Outsmarting the Helpdesk

When I read this story about someone outsmarting the help desk at their work, well, you all know I couldn’t help but have something to say about it.

Go ahead and read the story, I’ll wait…..

This story bothered me for one very large reason, and it’s become something of a pet peeve of mine over the last year and a half of working at a help desk. Most people read that story and think “typical, help desk guy doesn’t know anything, but good for you going around them and their processes!”. And to some extent, you’d be right. In the larger picture though, this is an incomprehensible failure of management, not the help desk. How dare you put someone in the front lines of tech support and not inform them of an entire small network living in your building apart from the main one? You’re setting up your support people for failure by not communicating with them and sharing all the information you have. I don’t know if the “X” person is in IT management or not, but he is just as much to blame. If you work in IT and you are the only person who knows about a very large project that is going on (or an entire network!), and you don’t bother to inform the folks doing front-line user support, shame on you. You are making your co-workers, your fellow team members, look bad, which only makes the overall impression of everyone in IT within the organization suffer.

Link originally seen at Help Desk Talk.

Tags: HelpDeskTalk, TheElephantVanishes, TechSupport

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  1. Wow Mike, sounds like this one got under your skin. I have a slightly different read on this and wonder who outsmarted who?

    There are always certain clients that for some reason or other the staff can not deal with. An effort in futility or a human quicksand scenario or… But, there is almost always one staff member who for some unknown reason works well with these very same people and is by unofficial agreement made their keeper. If this in fact is such a situation then who outsmarted who?

  2. it did get under my skin a bit, because it happen so frequently and ends up giving help desk professionals a bad name. Too often companies stick people at a help desk but either don’t give them the proper tools, authority, or information to actually help users. They’re there to log the call, and therefore people wind up only calling tech support as a last resort.

    On the other hand, you’re right, there are people who get to be the keeper of certain users because of personality conflicts or special needs and so be it, but the tone of the story seemed very much to be about how incapable the help desk tech was, when he was in exactly the sort of situation I described.

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