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IT faults not being reported to department

By Corrielein ·
I am in a situation where I have a user who does not report their IT faults to me. This user moans to all her co-workers about PC problems, but never reports them to me. When I do go out to her site and look at her PC it works fine. She says she doesn't need training. She is bad mouthing me to the rest of the company by saying that she phones me every day to report faults, but I never fix them. I have spoken to her line manager who has done nothing. I am the only IT support person in my company. Any ideas? Thanks a lot.

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I had a couple of those

by Salamander In reply to IT faults not being repor ...

I did a couple of things. First, I set up a simple database to log and track issue reporting. This covers the bases in the event that anyone ever has issues about responsiveness. It's tedious at times, but it has come in handy.

You might also ask the person directly. I recommend that this be done in person, but handle it in a very neutral manner: "I understand that you are having issues with x,y,z, but you haven't brought these to my attention directly. Why is that?" Then, just leave some silence, which most people will feel compelled to fill. If she says that she called you on a specific day, just look at your database printout, frown, and say: "That's not included in my log, and I would really like to help you with that. Do you have records of when you called? That would really help my troubleshooting."

I also made a written request that the user come in for remedial training for x, y, and z to the supervisor and copied the user on it. The word "remedial" provokes interesting reactions, so keep your tone very neutral, helpful, and non-accusatory in all other respects. Think hard on whether you want to use that word in your situation. If your user won't go for outside training, offer to do it yourself and have her come in for one-on-one training with you, at your convenience, in your office. Yes, this takes time. But, that gets the point across, resolves any honest issues that the user might have, and also demonstrates to management that you are going the extra mile to resolve the problem. The user will probably decline, but you have made the point that you are being aggressively helpful and have documented it.

You will probably never win this person over, but take heart in the thought that you are probably not the first target of this sort of behavior from this person. Others around you probably know the score more than you think.

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Direct Approach

by Ddissent In reply to I had a couple of those

Don't know about you but if someone in my company was bad mouthing me behind my back to others in the company, I'd have to confront the miserable individual personally..... but with tack. There's ways to put people in their place without embarassing or seeming confrontational. If that doesn't work, a little wall to wall counceling after hours might get the point across.

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Phone records disprove her claim

by MaineIT In reply to Direct Approach

When someone claims they've called repeatedly, get the phone records; they will conclusively prove or disprove whether IT was called or not. Usually it's a very simple query against the phone log database, easy and quick to do.

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Agree with "Direct Approach"

by randy2163 In reply to Direct Approach

"Honesty is the best policy" -- Cliche's are cliche's becuause they are true. Confront (tactfully) this person and just be very straigtforward, upfront and to the point. My experience is that people that engage in actions such as you've described simply can't deal with this sort of thing and you will probably find they will move on to someone else that doesn't "confront" them.

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Be Pro-active while CYA

by Thumper1 In reply to Agree with "Direct Approa ...

Respond to everything concerning her problems in writing, including all conversations, forwarding copies to appropriate management. You might want to take time to check on her once or twice daily in person. (A little hand holding, besides, it?s tough to bad mouth you if you show your face in her department on a daily basis) Be extremely tactful. Document everything. I manage networks in two law firms for the past seven years. Run into this occasionally. It?s a situation where you have to win, but you can do yourself a lot of damage if you don?t do it right.
Three undeniable laws of computer service:
1) No good deed goes unpunished.
2) He who touches it last loses.
3) The truth, while amusing and interesting, it totally irrelevant. Perception is the only thing that counts.
Good Luck
Bill

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boiling nitric acid

by anthony.beverding In reply to Be Pro-active while CYA

...is what I feel like throwing on these people. Basically these types of folks are somehow maladjusted socially, have problems at home, or some other problem where they learned to make others' lives miserable. All the way from middle management to a scanner admin.

What I read from most of these seems really good. Documentation, logs, anything to keep track of discourse. Thank goodness that they are in the minority.

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Online Service Requsts

by hal.potter In reply to Be Pro-active while CYA

We use an online service request form for all our service requests. It is a simple database program that tracks all requests. It shows the day/time the request is submitted, who it is assigned to, when it was completed and by whom. Using this formate will elliminate the "I've called you many times and you didn't respond" excuse. If they don't submit the request online, it doesn't get taken care of.

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I disagree with direct approach

by buschman_007 In reply to Agree with "Direct Approa ...

In life that's the way to handle your issues, but in a professional environment that sort of situation, especially when you're already upset, can easily get out of hand and go in a direction you did not intend. I would probably let YOUR boss know about the situation. Because frankly he's the one you should be worried about. Then you should bcc him on every interaction you have with that person. That way, if and when she complains and her manager brings the issue up in the next management meeting, your boss can slam dunk the issue in front of the complainers boss and her bosses boss. That's an effective way of smoking the rat out. Everyone in that meeting will now know who the troublemaker is.

A confrontation can make you look bad and give further credit to the assertion the complainer is making.

If you don't have a supportive management structure then you might have to resort to a very level headed confrontation. I'd consider that a last resort.

JMHO,
Mike

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by Longbeer In reply to I disagree with direct ap ...

'Kin oath, mate! Confronting the person directly should be your last resort. If you're not very careful and lucky it will end in a he-said-she-said bunfight that you cannot win (no ever does), adds thin skinned and agressive to whatever has already been said about you and, assuming you work for decent management, you will both get a bollocking - you twice (by her boss AND yours).

Dealing with such problems is part and parcel of working in any service job and, let's face it, IT is a service unit for most businesses. You should:

Have a job/call/problem logging system in place. This is a general CYA issue for any IT dept (doubly so if you are contractors).

Make sure your boss knows about it. Not the other person's boss - that's your boss's perogative. If you go direct to her boss, it looks like you're trying to go over her head and that will get you nowhere pleasant. Coming from your boss it's a meeting of equals. See Mike's post above.

Make it obvious to the person complaining (and her workmates) that you are there to help. Stick your head in when you are at her site and say "hey, I heard you're having issues with such-and-such, I haven't seen the job ticket/report/etc, but since I'm down here..." My experience is that these people are either insecure or semi-competent and won't call for help because it might make them look dumb. Nine times out of ten, dealing with their problems face to face (and giving the IT dept a face to match the voice on the phone while you are at it) you find they are quite pleasant because it'e much harder to blag someone when they are in the room. The tenth time you'll get some a***hole who gives you an earful, but he was going to do it anyway - nothing you can do. You don't normally get that sort of behavior outside of junior management. Remain calm, explain you haven't seen their reports and that you are here to solve their problem. You'll come out smelling or roses and they look like a tool. This works every time, even when it's your fault, by the way.

Don't worry that being bad mouthed behind your back is hurting your image at work. If you are doing your job and other people will just put it down to a "personality clash". After all, there's only one person complaing, right? Besides, odds are you're not the only being complained about - her workmates probably know her as a whiner.

Executive summary - stay calm, maintain your professionalim (getting upset just validates the other person's statements), document everything (with a copy into the departmental Perl Harbour file), and keep your superiors in the loop 'cause it's actually their problem.

Laurie

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Go direct, but get her Manager involved

by lamersek In reply to Direct Approach

Confirm with her manager that she is complaining. If so, confront her in the manager's office and let her know that you have had some feedback about her problems, but that your call records don't show that you have heard directly from her. Get her to explain in front of the supervisor, and together the three of you can create an action plan to eliminate the problem. Whatever you wind up doing, do it with reliable witnesses, and if the problem continues, go to HR as someone else suggested.

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