Friday, May 9, 2014

Save As...

Life has been mercifully quiet this week.  The weather is finally feeling spring-y, and leaves are starting to unfurl from buds I thought would never open. Hallelujah.

This week you're getting a work story.

Due to the need for a disc array firmware update (a.k.a. blah-blah-blah-tech-tech to some of you), I had to schedule some downtime on our network.  Last time there was a similar job to be done, "some" translated into "1 hour".  I kicked everyone off the servers at 4 pm; most people were happy for an excuse to leave early; and it was all done by 5 pm.

This time, however, it transpired that we would need 3 hours of downtime.  That's quite a lot.

The technicians who come in to do this work are expensive, and they charge time-and-a-half for off-hours, so I hoped to squeeze it into our regular working schedule without undue inconvenience.  After much in-depth study of various peoples' schedules and computer needs, I determined that I could manage it on a Wednesday afternoon between 3 and 6 pm.  The one fellow who needed to use MS Word could save his documents to his local PC's desktop and print them the following morning.  I didn't discuss this directly with him, but I did go over it with his receptionist.  I was told that this outage would go exactly as the previous (1-hour) outage had, and my colleague had not reported any problems working last time.

All he had to do was click "Save As..." to place the documents on his local desktop.  Simple, right?

Well.  You can see where this is going.  Foolishly assuming that everything was under control, as soon as the network went down and the techs were happily working away in the server room, I went out for a walk.  What the heck else was I going to do?  Sit there for three hours and stare at my blank monitor?  I took my cell phone, turned the ringer all the way up, told the staff to contact me if anything and off I went.

My phone did not ring. I enjoyed a nice, two-hour saunter around a local strip mall, browsing in the stores.  It was lovely!  I was back at work at 5:30 pm on the dot, just as I had promised.

As soon as I walked in, two receptionists converged on me to report that Mr. Uppity-up (the aforementioned colleague) was very upset, and that he'd had to cancel six clients because of the network outage.  My first question was "Why didn't you immediately go to the server room to get help from one of the technicians?"  And then "Why didn't you call me?"  Oh.  Huh.  No one had an answer for me.  Problem solving skills for the win!

Alright, fine, so what happened, exactly?  No one knew.  He said that all his documents were "deleted".  That's impossible.  What did he mean by that?  No one knew.

Then my colleague appeared.  "Oh, Mr. Uppity-up," I said in a voice that I intended to be both concerned and soothing, "I hear you had some computer problems.  What happened?"  He couldn't give me an answer that was any more sensible that those I was getting from my staff.  But the upshot was that he felt it was too much to ask for him to do a Save As in order to keep working.  It was unacceptable!  And unfair!  And he would rather cancel six clients (inconveniencing all of them) than perform a few extra mouse clicks and a few words of typing that would take less than one minute, literally.  

Oh, and in case you're thinking "Maybe he doesn't know how to do a Save As and he's just embarrassed to say anything," I gently offered to show him how to do it if he was uncomfortable with it, and he assured me that he can do it just fine.  He just doesn't want to.  He'd prefer to lose hundreds of dollars' worth of income because on principle asking him to do a few Save As's was unfair.


So that was pretty much the long and the short of the discussion.  He complained as though I had singled him out for ill treatment.  I tried, in vain, to explain that I couldn't possibly have predicted that Save As would be such a problem for him.  In other words, I had not failed to consider his needs.  I only underestimated them.

Anyway, I won't be scheduling any more downtime on Wednesday afternoons, you can bet on that.


Warped Mind of Ron said...

Hmmm... I want to look to the left, but don't want to turn my head. Is it to much to ask that the world rotate to the view I require!?! LOL

DarcKnyt said...

I don't think you should work so hard to accommodate Uppity-up. He needs to learn clients are harder to come by than mouse clicks and Save As..., and I would be HIS boss (if he has one) could explain it better than you did.

The outage came as no surprise to anyone, and they didn't call you, after all.

But maybe I'm too big a tyrant. I tell my people, "Get off the server. I'll let you know when it's available again. I mean *now*, thanks." But I only work with eight subordinates (they don't report to me directly) and if my boss kaboshes the kick, I have to figure something else out. He generally leaves the tech to me, since that's what he hired me for in the first place.

But you're far more tactful than I, and a far better human relations and corporate citizen, which I why I learn from you and not vice-versa.

Have a happy weekend Spark. I hope it's better than Wednesday. :)

Granny Annie said...

And once again the old adage is proven about "One bad apple..."

Sparkling Red said...

Ron: Hahaha! That sums it up very well.

DarcKnyt: Well, the situation is that technically Mr. U-u is a client. It's easy to forget that, because we work together day in and day out as if we were on the same team, until something like this happens. He and the other professionals in the office pay an overhead for administrative and i.t. services, provided by the business I work for. I know that if I asked my boss, he would tell me to accommodate U-u. :-p

Granny Annie: Yeah... And we've got a few more like him too. (They just don't work late on Wednesdays.)

G. B. Miller said...

Sounds typical of people who have a seriously overinflated opinion of themselves.

We have managers at work who have actually complained to my supervisor because the payroll clerk had that audacity to e-mail them asking where their timesheets was. They felt that was something left better to their overworked underlings than to themselves.

Father Nature's Corner

Lynn said...

I hope I never encounter that guy - sometimes people like that want printing. :)

Vanessa T said...

Wow. I think Mr Uppity-up is too kind a moniker. Mr Head up his you know what is more appropriate. He seems to have a mighty high opinion of himself!

And you, dear Spark, are always kind and soothing.