Tag Archives: lazy

Old Job, I Wish You Hell

My former co-worker New Tech sent me a text today letting me know he got another job. I know I wrote several posts ago when I first left my previous job that I was hoping he’d get another job pretty quickly after my leaving so that my former employer would really be screwed. This is my third week at my new job, which is not quick enough for me–but it’ll do. 😉

On top of that, he let me know that the guy they hired, what, four or five weeks ago–the one whom my supervisor wouldn’t put on tech support and give me my old, better, less stressful job back–has already quit. No notice, either, from what I understand. Love it.

Background info for those who care and/or just so you understand why I want, particularly, my old supervisor to be in a situation where he’s pulling what little bit is left of his hair out.

So, now my old supervisor once again has to find someone new to work tech support while the company already has a newbie there, and he also has to find another new employee for desktop support. Remember, this dude’s excuse as to why he wouldn’t put me back in the better, more enjoyable job that I had is he didn’t want two new people on tech support. The guy who quit wanted to do tech support. Maybe if he had been put in that position, he’d still be there. My supervisor lost me in part for the same type of reason. And now not only does he have all this turnover, he will have basically two brand-spanking new people on tech support. He always was going to have relatively new people on tech support, one way or another. It’s a losing battle for him, one that didn’t have to turn out as badly as it has.

I knew schitt would fall apart when I left, and it’s happening. Again, I do feel sorry for the company’s employees who rely on the IT department, because they are going to suffer with all the new people working the interactive positions–especially with the lack of training that newbies receive and with how long it really takes to learn the ropes there. But if I had been treated better, I would still be there and would at least be helping, would be a more experienced worker who is still around to help until new people on tech support got up to speed (as opposed to the guy who is supposed to help new employees but just sits around texting all day and takes off early and whatnot. I was, by far, the most helpful person to New Tech when I worked at that company) while predominantly doing the job I liked.

But, sorry as I may feel for the other employees, I still had to laugh when I was getting these text messages because the IT department over there is screwed up with all these lazy men “working” in it, including my former supervisor. It deserves as much trouble as it can get. People at my new job work, even when they really don’t have to and even though they don’t make good money. They’ll stay late, they’ll go find work if they don’t have any, they will do what’s “beneath” them, most of which I’ve started to do (yeah, good luck with that “staying late” thing, haha)…and I respect that. My old employer just doesn’t have my respect.

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Manic Monday

Yesterday I gave notice at work, but I gave it to the agency that placed me since they’re technically my employer. Immediately–like the minute I emailed them my notice–they started calling and emailing me. I mean, I happened to glance at my cell phone, and saw my recruiter’s name and number on the screen while I was in the middle of something. It’s just ridiculous how they always try to call me. I answer phones for a living all day for a corporation, and they know this–they placed me in the position. Why on earth do they think I can just take their calls on my personal cell phone whenever they feel like it?

So, when I didn’t answer, my recruiter emailed me the next minute asking me to call him. Then the other recruiter emailed me asking me to call him. Then my recruiter emailed me again, asking where I got a job. Then he tried to call my co-worker New Tech, who didn’t answer but told me they were calling him. These recruiters have a habit of contacting one of their other placed employees whom they know works near the one they’re trying to reach when they can’t get a response from the one they’re trying to reach–they’ve contacted me before trying to reach both Lazy Tech and New Tech. So, we knew they were probably calling New Tech to find out where I was or if I could call them.

New Tech and I were just dying laughing at the whole thing. I knew the agency didn’t expect me to find a job that quickly, or at all. It was just last Monday when they told me they’d spoken to my supervisor and he wouldn’t let me go back to the position I liked at the company. I told them I would find something else, then. I know they didn’t believe it. In fact, they scheduled a follow-up discussion for next Monday. Turns out next Monday I’ll be at my new job. I know they couldn’t believe it and that they’d want to know just how on earth I was able to get another job that fast. That’s why it was especially funny to New Tech and me when they emailed asking where I got a job.

By the time I called these guys one of them had told my supervisor. My supervisor still hasn’t said anything to me about it, the @sshole. He acts like nothing is happening. But New Tech told me he saw one of the recruiters today in the lobby. I told him they are probably talking about hiring someone to replace me on tech support, which wouldn’t even be necessary if the kid they brought in a couple of weeks ago had just been placed on tech support to begin with.

Obviously, my recruiter did ask me all kinds of questions about where I was going, how I found the job, etc. Even about how much it pays.

I got a bit of a surprise, though, because he sounded irritated last week when I reiterated I wanted to leave the company where he placed me…

He told me, “I don’t blame you one bit.” The way he said it, too…with emphasis, hit the “one bit” part pretty clear.

He knows that situation with my supervisor doing everything he could to keep Lazy Tech and nothing to accommodate me was bullschitt. For the record, my recruiter is Asian. I have found that Asians don’t usually side with black people when it comes to anything with racial undertones or even racially overt things, but he’s Filipino and Filipinos tend to be a little bit more…racially aware and black-friendly. New Tech and I also talked about how they would have gotten rid of a black person who acted like Lazy Tech did without all of that bending over backwards to prevent it…in part because my mother asked me if I had warned him, basically. Like I wrote before, I can definitely see New Tech’s inadequacies getting more exposed without my being there to pick up after him, and he’s African. They’re not going to put up with some of the issues he has for too long. If he can’t find another job fast enough, I see him getting fired eventually.

And with it being official that I’m out the door, New Tech has really started trying to step up finding another job…to the point where over the last two days he has just come across as desperate to me. Now he’s wanting to get out of IT altogether, saying it’s not his passion. He was talking about wanting to move into IT management. He is not management material, I can tell you that. Sure, plenty of managers suck–mine does–but there’s a difference between being a bad manager and just not having a manager’s personality. My manager is the type of guy you disrespect behind his back; New Tech is the type of guy you’d disrespect to his face. I would be the same way, I think–I know I am not “leader” material.

Today, New Tech actually took off work early to go interview with an insurance company. Um. All you’re going to do at an insurance company is sell insurance. Probably won’t get paid if you don’t, either. That’s the kind of job I looked at way back when I first got out of school and wasn’t hearing schitt back from employers and was desperate, so I know what those “interviews” are like. He has a wife and kids–you need something very stable in that situation, something with a weekly or bi-weekly paycheck guaranteed.

He also sits at work and looks at our company’s internal job postings on a regular basis, only now he is looking in the customer service department. Customer service? While there’s a CS component to working many IT jobs, CS is at least a step down from doing anything in IT, or at least the positions he might qualify for would be. And with the more entry-level jobs, which I’m sure is all he could really get, you’re going to get paid like it’s at least a step down. Maybe he thinks those jobs would be easier to get or something, but I can tell from speaking to him that he has unrealistic ideas about how much he’d get paid.

Still, Belinda is a CS supervisor at our company…so I smiled (thinking about her tends to bring a smile to my face or make me nervous) and suggested he talk to her about the job openings they have. Dude, I cannot imagine having to report to Belinda (although I’d probably love going to work all of a sudden). But New Tech seriously went looking for her so that he could talk to her about it.

By the way…the Belinda thing. I realize that now that I’m leaving my job, in a sense I have nothing to lose by approaching Belinda. Knowing this is my last week and that I probably won’t see her again unless an effort is made to do so, I’m a little bit torn. But I’m just not ready for several reasons, not just because I feel I still need to move on more from everything that happened with my “ex.” Also, given that Belinda is never alone–today I saw her with, like, four or five other people–I wouldn’t even know how to approach her. Plus, I have never approached a woman before, at least not out of the blue. I always get approached.

And speaking of the “ex,” I thought she no longer read my blog but maybe she does, because I haven’t seen her on Yahoo! since I wrote about seeing her online and how it made me feel. I don’t know, I just thought it was interesting that she no longer shows up after that. I know there are ways to kind of find out if she still reads my blog–I work in IT, after all–but I’m not interested enough to see if she’s still following me. I just assumed she wasn’t because 95% of the time I feel like she doesn’t give a schitt about me, so why read my blog (intriguing topic, too–inspired me to do a little Google search; still not sure what the answer is)? Why would anyone read this, haha? I have actual friends who won’t even read this stuff! Plus, I’ve been through worrying about who sees what I write, and I am past that now. My blog is my friend.

Bottom line–Belinda is someone I’d love to get to know if given the opportunity, but now is just not a good time. Really, I should be coming home and continuing my studies on programming (I’ve gotten really lazy since my class ended–which I aced, by the way, and only missed two questions out of about 40 on the final exam!!!), not checking sports articles on Yahoo! (easier said than done since I am all about the majority of sports now and have even added the Tennis Channel to my obsessive sports channel surfing, what, with the French Open having ended a couple of weeks ago and now Wimbledon is on) or blogging or going out on dates. I should be figuring out how long I’m going to be with my parents vs moving out…and, to me, moving out is all about moving to another city/state, which would also complicate dating anyone where I am now. I’ve really been looking at what’s out there in Austin, TX, San Francisco, CA and Ann Arbor, MI–the latter because that’s where I’d love to be, the former two because those are more so IT hotbeds. Right now, career needs to come first, as it has for the past year+, so I can stop being quite as big a loser. 😉

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They Thought I Was Bluffing, But They Were Wrong

So, I officially got offered the job I was contacted by another employment agency about. I took off work at my current job today to take care of all the business that needs to be taken care of with this employment agency that contacted me.

A lot has happened with this situation that I haven’t blogged about, so I’m going to bring it up now.

A couple of weeks ago, I was taken out to lunch by my recruiter at the employment agency that placed me where I work now. I was wondering just how much he’d be willing to tell me about the circumstances/details surrounding Lazy Tech finally getting fired. For people who don’t read my blog regularly, Lazy Tech is this lazy white guy whom I met at my previous job, as we worked together there. He quit that job when he got offered a position at the company where I work now, and as he was on his way out he gave me his contact info and told me to contact him so he can hook me up with the agency that helped him. I was hesitant to trust him because he was lazy and full of schitt at my previous job, too, but I ultimately emailed him and he basically got me my current job.

As time went on Lazy Tech started falling more and more into his old ways at my current job–he was lazy and he was an ass to the company’s employees who called tech support for help. Of course, people started complaining about him to our supervisor. My supervisor eventually moved me off tech support, more or less, as he had mentioned several times he might do, even in my job interview with him. This left LT on tech support basically by himself, and that’s when tech support kind of fell apart because of his laziness, his attitude problems, his essentially refusing to answer the phones when he didn’t feel like it, etc. But our supervisor still didn’t fire LT–he instead decided to switch me and LT around so that LT was doing the relatively stress-free, easier job I’d come to like and I was back on tech support. In other words, our supervisor indirectly said, “Okay, you don’t want to do tech support? I’ll take you off tech support and give you a much better job.” I was pissed, LT knew I was pissed, the guy who was training me at the position I’d been moved to was unhappy because he didn’t want to work with LT, and other people were looking at the situation just wondering what the hell our supervisor was doing. He was bending over backwards to help LT when LT didn’t deserve it, and I was getting fucked in the process.

We basically have to keep track of how much work we do and how many hours it takes us. One week, late in a Thursday afternoon when our time reports were emailed out, LT had only 16 hours of work. We work 40 hours a week. Next thing I knew, LT was fired.

My recruiter told me everything. He wasn’t like, “You know, it’s confidential…” and more professional about it, the way I think he should have been. We spent a very good chunk of our lunch date talking about LT. I know that LT is still jobless. And I know that he might still be at our company if it weren’t for the fact that my supervisor’s supervisor had something to say when he finally found out about all the issues with LT. When my super’s super found out, he was basically like, “Why is LT still here?” Um…exactly.

Eventually, the conversation turned to how I felt about my job, because I had spoken to my recruiter months ago telling him basically that I can’t stand tech support. We had pretty much agreed I’d give it 6 months. Now it has been over 6 months. Over the last couple of weeks I have spoken with my recruiter and another recruiter at that company, and I let both of them know that if I can’t go back to the position I was doing where I was a lot happier at work that I would be leaving. When I told my co-worker, New Tech, that, he was like, “You gave them an ultimatum? That’s cool!” and laughed (and to be perfectly honest, I talk freely at work about trying to leave because I don’t care and because I know they need me–it’s not the other way around). I was like, “No…” It wasn’t an ultimatum; I simply let them know what the deal was, and I wasn’t asking them to get me back in that position. I had already told my supervisor I would be interested that, and my supervisor basically made a comment about how I’d started getting great reviews on tech support but he’d consider it. My recruiter told me they had hired someone new and that this new kid only wants to do tech support, so he thought they might be bringing the new kid in for that.

The new kid finally came and, sure enough, they did some shuffling around that did not include my being put back in the position I liked. The same day the new kid arrived, I called my recruiter and said, “Okay, time to talk about other jobs.” They were surprised the new kid wasn’t put on tech support, but they figured it was probably because my supervisor didn’t want two relatively new people on tech support (erm, when LT and I were hired, we were both new people on tech support). One of the recruiters came out to my job and spoke with me, and I was just very straightforward with him about being ready to leave. He said he would talk to my supervisor, which, again, I didn’t ask them to do this. Again, I was speaking very freely about this, where other people could hear the conversation, and I wasn’t holding back punches. I made two things very clear to this recruiter–1) I can find another job if I want one, and 2) one way or another I was not working tech support anymore, i.e. my supervisor was either going to have me in my preferred job or not at all.

#2 is not something a lot of people can say at their jobs and get away with it, but I can. This employment agency is always telling me how everyone at my company loves me. Plus, tech support was garbage before I got there, it was garbage when LT was working it by himself. People contact me directly. They don’t even want to go through tech support, and I have to clean up after New Tech every single day. People get him for issues and he doesn’t resolve them, and then they come looking for me. A few days ago, I had someone call me on my direct line and tell me she went searching for my direct line so she could ask me to help another worker at her company whom New Tech didn’t help. Last week, I had someone email me directly and tell me how when I help her with a particular issue everything works perfectly but when New Tech does it it’s “a mess.”

“New Tech” is not all that new anymore, people–dude has been there over 3 months now. His performance is deteriorating, not getting better (which makes more work for me), and I know why–he hates tech support, too. With the average person, the more he/she hates a job the worse his/her job performance gets because the person stops even trying. That’s what LT’s problem was, aside from just being lazy, and now New Tech is going down that same path. I’m not that way because I hate the thought of people saying/doing the kinds of things behind my back that they’re doing with New Tech. I don’t want people saying anybody else is better than I am at anything. New Tech is too trifling to care, kind of like LT. And because of that, I know exactly what will happen when I leave this company–tech support is going back to schitt, no one will be there to pick up after New Tech and he eventually is going to get fired, too.

I love living with my parents. I wouldn’t be able to tell all these companies–in a nice way–to fuck off when they fuck me over without my parents, although they hate that I do it. My parents are not emotionally supportive and never have been–that’s why one of my sisters has issues. They criticize everything. My happiness has never been the point, except when it comes to them buying material things–they’ll buy me whatever, always have, but other than that? Career-wise, they couldn’t care less whether or not I’m happy. In line with having no issues buying material things, it’s all about money with them. I’m not complaining. I’m just saying that to say this: for a change, they are on my side with my decision to leave this company. Honestly, I don’t think they would be if they didn’t view this as a racial issue this time because LT is white and my supervisor tried hard to help him and took a better job away from my black ass to give it to his lazy ass…and then when I say I don’t want to do tech support and would prefer the better job my supervisor won’t budge. I’m not saying it is or isn’t racial–I know employers fuck good employees all the time, all kinds of good employees.

And of course, my supervisor didn’t budge, even after the recruiters talked to him. And then the recruiters conference-called me and asked me again where I stand, as if I hadn’t made it clear to them. When I told them I could find another job if I wanted to, I meant it. I had told the recruiter who came to see me that other people might have trouble finding jobs, but I don’t. They didn’t seem to believe me. They first told me they’re having trouble placing their clients right now because nothing is out there, and then after I reiterated during the conference call that I am out of this company my recruiter seemed kind of irritated. He basically started talking as if it was going to be impossible to find me a job, especially the kind of job I want, and like I was being unrealistic. This was on Monday. I got the official job offer Thursday/yesterday, and it’s exactly what I’m looking for–and I didn’t need him to find it, either, just as I told them I wouldn’t.

So, next week at work is going to be a lot of fun. I’m just going to sit and laugh at these people’s reactions when they all find out I’m done. I have a pretty good feeling the recruiters didn’t let my supervisor know that I would be looking to leave if I didn’t get placed back in my non-tech support position, probably because they didn’t seem to believe me when I told them I could find something with or without their help. So, this schitt is going to be hilarious, especially when he realizes that, regardless, he was going to have two “new” people working tech support–only now his best employee is going to be gone completely instead of benefiting him in a different way. Plus, I still would have been helping with tech support some, and they have a guy whose job it is to help the tech support employees when they need it. All my supervisor needs/needed to do is make that employee do his job (which he doesn’t really do), and then New Tech would be better off, the new kid would be fine and I could work the job I want at this company.

I feel a little sorry for all the people I help who specifically look for me to help them, because they’re just going to be fucked up. I also must admit that I’m sorry I won’t see Belinda again after I leave. But what can I say? Employers just don’t know how to value/treat/hold on to their best employees.

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Tattle Tail Co-Workers

If you don’t read my blog regularly, I’m going to give you some relevant details about my job and then tell a tale about one of my co-workers who seems to have become a tattle tail. Here are the three things/people you need to know in order to understand the story:

-A lot of people at my job don’t actually work. They basically get paid to do nothing. The more money they make, the less work they do, as a general rule.

-There are two of us working tech support–me and this African guy who hasn’t been with the company very long but already is applying for and interviewing with other jobs because he wants off tech support (can’t blame him). The African guy has been at the company since maybe late March, so a little more than two months. Two months is not long enough to have a handle on working in tech support where I work, so there are still many problems with having to work with this guy–having to help him a lot, having to catch or correct a lot of his mistakes and having to deal with him not tackling issues because he doesn’t know how to handle them and doesn’t ask about how to handle them sometimes (i.e. he leaves more difficult issues for me to handle). These are the most significant issues with having to work with him.

-There is this geeky dude whom I call Wannabe Cool Tech (WCT) because he runs around trying to act cool all the time. He got off tech support not long before I was hired, and now part of his job is to train the newer tech support workers and be the go-to guy for any questions we have. From day one, I noticed this dude basically sits on his @ss in his cubicle, playing with his iPhone. He didn’t train us, per se. We have to seek him out and ask him questions, for the most part, and all of us were basically thrown into the fire. A lot of people at the company like this geek, probably because he’s very knowledgeable as far as handling tech issues goes, but I don’t. I felt early on that he was arrogant and doesn’t do enough work, although I don’t necessarily think he’s lazy. He certainly has way too much free time at work, though, and that’s partially because the position he has now seems to have been created for him as opposed to being anything that is really necessary to the company. I do think if he seriously was a tech support trainer he’d be more valuable and less sit-on-his-@ss-ish…but he’s not any of those things at this point and was surely far more valuable when he worked tech support.

This WCT fucker is who this post is about. Over the last few months, we have started having issues with fuckers tattle tailing at work, and he has just made my schitt list for such acts. Yes, a schitt list has developed. Up until now, it had primarily consisted of those fuckers who make more but do less. These are the people whom I’ve started saying “fuck it” and, despite their telling tech support that they want us to collect XYZ information before passing tickets on to them, I just fucking give them tickets anyways and try to make them do some digging. Now, WCT makes more, I presume, and does less, but these guys who had landed on my schitt list prior, I’m sure, make way more. Still, WCT is of more assistance to me than those other guys are, so even though I didn’t particularly care for him he had not found his way onto my schitt list.

Unfortunately, this past week at work the @sshole decided to fuck with me, and now it’s all over.

He had already started getting on my nerves, and I started to tell him in a nice way that this was the case but decided to leave it alone. He had been doing schitt like telling me schitt I already know as someone who has worked tech support at this company for over 6 months now–simple schitt that, of course, I know–“reminding” us that we need to be doing XYZ and sometimes tacking on complaints like, “Because you didn’t do this, I found this email from yesterday that no one had answered,” which probably meant he had to be torn away from texting on his iPhone to actually do some very simple work…and maybe even more annoying than that, he is very “I no longer work for tech support”-ish when people approach him for help and he will send them to me or forward emails over to me/tech support when we’re already flooded. True enough that he’s off tech support, but he’s sitting in his cubicle doing nothing while I’m drowning in work.

And yes, even though tech support consists of two of us, I’m the one drowning in work…correcting the new guy’s mistakes and doing schitt the new guy indirectly refuses to do and teaching him schitt. By the way, teaching the new guy schitt? That’s WCT’s job. Honestly, correcting the new guy’s mistakes probably ought to be WCT’s job, too.

On account of my doing at least 1 & 1/2 people’s job, schitt gets missed sometimes or not handled as fast as my employer would like. Now, one of WCT’s favorite things to say/write is “I’m not always checking the tech support inbox.” He says/writes this when he’s “reminding” us what we should be doing. Oh, but he still somehow manages to notice when one of us doesn’t answer an email correctly, quickly or at all…and, of course, he points this schitt out. The fucker is like Cinderella’s ugly stepsister, standing over you pointing out all the spots you missed while you’re the one on hands and knees doing all the waxing. But is that his job? After all, I have never been told that he is my supervisor or an assistant supervisor of any sort.

One day this past week, the fucker took it too far by emailing me and the new guy an email he copied my supervisor on, whining about how he had to answer an email that no one at tech support answered. My supervisor almost immediately responded, wanting to know why neither of us answered the email, “it doesn’t look good for tech support,” and saying he wants one of us to respond to him about why this email was not addressed.

I looked at my supervisor’s email like, “This dude is crazy”…because we were busy as hell on this particular day, with the phones ringing off the hook and emails pouring in. You’re whining about a company employee’s email not being answered, but you want one of us to take time away from a flooded inbox to answer your email about an email that WCT already answered. Straight up, I responded, “I will respond to you when I have time.” It was a nice way of saying, “I don’t have time for this overly-dramatic bullschitt.”

Mind you, this situation with that one email not being answered was another case of the new guy trying to leave something he’s clueless about to me instead of asking somebody. The email had first been ignored by him. I had just gotten to work, and then maybe 30 minutes-to-an hour later WCT started all this bullschitt. I get to work an hour and a half after the new guy does, so the email was ignored all that time prior to my arriving. You know what happened when I got to work? I found a flooded email inbox with more emails than just that one WCT whined about in it, and then the new guy turned his phone off and went and got himself breakfast from our on-site restaurant. There I was, fielding call after call by myself with all these emails staring me in the face while this @sshole was sitting on his side of the cubicle stuffing his face.

So, yeah, I jumped at the opportunity to respond to my supervisor’s email. The email consisted of much of what is written here that you’re reading, just in a far more professional tone. I explained the current work dynamic between me and the new guy and how the new guy leans on me rather than WCT, how he leaves work for me, how he runs off to take breaks as soon as I get to work even though that’s a busy time frame, etc. I explained that, if given time, I would have responded to the email, but I made it clear that the email had been overlooked long before I got to work and that it was obviously being left to me instead of WCT trying to figure out how to handle it.

But I also wrote, in a nicer way, “What the fuck does WCT actually do here? I know what he’s supposed to do…well, kinda…but…??? Seriously, man. When we’re busy, he needs to be trying to help–which is what I thought his job, in part, consisted of–instead of sitting there pointing out what’s being missed, what’s going wrong and whining about it all and copying our supervisor on emails about it.” Yes, sir, I did.

Did not get a response to that one, haha.

But…

My supervisor seemed understanding of everything else I wrote. I don’t know what’s going to come of it, though.

Things like this combine with my just being sick of dealing with people in a service capacity in making me want to get away from this company. Sometimes I think maybe I don’t really want to leave because the job has gotten more comfortable, I get tons of compliments, more people like me now and I like some of them…and, of course, there’s now the thing with Belinda, too, and just wanting to see what that’s all about. The biggest thing is just that the second I find that there are quality women where I live when, for years, I thought there weren’t and I am in the same place as those women, should I stay for that? I worry that leaving is like walking away from a huge opportunity to have more of a personal life (if I can find a way to navigate workplace relationships successfully) when I thought that wasn’t possible in this area. But I am probably on my way out the door, which is totally by my own volition–it has been made clear to me that my job is not in danger at all. Still, first and foremost is getting away from tech support, because I know there’s bullschitt–and certainly tattle tail co-workers–everywhere.

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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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Lazy Co-worker, Stupid Supervisor and Getting Fired

So I hate my job again. My supervisor ended up giving my new position to Lazy Tech and putting me back in my old position so that Lazy Tech wouldn’t be on the phones that much. Basically, there were too many complaints about Lazy Tech being rude, too many missed phone calls because Lazy Tech wouldn’t answer the phones like he’s supposed to…so because he doesn’t want to do what he’s supposed to and answer phones, it’s as if our supervisor relented instead of making LT do his job.

I was pissed when I was told this would happen. LT sent me an IM and asked me if I was upset with him. I responded that I have more of a problem with our supervisor, who is more and more seeming like an idiot to me–isn’t that almost always how it is with managers and supervisors? They’re fine at first, and then they slowly turn to schitt. It’s basically true that I am mostly pissed at my supervisor, not LT. I understand why LT doesn’t want to deal with phones and people.

Everybody at work is wondering why our supervisor keeps making these changes, so he just looks crazy right now. The guy who was training me in my new position and will be training LT, Easygoing Tech, does not want to work with LT. He basically told our supervisor that he doesn’t know why LT is still working at our company. And he had told our supervisor that I was doing a good job in my new position.

I complain about all of my jobs, but my new position was good enough to the point where I started thinking I could see myself at this company for years. If I’m going to be doing tech support for years and years, like others there have, no, I can’t tolerate that. I was definitely feeling happier working more hands-on with electronics and dealing with less people, and I really liked working with Easygoing Tech. And the days went by faster and a lot more stress-free.

Of course, doing tech support now is tougher than it was before I went to my new position because now I’m working with the new guy they hired. Working with new people sucks, and I’m sure people felt the same way about me when I first started. Newbies just don’t know anything, so the workload is nowhere near 50/50 right now–I have to do the majority of it, plus help him out. This guy they hired, on top of it all, is also hard to understand. He is a soft-spoken African guy, and there’s just a fine line when you’re thinking of hiring someone who needs to communicate in writing and vocally with English speakers. You don’t want to discriminate, but there are jobs where communication matters more than just about anything else. All we do is speak to people and write to people, and his writing is not that great to go along with his speech. And our job is not really for soft-spoken people. You have to be aggressive and just kind of annoy people with questions and all that–you can’t just sit there and not work because you don’t know the answers.

My co-worker Stanky Breath Tech and I were talking about the whole situation yesterday after work for about half an hour. He’s black, I’m black, our supervisor is white and LT is white. Today after work, SBT came to me and said something like, “You know what moving LT upstairs was about,” and then he rubbed his arm. I was surprised he did/said that, but I can’t articulate why…maybe just because we have never talked about race. Still, I said to him that my parents had told me the same thing, that if I weren’t doing my job adequately I’d be fired. He said he was telling his wife about the situation with me and LT at work and that was her first question, i.e. what race is LT.

I’m sure I either just completely lost most white readers right there, i.e. you’re no longer understanding the post, or you just got irritated because you don’t see what race has to do with anything or why other my co-worker and parents brought it up. But honestly, that’s just how black people think, especially older black people. SBT has grandkids, so I don’t know how old he is but he has got to be over 40. My parents are in their 60s. I don’t disagree with what they’re saying, but I’m also not going to declare that my supervisor is racist as I don’t think this is a racial issue on the surface or predominantly.

But I absolutely believe that if I didn’t do a good job at work, I’d lose my job. I don’t know how many chances I’d be given to make it work, but I don’t have a lot of faith that it’d be that many. I don’t know that my supervisor would sit and monitor me, lecture me repeatedly, send several emails about what I’m supposed to be doing and move me to what is essentially an easier position without a pay reduction before pulling the plug, but this is what LT is getting. I’m not attributing that to race, but I just feel that I wouldn’t be around.

And I’ve been fired before, and I wasn’t given warning after warning. One day a manager I had claimed money was missing, money that I’d taken in on my shift, and she called me at home to ask what I did with it. I told her I dropped it in their cash safe, and she said it wasn’t in there. The next time I showed up for work, they fired me and claimed they’d looked for the money but never found it and that I didn’t follow correct procedures for dropping the money. This is another one of those jobs that doesn’t train people, but suddenly when something goes wrong they have “procedures.” I was never given any kind of warning or told this could lead to my getting fired or anything. I was fired by two white people and a Latina, for whatever that’s worth. And I, to this day, don’t truly believe the money I dropped was ever missing.

This was a hotel job, by the way, and I worked at a hotel before where something like this happened to one of my co-workers, i.e. money was missing on his shift. He was not fired; he just had to pay the money back out of his paycheck (black guy, but the hotel was minority-owned). That sounds fair to me, and that is something I would have been willing to do. It was “just” $210 that was missing on my shift, which is an amount I could make after two days of work at that hotel. To me, firing someone after money goes missing on their shift, unless it’s upwards $1000 or it’s not the first time a lot of money has gone missing, means you just want the person gone. That hotel and its workers were cliquey, and I wasn’t part of the clique.

My point is that the only job I had where I ever made a sizeable “mistake,” I got fired. That’s my only point. I’ve been an exemplary employee everywhere else I’ve been. LT has had two jobs that I know of where everyone who worked with him had complaints about him and his work performance but nothing of significance ever really happened to him. Still, that’s my only point because it doesn’t matter, ultimately, if it’s about race, sex, sexual orientation or anything else. The bottom line is that I’m the good worker, yet I feel like the one who is being punished.

SBT told me that I should talk to the recruiter who placed me at this company about what’s going on. When he said that, I told him I don’t want to do that. But the more I think about it, the more I think I might need to do that. Either way, I’m going to have to tell him that we need to work on finding something more suitable for me once I hit the 6-month mark, just as he and I discussed about a month ago when I was unhappy working tech support.

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Catching On To the Lazy Guy Pt 2

It’s time for an update on what’s going on at work. This is part 2 of an earlier post.

In a way, I have a new job, and it’s a bit more likeable than what I had been doing where I work. I am far more hands-on with electronics, which is good. I don’t deal with email as much, and if we’re not getting a lot of phone calls I barely have to deal with people over the phone. But I’m also busier, which can be stressful. I am inundated with new laptops and computers to set up for employees, have to receive and account for purchases, and I feel more like I don’t have time to get everything done. This is usually the case when we are getting a lot of phone calls.

My being moved over to the position I’m doing now is almost like a promotion. It’s moving me away from working tech support, and I can get jobs at other companies doing the work that I’m learning how to do. Most likely because it does get one of us off tech support, Lazy Tech had told me that he wishes he could be moving into the position I’m being moved into. LT can’t stand answering phones–I don’t think most of the people where I work who have done tech support can stand answering phones. I didn’t and don’t like answering phones. In my new position, though, I will basically be a backup in terms of answering phones while LT is now the primary tech support contact…which LT really…hates. Obviously, it’s more work for him, and that makes it harder for LT to do as little work as possible.

Between feeling stressed out, which has really been more so this week than any other because I am doing my new position by myself this week without the guy who is training me, LT has just had me rolling on the floor laughing. He is completely unraveling, and it’s getting to the point where some of us wonder if his job is in danger. I kind of feel bad and, honestly, like a backstabber because he got me this job. But he’s really bringing a lot of stuff on himself.

I got moved to my new position almost three weeks ago, the same week I had my last doctor’s appointment. When I came back to work the next day after my doctor’s appointment, my supervisor was sitting where I used to sit. I thought it was a little odd, but I got some of my stuff and went upstairs to my new work area. Then LT IMed me and told me our supervisor was basically there to watch over him because he received complaints about LT. I’ve written before about how a couple of people have mentioned to me that LT is rude to them. Well, apparently, those people have started going to our supervisor about it. So, our supervisor was there to monitor LT’s calls. This is not the only thing LT has gotten in trouble over since I moved positions, and the fact that he is now doing tech support predominantly on his own is really leaving him exposed as far as our supervisor being able to see what kind of worker he is.

Easygoing  Tech (ET) is the guy who is training me. In a sense, he is being pushed out of his position for me to have it (and at this point, you can kind of see how effed up where I work kind of is). They are still planning to have him work for the company, but he will work on projects assigned to him. On the other hand, he told my supervisor–and I’m not sure when this was, but I think it was after my supervisor was already thinking of having me do at least some of ET’s job–that he is planning to apply for a position at another one of our company’s locations. He used to work at that location but left due to pay, but now the pay matches up. So I’m thinking he’d likely get whatever he applies for there. Either way, I will be taking over for him; I just hope he’s around long enough for me to learn everything I need to from him and get enough of his assistance. I get the sense that my supervisor expects him to leave, so he’s trying to make sure the company has someone who can do his job.

I really like ET, probably more than most–if not all–people I’ve met at work. He’s very nice, helpful and he’s always laidback. He has a 10-year old daughter whom I can’t imagine is not running all over him because that seems like the kind of guy he is–easy to run over. He will do all the work if I let him, but that’s also bad because I need to make sure I can do everything that is and will be expected of me.

Even with as nice and easygoing as he is, he still has quite a bit to say about LT. ET never sounds mean or upset, but he still talks about how LT is always turning his phone off and we end up getting all these phone calls even though we’re backup. One day while he was training me, we got so many calls that ET called our supervisor and told him LT was not answering the phones. The next day ET told me that LT let him know our supervisor got on to him about the phones. ET also told me that he has gotten comments from people about how rude LT is.

One day my supervisor told me that they are hiring someone else to help answer the phones. ET and I talked about it, and we were thinking it’d be a temporary thing. If everyone is doing what they should be doing, we don’t really need help with the phones. Most days we don’t get more calls than we can handle. That’s why ET said, “That doesn’t sound good for [LT].” A couple of days ago, I spoke with my supervisor about the person they’re bringing in to help, and I started realizing it’s probably not going to be temporary. It sounds like a new hire. The process they’re going through with this person is the same as what they went through when they hired me. I told ET about the conversation I had with my supervisor about the new hire, and we were trying to figure out why they’re hiring someone else–especially since a big part of the reason my supervisor moved me into my new position is to save the IT department money. Now they’re going to bring in someone new to pay?

About a day after that, LT IMed ET, telling him that our supervisor wants him to train LT on the position I’m being moved into. He wrote something like our supervisor wants him to handle phone calls less because of his demeanor with people over the phone. So let’s re-state: Because LT is not doing his current job the way he has been told, our supervisor is going to give him a slightly different job. Does that make any sense? Let’s put it this way–ET doesn’t believe LT. Our supervisor has told ET nothing about having LT train with him. Oh, and this IM also occurred after I let my supervisor know that LT is always trying to dump users he doesn’t want to deal with off on me by telling me he doesn’t have time or can’t deal with them. I simply let my supervisor know that this was interfering with my training and that he has been doing that even before my training but now I just don’t have time for it. So, I’d assume our supervisor did speak to LT, but who knows what all was said. Having LT train to do the same position I’m moving into wouldn’t make sense, because they need two people on tech support.

As I mentioned in another post here, I was told in my job interview with my supervisor that I’d probably end up doing my current position at least in part, so I wasn’t moved into it because I wasn’t good at tech support. My resume also indicates I have a lot of hands-on experience in addition to tech support; LT has more tech support experience than I do. Now, it could be that they’re bringing in another tech support person because they expect ET to leave, and that would make sense. But I don’t think ET has even applied for the other location yet, so hiring someone right now to start next week…I don’t know if LT has thought about it, but everyone I’ve talked to about this thinks it’s odd.

Anyway, so now the two other co-workers I used to work with predominantly downstairs have both had something to say about how LT performs his job, ET has done the same and our supervisor is now speaking to him regularly about his work performance. People are noticing that, however likeable (to people in our department) and sociable he might be, he is not doing a good enough job. If making more money matters so much to him, why is he reverting more and more back to how he used to be with our previous employer–which should have gotten him fired there–knowing that this company actually does fire people? You can’t just stop answering phones because you don’t want to answer them, especially when it’s your job to answer those phones…and you can’t have an attitude with people who work for our company because they dare call you for assistance, especially when it’s your job to give assistance.

What’s funny is I think personality does outweigh negatives with a lot of employers–I have seen it–and then there are other employers who just don’t want to go through the hassle of replacing poor employees, but here I feel like I’m seeing LT just self-destruct to the point where he will eventually be let go. And he’s the type of person who know matter how many times you tell him what to do and what not to do, he just does whatever he wants. Underneath the @ss-kissing and excuses, he really is just another one of those people who feels a sense of entitlement–he’s just not as blatant about it as the average entitled jackass is. People like that need to be shown that it’s not all about them and what they want, and that’s why, yes, I laugh at these stories about him getting in trouble. It’s not enough, though, obviously, because he hasn’t changed. Still, I have a feeling that in the somewhat-near future either he’ll change or his place of employment will.

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My Meeting With My Supervisor

Today was probably the worst day I’ve had at my “new” job since I’ve been working there. Then around mid-day my supervisor sent me an email that he wanted to meet with just me this afternoon. So, of course I’m thinking that even as bad as things had been up to that point they’re going to get worse. Meetings with bosses, managers, supervisors and the like are rarely called to tell you how well you’re doing, and it’s too soon for me to be getting a raise–not that I’ve earned one. Plus, I could kind of tell by the meeting topic that this meeting was going to be about a problem.

I told Lazy Tech about the meeting shortly after I learned about it because he’d have to take calls and respond to emails by himself while I was in the meeting. And I think originally he thought that the meeting would include both of us, but before he could look for the email in his inbox I told him the meeting was just for the supervisor and me.

Now, let me give a general description of what my day was like. I handled difficult after difficult time-consuming tech issue all morning while Lazy Tech sat on the other side of our cubicle being…well, lazy. To his credit, he knew I was busy on the phone with schitt that wasn’t going to be fixed any time soon, so he did take care of emails. There are certain things only I handle and certain things only he handles, though, and as I was on the phone there were some emails coming in for issues I handle. Those were left for me to deal with after I got off the phone. So, LT would respond to less-demanding emails and then play with his phone and surf the internet on his work computer (we’re no longer allowed to use our laptops at work, so LT has adjusted by visiting sites on his work computer, which is something I wouldn’t really do). It was going to be a busy day for me, and when my supervisor sent the email about an afternoon meeting I really felt that not only was it more bullschitt added to my day, but it was also another time-consuming thing that I didn’t have time for.

Anyway, meeting time arrived. Now, my job is similar to working as a lawyer in a law firm in terms of having to bill hours. Still, I get paid 40 hours a week regardless of how much “billable” work I do. It’s just a matter of whether or not the money comes from my department or other departments. When I don’t bill enough hours to other departments, my department takes the loss. That’s basically what the meeting was about–my supervisor feels they have been taking too much of a loss, and he was trying to figure out why.

Well…

I mean, there are several reasons. For starters, my supervisor knew when he hired me that there wasn’t going to be enough work for two people to bill a full work week outside of our department because he told me that he’d have me doing what I do now, as well as doing another position, so that I could bill enough time–and he told me this before I was hired, and then again several times afterwards. But over two months in, I’ve only been doing one position. So…this is partially his fault.

Second, LT works slightly different hours than I do, and his hours are more in line with the peak hours in terms of work volume.

Third, LT does leave a lot of work for me that isn’t billable.

Fourth, we’re just not that busy most days. Even LT doesn’t bill a full 40-hour work week, but it’s worse for me because of the hours I work and because of how LT will sometimes jump on work he knows is billable before I can get to it.

I mentioned reasons 2-4 to my supervisor.

So, my supervisor seems to be back on that two-position idea.

Of course, after the meeting, LT wanted to know what we talked about. So I told him.

Do you know what happened?

LT got pissed!

Why?

Because if I start doing the other position, apparently that will mean LT has to do more of the tech support. It seems that this was done before with the tech who worked with LT before I did. We have a phone queue at work, i.e. tech calls alternate between me and him. But if I move to another floor at work so I can do the other position, the phone queue won’t alternate–LT will get every phone call as long as he’s available. I will still have to do about half of the emails, and I will definitely still get phone calls. But the majority of phone calls will go to LT, according to him.

Schitt, that sounds really good to me! For one thing, he has way too much free time at work. Do you know how annoying it is to always be working on something while your co-workers just sit around and play with their computers, iPhones, iPads, etc? For another thing, I’m not going to complain about talking to less people. That’d be perfect, actually. And my job is too difficult right now. The less phone calls I take, the easier it will become. I don’t know all the details of what the other position is like, but it really just sounds like processing paperwork, handling software and shipping/receiving tech equipment (and doing whatever needs to be done with the arrivals)–just a lot less stressful and more process-oriented, which is up my alley (as opposed to being thrown into the middle of solving any and all tech issues with no set-forth process whatsoever). And my supervisor said I’d definitely have no trouble billing time this way. The only bad thing is, since I’d be on a different floor, it’d be harder to communicate with other people in the IT department and get help when I need it since most of them are on the floor I work on now, but I will still be working with someone in IT and can IM/email/call people in the IT department.

So, the meeting might not have been all that bad for me. LT isn’t happy, though, and he said that if they do move me to another floor so that I can be more hands-on with equipment and software that he was going to talk to our supervisor about it. LT is hysterical. He acts like he does so much work. It’s like he doesn’t realize that he spends a lot of time surfing the internet and playing with his phone and running around socializing.

And call me evil for this, but there was one other thing today about LT that entertained me.

I took a phone call from an employee who started asking me about LT, i.e. how long he has worked there and what his last name is. Then she told me something like, “Well, I don’t really want to talk to him again. I spoke to him earlier about [blah blah] and he was rude. Maybe you can help me.” And I could tell by the issue she described which call it was, and he was rude. He is rude with several people daily, and this is what my co-workers were talking to me about a few weeks ago. Anyway, her call was a lot like calls I used to get about him at the previous place we worked at together, and the fact that she asked for his last name sounds like she is going to report him. Of course I totally gave it to her. 😉

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Why I Needed A Day Off, And Why It Didn’t Go Well

Note: Thought I’d published this a long time ago, but, of course, WP decided to act silly that night. Written Jan.28, published Feb. 6

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that if my lazy co-worker was going to constantly come up with excuses to take off work or leave work early, then I was going to do the same thing.

So I took a day off this past week, and it couldn’t have come soon enough. The past week was horrible at work, as I think the previous week was, as well. Instead of it feeling like my new job is getting easier, it actually seems like it’s getting tougher. And that’s taking me to a point where my patience runs thin.

To top off the crappy week, my supervisor called a meeting that seemed an awful lot like one of those “you’re doing a good job, but…” and then insert a laundry list to the contrary. Two things in particular pissed me off…maybe three things:

1) He’d already sent an email about this “mistake” we’d all made earlier in the week, and then he brought it up again in the meeting. According to him, he’d asked us to give him some information over email and none of us followed instructions. He kind of lectured us about this, twice. Now, in my opinion, if none of us followed instructions, then maybe he needs to question how clear the instructions were instead of automatically saying we didn’t pay attention to his email. I’m still not sure what he’s saying we didn’t do. But just as if an entire class full of students is failing then that means the teacher needs to look in the mirror…just sayin’.

2) He told Lazy Tech and I that we still go to other techs for help too much. LT has been working there for about four months, and I have been there for two months. I don’t perceive LT as going to other techs that much, so I feel like this was really directed at me because I do ask a lot of questions. Now, I had been told by both LT and that geeky tech who thinks he’s cool that I should ask questions instead of just doing things and doing them wrong.

Frankly, going to other techs a lot two months into the job wouldn’t be necessary if they’d actually train new hires. And this was my problem with my last employer, but there are far more things to learn/know at this place. It’s not a matter of knowing things about computers; it’s that they have their own programs that employees use, I haven’t heard of half of them and don’t know enough about most of them at this point to help employees with the questions they ask. Having me come in and get thrown into the job on day 2 with the “training” being running after people to ask them questions is not training. And if that’s how you’re going to play it, then you can’t say, “You’re going to others for help too much.” It’s completely ridiculous, and it takes longer to learn information that way. The geek who was supposed to train me told me it takes six months to really feel comfortable with that position, and another tech told me it takes a year to really get a grasp of all the stuff you need to know to do that job. So, this just makes me feel like my supervisor is either unaware of what my position is like or he has unrealistic expectations even after knowing what it’s like.

3) He gave LT and I the “we’re a team” speech. And I’m not sure of all the reasons why. He mentioned that other techs who worked there before us communicated more with each other about the work. LT is not going to do anything like that because he’s lazy. If he’s going to do anything, he’s going to do it fast and then move on. He’s not going to spend time discussing unless it’s necessary. And then when I try to talk to him about things, he doesn’t really listen or respond because he’s too busy on Facebook. He leaves emails for me to do while I’m already busy, with the excuse that it’s stuff I need to learn, while he’s on Facebook…and then he’ll IM me telling me not to ignore those emails or wondering why I haven’t done them yet when he could have answered them an hour ago.

That geeky tech kind of pissed me off earlier in the week, too, because he basically told me I should have done more to help someone instead of sending a tech to her cubicle. And I was in the middle of a whole lot of stuff, some of it I didn’t know how to do, with LT sitting at his desk having fun on his laptop. So I just let his geeky ass know, “Hey, I’ve got all this schitt on my plate while LT is over here on his laptop.”

I very much suspect that this got back to my supervisor and that this is part of the reason we got that “team” bullschitt laid on us. It’s not going to make any difference. But another reason I think the geek told him about that is because our supervisor also announced that we can’t use our laptops at work anymore. And that’s good and bad. The “team” speech is not going to affect LT, but I wonder if he’ll do more work now that he won’t have his laptop. Part of me just feels like taking away laptops doesn’t matter if you’re not going to tell people they can’t have their cell phones out, as well. Cell phones nowadays do almost everything laptops do.

Plus, if I know LT as well as I think I do, all this means is he’s going to be up and away from his cubicle running his mouth more often. I was thinking about it the other day, too, and he might think the way he runs his mouth with everyone makes them like him…but it doesn’t. Everyone at our last job disliked him because they knew he was lazy and unfriendly with customers. I was surprised when even the guy who trained me said he never liked LT, saying that he always seemed annoying. I think the same thing is starting to happen at our new job. He does act semi-needy with other guys.

So the next time my recruiter from the agency that placed me in this job asks me how it’s going, I’m thinking of just being a little more honest with him. I don’t want to tell him over lunch because I think he’s always going to invite LT to lunch, as well. And LT is happy with this job because of the money. There were things I didn’t like about the job all along, but I also understood I had to get to a point where I learned much of what I needed to know, regardless of not liking the method they use for me to learn these things. But now I’m feeling like, because of how the past couple of weeks have been and then that meeting with my supervisor, that I’m not getting the understanding or support I need, considering what they’ve thrown me into. I have never gotten the impression that I was supposed to be fluid in doing this position after two months, as cited earlier in this post. One thing I can say for my last employer is they were understanding about how difficult the position was, given that they don’t really train people on everything upfront.

I had told the recruiter upfront that this is not the kind of position I’d prefer, so now I can kind of be like, “Yeah, this, this and this are the reasons why I said that,” i.e. the lack of training you receive and how that affects you the whole time you work a position being paramount. And, of course, although the people I support are generally more tolerable than at my last job, I still would rather not have a job where I communicate with people all day long and get a few assholes every day and/or annoying “regulars” who always have the most difficult issues in the world.

Going in a bit of a different direction…

So, yeah, I needed a day off…really, more than a day off. And I might be getting another one off sooner than expected. Here’s the story:

My mother has been bugging asking me to go see a doctor. She’s always looking at my neck and saying it looks bigger on one side than the other. This has been going on for longer than I care to admit, and she has been accusing me of being one of those people who “won’t go to the doctor until it’s too late.” That’s not really true, although I probably am one of those people who has his/her priorities a bit out of order. As my father pointed out, I would gladly take off work to go to Michigan and see a football or basketball game, or even just to hang out around campus. But when they talk about stuff like making a doctor’s appointment, I say I don’t want to take off work–which is true. If I weren’t working or still worked nights, I’d have no issue with going to the doctor.

Well, to get them off my back–because my father has started joining in on this with my mother–since I wanted desperately to take a day off work, I decided to coordinate it with a doctor’s appointment. My mother has been worried that I have a thyroid problem. She has one, and so does her sister. I do have other symptoms consistent with a thyroid issue, to be honest, and when I was sick back in 2010 (yes, I know) with another issue I had a surgeon poke around my neck and ask me if anyone ever talked to me about my thyroid. She did this after she took my heart rate and found it to be abnormally fast. I made the “mistake” of telling my mother this, which she, of course, used constantly to support her position that I needed to have my thyroid checked.

So, I finally went to a doctor. And I haven’t been until now because I really didn’t think anything was wrong. When I feel my neck, it just feels like extra skin. It doesn’t hurt, there are no lumps or nodules…nothing, but it’s bigger on one side. I do have an asymmetrical body and issues with weight fluctuation, so that’s all I thought of it.

The doctor was awesome, but he kind of did as my mother does, i.e. stared at my neck a lot while I spoke to him. So eventually, he examined it. And he told me he would take blood from me and he’d test my thyroid, liver and kidneys (my liver was part of my problem in 2010…told him about that, as well as that cancer runs in my family and he wanted to know what kind). He left the room and came back eventually. I thought I was about to have a blood sample taken, but he gave me sheets of paper. Basically, I gathered from what he said that he suspects I do not have a thyroid problem; he thinks it could be something else. He agreed with my mother that my neck doesn’t look right, and he suggested that I see a specialist. That’s what the papers were for–they were names and addresses of specialists.

After that, I waited quite a while and then had a blood sample taken by a nurse who was from Michigan and, seeing my Michigan shirt, talked to me about the state, my alma mater, Ann Arbor and her family. When she was done, I looked around and, gosh, it’s like they took enough of my blood to supply half the hospital I stayed in back in 2010. I was fine for a couple of hours, and then I wanted to do nothing but fall on my face. They took a lot of blood.

Still waiting on the results, but I figure either way I’ll need to see a doctor again soon. With this doctor agreeing with my mother that my neck is not normal, plus wanting to run tests on my liver and kidneys and wanting me to see a specialist…now I have a feeling that something is actually wrong. With both my mother and my aunt taking thyroid medication, I know that’s not too big of a deal, relatively speaking. It’s easily treatable if it’s an under-active thyroid. But with the doctor telling me, “There are other things in the neck” and seeming to think my thyroid is okay, I don’t know what to expect. It’s to the point where I’d rather the test results tell me my thyroid is under-active.

Plus, I may or may not have mentioned this here before, but I have always “known” that I would get cancer. Whether or not it’s now, that is just something that has always been matter-of-fact to me. I can’t explain it, but I know how I’m going to die. I’ve known since I was a kid.

You see the name of my blog. So, I’m not worried about dying, per se. I just now have a feeling that something is wrong. I might find out it’s nothing, or it might be easily treatable. I’m guessing I should hear what these tests turned up, if anything, tomorrow or Tuesday.

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