Saturday, August 27, 2011

Help Desk Limbo

I spent the morning in AT&T Helpdesk Limbo. No internet can be pretty disconcerting. I’m a Microsoft certified network engineer and it’s strange when you know more than the person trying to help you.

A friendly guy named RJ tried to walk me through several different possibilities before he finally mustered the courage to admit he didn’t know what the problem was.

I kept trying to get him to see if he could communicate with my modem. That would tell us if it was me or a general outage. He finally told me he had no way to do that. I couldn’t believe it. All he could do was ask me what color the lights on my modem were and tell me to restart it.

Valerie pointed out he was probably being paid minimum wage and had a script with a check list. He probably wasn’t certified in anything.

I was a tech at Harrah’s for three years. There was a woman there named Maya that didn’t know the first thing about computers. When she was fired from another department, she threatened them with sex discrimination. Instead of fighting it, they put her in our department. When she was sent on a trouble call, she simply rebooted the computer. This works 85% of the time and everyone thought she was great. It took about a year and a half before everyone caught on and she was fired.

Harrah’s couldn’t say why she was fired and she got a job in the tech department at The Admiral Casino. I think she was there until they closed. Maybe she learned something.

I was a tech at Charter Communications for a year. Anyone who’s read my political blog knows about my hatred of corporations.

When people talk about the evils of big government and its bureaucracy a sense of hopelessness grows in me. Big money is the real Big Brother. Their bureaucracy is governed by profit, period.

We get a jobless recovery, maximized productivity at minimal expense (f#ck employees), and, of course, we mustn’t tax the job providers! My job provider has found a way for me to be a private contractor. I’m every bit their employee and at their beck and call. I have no benefits and I pay all taxes, unemployment insurance (which I’ll never be able to collect), and can’t take a sick day or holiday.

I haven’t posted in my political blog in weeks because it’s giving me an ulcer.

At Charter I provisioned VOIP phone service. I made the modem connections with the person out in the field. I also took calls from people with problems. I was able to resolve almost all of their issues from my desk. I couldn’t believe it when the AT&T tech couldn’t even see my modem from his desk. That would really limit your ability to do anything.

I lasted less than a year at Charter because they had so many issues across the country we were forced to take mandatory overtime. Every month they said it was the last. When it happened the fifth month in a row, it finally sank in that this was permanent. They didn’t want to hire new employees and have to pay the benefits.

That’s another political issue that really gripes me. Health care should not be attached to our employers. I am so disappointed with Obama. I’m convinced he’s a corporate shill.

To give you an idea of how corporations work; when Charter acquired California they deliberately sold the service to many times the customers there was infrastructure for. They knew we’d be swamped with trouble calls because no one could use the service. The number of accounts was way more important to them than actually being able to provide the service. Charter should have been sued. Helpdesk had to take all the heat.

To add insult to injury, they demanded we try to sell them additional services when they called. Imagine what it was like listening to an angry customer with no service, then have to sell them 3-way calling.

I went back to being a courier. At least I’m theoretically my own boss. My heart will always go out to the help desk rep with the funny accent.

Hey, my internet just came back!

No comments: