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General Chat Thread, Advice please network manager - technician struggle in General; I currently work as an IT technician in a school alongside a netwrok manager and assistant network manager. The network ...
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    Advice please network manager - technician struggle

    I currently work as an IT technician in a school alongside a netwrok manager and assistant network manager.

    The network manager is directly responsible for me, and the assistant is there to supervise. Currently the assistant spends more time calling me to fix problems he has no idea of solving. The network manager sees himself as more of a IT manager, than network, choosing to role out software and systems at leisure, with not consultation with colleagues or ourselves. His attitude is that he provides software and that is as far as his support goes. IF a member of staff has problems using a piece of software aslong as it functions and it is the user with the problem he does not see this as his problem. but instead we are left with the backlash of introducing new software and new systems with no consultation.

    His job descriptions specificallly states that he must provide adequate training and support for technicians in order to maintain efficient and effective support of the network. He takes a lot of time off, and we lack the direction needed to support the network correctly during his absence. When he returns from absence he never wishes to know about problems and lack considerations when allocating work.

    If he thinks of a job today its done then, regardless of outstanding jobs or problems.

    ok now im ranting.....im sure there are other it support people out there who have experienced a similar situation. Even the headteacher has spoken to me about the state of the network if the current manager was to leave. IF he left we would be in real trouble, as his setup is completly in his head, although we have diagrams of layout and ips documentation regading setup is lack.


    Can anyone advice me of a route to take to rectify problesmd of this nature sensitvly?

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    StewartKnight's Avatar
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    Re: Advice please network manager - technician struggle

    at your own leisure, work out everything you need to know, but do it on the quiet.

    save the documents on your own flash pen as well!

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    Re: Advice please network manager - technician struggle

    We have a similar problem here because I've recently moved the network over and the documentation as it were is all in my head. Having said that when the technician asks me how to do things I tell him and I'm in the process of creating a very large document that covers everything about the network. I'm also trying to arrange an hour training on a Thursday afternoon from 4 - 5 to help the technician understand the new system this however isn't of much help to you I think your concerns are well grounded having an NM that doesn't help you or train you in the basic running of your network is stupid and judging from your description I would say he does it because he wants to keep his job secure and that he's a lazy sod by all accounts his job description would also be interesting reading if he's not following it then he's in breach of contract? Would this be correct? Stewart has a good point I think you need to get as much info as you can on the network and reverse engineer how it works. If they fire him and get a new NM then if he/she is any good they'll be able to figure out the system so getting rid of him isn't such a worry!

    Wes

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    Re: Advice please network manager - technician struggle

    You're in a similar situation to me (in fact if I didn't know better I'd say that you'd just described my daily battles!).

    Bit by bit, I have retrieved the information I need to know. Like Stewart says - get everything down that you can regarding the network, get down everything you know into documents (as there's two of you it lessens the workload). Keep these separate - preferably password-protected - and away from prying eyes. Every time you have to do something, write it down - that's my main way of learning a setup. I don't think you fully know how a network hangs together until you've been in a role for at least a year - there's always little bits that keep appearing to surprise you.

    I also keep a 'diary' of incidents (such as rudeness to staff, refusal to do certain jobs, etc). I won't do anything with the diary - it's there to back me up if anything blew up (which it won't because I would have to instigate it), but I wonder if it would be worthwhile doing something like that yourself in case of any grievance procedures the NM may try to bring against the school and you two...

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    Re: Advice please network manager - technician struggle

    It seems like a constant struggle to get information out of him. Recently a network boot CD I built and developed to do exactly what we need was given to him by me, he found it really useful and we have now used it for over a year. I ask him to return the source so I can work on another similar project but he pretends he no long has it and that ill have to work it out again for myself. Quick search of his documents presents the source to me in a clearly labelled folder, even with my initials.

    He has applied for a number of jobs over the last year or more, every time a new job comes up or interview come along he introduces a new system, structure, piece of software to include in his new proposal for a different school. I believe his is using this school as a experiment to further his own career. I actually found a document which he had left at the printer on one of his days off, which was a letter to a school detailing all he had done for the school and how great he was.

    Makes me sick, it’s like he works single handed.

    He shares nothing, everything is a big secret and we don’t need to know. He doesn’t manage me or my colleague. Worse than this he actually discusses my role within the department not with me but with other teachers, they obviously report back to me.

    My other gripe is that teachers and staff constantly tell me how helpful I am, how good I am at my job, constantly asking for me instead of anyone else. This again puts a strain on me and resources; I can only help some many people!

    Its no longer a joy to work here but a constant struggle.

    Hang on just gotta answer the phone that has been pushed in my directions “because its for you”

    Even though he has no idea who it is!

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    Re: Advice please network manager - technician struggle

    oooh just got a new netowkr diagram on the wall!

    i think hes getting ready for a move to be honest, headteacher is going to speak to him about

    2.8. To be responsible for the training and direction of technical assistants in support of the efficient and effective use of the school network.

    2.11. Undertake support for all users wishing to further their knowledge and skills on any application or device that may be available on the network.

    he also hands this over to us also, he wants no part in this!

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    Re: Advice please network manager - technician struggle

    I feel for you Dan, I know exactly what you mean, and to be honest, when I was a NM I was very much the system is my baby, but you have to be prepared to let it go, either by you leaving, accident, or heaven forbid - death. When I did this at my last place and everything went "tits up" within 2 days of me giving the info and passwords over I gave over caring and let it smoulder. But its not fair on your and your colleague to be like this.

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    Re: Advice please network manager - technician struggle

    I've had the same situation where I am for two years. It's horrible. THis year I got promoted *over* my NM to Senior Systems Manager- I think in the hope that he would calm down and think carefully about his position. Not. He is worse! He still tells me what to do, works part-time, and SIMS (traditonally his baby) has become a complete nightmare and I have to support it now woth no training, passwords and many access rights for my account just not there. Try that.

    So now my workload has quadrupled and my pay only risen by a small amount- for all the stress, sleepless nights, and hassle I get during the week!!

    I feel for ya.

    The network doesn't belong to any of us- if it is the possession of any one entity that would be the school. If IT wasn't hard enough already in schools it's made harder by paranoid technicians and NMs who worry more about whether they look *geekier* than the next technician over in "that other place". You see it in some schools too- "we're the technical people here- so bow" and it's crap. Because if people have to act like that they aren't who they say they are anyway.

    Me.Close()

    Sorry for the rant. This topic rubs me up the wrong way :-(

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    Re: Advice please network manager - technician struggle

    Quote Originally Posted by kingswood
    I've had the same situation where I am for two years. It's horrible. THis year I got promoted *over* my NM to Senior Systems Manager- I think in the hope that he would calm down and think carefully about his position. Not. He is worse! He still tells me what to do, works part-time, and SIMS (traditonally his baby) has become a complete nightmare and I have to support it now woth no training, passwords and many access rights for my account just not there. Try that.
    Sounds like you need to do an appraisal for him :-)

    And a little chat, explaining the situation and how things would stand if you had to go about disciplining him, and the fact that he is withholding the passwords.

    I would start by getting him to put all passwords in a sealed envelope that can stored in the firesafe, just in case he gets taking down a dark alley and doesn't make it into work.

    Also your gonna need to do a weekly/monthly password check with this document to make sure he doesn't change them without updating that doc in the firesafe.

    If he refuses to do this, which I would consider is a reasonable task, then I would issue a verbale warning, (of course clear this with your line manager first)

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    Re: Advice please network manager - technician struggle

    Quote Originally Posted by john
    When I did this at my last place and everything went "tits up" within 2 days of me giving the info and passwords over I gave over caring and let it smoulder. But its not fair on your and your colleague to be like this.
    Incremental training from the NM to the Techs, as you are training them make sure they document how to do things, then question them on it to make sure they understand, then if they balls it up don't fix it immediately but sit with the person who ballsed it up and work through resolving the problem with them. Make the think/sweat earn there money.

    Then hopefully the same mistake will not happen again, sometimes this can feel like swimming through treacle, but you are gaining management skills along with a more competent group of staff.

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    Re: Advice please network manager - technician struggle

    I had no idea this was such a wide spread problem.

    It all boils down to a civil and professional working relationship.

    My network manager doesnt leave the office ever.

    Currently he keepos trying to change his job title the head wont allow this, from network manager to IT manager, a completly different job title with a different job description. Of course he follows the job description of a IT manager but fails to realise we dont have anetwork manger for him to mange and impliment his stratergies?

    This place is like work experience for him, implementing this we dont yet require, have a use for or the expertise in the staff, and being so releuctant to train us or staff in the use of this new technology i can see no other reason. Its just something else to write down on his CV?

    Maybe ill upload his accompanying letter and comment on how many things he says he does but doesnt, im sure i cud strip the 3 A4 sides down to a paragraph!

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    Re: Advice please network manager - technician struggle

    More like a sentence by the sounds of it! I think he fails to understand the term Team?


    Wes

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    Re: Advice please network manager - technician struggle

    Quote:

    "To work in an ICT management post one requires a variety of skills, personal, interpersonal and technical. I believe my outgoing personality, technical expertise, analytical and communication skills, team working ability and my educational qualifications make me a strong candidate for such a position. These qualities, combined with my flexibility and dedication, should enable me to make a valuable contribution to your esteemed organization. I believe that I have the necessary management and organisational skills to effectively contribute to objectives in a school environment whereas my good lateral thinking skills and analytical nature together with my extensive knowledge of information technology will help me successfully meet the needs of the post."

    he talks the talk, but walks like a clown!

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    Re: Advice please network manager - technician struggle

    Hey I like it, I think I'll stick that on my CV too!

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    Re: Advice please network manager - technician struggle

    Quote Originally Posted by danIT

    "To work in an ICT management post one requires a variety of skills, personal, interpersonal and technical. I believe my outgoing personality, technical expertise, analytical and communication skills, team working ability and my educational qualifications make me a strong candidate for such a position. These qualities, combined with my flexibility and dedication, should enable me to make a valuable contribution to your esteemed organization. I believe that I have the necessary management and organisational skills to effectively contribute to objectives in a school environment whereas my good lateral thinking skills and analytical nature together with my extensive knowledge of information technology will help me successfully meet the needs of the post."
    We had a word for that in the forces.... <coughs> bullsh!t

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