General discussion

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  • #2189056



    by nt259 ·

    A VP called you as a Helpdesk Staff that he has an urgent problem that he needs you to fix it ASAP.
    But you are busy attending to another problem.
    The VP is very demanding and he don’t care whether you are busy or not. He want his problem be fixed ASAP.

    What would you do to fix such problem?

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3072476

      That depends

      by charliespencer ·

      In reply to Helpdesk

      How long will his problem take vs. the problem your already working on?

      How urgent is the original problem?

      Is he your division’s VP or another division?

      Ask your Help Desk Supervisor to prioritize the jobs. That’s what he gets paid for.

      • #3072464

        If you want to work in the help desk the rest of your life

        by jrod86 ·

        In reply to That depends

        ask your supervisor to prioritize. I work with two of the VP’s of my company and they do have a slightly higher priority, but in that situation, Palmetto is partly correct. If the VP can’t function with his computer, it needs to be fixed now. If the problem you are currently working on is more severe, and the VP can’t get to the internet, I would stay with the current problem.

        As far as letting someone else make the decision for you, that is the wrong move in the long run as your manager will see you as unable to make critical decisions and will probably look you over for the next promotion (assuming this is a manager that is worth anything). Too often we let others make our decisions because we are afraid of the consequences, but that is the slow road to advancement.

        • #3072284

          Depends on the manager

          by charliespencer ·

          In reply to If you want to work in the help desk the rest of your life

          Our help desk manager doesn’t want the technicians getting tangled up in V.P. “emergencies” when they could be solving problems. If the tech feels the priority should be on the original job, the manager wants them to explain the situation to him so he can give the V.P. an explanation. It’s not a question of an inability to set priorities, it’s one of not having enough firepower to enforce them.

        • #3045693

          Let him complain!

          by stuart ·

          In reply to If you want to work in the help desk the rest of your life

          I used to work for a Parliament (country unspecified to protect those still working there) where certain elected Members and officials of said Parliament always regarded their problem as being more important than anyone elses.

          We often worked out of hours with no supervision, so couldn’t pass the buck.

          You have to learn how to say no, as long as you are confident that you have made the correct decision, can justify it, and are willing to stand by it.

          Complaints were commonplace, but as long as the decision was justified, the Head of Department would stand by you.

          Hence the importance of proper call logging!

        • #3044208

          Double Edge swords!!!

          by dmiller ·

          In reply to Let him complain!

          I work on a help desk(HATE IT ), rule/procedures are created and pass on vertically/horizontally. It never ceases to amaze me how upper management is perfectly willing to circumvent policy to satisfy thier ego and crave for power…everyday joes are always caught in the crossfire. Do your job, make the best decision you can with the information you have and let the chips fall where they may…go home and leave at work.

    • #3072395

      Let’s see

      by jdmercha ·

      In reply to Helpdesk

      If my first problem was truely urgent, I wouldn’t have answered the VP’s phone call.

      Otherwise I’d have to knnow a lot more about the specific problems and situations.

      • #3045911

        Just Do It…..

        by rajuegypt ·

        In reply to Let’s see

        In this Help desk society..where competiton for guys like us are on hig alert… you should better keep him contented and ofcourse he will remember you and will always recommended you to others as well.. I have been in this deep shit before..

    • #3045938

      know the VIP

      by kimy ·

      In reply to Helpdesk

      ofcors, it is a must that “VIP comes first”. no matter how busy you are with anything, atleast let that person feel that u will prioritize his issue. then later on, if u think that what ur currently doin is abt to finish, then finish it asap then attend to the VIPs issue. it is not so hard to pay attention to their issues.

    • #3045933

      Take it from me…

      by billad ·

      In reply to Helpdesk

      Folks, I have been in this industry for more years than I care to remember, and this has been a problem since there were computers to be fixed. I started on the Help Desk (back when computers were coal powered!), moved to HD Manager, Department Manager, Director, and am currently a PM for Hewlett Packard, working some of their larger corporate accounts. Take it from me: the VIPs come first, have always come first, and will always come first.

      We always try to view things in the “perfect world”, but in my experience, there is no such thing. A VP is a VP, and will eventually get what he/she wants, whether it is from you or someone else. If you say “no” to him/her, I can guarantee it will be the topic of discussion in the next Executive meeting, with the CIO being blind sided about the issue. One way or the other, the VP’s problem will be addressed, and if it comes from the CIO, the priority will be even higher.

      Saying “no” to a VP is called a “CLM” (Career Limiting Move).

      Complain to your boss, your co-workers, mutter to yourself, or go to the loading dock and scream obsenities into the air, but do yourself and your department a favor and take the call.

      • #3265818

        Go to the VP’s call

        by sujit1215 ·

        In reply to Take it from me…

        I would and have gone for the VP’s call as billad mentioned it get’s raised in meetings if he is not attended on time.And take it from me,the problem of the VP should be solved in 2 mins as most of the time its a dumb issue like cable unplugged or “Caps lock on” and the great “VP” cant log in .

      • #3263212

        only one exception

        by rob mekel ·

        In reply to Take it from me…

        That is if y’re working on a production/delivery issue that will cost this VP his/her job if it is not cleared before closing time on the delivery demand.

        Unless this is the case TAKE that issue right away and be sure that you do fix it right @ once.


    • #3045927

      Reply To: Helpdesk

      by chip.guest ·

      In reply to Helpdesk

      Get used to it.. The higher you are up on the food chain, the more special you are. Unless everything is going to heck in a hand basket you should do, grumble and go on to the next special one. I have not seen a company where this has not been true, maybe more precieved than actual, but it is a fact of life.. get over it. Besides if you do a good job, you have one up when it comes to layoffs, etc, because the VP just can not get along without you… so look at the bennies..

      • #3045904


        by longbow1 ·

        In reply to Reply To: Helpdesk

        What billad said is correct, either the VP will get what he wants or he will let other around him know that he is not happy, and where is stands is where rest of the higher ups are, so give him what he wants.

      • #3045879

        “Everyone is equal – but some are more equal than others”

        by kjq ·

        In reply to Reply To: Helpdesk

        Our official Helpdesk policy is essentially ‘first come, first served’ for requests and incidents of te same impact (i.e. one user affected).

        This policy is violated all the time by certain key individuals. If I say no, they just go to the Director General and we’re ordered to do it anyway. Now I just tell my staff to give them what they want.

        The long term problem with this is that the same people who routinely ‘jump the queue’ are the ones on the management committee that allocates funding. When the topic of IT staffing/funding comes up, they think to themselves “well, I never wait for anything so they (IT) can’t really need the resources they’re asking for”. Catch 22.

      • #3045860

        What if…

        by bhs-tech ·

        In reply to Reply To: Helpdesk

        It’s not a perfect world and even the big bosses are computer stupid. However, they run the company and without them…none of us lowlifes has a job. One of those characteristics that we don’t or even can’t appreciate(bypass protocol or helpdesk queue lines)has gotten them to where they are at and this won’t be the behavior that stops.
        Unless you don’t get along with them, they come first as is the hiearchy of things. This at no point denotes the job you do and if you find that your boss doesn’t agree…suggest that they do it or at least communicate to the offending parties that this behavior is not part of his/her staffing policy. That way your boss feels like the decision is still with them and your nose is always clean.
        Here is another thing to consider…..I have had many opportunities to go above my bosses head now because I dropped everything for Directors or exectutives. It started simply by knowing my place and then through conversing they learned that I had worthy opinions. Don’t miss an opportunity to be heard by your bosses boss. Don’t complain…just explain!

      • #3116647

        What has always worked for me

        by seyffu ·

        In reply to Reply To: Helpdesk

        Depending if you can fix you current problem within the next five minutes you excuse yourself from the current job explaining the problem. Go fix the VP’s fault and return to the other user asap.

        We have a policy that all senior managers are to be given priority treatment. You will just have to live with it.

        If your setup allows it you can give remote assistance. VNC’s the word! It [or something simmilar] will help you a lot!!

    • #3045892

      VP can be a PIA

      by blu97ram ·

      In reply to Helpdesk

      AS a Help Desk Admin, I can tell you that the VP is always going to be the best choice. As stated in other replys, if you cross the VP it can only end up with you in front of the fan when the you know what goes through it. The VP is after all a VP and he(or she) will definately know who to talk to if you cross them. So take care of the problem and then return to your other task—unless the other task is for the CEO.

    • #3045867

      Could be worse

      by tantor ·

      In reply to Helpdesk

      The VP could have a lapdog of an IT director tell you to drop what you are doing to fix his problem.

      In my former job this happened more than I care to remember. I used to resist, but eventually learned that it was often easier just to go and fix the thing that the big wig wanted (it was usually somethign stupid anyway, like he forgot his password and locked himself out).

      My favorite time was when the Lap Dog called to complain that the VP couldn’t get his email. We explained to him that we were aware of that, because the data store on the Exchange server went haywire and NO ONE was getting email. The Lap Dog said, “no, you don’t understand. He can’t get his AOL email. His personal email.”

      We had to send someone away from an email outage that affected 750 users to fix an email account that the guy shouldn’t have been using anyway.

      Notice I said “former” employer.

    • #3045842

      A resounding YES

      by lcave ·

      In reply to Helpdesk

      I like to treat all users in the same manner, whether they are the janitor or the president. Unfortunately, my boss sometimes has other ideas. That is if the person is an executive or good-looking female, I have to drop everything to take care of them. He is the boss, after all.

    • #3045840

      You don’t own the problem

      by just watching now ·

      In reply to Helpdesk

      The problem belongs to your boss. The VP is cutting him out of the chain of command, thereby making his job unnecessary.

      Ask your boss for guidance. That is the person who has to decide your task list.

      Unfortunately, this doesn’t always lead to good results for anybody.

      • #3045825

        Chaotic workplace

        by averagejoe ·

        In reply to You don’t own the problem

        Yeah, from my experience this creates a chaotic workplace–nothing gets done because of all of these dumb “personal services” issues.

        I had a boss (who BS’d his way) who tried to explain to me how a print spooler works, and I am the Systems Programmer who had already written several I/O device drivers before! Even worse, by the end of his presentation, he was totally confused!

        I looked at this way, they are getting the high paying salaries, let them figure the simple stuff out for themselves!


        Average IT Joe

    • #3045816

      Use a phone to call…

      by jkaras ·

      In reply to Helpdesk

      your fellow teammates, that is what they are there for, team effort. Pecking order always plays a part of any business so it is a “no brainer” that they get premier service over others, is it wrong? Yes but that’s life, power has it’s privledges.

      While taking the VP’s call, listen to the basic issue, get off the phone with that person and call a teammate to investigate the issue with the basic information gathered. Sure you wont get any face time, but you made things happen when things were going south, it’s called multitasking and it makes you look good. If that isnt an option that your teammates are unavailable then it is a judgement call on the level of effected. If the office is having problems office wide that you are working on, then VP waits. No VP is going to be upset about office productivity over their issues, time is money unless its during a presentation then it high tail time! If only one person is effected than they wait behind the VP’s needs.

    • #3045787

      Fix it!

      by beoweolf ·

      In reply to Helpdesk

      Even though it is not correct, the VP should have priority. However, you should let the person you are working with know that you have a higher priority issue that must be addessed. Then contact your boss and or another person in your department to take over the problem that you are bing pulled away from.

      Related issue, did the VP contact you directly or was the call a generic Help desk call? How did the call get past the queue? Finally, your department should have or should address this issue as soon as possible…you need directions on what constitutes an priority. If the VP of finace calls while you are working on a problem with a VP of SW development, or CIO; who gets to wait?

      The issue can be handled with a little dipolmacy just as easily as it can with set rules. As help desk, your job is not to make value judgements only to assist, there should be policies in place to help you make the right decision. When in doubt, priority should go to the job that has the potential make the company bottom-line better or put the comany in better light with outside customers. Think of it this way…if the building is burning down, do you help put out the fire or finish your assigned task and continue putting up drapes?

    • #3045779

      You can’t win

      by rtroncone ·

      In reply to Helpdesk

      I had the entire payroll department down once and we were working frantically to get them back online. My VP boss pulled me off this for a big emergency in Creative Affairs. She was roommates with the head of CA. Turns out they were having difficulty printing out a Happy Birthday banner. What can you say? Nothing! What can you do? Print the damn banner as fast as you can and get back to the main problem.

    • #3043677

      We’ve all had them

      by jdgretz ·

      In reply to Helpdesk

      Every one of us has horror stories of the VIPs getting preferential treatment. Everything that has been suggested has been tested and some of it actually worked.

      One company I worked for had a VIP support staff – these guys would go out to the VIPs house and set up their home computer, laptops, office machines, their wives and childrens’ machines as needed. As stupid as that may sound, it’s what it takes to keep these folks happy.

      The upper level is different and it’s not so much that they think about it, it’s just what they have come to expect.

      If you do not have a staff dedicated to assisting these folks, you’d be surprised how often a simple “I’m in the middle of getting the company email system back on line – should take about another hour to complete – can you wait that long or do I need to put this on hold for you?” will get an answer of “Please get to me as soon as you can, but get the rest of the company back on line first.”

      These folks are not unreasonable (most of the time), but when they are, you’ll know it and then you jump.

      Obviously you can’t use that excuse all the time, but if you really have something critical on your plate, most of these guys are sympathetic.


      • #3043477

        Very True Indeed…

        by excorpguy ·

        In reply to We’ve all had them

        Others have responded, but this deserves repeating: Work the
        VP or Executive’s problem first. Trying to explain that another
        outage is more important will get you nothing but grief.

        Where I worked at a Fortune 50 in the past, EVERY executive (VP)
        issue was a Category One. Trust me, not treating each one as if
        your job depended on it will be dicey at best. No manager wants
        to defend a peon (you) against VIP flack as it will be a career
        limiting move on their part. You will almost certainly be on the
        outside looking in if it comes to that.

        Ironic thing is that they outsourced all of the helpdesk support
        to a ‘low cost center.’ Everyone else in the company had to deal
        with extended wait times and often the language barrier.

        That is everyone except the people on the top floor. They had
        their own private support staff formed to deal with their issues.
        No waiting on the phone nor the other issues involved.

        Must be nice to have your own support staff to go along with the
        Gulfstream 5s jetting you off to a meeting. Quickly followed by
        a few rounds on the links too. 🙂

    • #3043562

      sometimes the fix can be amusing!!!

      by bg6638 ·

      In reply to Helpdesk

      It has happened several times where I used to work. But you can turn the tables on them too!!!
      For example: Emergency 1) Screen’s dead nothing works. Hmmmmmmm. Helps if you turn the monitor on! Emergency 2) My friend gave me a program to try, and it will not load. Hmmmmm. Helps if you ask for the PC version, since MAC OSX software will not work on a PC. Emergency 3) My laptop will not power on, and I’ve got to make a presentation in 5 minutes. Hmmmmm. Helps if you plug in your power adapter, when you’ve run the system on battery power the night before. Makes them feel like Tom Thumb, especially when they have ranted all over the office about “THEIR” problem!!

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