July 20, 2016

Three support phone operators at workplace

As soon as I sat down today, the helpline phone was ringing. Our server usually runs fine, and I checked it as I was answering the call. Yes, the server was fine. The caller started to say something so I asked if I could put him on hold. Caller huffed but said fine. I pressed the hold button and then checked our connections. Both internet and intranet were on line.

Great. That left two possibilities: either a computer problem or a user problem.

I picked the line back up, apologized for keeping the guy waiting, and asked what his trouble was. He said the internet was down. “No, sir, I just checked it. That is what I did while you were on hold. Everything is running ok.” I walked him through how to check his desktop for a connection and sure enough, he had knocked a cable loose in the back of his CPU. Problem solved. He thanked me like I did something special and hung up.

First call of the day down, only about 60 more to go.

There were a few printer problems that I actually had to go over to check out and one where somebody’s monitor had mysteriously stopped working. It certainly looked like the monitor had taken a face plant at some point and the LED screen was shot but I just pretended to look puzzled. Then I went back to the office to get her another one. I don’t make the damage claims or have to pay for the new equipment so it is not my job to say something.  I just tag whatever is broken, put it on the repairs desk, and install the new one.

Toward the end of the day, we did have the intranet go down. It actually had nothing to do with us, it was the other office. They were updating something and just installed it in the wrong place. I called over there and asked them how long it would take to get up and running.  They said 15 minutes, but we told everyone here that it would be about a half hour. It didn’t take nearly that long, but my boss likes to be dramatic about wait times. He thinks that if we tell people it will take longer than it doeswe will be in the clear. If it takes that long, fine, but if not, we look like heroes for getting it done early. A lot of workers had left by the time it went back up, claiming that they couldn’t do their jobs with the intranet down. That was fine by us. Everyone is always grumbling at the IT department so we get on everyone’s good side a little this way. People like to leave early.

We operated with a skeleton crew for the last hour or so because all we needed was for someone to answer the phone once the intranet was back up. Guess who got to stay? Yup, me. It didn’t matter because I was on call for the next shift anyway so I had no plans. Luckily nobody needed anything else and the rest of my shift went just fine.