Monday, December 1, 2008

Grumbles From The Job

I have an administrative user id that I use on several Windows servers at work. I needed it last Tuesday, to research some production results that a user felt were incorrect. When I went to login to the prod server, I couldn't remember the password.

This happens from time-to-time, and it's usually solved in 10 minutes with a call to the help desk, with a request to reset the password. This time, it took six days.

The contractors that man the help desk aren't allowed to reset admin accounts. Such security work is done by a subsidiary in Europe. There was a language gap, and the technician assigned to my case didn't understand the request. By the time on Wednesday that I realized my password hadn't been reset, the European office was closed for the day. Since Thursday was Thanksgiving and we were going to be closed Friday, I didn't complain very much on my second help desk call. Really, I expected that the work would be complete when I got to the office this morning.

Once I realized that it wasn't done, I made my third help desk call on this case. This time the help desk analyst was casual with me, almost slackerish, rather than professional. He made excuses for the work not being done in the previous five days, and that just pissed me off. I'm usually the most civil guy you could want on such a call, but this was just too easy a task to take almost a week to complete.

I had the case escalated to a much higher urgency than I normally would, and it was taken care of within a half hour.

Not long after this, I needed to use a test server for some enhancements on another application. I tried to map a network drive to the test server, and that failed. I tried to login remotely to the server, and that also failed. After another help desk call, I learned, to no surprise at all, that the server was shut down. A Windows support tech got the server restarted, and I was off to the races.

Between these two incidents, most of my workday was shot. I'm reminded of an Emo Philips quip: Some days, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps.

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