Ultimatum Results In Ultimate Victory

, , , , | Working | May 4, 2019

(I’m a sysadmin at a school. As I’m the only one taking care of IT, I’m responsible for everything concerning IT, from ordering toner cartridges for printers to server maintenance, and everything in between. I do, however, have two people to answer to: the vice principal and the principal of the school. The principal is easy. He told me when I was hired:)

Principal: “I don’t care what you do or when you do it. I only want you to take care of everything IT-ish. As long as everything runs smoothly, I’m good.”

(The vice principal is a different type of person who is always trying to boss me around and trying to interfere in my work. One day, I get complaints that computers randomly start temporarily losing their network connection. I soon discover that a network switch is having problems, but I have to wait until school’s out before I can replace it. I tell the principal what the problem is and that I can fix it, but not right now because that would mean that the entire network would go down. The principal understands, and we agree that’s it’s wiser to wait. So, when everyone’s gone, I start replacing the switch. This involves disconnecting a lot of cables, replacing the switch, patching the cables again, and configuring the switch, which takes me a couple of hours. This solves the problem, but I still have to sync some servers and do some tests. At three am, I go home, knowing that everything is fine. I leave a note on principal’s desk with what I’ve done and at what time I finished. I don’t clock in or out. I pretty much come and go as I please, usually. The next day, I show up at school around noon. As soon as the vice principal sees me:)

Vice Principal: “We need to talk.”

(In his office, he tells me:)

Vice Principal: “We don’t come and go as we please. You’re fired for being absent without my permission.”

Me: “I’ve had enough of you. It’s true that ‘we’ don’t come and go as ‘we’ please, but I do, and if you have a problem with that you should see the principal.”

(And off he goes, straight to the principal. Ten minutes later, the principal calls me into his office to tell me that I’m not fired and that the vice principal has decided to leave the school, so I can delete his account. The principal’s secretary later tells me that the vice principal had given the principal an ultimatum:)

Vice-Principal: “Either the IT-guy is out or I’m out.”

Principal: “I accept your resignation. You have fifteen minutes to clear your desk, hand in the keys to my secretary, and leave.”

(It turned out that a lot of teachers had complained about his behaviour to the principal and that the principal also didn’t get along with this guy.)

Got His Harass Handed To Him

, , , , | Legal | December 6, 2018

(I’m a supervisor on a computer helpdesk. One of my tasks is to listen in on calls to check if agents are giving customers the required service. Listening in on a call, I overhear a customer being very rude to an agent. He’s calling her various foul names like slut and whore. She’s just trying to help him the best she can. The girl is nearly in tears, so I decide to teach this customer a lesson. I tell the agent to end the call because I’ll be taking over. This is how the conversation goes.)

Me: “This is [My Name]. I overheard the conversation you had with my agent and I decided that your support contract just ended. Any problem you have with your computer is no longer our concern.”

Customer: “You can’t do that. I have rights. I will sue you.”

Me: “Please do. We have recorded your call, and we will press charges for sexual harassment against you. Since you were so kind to provide us with your name and address, the police won’t have any difficulty finding you.”

Customer: “You don’t have the right to do this.”

Me: “You mean that we don’t have the right to report a sexual offender to the police?”

Customer: “I’ve got contacts. I’ll have you fired.”

Me: “Sure, but first you’ll have the police on your door.”

Customer: “You can’t do that to me.”

Me: “I can. And we will. Have a nice day, sir.”

(I contacted our legal counsellors and they told me to press charges. We did report him, and we handed over the recordings and the witness statement from the agent. He did get to do community service and had to pay a substantial sum to the agent. My employer didn’t have any problem with the way I handled the problem. He still uses this story as an example of how his company stands behind the employees. The agent got counselling and a few weeks off to recover. She’s still working for us.)

Instruction Dysfunction

, , , , , | Right | September 20, 2018

(Working in ICT, I have to handle tickets from teachers reporting problems with their computers. I receive a ticket mentioning a problem with the sound card. Since this problem can be solved by the end-user, I give the teacher instructions how to do so. A few days later I must be at the location, and I run into the teacher.)

Me: “Hi, [Teacher]. I hope your problem was solved.”

Teacher: “Actually, no. Could you fix it?”

(I go over to her computer and go through the few steps I instructed her with earlier. As a result, everything works again, like it should.)

Teacher: “Wow. Thanks. It’s just so inconvenient when things don’t work.”

Me: “I gave you these instructions in your ticket; didn’t you receive them? “

Teacher: “Oh. I saw your answer, but I just didn’t read all the instructions. I mean, why should I do this? You are the IT guy.”

(And that is why I don’t answer tickets anymore.)