Saturday 8 October 2011

Welcome to TLP

Threat Level Pumpkin?  Pumpkin?!? Really?

Yup pumpkin.  A collection of musings about technology and eye-tee, the comedic and sometimes face-palm worthy moments that come from working, playing and living with technology.
Have you ever thought that you were doing a good job?  Thought that your department or group was meeting the needs of the users?  Were you basing that thought on the request that make it to you and how you handle those in an timely and efficient manner?

What about the requests that you never see.  These requests don't directly tie to you but indicate a bigger issue.  The issue of understanding what the technology can do for you.  I have always been a big believer that eye-tee exists to make the job of the users easier.  We shouldn't be overwhelming users with bureaucracy, let them come to you with a problem and provide them a solution.  Therein lies the crux of the issue, human nature lends people to think that they know what they want.  While this may be the case the majority of the time, in eye-tee it seems to rarely be true.  If you could somehow reach into peoples brains when it comes to technology issues and have them tell you what their problem is instead of telling you what they think the solution is, all lives would be better.

Came across just such a request the other day which lead me to creating

I was sitting around having a drink with a co-worker from a group outside of eye-tee.  One of those blissfully far away from the technology side of the job who are still grateful for the services eye-tee provides.  She is going on about a request she made through the help-desk and how it was taking a really long time.

Request as explained to me by the non technological user:
I asked them for an SFTP site so we could upload video files to the network from a Mac
Keep in mind that for most users this kind of specific language would be akin to a non-doctor walking into the clinic and saying: "the second metatarsal in my right foot is hurting, I think you need to surgically fix it"

She goes on to tell me how the help-desk had sent he request to the UNIX team who in turn had indeed set her up with an account on an SFTP server.  They provided her with the username, password and servername, all of the information she would have needed IF she had had any idea what she actually needed.

Not having any clue what do with with this User/Pass/Server information she calls the help-desk back again and talks to someone that tries to walk her through opening a remote desktop (which is Windows only for those that don't know) connection to the UNIX server.  Now they are both confused so they sent another ticket to the UNIX team member who setup the SFTP account in the first place.  He updates the ticket saying they should SSH into the server to do what they need.

At this point in the story my friend looks at me and says, "see eye-tee people are so hard to deal with, after hearing about SFTP, SSH, UNIX, Remote Desktop and AD login, I was so confused, all I wanted to do was copy a video from a Mac to our file share all this information is Threat Level Pumpkin to me"
There it is. Two epiphanies in the last part of the story.  "All I wanted to do"; if the initial call to the help-desk had started with that sentence it would have been a five minute call, problem solved, everyone is happy.   The help-desk would have told her how to go about copying the files from a Mac to the network share.

So who is at fault?
  1. The requesting user for proposing a solution instead of outlining a problem?
  2. The help-desk for creating the ticket as requested instead of asking more questions?
  3. The UNIX team member for creating the SFTP account without getting more details?
  4. Me for just not having another drink and letting it go?
I currently have no idea how to fix this issue and can't imaging that I'm the only one seeing it.  Help?

Back to the second epiphany from the story.  "Threat Level Pumpkin" Somehow this got stuck in my head like someone humming the theme song to Sanford and Sons and I needed to create a place to store the puzzling and laugh-out-loud moments that come from dealing with eye-tee and technology.


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