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General Chat Thread, Don't talk to the Tech!!! in General; Help me out here coz this is sending me insane! My Head is issuing a rule that no member of ...
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    mark's Avatar
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    Don't talk to the Tech!!!

    Help me out here coz this is sending me insane!

    My Head is issuing a rule that no member of staff is allowed to give me jobs directly. The idea is that I will do jobs she wants me to do [we seem to have a lot of short term jobs that pop up every week - we haven't stopped moving rooms around for 2 years, and they want me to move the computers, cable rooms etc every time].

    I know to a lot of ppl, the Head stopping ppl talking to them ad hoc would be a godsend.

    Jobs must be logged using a paper notebook in reception [email or installed helpdesk software must not be used as that's lazy]. I collect jobs once a day when I start work. These jobs are entered on a spreadsheet and thier priority is decided at a weekly 'Resource Committee' meeting with 6 managers and myself. They get done after the priorities in that week. This weeks priorities number 4.

    Urgent jobs such as password changes must be authorised by the Head directly over the phone, though I don't know how they talk to me in the first place(?). I never seem to be able to get hold of the Head when I need to, but she doesn't believe this. The Deputy is my next port of call.

    Someone [Manager #6] suggested a quick visit to ascertain problem, fix on the spot if possible, if not, log a job. This was flatly disallowed.

    I'm to sell USB Drives. Admin won't sell them, so they write it down in the book, I contact the student (somehow) and collect the money, fill out paperwork/ keep record, take money down to admin to bank etc.. All that instead of > Admin take money!!!

    Believe it or not the Head is not trying to be awkward. This is a genuine effort to make things better.

    My thoughts here: The bread and butter jobs will never get done. Some jobs will never get reported, machines butchered for parts when they go down. Teaching and Learning will suffer as effectively, immediate IT response is no more.

    I feel better already! Anyone have any suggestions? [apart from tranquilizers etc ]

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    beeswax's Avatar
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    Re: Don't talk to the Tech!!!

    who's seeing to the school's IT needs while you sell usb drives and do the paperwork?. Surely it's obvious that it's easier, and best practice, to keep financial dealings as close to Admin as possible? Cut out the middle man, yourself. It 's an admin job as far as I'm concerned.
    You don't need resource committee meetings to decide on the everyday priorities of IT provision. One of the roles of the resource committee is 'blue sky' thinking, that is, for the future, and how best to deploy your present resources, not to prioritise repair jobs. It's a waste of their time and yours. On the plus side, it's also a good thing that you're included in these meetings, as many techs (cough) are not. Time spent here is time spent away from doing what you are supposed to do.
    You know what the priorities are in any one week better than anyone else, and sometimes these jobs are not obvious to the layman.
    When I was freelance (photographer) I was given some advice, "Unless you like messing with cars, take it to a garage to have it seen to. Your time is more precious, and profitably spent, by doing your job."
    Hope that helps, and if you're ever in the region again, there's a rag pudding with your name on it.
    beeswax

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    Re: Don't talk to the Tech!!!

    Absolutely having someone else prioritise my jobs drove me nuts when that was done by my previous ICT co-ord now I use Request Tracker and do it in there only you know your workload and what needs/can be done at any one time.

    Ben

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    Re: Don't talk to the Tech!!!

    @Mark

    It's a good thing that the Head has taken action to stop corridor ambushes or people just walking into the Tech office. The policy just needs slight refinement o work well. There should be an established SLA to allow the tech to automatically prioritise jobs that come through phone/mail/helpdesk. PC suite meltdowns gets a higher priority then printer jam removals.

    Manager's input should be retrospective, either day's end or end of week reviews. Then peopl e or departments making lots of requests will either have more attention to tackle genuine systemic issues or told to get a grip.

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    Re: Don't talk to the Tech!!!

    It might also be worth keeping some stats of what you fix, how often and how long it takes.

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    Re: Don't talk to the Tech!!!

    Yeah- I would perhaps look at request tracker or even just the BECTA FITS spread-sheets and forms and get some way of logging your support calls and responses. I would think that implementing something like FITS here would be far better than the hoops you are going to jump through now.

    Take a look at FITS (if you haven't already) and ask your Head to do the same...might clear up some channels at least.

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    Re: Don't talk to the Tech!!!

    Sounds great Mark, sitting there all day while nobody hassles you

    Really though, sales of cr@p like USB drives should be done by admin on the spot... you shouldn't be having to handle money.

    If you show your head a lovely helpdesk system like One||Zero (other systems are available) they will be able to see how easy it is to use. This would probably help with its introduction. If this is your preference, I'm sure you'd be allowed to adjust the policy changer this way since the whole point is to mnake your life easier.

    BTW - if I understand the above system... you could pick up a job sheet on Tuesday morning (for example) but you cannot start the job until the Monday evening (for arguments sake) 'Resource Committee' meeting?

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    Re: Don't talk to the Tech!!!

    Although it might sound laborious, generally the one who shouts the loudest gets the job done rather than the task with the highest priority. It may deter individuals who might previously verbalise the problem not formally writing it down and leave you with the more important stuff.

    The same people bring the same problem over and over again is not productive and a waste of your time and others, some of these problems are within the capabilities of staff and others and while they have you doing it for them it will continue. This may be an opportunity to prioritise faults themselves and work collectively in determining who is responsible increasing overall productivity.

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    Re: Don't talk to the Tech!!!

    Sounds like your're being micromanaged by a committee :-&
    You have my symapathies - That would drive me insane. ](*,)

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