There are some pretty dumb people where I work. Not my coworkers, but some of the outsourced "help" we have to rely on. See, my company decided to stop offering support in our multitude of offices and "centralize" the internal office help (we'll call IOH in this entry) to some folks in Nowhereseville, Wisconsin, where we have a call center. Now, in their defense, a ton of requests I am sure they get are pretty dumb and mundane. The kind of requests that would bore anyone of moderate intelligence. "I lost my password ... again," or "I kant reech da netwoik... wut up wit dat?" But when you have a real problem, like say, a switch is down and none of your servers can connect from point A to point B, it's like tearing out your hair. Here's today's baldness:
Premise: We're moving equipment to from Lab A to Lab B. We literally have hundreds of machines, equipment, parts, and lots of other stuff. It's taken us over a year to move. Usually because of stuff like this.
Yesterday: While installing some LAN-enabled power switches, I notice that while I can configure them locally (meaning, right in front of them), they can't reach the network. I test, I ping, I trace ... and find out the LAN cables are connected to a switch where all the lights are out from ports 2-37. Port 1 is a server. Ports 38-40 go to Looneytown, I don't know. They're not MY cables. Needless to say the "lights off" means the ports are down, and since the others are lit, I can conclude that the configuration of the ports are administratively down...
Zen Koan: What is the sound of one blog reader snoring?
Thank you master. Let's do this a bit differently. Suppose you are at a hotel. You retire for the night, and as you get a glass of water, you notice ... you have no water. The toilet works, but not the sink or shower. You call the front desk.
You: Hello, I am in room 115 and I don't have running --
Them: ** [kkkt] ** (automated voice) "Thank you for calling the front desk. You call is important to us. Please stay on the line, and the next available clerk will answer your call. Please hold. ** [kkkt] ** (REO Speedwagon) Und ah can't faht this feelin anymooooorrree... ah've forgottin what I started fightin' faaawwww... und if I haf to crawl upon da floor, cam creeshing throoo you door... Baby, I can't fi--** [kkkt] ** ThankYouForTheFrontDeskMayIHaveYourNameR
You: Er... uh, Blog Stevens. I am in 115. My last four digits are 1969...
Them: [clicking keyboard] Can you repeat that, please? You are Brian Steppenwolf...
You: No, no. Blog... Stevens...I am in room... one one five... my last four digits are one... nine... six.... nine....
Them: Okay, and you checked in this morning, is that correct, sir?
You: Yes. And when I went to the bathroom--
Them: And you are at one of our hotels in Sheboygan?
You: Yes. And, see, the sink--
Them: Annnd.. [clicka clicka] what can I do for you today?
You: I.. er, well, my sink and shower do not work.
Them: Okay... [clicka clicka]... and this "sink," it's some sort of... appliance?
You: No, no. A sink. You know, water comes from it?
Them: [clicka clicka] Okay, and what is wrong from this "sink?"
You: Well, it has no water. The toilet works, but the sink and shower do not.
Them: [more keyboard clicking] Okay, the traylet works, but the sink and shava don't?
You: No, the sink and shower. Show-wer. The toilet does work, so water is on, but the sink and shower are not giving me any water.
Them: [more keyboard clicking] Okay, sir, and have you tried unplugging and plugging the sink or shawa back in?
You: No, no. It's not an appliance. It's connected to the plumbing. You need a plumber to have a look at it.
Them: [clicka clicka... clicka clicka.. clicka clicka... tap. Tap. TAP TAP!] One moment, please. ** [kkkt] ** (REO Speedwagon) It's tam to bring dis ship into da shoooow... und trow away the oaaaaaas... foh-revah.... 'Cause I can't fight dis feeling anymoooo ** [kkkt] ** [click... pause... the back to music] ooooooooreee... ** [kkkt] ** Okay sir, I have written up a ticket, that number is 166499/a-445624738, we'll have someone look at it when they can.
You: When is that?
Them: Uh... I can't tell you that, they don't tell me, I just write up the ticket and they send it to the folks in your hotel. Good day. [click]
You wait and wait. Finally, you call back, and get another person. They ask you the same thing about who you are, and everything, and when you tell them you already have a ticket, they say its "in transit" and "has been forwarded to our Sheboygan office."
Hours later, you get a call back. It's the Sheboygan office, and they received a ticket, but apparently, you have to repeat the whole story to them. They said "it's not us you want, you want a plumber!" You state that you told the original clerk that, and Sheboygan gives you the number of a local plumber. You state that you are in a hotel, and do not have authority or money to call a plumber. "Oh, you mean one of OUR hotels?" YES! You scream, thinking it should be obvious. He says he'll send to request to maintenance.
Hours go by. You go down to the front desk to find someone, and they say to call the front desk hotline. "Aren't you the front desk?" you ask. "Yes, but only locally. You have to make all requests through the hotline." Steamed, you go back to your room. There is a note on the door the plumber was by, and said the toilet works, you weren't here to describe what was wrong, so he left and closed the ticket.
Now you're REALLY angry! You call the hotline, go through the spiel, then explain the ticket should be reopened. They say that everyone is closed for the day, you'll have to call back tomorrow.
THIS is what I have to work with.
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000110.html