of my co-workers and I spent 30 minutes after work one day just talking about all the people in our department who don’t do any work.

I didn’t realize so many people didn’t work until I actually started taking my full work breaks. When I started taking breaks, I started to see that there are quite a few people whom every time I’m on break they’re walking around the building, standing around talking or hanging out outside. A lot of people in other departments are like this, but a lot of these are IT guys, too. I started to understand why every time I go looking for one of these guys or try to call them at their desks they’re not there. I see the exact same people, regardless of when I take breaks. These people are just flatout not working. My previous service desk job was the same way. So, no…no apologies on their behalf. In fact, I’d like to throw them under the bus to you.

8) When a corporate machine wipes itself clean owing to a virus don’t tell the customer it’s their fault due to something they downloaded when corporate IT security has failed to do its job properly (I’m also sure I don’t have the rights to download stuff anyway).

Honestly, where I work, we’re not allowed to tell you it’s your fault. But a lot of the time it is. Just because you can’t see how it’s on you doesn’t mean it’s not. And IT security, whatever that is, can’t prevent everything. I don’t know if that’s supposed to be an anti-virus program, firewall, a guy who sits and monitors schitt all day every day or what (and if it’s supposed to be that guy, then, like I said, he’s too busy walking the building or smoking outside). But none of that schitt is 100%, kind of like a condom or birth control pills. Some of getting pregnant is still going to be on you, you know. It’s like wanting to put the blame back on the pills just because you forgot to take them one day.

9) Encourage and welcome suggestions on how you can improve IT support…

I really have nothing to do with IT improvement, unfortunately. Our dumb managers and their managers don’t even listen to our suggestions, which are probably similar to yours anyways. Had a co-worker get pissed about the fact that our manager encouraged suggestions and then got chewed out when he gave some to our manager. That actually started our 30-minute conversation about all the people who don’t do work at work.

10) Let your customers know what work has been done (and is being done) to improve IT service delivery and keep them informed of potential upcoming issues/downtime.

That’s not practical, most of the time. Now, if we know something is coming that affects a lot of specifically-identified groups, sure, someone needs to send an email blast. That happens sometimes; other times not. More often than not, when something is happening service desk is not even informed about it. That’s those guys who hardly work suddenly deciding they want to do work but still being too lazy to let anyone else know about it. We find out when you find out, honestly. And issues don’t wear signs that say, “I will be resolved in 30 minutes.” They just don’t. Plus, if we’re getting calls from 30 different people about an issue, we can’t keep 30 different people informed on top of everything else going on at service desk. Again, if it affects the entire organization or an entire location, an email blast can work or we can contact an IT guy/lady if you have one. Otherwise, no.

11) You need to appreciate that not everybody works in the same office as IT Support staff – you may have global offices or remote workers.  Informing external staff that you will “fix the issue when you are next in the office” is simply not good enough.

See my discussion near the beginning of this post about service desk vs IT guys. I will also add, though, that there’s a very real challenge to assisting people who have issues you can’t see or touch. This is especially the case when the customer is–sorry–a dumbass, computer illiterate or wants you to fix things with the least amount of information provided as possible (or inaccurate information). This is also why every location needs its own IT guys/ladies, and not someone from the Accounting department.

12) …putting machines into complete lockdown to the point where they probably need an admin password just to fire up Microsoft Office is not acceptable…

I completely agree. I think my company makes everything ridiculously hard to access, and it’s annoying and can cause tons of problems. But again, it’s not service desk’s doing. In fact, it’s something that really makes assisting customers unnecessarily difficult.

I am a CUSTOMER

Be that. Don’t be a brat, and don’t be unrealistic. A lot of IT fixes are not going to be quick and easy, and yelling or talking about how you need XYZ “right now” isn’t going to change that.

I also have to tell you this very important thing–you’d be surprised by how many people in IT range from not being good with people to not liking people at all. You shouldn’t be, though. I mean, what’s the stereotype of someone who is a tech geek? That he/she lacks social skills. Plus, IT is one of the first fields that comes up when someone asks for career suggestions for people who don’t want to deal with people. Unfortunately, if someone starts out on service desk, they have to deal with people. And just about every tech geek I know hates the “dealing with people” part of service desk, to some degree.

I admit readily and freely that I don’t like people. However, I come from a psychology background and an English background in college. So, I can communicate with people and communicate the right way with people. But most people in IT don’t come from backgrounds like mine.

IT Service Desk Management

There are times in the blog post when management is mentioned. I can’t really tell if service desk is being addressed, IT service desk managers are being addressed or if the two are being collapsed in the blog. Honestly, to me, my manager is not part of service desk at all. Maybe that’s something that needs to be understood by customers, too. The post needs to be addressed to IT managers, not the service desk.

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My New Co-Worker Hates Our Job, Too

If you start a new job, one pretty good sign that you’ve probably made a mistake accepting that job is when you come back the next day–and the next day and the day after that–and your new co-workers joke about the fact that you actually came back…every single day. This happened to me at my last job, and it happened to me at my current job. It didn’t take long at either job for me to understand why they kept making these jokes–the jobs suck(ed) ass, and they knew it.

Well, I haven’t blogged much about the new guy at work, and I have a feeling I won’t be blogging much about him. Why? He hasn’t been there even two months yet, and he’s already trying to find another job.

I’m going to show you that all my whining about my job is not just me being hard to please by telling you about my co-worker.

New Tech came through the same employment agency that I did. He’s the one I mentioned who is kind of soft-spoken and has an African accent. When he started, he was working with Lazy Tech because LT was still working tech support and I had not yet been moved back to tech support from the position I much preferred. Then when I started working with New Tech, he was pissing me off because he would hardly touch any of the emails and then our supervisor would come to us, talking about how we needed to catch up on emails. This was the same dumbass who had scheduled a brand new tech support worker to come in first thing in the morning and dive right into emails and phone calls with no true training and when none of the more veteran workers would be there to help him. Because of this dumbass decision, I’d come to work and there’d be 20+ unanswered emails sitting in the inbox with new emails rolling in every minute on top of those (ultimately, I told my supervisor that LT needs to help with emails in the mornings until New Tech learns enough to answer the majority of them on our own, which is something his dumb ass shouldn’t need to have been told).

It sucks, but the way my job works is if you don’t know how to respond to an email or phone call, you’re supposed to ask someone. Now, I didn’t want the burden of having to help a newbie along in addition to doing my work–it’s not that different from doing the newbie’s job if you have to tell him how to do it. But I remember how it was with LT, and I didn’t want to be like that with New Tech. I acted like it didn’t bother me when he asked questions because, ultimately, it was better for me for him to ask. But he’d generally let emails sit there for me to do instead of ask questions about how to respond to them. It is uncomfortable to ask questions every single minute, I know.

LT and I went through something similar, but it’d usually be because he’d let emails sit there with the excuse that I need to learn how to respond to them when I was already trying to figure another issue out, and then he’d get all huffy and harass me because I wasn’t answering emails. Of course, while LT was letting emails sit there, he was checking Facebook or text messages and so on instead of doing work himself. Again, I didn’t want to be an ass like that with New Tech, so I’d just go ahead and answer the emails so we could catch up instead of harassing him or being lazy as emails continued to pile up.

New Tech tried to stay positive and say the job wasn’t that hard, just that it was a lot of stuff to remember, but I could tell this was bullschitt. Every day the dude would look at emails, release stressed-out sighs-slash-growls, mumble to himself and place his head in his hands. Same with phone calls. Then he graduated to talking about how he gets headaches on the job, to which I responded that I always make sure I have a bottle of Excedrin with me for the same reason. Finally, he told me recently that he goes home and looks for another job every day.

The other employment agency I worked with that had a job for me around the same time as I decided to take the job I have now recently let me know that the same company is hiring again, and this time it would pay more money. It is a position repairing computers and other electronics as opposed to providing support for them, which is definitely what I’d rather be doing, so I went back and re-interviewed with that employment agency. Some of my co-workers had been joking about me going on job interviews because I’ve missed work so much, but I was not about to tell these people details about why I had been going to the doctor just so they could be quiet. After all, I don’t care about most of the people with whom I work, so I don’t need them knowing my business. But I did tell New Tech that I had a job interview.

After I came back from my interview, he told me he had been called to schedule an interview for another job. It is still a job with our current company, just at another location in the tri-state area. We are pretty familiar with the people who will be interviewing and ultimately hiring him because we communicate with them often, so I feel pretty confident that he will get that job.

There are several problems with this, both for me and him. The problem for him is it’s obvious, from what he was telling me about the job, that he’s not qualified for it. So if he feels stressed out doing what he does now, he will really be stressed out and hate this job. The job is very similar to what we do now, only phone calls aren’t really involved because he’d be the on-site tech for that entire location. I would actually be more qualified than he is just because I have worked tech support longer and have things down more about how things work at our company, but I already know I would hate that job. The job is also going to be an hour or more drive for him to get to work.

The problems for me are that he will probably leave before I will leave, which means I will be doing all the tech support and then will also probably have to deal with another newbie until I leave. And even if we end up leaving around the same time, that’s tough, as well, because I will feel like an ass if I end up being the one to follow New Tech out the door and not the other way around. New Tech and I are my company’s tech support. I would laugh if it meant LT had to come back to tech support and do all the work–he deserves it. I probably wouldn’t even be interested in leaving right now if I had been left in the position I was told I’d have at this company instead of dealing with brats on the phone and via email all day, but because LT is a lazy brat who had an attitude with people on the phone and because I’m not like that I got stuck doing something I hate.

In fact, thinking about it right now, I actually don’t feel like an ass. I mean, the ways in which I have been hung out to dry a lot, just as New Tech has been, and then whined to about needing to get things done faster or by myself…and I also started to feel sorry for that geeky tech who wants very badly to believe he’s cool because I know he’ll have to “train” two new workers…except for the fact that he spends much of his time sitting on his ass in his cubicle on his iPhone or on one of the company’s iPads instead of actually training anyone. I definitely shouldn’t feel sorry for my supervisor, who has made all these dumb decisions that have made my job worse. Just as with my last employer, he wouldn’t have all this turnover in tech support if he put new hires in the best position to do their jobs the right way, i.e. provide training and make sure someone is around when they need assistance. And just as with my last employer, he has two employees who are interviewing for new jobs and who are halfway out the door at the same time.

The crazy thing, though, is New Tech told our supervisor that he is interviewing with another location. And then our supervisor told everyone else. New Tech called one of our co-workers who had worked at that location before to ask some questions, and that co-worker said he and LT already knew about it. New Tech said to me afterwards that he would never have told LT–he doesn’t particularly like LT and just would not share anything like that with him. New Tech said that our supervisor seems okay with his interviewing with another location, but I still just never would have told him about it during the process.

Anyway, we’ll see what happens.

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