Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What Does it all Mean?

So I'm in the midst of my first full week of 10 hour days and its already wearing on me.

Last night, after most the staff went home, the entire West Coast network went down. Our phones blew up with over-achieving power brokers wanting to stay late, but unable to connect to the internet to do any work. I was yelled at, cursed at, and told that I was worthless.

I came home and went to bed well before 10 pm.

Today, our phones were flooded. We joined the Wachovia phone system this week and the number assigned to us used to be an old branch help desk number. 70% of my calls were spent explaining to users that we aren't the branch help desk and we would be transferring them. 70% of those calls I was yelled, told to fix their problem, told that they had the right number and I was wrong, and told I didn't know anything.

Then around 2pm this afternoon I got a call from a guy that had administrative rights on his computer, and that to no known factor, was stripped of these rights halfway through the day. This man needs administrative access for his job. He admins a Mobius database and manipulates files used by what he says are 100s of employees.

I cannot give him local administrative rights because its against protocol. I have the abilities, but not the bureaucratic power.

This man obviously can't accept that. After 45 minutes of being called a jackass, among other expletives, he wants to speak to my manager. (Who happens to be working from home today, how perfect right?) So I grab the nearest manager who then talks to the guy.

After they disengage I ask the manager if there is anything further I must do. Apparently, promising these people "pots of gold" is the help desk version of the customer is always right.

The manager promised that I would:
1. Find the form he needs to fill out to have admin rights
2. Fill out the form for the man
3. Email the man the form so he could get his managers approval code
4. Email the form to the correct group
5. Contact the group and get this finished by 5am tomorrow morning

Essentially I had to go 15 extra miles for someone that had tore me down. I did as I was told. When I contacted the group that could grant admin rights, they said at soonest, if everything on the form was filled out correctly, they could get him admin rights within two days. This was at 3:15. Since we are dealing with the east coast, these people go home at 4. Basically this man doesn't have a prayer to be set up by tomorrow.

What this means is tomorrow at 5am, this man will come in unable to access what he needs. He will then call the help desk asking for me, who is still sleeping at home. He will complain and yell at the analyst on the phone. The analyst will email me, the user will email me, and my inbox will be filled with hate mail that I can read whilst getting bombarded by the calls we will get tomorrow.

Then you read things like this

Like so much of the corrupt and greedy in America, the leaders of our company failed and brought the economy to rubble. When given a second chance, they blow the money on lavish gifts for a select few. They say they throw this Vegas party for the employees, but the people on my floor doing some of the toughest work don't see the trickle. We're told that we no longer have to wear ties and that at some point we will get ice cream. This is what we are told we should be thankful for when we ask what they will do to boost moral.

It put me in a very what does it all mean sort of mood. Why am I giving up my breaks, working 10 hours days, getting paid about 10,000 less a year than I should for the very people that killed the economy and will probably lay me off in 6 months because they can't afford me.

All I can say is there better be a bigger plan because sometimes that's all that keeps me waking up in the morning to go to work. Surprisingly enough I came home with a positive attitude. I'm in survival mode. Every time I send another check to pay off more unavoidable debt, I feel accomplished.

I've got my health, a wife, and much better conditions than most the world. How much can I really complain?

And for those guys making millions of dollars and giving themselves 10 day vacations in Vegas and $500,000 bonuses, I have a quote from the 2006 movie Half Nelson.

"Second chances are rare, man. You ought to take better advantage of them."