Thursday, February 21, 2008

Segment: I'm a better parent than you.

For those of you who don't know my work situation goes something like this. I sit at my desk, cluster o' PC's at the ready to handle my gruntwork, our receptionist in Raleigh sends me tickets via MSN Messenger and I respond to them as needed.

It's a decent one-person-call-center sort of arrangement. I will say that our knowledge base is prone to synaptic misfires and isn't really fault tolerant (being my brain and all) but its a good enough system.

One problem is the two-tier social structure of incoming work requests. Namely Kim filters out the fluffy stuff (meaning the non-tech, sales and customer service component of our company) and the calls sluice over into my domain. As you can see there's a clear level of bias since annoying people will affect Kim first and then her reaction will in turn affect me.

This has certain...negative consequences for my day.

For example last week a certain client called in three times in rapid succession over a minor issue. I was content to let it just sit there and fester until I reached them by my priority scale. However their annoyance agitated my coworker who karmically passed it on to me.

I expressed my concern, this was after all not something I usually bow to. Why not answer a customer in distress? Because that is fucking bullshit, that's why.

I bumped three calls to respond to their minor issue. I rewarded the whiny and forsook the patient among us. That galls me in several ways. Let's set aside the very obvious cognitive dissonance of knowing the psychological implications and bowing to them anyway.

This of course leads to an ugly and unavoidable cycle of irritation at the problem and scrutiny of how to avoid it in the future. If not careful this sort of point/counterpoint can simply lead to infinite recursion.

Like this gem I got while beta testing gotoassist.

In the end it is only with a measure of fortitude that we can move past such contradictions. After all it's pretty easy to break out of recursion. It's called beer.

And it makes me happy.

No comments: