Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

You Have No Power Here, [Section Head] The Rude!

, , , , , , | Working | February 23, 2023

Working as a Sys Admin as a civil servant, I was responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of several systems and pretty much anything else that came up technology-wise.

One day, the inevitable happened. The provision of IT Services was outsourced to a private company, and we were all transferred to the private sector. So, I was no longer a public sector worker but thrust into the cutthroat private sector.

Shortly after, we had a major incident. The entire area had a power cut from the national grid. You can imagine the sudden explosion of work, server shutdowns, and switchovers.

During all this, I got a phone call from a very small department that had its own stand-alone system.

Employee: “Our system is down.”

Well, yeah, no power will do that.

Me: “Power is down across the base. We’re attending to the different systems according to priority.”

Employee: “That’s not good enough! Fix it now!

Me: “There are operational units on base, and as such, they take priority.”

This wasn’t good enough, either, and he had a bit of a rant.

Yeah, okay. I’d heard it all before, and I mentally put his kit right at the bottom of the list. To be fair, it was pretty close anyway. It was almost eighteen hours before his section’s particular system was fully back online.

A week later, I was heading toward a “Wash Up” meeting about what went well in our Disaster Recovery Plan, what didn’t, and what we could change for the next time. Just outside the meeting room, I bumped into the head of [Employee]’s section. This was a surprise because he really had no business there.

With a real grin on his face, he asked:

Section Head: “Are you ready for everyone to know just what bad a service you provided to my section?

Me: “You really, really, shouldn’t do that. It won’t end well.”

Before I could explain why, he said it was too late for apologies and I would be lucky to still have a job when he had finished.

Okay. I tried. Bring it on.

The meeting was chaired by one of the vice presidents from our new corporate masters, and all was going well. We had reacted well and met all our responsibilities, and corporate seemed pleased… until, of course, [Section Head] stood up.

Honestly, you would think I had personally cut the power. I was incompetent, my team was lazy and rude, and his vital system (it monitored energy use) was down for over a day.

Vice President: “Well, this is very disappointing. What is their SLA (service-level agreement)?”

Me: “There isn’t one.”

Vice President: “What?”

Me: “This was grace and favour support. We always just used to do it because you know, all public sector.”

Vice President: “So, wait. You’re telling me they do not pay anything for this support?”

Me: *Looking at [Section Head]* “Nope. It was done on goodwill.”

Vice President: *Also looking at [Section Head]* “So, you are complaining about a service that you used to get for free?”

Section Head: “Well, no, erm… Wait, what do you mean, ‘used to’?”

Vice President: “This is not a charity. I will have an SLA and pricing for you by the end of the month. In the meantime, I will allow support to continue until then, at which point, it will cease.”

I would like to say I was mature about it as we walked out of the meeting, but looking at the face of someone who had just complained his way into a six-figure annual cost, I just couldn’t help but say, “Never mind. Next time, you can REALLY complain.”

Question of the Week

What is the absolute most stupid thing you’ve heard a customer say?

I have a story to share!