Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'll take things which will end badly for 400, Alex

I've been asked to attend another training class this evening.
But wait.
It gets better.
I'm not taking this class, I'm answering questions.
And the class is one the Help Desk is required to attend regarding our new solution and dealing with the users.
I don't deal with the users at all, so I'm not sure how I got short-listed for this assignment.
It isn't that I can't access the users, I just don't because I generally don't like them at all.
From my perspective, users are only there to weaken security. If we didn't have them logging in, I could just leave the server in a box somewhere, unplugged and powered down and totally un-hackable.
So somehow I got picked to talk to our front line people about how to answer questions from users and what to expect those questions to be.
I tried to get out of it, citing at least four separate managers who posted in my performance reviews that my contact with the end users should be "limited" or "restricted" or "absolutely the last resort" or "even if the alternative is leaving them on hold for four hours and then accidentally disconnecting them, the user would be better served than speaking with Garrick".
It didn't work.
And also trying to get a doctor's note stating that I'm allergic to users won't work in this case since I don't have time to get an appointment before the class.
I think I must have come across as helpful or friendly at some point, so I suspect my dosage needs adjustment.

"What does it mean if a user says blah blah blah . . .?" "Who should I escalate the ticket for if the user has a blah blah blah . . . ?"
Side note: "blah blah blah" is all users ever say. Or at least all I hear.
And my answer would be: "If port 135 is open on the firewall you should craft an RPC call instructing the user machine to stab them in the face. If the port is unavailable, have them reboot and try again."

Holy crap. That was me trying.

"What questions should I ask to assist with troubleshooting?"
"Um . . . How did you get this number? What is wrong with you? Are you on something?"

Why can't I get in on a training class that is applicable to what I do?
Well, in fairness what I do would probably need to be defined, I suppose.
The problem with this is that we are defining the "escalation process" and, as I discussed with a coworker this morning, the first thing I think of when someone says "escalation" is "hostility".
Of course, my word association triggers may also be a little in conflict with those of the "normals". But how would I know?
Shana asked me yesterday if there was a voice in my head which told me when comments are appropriate and when they are not. Apparently, most people have that voice.
I might, but the little guy is drowned out by the assertive voice which shrieks "sniper rifle" and "bell tower" over and over and over.
I'm out of place discussing how to "handle the users", since this immediately makes me think of the words "crawl space" and "tomato garden".

In totally unrelated news, I've been looking for an excuse to post this image and the withdrawal of UN personnel from Darfur seems like the opportunity:

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