Just Finding Out How Much of a Numbers Game Low Level IT is and it May Cost me my Job

bugzy3188bugzy3188 Member Posts: 213 ■■■□□□□□□□
I started my new job in early July of this year as an Associate Technical Analyst (HD), I have been studying and striving for quite some time to get to where I am and move forward in to a networking position as this is my passion. After working here for a bit, I found that some people in the IT field are not like myself or the patrons of this site, IT is something that they just fell in to and they really seem to lack drive and view their position as a job, not a career opportunity.

So there are 3 of us on the HD, we have a Sharepoint based ticketing system, tickets come in, one of us grabs it and handles it. I have been working tickets, studying on down time (while the others play FB games) and thats how its been going, I have been refreshing the page about every 10 minutes (because thats the only way to get new tickets to show up).

Up until this point, I actually thought I was doing really well, I openly accept challenging tickets and welcome the opportunity to learn. I even had to do a self review last week and gave myself a pretty high score, I was answering honestly to the best of my knowledge. However, what I am finding now is that there is a whole reports system that pretty much only reports the number of tickets completed and how many of them violated the SLA (time taken, first response time, etc.) What I am finding is that these challenging tickets are being intentionally left in the queue, while I am working on those...the others have been snatching up a ton of "quick fixes" sending their numbers through the roof. So after this realization, which was yesterday, I started monitoring the queue like a hawk, refreshing constantly, I have had 2 tickets taken from me already today, meaning, I assigned them to myself and they were then taken by another technician, this is likely not fully intentional, just sharepoint not updating fast enough letting others know that a ticket is taken. This has opened my eyes however and changed the aspect of my job entirely. Instead of working to get complex issues resolved, I am now in a rat race desperately fighting for any ticket that I can get.

I have a review coming up in a few weeks and I get the impression that this is the type of environment that would rather ged rid of me than accept my viewpoints and take them in to consideration, so Im not planning to throw anyone under the bus. Very frustrated however, and I would really like to find something else before I end up on the street searching for a job. I cant help but to feel like a bit of a failure here, if for nothing else not realizing what really matters in this position soon enough. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Is 3 months in too soon to be looking for something else? I was at my last gig for 2 years (HD as well), I dont want to end up looking like a flipper.
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Comments

  • tkerbertkerber Member Posts: 223
    First of all I'd like to start with if you have two solid years of staying at a company in a Help Desk position--you probably won't be labeled as a flipper. In fact after two years and three months I would say it's time to start trying to really pull yourself out of the Help Desk (like right now)..

    You're in the Twin Cities? So am I, I've hopped a lot of jobs but have been able to get over 15% raises and higher positions every time because of my diverse experience and skills that I can immediately bring to a company.

    Three years ago I worked Desktop Support and had the exact same thing happen. I love IT, I love solving problems and I was always assigned the difficult on-going issues like virus removals, projects, or large scale PC builds and deployments. My ticket count was a solid 4 tickets a day and the rest of the guys closed 10 before lunch time hit. Eventually I just flat out said enough is enough and left them all behind. A few got let go and others are still working low level Help Desk jobs because IT is just a paycheck to them. Get your resume together, and start applying.. If you'd like some help or places to look let me know. I know a lot of people in the area and have a lot of good connections just private message me.
  • slinuxuzerslinuxuzer Member Posts: 665 ■■■■□□□□□□
    This really comes down to how competent management is, a good manager should realize not all tickets are equal. Sadly at jobs I have seen people promoted for having insane ticket counts, people that open a ticket for every little thing they do to themselves and then close it. Sad, but it happens, personally I don't like to work with people that play these types of games, usually the best way to get away from them is to move up to a higher role.
  • sj4088sj4088 Member Posts: 114 ■■■□□□□□□□
    slinuxuzer wrote: »
    This really comes down to how competent management is, a good manager should realize not all tickets are equal. Sadly at jobs I have seen people promoted for having insane ticket counts, people that open a ticket for every little thing they do to themselves and then close it. Sad, but it happens, personally I don't like to work with people that play these types of games, usually the best way to get away from them is to move up to a higher role.

    You beat me to it but you are 100% correct. If they are just judging you on the number of tickets closed without any understanding of the different type of tickets, the complexity of the tickets, the amount of time different issues require, well that's just bad management. And you seriously have to question do you even want to work there.
  • NersesianNersesian Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 96 ■■□□□□□□□□
    slinuxuzer wrote: »
    This really comes down to how competent management is, a good manager should realize not all tickets are equal. Sadly at jobs I have seen people promoted for having insane ticket counts, people that open a ticket for every little thing they do to themselves and then close it. Sad, but it happens, personally I don't like to work with people that play these types of games, usually the best way to get away from them is to move up to a higher role.

    This is some truth right here. I actually leave ticket counts out of my reports for this very reason unless someone specifically asks for them. If management doesn't know this cold fact of support, then I would wager they haven't worked in a support position for very long.
  • MeanDrunkR2D2MeanDrunkR2D2 MCSA: Server 2012, MCITP: EDA KCMember Posts: 897 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Ticket counts can be easily manipulated and if you are in a position where you have a bad manager and they just look at the numbers, but not the quality of the tickets, that's going to happen. And it does happen alot more than you would expect. I'd probably reach out to your manager and discuss this without pointing any fingers about how you would like to improve your ticket counts, but it's difficult due to you generally working on the harder tickets and you don't want that to reflect negatively on you. Don't point out that others are cherry picking the easy tickets and leaving the more difficult and time consuming ones unless he/she specifically ask why you get so many of those tickets.

    It's clear that the helpdesk system that is used at your company needs to be improved and addressed to have someone designated that can send out tickets as fairly as possible. In my last position I was usually the one that would send out tickets to everyone. If I knew someone was having a bad day, nothing but easy ones to help them catch up. I tried to spread the love as best as possible so that everyone got easy and hard tickets to work on.
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Was anything said to you about your ticket numbers? If not then I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that just because the report states the number of tickets completed and SLA violations that would be all that is considered. I've worked at an MSP and they looked at vastly more then just the number of tickets completed. The Director of Operations would jokingly say "Grinch so and so completes ten tickets a day, you're at eight. Are you going to let the new guy do that to you?" I'd simply say it's quality over quantity and leave it at that. In my review we covered that I was taking some fairly complex tickets and to keep up the good work.

    I'd caution you not to immediately start any conversation by saying you are taking the hard tickets. That says that if you are taking the hard ones everyone else is only doing easy tickets. Also, to me, that says you are trying to cover something. You are aware of the reports now wait till the review and if it comes up ask that you look over the tickets you completed with your manager so that they see what was required.
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  • Armymanis1Armymanis1 Banned Posts: 75 ■■□□□□□□□□
    This is what happened to me. I was taking on all the calls and most of them needed to be resolved by on-site after I had done all of my troubleshooting steps at the help desk. Others were getting the easier calls and sometimes I would work on a problem for a half hour only to hit a dead end. After two years and so many months its time to move on dude. They will not look at you as someone who takes challenging tickets. Its all about numbers to them and how many tickets you have completed within a day. Which is really sad for those of us who want to learn and take on difficult tickets. Start applying and brush up on your resume.
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    If you think that the management is using the tickets as a measurement of your performance maybe you should as and really find out if that is true or not. If it is true, then there is an easy way to fix the issue you are claiming that exists. Let the managers know of what you have noticed and offer them a solution to it. The solution is as i said very easy... first ticket in, first ticker out. Simple as that, let the manager know that the helpdesk techs should not pick and choose their own tickets, instead they should work with some order. If a ticket comes in first, then that ticket has to be worked on first. This of course will not be always the case, because certain issues are more urgent than others but it is a way to move towards a more standard way of doing things. Your helpdesk buddies will probably not like it, but management will. All you have to do is bring the issue to their attention.
  • Kinet1cKinet1c Member Posts: 604 ■■■□□□□□□□
    If your review is based on number of tickets, find somewhere else to work. There's not a whole lot you'll be able to do to change the culture in a place like that.
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  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Member Posts: 973
    Most jobs have SLAs.. specially ticket based jobs.
    Just check with someone about your job, as your supervisor about your doubts. There are problem that demand way more work than other tickets. There are critical issues that demand work before other tickets.
    Ask one of your superiors.
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  • bugzy3188bugzy3188 Member Posts: 213 ■■■□□□□□□□
    the_Grinch wrote: »
    Was anything said to you about your ticket numbers? If not then I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that just because the report states the number of tickets completed and SLA violations that would be all that is considered. I've worked at an MSP and they looked at vastly more then just the number of tickets completed. The Director of Operations would jokingly say "Grinch so and so completes ten tickets a day, you're at eight. Are you going to let the new guy do that to you?" I'd simply say it's quality over quantity and leave it at that. In my review we covered that I was taking some fairly complex tickets and to keep up the good work.

    I'd caution you not to immediately start any conversation by saying you are taking the hard tickets. That says that if you are taking the hard ones everyone else is only doing easy tickets. Also, to me, that says you are trying to cover something. You are aware of the reports now wait till the review and if it comes up ask that you look over the tickets you completed with your manager so that they see what was required.

    I was approached by my team members and told that my numbers were much lower than theirs and that this was going to be a major factor in my upcoming review, I was told that the last guy was fired for having low numbers (though I have no insight in to his personal situation/work ethics). I dont plan to mention anything about taking the "hard" tickets, not directly anyway. But as others have said I will ask that my tickets be reviewed in greater detail.

    Truth be told, I have no clue how I am doing in this job which may be why I am so worried, other than a weekly status meeting I literally have no communication from my manager, positive or negative. This seems to be the way the others prefer it, they are left alone to browse the web, or do whatever. Me personally however, I am big on feedback/communication, I send an email for everything that I feel may affect the team and not only do I not get responses, I often feel like I am annoying them.

    I guess I am just starting to feel that this environment isnt going to be good for my progression, with that said I was worried about leaving after 3 months of being hired. I think I plan to take the advice of those here and start prepping my resume and at least get my feelers out for a networking position or something a little beyond help desk.

    Thanks Guys!!!
    If you havin frame problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but a switch ain't one
  • markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    If I got crap from my superiors because all they take into account is my gross number of closes, I'd be prepping my resume. Since you've been there long enough I'd say a move would do you good. You sound like someone that wants to learn and move up and that doesn't sound like the right environment for you.
  • ElementaryOSElementaryOS Member Posts: 65 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Ticket counts can be easily manipulated and if you are in a position where you have a bad manager and they just look at the numbers, but not the quality of the tickets, that's going to happen. And it does happen alot more than you would expect. I'd probably reach out to your manager and discuss this without pointing any fingers about how you would like to improve your ticket counts, but it's difficult due to you generally working on the harder tickets and you don't want that to reflect negatively on you.

    *I agree with this.
  • tprice5tprice5 Member Posts: 770
    bugzy3188 wrote: »
    I send an email for everything that I feel may affect the team and not only do I not get responses, I often feel like I am annoying them.

    This. Trying managing a system with other administrators who make arbitrary configuration changes without notifying anyone. Infuriating.
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