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Think your job sucks?

This is an example of what I do every day. Someday I will look back on this and say "Man, I can't believe I did that" when I finally get a better job (or strike it rich on my own which would be really nice).


I am a help desk call center representative.

The setup: I sit in front on my computer with a headset on and the phone to my left. There is a small "call box" with a MUTE button on it (very useful when you want to complain at customers).

I have Lotus Notes running which is the e-mail used here. I get about 25 to 50 e-mails a day that are "standard reading". Most of the time I just delete them, however, we're all supposed to read every single e-mail that comes across the board.

I have Microsoft Outlook running with an e-mail account to support end users with Outlook problems.

I have 4 mainframe sessions open to support mainframe calls - soon to be more than 10.

I have about 30 small "quick launch" icons for other apps that are required to support other apps.

Finally, the Remedy call ticket system - which we use to take calls.

When a call comes in, the phone does not ring. You hear a very jolting loud "BOOOOOOOOOP" through your headset and then you immediately start taking the call. And yes it's like answering the call of the slavemaster.

Here's an example call:


(Look at phone display, take down Business Unit, select Business Unit in new Remedy ticket)

"Thank you for calling [company name], this is [your name], may I have your last name, please?"

Customer gives last name. I type in the last name of the customer.

"May I have your first name, please?"

Customer gives first name, I match the name in the database.

"May I have the asset tag of your computer or printer, please?"

Customer provides asset tag, IF they know what one is and where it's located on their computer or printer. Input into ticket, match to database if possible. We'll say for sake of this post it does.

"How may I assist you?"

Customer describes problem. It's something I can't fix, because I'm a 1st level tech that doesn't have the admin tools to do the things second level does.

I describe the situation to the customer.

"Okay, sir, for this particular issue I'll have to send this to 2nd level support to resolve it."

"Why do you have to do that?"

"Well, sir, it requires administrative tools I don't have access to that second level does."

"Oh. When can I expect a callback?"

"I'm not sure, sir. It depends how much 2nd level has on their plate today."

"Do you have any idea at all?"

"No, sir."

"Is there someone I can call to give me a better timeframe?"

"No, sir, I'm sorry. This is all I can do from here."

Customer grudgingly agrees finally.

Go to Remedy, click Assignee tab, select 2nd level support. Save ticket. Get ticket number.

"Okay sir, your ticket number is [ticket number], and I will have someone call you shortly."

When I say "shortly" that is an outright lie. I have no idea whether 2nd level will call them soon.. I don't even know if they will call him today. I have to adhere to a 5-minute resolution time. If I don't resolve the call in 5 minutes or less, I get yelled at for it.

"Is there anything else I can do for you, sir?" (said only because you have to say it)

"No, thanks anyway..." (said grudgingly)

"Have a nice day, sir."

Hang up.


Repeat process, another call immediately comes in. No time to breathe between calls.

Do this all day.

Every day.

Field calls from angry customers who haven't been called by second level yet.

Deal with "severity" calls where you (not management) have to page out techs to fix server issues.

Support about 50 applications - and you only know 12. The rest you don't have time to learn.

Learn how to effectively lie to customers. Make up any reason in the world to get the customer off the phone to stick to your 5-minute-resolution time. Always lie in a way so that you can't get in trouble for it later.

Let's not forget the F--KING KNOWLEDGEBASE. And yes, it's the F--KING KNOWLEDGEBASE because everyone HATES IT. Sometimes it takes almost a MINUTE to load (which really sucks when you have a 5-minute resolution time) and half the time the information presented within it is WRONG or OUTDATED.


The job pays well - it's the only reason for staying.

But I'm hoping one day I'll be doing something better. That would be nice.

Until then..

"BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP" (doesn't that sound annoying? try having it blasted into your phone headset a million times a day)


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