Friday, April 18, 2008

Which Side Are You On?

Current Location: Near a high tower
Current Mood: Murderous
Current Music: Billy Bragg - Back to Basics

So the conf call is over. I was right. Had I not had the logs beforehand we would've been completely confused and gone in the completely wrong direction based on their verbal descriptions. But just before it began...

Another mail from upper manager arrived with a distribution list including extra names of people who had nothing to do with this issue or customer. Like the director of Program Contract Management. I ess-ploded.

John the upper manager is actually an upper upper upper manager. And instead of doing his job and getting a PITA customer to provide information so that I didn't have to sit on a conf call with my thumb up my ass saying, "Durr, I don't know," for the duration, he instead demanded I waste time and make us look like incompetent jackasses. This company has a cornucopia of stupid from which each level of management drinks more deeply than their underlings.

Luckily my lowest-level manager did manage to get the company to send shit in and delay the call. This angered upper upper upper manager who believed we should simply be on the phone rather than pissing about with technical information. When 1500 users are doing nothing but searching their machines for winmine.exe, most companies don't want group hugs and idiots empathising with their situation. They want fucking answers.
Can we have a customer focused monkey assigned to this ticket. The customer is extremely concerned, most of their business is unable to run and we won't speak to them!

I spoke to the customer, they are reasonable, they feel they can explain what they have done quickly on the phone and are willing to work with us on this but just would like the reassurance of a discussion.

Please help.


FYI for when the customer satisfaction complaint arrives.


I hit the fucking roof. He's not only put in writing the claim that I'm not "customer-focused" (a Very Bad Attitude indeed), he additionally added his expectation of a customer complaint.

As soon as the call was over, I got to work. Not responding would only indicate my acceptance of his letter. 'S how it works in shitty corporate life. I'll be damned if this cocksucker's bullshit is going to affect my reviews.


I strongly resent the baseless and patently absurd characterisation that I am somehow not "customer-focused". I'm currently focused on 31 customers and I have a long history of high customer sat.

I followed procedures and asked management to do what management does whenever we're confronted by an customer making unreasonable demands. Discussing the problem without seeing the logs is an exercise in futility and a waste of time which could be better spent resolving other customer problems. I have been told to follow such a procedure by three different managers over the past eight years.

$BigInsurer sent the logs and we were able to make a diagnosis. Had they not sent the logs this would have been impossible; their descriptions of the problem would have led us /away/ from the true cause. On the call I provided further information and testing procedures they can follow. Before joining I sent an answer which they agreed was more easily understood when read.

Please retract your unconscionable statement and atrocious characterisations of me. I'm shocked and appalled that you would not only fail to support me in trying to do my job but that you would publicly claim I was not "customer-focused" and note such an expectation of negative feedback.

Oddly enough mail from him has since dropped to zero. $BigInsurer is happy. Their system is working and they're getting quick updates from me. They're praising me in each reply.

One might expect this bastard to try and take credit for this by having forced me onto the call. Enough mail and customer comment proves otherwise. What this fuckwit John doesn't know is that I know his boss supports my position. I know this because $LowestManager was at the big meeting where $BigBoss explained this. As dangerous as my response might seem, my ass is covered. Turns out that John has become notorious for screwing the workers and taking the idiot customers' sides despite explicit corporate policy to the contrary. Which side are you on, Boy? Which side are you on?

Not five minutes after hitting send, up popped an IM window from sn4tchbuckl3r the manager in Bulgrohungria. "OH NOES! We fucked up a ticket! Nobody answered for a week! Can you take it?"

Why me?

"It's Citrix."

Of course. Surprisingly it wasn't filed by $VeryTouchyCustomer. That company is in the same country, and the business is related. More importantly, it reads almost exactly like tickets which $VeryTouchyCustomer does send in.

<clicky clicky>gg: $VeryTouchyCustomer $OtherCustomer
A subsidiary.

<clicky clicky>SELECT Contact, DataCenter from T_CUSTOMERS WHERE Profile=(SELECT Profile FROM T_CUSTOMER.$OtherCustomer);

Like Wile E. Coyote, he never learns. As he stood there in his Acme Shell Corporation Account suit wringing his hands with anticipation of the answer he so wanted to hear, I pushed him off the cliff with a quick cut & paste from the last $VeryTouchyCustomer ticket. At which point Sandra walked over to ask me certain Citrix-based questions. I didn't have to ask for whom. She was curious about $StupidDocument and hadn't yet had a chance to talk to Gloria.

Dinner was half a tray of 4-day old leftover Indian take-away and bottle of 18-year-old single malt Scotch. I finished my entire meal.

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Blogger AAhelp pulled out a crayon and scribbled:

On a somewhat related topic, I (Mini-me) received a note my Citrix training was finally approved for May (it's been requested in Mid-November). They wanted to send me to training instead of REC because the training is 10 times cheaper in Bulgrohungria, compared to RECville.
The bad part: Friday was my last day with $MegaCorp, and it's up to REC to handle the Citrix tickets with no help.
The good part: $Megacorp saves the training costs (125 cocoa beans).


20 April, 2008 12:11  

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In compliance with $MegaCorp's general policies as well as my desire to
continue living under a roof and not the sky or a bus shelter, I add this:

The views expressed on this blog are my own and
do not necessarily reflect the views of $MegaCorp, even if every
single one of my cow-orkers who has discovered this blog agrees with me
and would also like to see the implementation of Root Cause: 17-Fuckwit.