The Judge RANTS!
I'm always reluctant to talk about my place of work here. There may
be Dark Forces at work, watching my every
move, hearing my every comment, ready to catapult me into Oblivion.
Well, if there are, they can sod off for once.
I reported here about the
changes being made to the work I do. Well, part of the change was the
setting up of a Help Desk, which people would now phone with their IT
problems, rather than coming to us. We would be left to do whatever the
Help Desk couldn't resolve themselves.
We were given the date for the cutover: 24 April. And so, we sent
out e-mail circulars to all our users, leaflets were put on every desk
and posters were put up. All advising people of the Help Desk number,
and telling them to call them instead.
So in I went to work this morning, happy in the knowledge that I
would no longer get calls from people unable to remember their system
passwords after the weekend's excesses, people whose workstations
didn't work (standard response #1: "Have you tried switching it off
and back on again?"), and people who couldn't tell a data cable
from a date box.
My euphoria lasted about twenty minutes, until a colleague hove
into view. He'd been unable to get his mouse to work, so had done the
right thing and phoned the Help Desk. After giving them all the
information they asked for, Help Desk Bod then said that my colleague
shouldn't have called their number. Our Area hadn't gone live with the
new system yet.
This was slightly mystifying, and we put it down to the usual
miscommunication within our contractor. Until it happened again when
someone phoned them to have their password reset.
(A brief digression here as to how the new, outsourced system is
so much better than the old, hide-bound, inefficient one we used to
run: in the Olden Tymes, if someone needed their password resetting,
they'd phone us, we'd reset it and they'd be back working within a
minute or so. Now, in the Golden Future, if someone needs their
password resetting, they call an 0845 number, get put through to a Help
Desk up to 160 miles away, their details are noted, and then the Help
Desk passes it back to us. Under the Service Level Agreement, we then
have up to four hours to reset their password. I'm sure you'll
agree, boys and girls, that that's a huge improvement!).
Anyway, colleague number two was told much the same thing as the
Mystery deepening into bafflement, my colleague Chris (being senior
to me in grade if not in years) decided to phone the Help Desk himself.
On enquiring, he too was told that our Area hadn't gone live yet.
Further phone calls were made and, after a space of about three hours,
we were told officially that our 'go-live' date was, in fact, May 2!.
Yes, they'd put the date back a week, and no-one had told us,
told our manager, or told his manager!
I know where the blame lies. I mentioned in my earlier piece
(linked from the third paragraph of this whinge) that the people in the
Depratment who are have been (for want of a more accurate phrase) in
charge of the outsourcing arrangements have been deeply reluctant to
let anyone else in on their little empire. What information (often
vital) which has got out has only done so by chance. Here, I believe,
is where the problem once again lies. And, of course, we didn't
need to know that the date had changed, did we? We just get on with it
and do as we're told (or not told, as the case may be).
Today's events have made us all feel like a right bunch of
wassocks, even though we know that our former clients will be sure that
the blame doesn't lie with us. What sort of impression does this
create? And when will arses be kicked and gonads twisted with monkey
wrenches for such bungling?
I won't hold my breath...