18 September, 2009

It's like blood sports in a cubicle

Round One

"I still need an answer to those two questions I asked."
"Which questions were those?"
"The ones about the statuses?"
"What statuses? I've been away for a couple of days, remem -"
"Because I really want to know the answers, because I don't know what the answer is."
"Okay, but you'll need to let me know what the ques -"
"And I really want to know. Because I don't know what to tell people and I want to tell them exactly what the statuses are."

Eventually The Invertebrate manages to get Ted to tell him what questions he meant.

Round Two

"You'd probably have to talk to HR to get them to - "
"Because I don't know."
"To HR. They'll be - "
"I keep getting phone calls about this* and I don't know what to tell people."^
"What? HR? I don't know who to talk to there. Can't you tell me the answer? Because I need to know exactly what to tell people."
"Well I don't actually know because we don't look - "
"Because I don't know. And I really need to know, and no-one's ever been able to tell me. I need a list."
"You just call the general number and - "
"Someone should write a list. I need a list. Because I don't know the answer and I keep getting asked**. Why can't someone in our division tell me?"
"We're not HR. You might be able to - "
"Why doesn't our help desk have a list of what these statuses are?"
"Because it's a helpdesk tool, not the HR system."
"But it has statuses."
"But it's not the same system."
"It has to be - some of the statuses have the same name. And users are recorded in both systems. I'll just talk to the guys who look after the helpdesk."
"They're different systems. That's why HR - "
"I'll talk to the helpdesk. I want to know exactly what the statuses are and what they mean."
"They won't - "
"Because I need to know, you know."

Another confused and ear-bleedingly painful conversation takes place as the Invertebrate engages in another skirmish in the long, drawn-out war to convince Ted E. that the dodgy, error-ridden helpdesk software used by a couple of hundred IT staff isn't the same as the dodgy, error-ridden HR systems managing a few thousand employees and twenty-odd thousand clients^^.

Round Three

"Right... so these statuses are set in the HR system?"
"And that's not the same as the heldesk system?"

There's  a pause. Ted E. very clearly doesn't believe The Invertebrate is telling the truth about this, but The Invertebrate is looking a bit wild-eyed by this point and Ted decides it's safer to humour him.

"So is there someone in our division I can talk to who can give me a list of the HR statuses I need to know about?"
"HR have a general - "
"I want to know. I need to know exactly what's on the list. What team looks after this?"

(No, I don't know why he's so averse to just calling HR directly. I figure it's either that he doesn't believe they actually exist - and there's certainly empirical evidence to suggest that - or, more likely, he's afraid they might ask who he is and why are we still paying you, anyway?)

The Invertebrate capitulates and tells Ted which team may be able to give him the list, presumably to forestall Ted asking him to do it for him.


Ted E. then doesn't call the other team; instead he emails the client back to tell them everything he'd just been told wasn't the case, and leaves them just as helpless and infinitely more confused than they were before he started "helping" them.

* Lies!
^ Damned lies!
** Any more damned lies and they'd be morphing into statistics.
^^ The HR systems are even more dodgy and error-ridden than the helpdesk software, but it hurts more when it fails so more effort is made to keep it's life support functioning.

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