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shortspecialbus
Feb 16, 2006

WOULD YOU ACCOMPANY ME ON A BRISK WALK? I WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK WITH YOU!!




angry armadillo posted:


the bit where I am weak is definitely thinking of behaviour questions and letting him provided motivations. Interestingly, I've tried that approach as a kinda ToughGuyManager and been like 'when X happens, I'd expect to see you try Y' and he has been like ah well but i like to talk through how I think and then I am opening the door for him to introduce the motivation points which are a distraction from address the issue.


Interestingly, I think they might not be a distraction from addressing the issue so much as the key to addressing the issue. If they share their thought process with you, it gives you a way to coach their thought process and explain why they should change it. I understand your point that it's distracting from the issue, but it could turn out to be the path to resolving it, or at least present new ideas.

You may have already done that, I dunno, and the employee may just feel the need to constantly defend themselves and not actually listen to coaching, I dunno, but that's a different problem too.

edit: wording

shortspecialbus fucked around with this message at 19:27 on Sep 1, 2020

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Thanks Ants
May 21, 2004

Bless You Ants, Blants



Fun Shoe

angry armadillo posted:

I'm probably half way there.

For example, we discussed the phone job today, we also discussed a CCTV job that he did an awesome job with- I am conscious that because I know I dont trust the quality of his work I really make an effort to find a couple of positives from the day, because he probably does as many good jobs as bad which makes it tough to performance manage (in my mind)

- i am guessing and should probably sit him down and specifically address this but i think jobs like CCTV where he is in plant rooms or outside with a lamp post are areas of high performance for him - i think it's got something to do with the lack of people = lack of distraction and/or lack of areas to 'show off' which improves his performance.


i have a list of good and bad things to try and paint a balanced picture. I am probably trying hard to avoid formal performance management but the problem is the repeated daft stuff - the other problem is none of it is really damaging, it's just daft.


the bit where I am weak is definitely thinking of behaviour questions and letting him provided motivations. Interestingly, I've tried that approach as a kinda ToughGuyManager and been like 'when X happens, I'd expect to see you try Y' and he has been like ah well but i like to talk through how I think and then I am opening the door for him to introduce the motivation points which are a distraction from address the issue.


I agree the volume is a valid step, but to then give up and take the attitude of 'oh well helpdesk then' without taking the next step of swapping the phone is lazy, given you could have just swapped with the room next door whilst at the job. I'm not saying dont try the volume thing, I'm saying, why refer to the helpdesk at that point?


Some good pointers though, thanks.

Have you considered that this job role is potentially far too broad for you to ever end up with someone you're completely happy with? It's a role doing desktop support and first line telephone stuff and then you've got them up a lamp post installing cameras as well and I just think finding someone good at both things is quite rare. Where do you see people going after they've worked with your company in that role for a couple of years? If people leave off a load of stuff that isn't relevant to the next role like the plant room and CCTV installation aspects, is there enough material left to look like they were doing much at work?

Have you considered getting a third party to do the physical camera/cabling installation and having your tech fit into more of a PM role in how they work with this external supplier? I think you're going to struggle to have someone who is courteous to end users and performing the teaching role that support often entails but can then just pick up the tools and start throwing cable about.

Thanks Ants fucked around with this message at 20:10 on Sep 1, 2020

angry armadillo
Jul 26, 2010


Yeah I see your point, we have a really really broad role.

It is actually a good thing for him because the CCTV stuff can be where he excels - unusual gadgety stuff is really good for him to get a manual and work out the wiring to fix - it's definitely his strength. His work ethic is also really good, like he doesn't really sit around doing nothing ever, just sometimes his priorities are a little bit mixed up.

I've tried to sit him down and explain my priorities so that I can delegate bits to him and try and get him to understand that if he does things for my current priorities he really adds value to the department but he struggles with changing priorities which leads him astray.

He used to work for, what I think the Geek Squad is in America- like a high street shop that did laptop repairs. This results in a really weird sense of customer service where he is seemingly scared of complaints and baffles people with science to try and escape blame for any problems. The trouble for him is that he thinks people fall for it, but really they just come to me and say 'I think I've been fed a load of BS' - I always try to be diplomatic as possible and say I'll send the guy back to resolve stuff, rather than go 'oh yeah thats crap let me sort'


Another interesting point is all our sister sites have an extra person but I dont - If I could get that extra person, which we higher at a slightly lower salary, I would love to get someone who is barely technical, but all customer service - they could almost act as a one man helpdesk, doing basic stuff but keeping users happy, whilst escalating any issues to my current guy - this would make him feel like the main man who fixes complex stuff, whilst the helpdesk guy keeps everyone appraised and happy and cuts out all the BS floating about.


In principle I am not sure how hiring someone to solve this guys problem is really the right move but I really think having a tech guy and customer guy would be a great team.

So yeah, whilst I use this place to sound off the negative aspects of my guy, I am not that negative really , I hope I dont come across too badly as I am trying to get the best out of him!

wolrah
May 8, 2006
what?


Thanks Ants posted:

How often does an IP handset have full functionality when calling out but doesn't show any signs of an inbound call, and it's an issue with the device anyway?
It happens.

Yealink phones on certain firmware versions will stop registering after ~2 years of uptime. They're still on the network and will happily authenticate when requested to while making an outgoing call but they don't receive anything inbound because the system doesn't know where to send it.

I also recently had a Polycom IP550 that somehow didn't want to pay attention to the SRV record and would only accept incoming SIP from the IP it had registered to, not any of the other three SBCs an incoming call might come through. Had to actually disable source checking on that one, still trying to figure out why it's having trouble with that when none of the other phones in the building are doing the same, but the provider that phone is connected to said they've seen this behavior on the VVX line too.

That said, I still did go out to that site entirely expecting to find that the user had DNDed or muted their ringer.

larchesdanrew
Apr 21, 2005

I was just looking at it and I suddenly got this urge to get inside. No, not just an urge - more than that. It was my destiny to be here; in the box.


Thanks Ants posted:

Have you considered getting a third party to do the physical camera/cabling installation and having your tech fit into more of a PM role in how they work with this external supplier? I think you're going to struggle to have someone who is courteous to end users and performing the teaching role that support often entails but can then just pick up the tools and start throwing cable about.

In my opinion, this is exactly what needs to be fought for. There needs to be some clear lines in the sand on what is expected from that position. The "jack of all trades" employee never goes well. The manual labor stuff needs to be outsourced unless it's VERY light work (like running cable from one end of a room to another).

Entropic
Feb 21, 2007

patriarchy sucks


This is giving me horrible flashbacks to when I used to work at a repair shop.

https://twitter.com/CompAesthetics/...2739624961?s=20

shortspecialbus
Feb 16, 2006

WOULD YOU ACCOMPANY ME ON A BRISK WALK? I WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK WITH YOU!!




Worst I had when I did that back in the late 90's was a combination of cigarette remains, cat hair/dust, and a loving earwig nest, complete with eggs, tunneled into the gunky mess. It was a 286 that some enormously fat old lady brought in that they'd had for a long time but hadn't turned on in years and then it wouldn't turn on.

It was loving vile and I hope nobody else has ever seen anything of the like.

Weedle
May 31, 2006




the grossest computer i ever worked on was also an indoor smoker's, but i'm still not sure whether i was more grossed out by the state of the case or the fact that he didn't even bother to hide all the terry richardson style homegrown porn he was keeping on his desktop

Shugojin
Sep 6, 2007

THE TAIL THAT BURNS TWICE AS BRIGHT...



this one customer keeps sending in these long rear end emails that are entirely in the subject part of the web submission form and she uses "Ug!" a lot and i keep picturing a caveman hammering on a computer

Schadenboner
Aug 15, 2011

I MEAN, TURN OFF YOURE MONITOR, MIGTH EXPLAIN YOUR BAD POSTS, HOPE THIS HELPS?!

Entropic posted:

This is giving me horrible flashbacks to when I used to work at a repair shop.

https://twitter.com/CompAesthetics/...2739624961?s=20

Cracking my case after a long time smoking in front of it was what made me decide to quit.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




I've not had to deal with a smoker but I once popped the case of a slow-running PC belonging to the company accountant, and I mean pop because it came off like it was spring loaded from all the dust and fluff packed into it. I had to take it outside and tip it all out before even starting on the compressed air.

Entropic
Feb 21, 2007

patriarchy sucks


TIL if you accidentally dial 1-888 instead of 1-866 for one of our contractors’ technician check-in lines, you get a phone sex line instead.

shortspecialbus
Feb 16, 2006

WOULD YOU ACCOMPANY ME ON A BRISK WALK? I WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK WITH YOU!!




Entropic posted:

TIL if you accidentally dial 1-888 instead of 1-866 for one of our contractors’ technician check-in lines, you get a phone sex line instead.

"Sorry boss, I thought it was just a really convoluted phone tree"

TITTIEKISSER69
Mar 19, 2005

I'M JUST HERE TO KISS TITTIESS AND WIN FOOTBALL GAMES!
(AND GET EVERYBODY FIRED)


Pillbug

Shugojin posted:

this one customer keeps sending in these long rear end emails that are entirely in the subject part of the web submission form and she uses "Ug!" a lot and i keep picturing a caveman hammering on a computer

stevewm
May 10, 2005


Jaded Burnout posted:

I've not had to deal with a smoker but I once popped the case of a slow-running PC belonging to the company accountant, and I mean pop because it came off like it was spring loaded from all the dust and fluff packed into it. I had to take it outside and tip it all out before even starting on the compressed air.

When I started at my current company 18 years ago, they had a PC running DOS stuffed in the accountant's closet acting as a server for an ancient version of Peachtree.

It was making a bunch of noise so I was asked to take a look at it. I wish camera phones where a thing back then! When I opened it up, I saw nothing but grey lint, I couldn't see any components. When I tipped it on its side, a giant chunk of dust/lint fell out that was perfectly moulded into the shape of the interior. It was like something out of cartoon. Come to find out this thing had been in that closet and running since sometime in 1996. It was 2002 at the time. The noise was of course from failing fans.

RFC2324
Jun 7, 2012

Http 418


angry armadillo posted:

Yeah I see your point, we have a really really broad role.

It is actually a good thing for him because the CCTV stuff can be where he excels - unusual gadgety stuff is really good for him to get a manual and work out the wiring to fix - it's definitely his strength. His work ethic is also really good, like he doesn't really sit around doing nothing ever, just sometimes his priorities are a little bit mixed up.

I've tried to sit him down and explain my priorities so that I can delegate bits to him and try and get him to understand that if he does things for my current priorities he really adds value to the department but he struggles with changing priorities which leads him astray.

He used to work for, what I think the Geek Squad is in America- like a high street shop that did laptop repairs. This results in a really weird sense of customer service where he is seemingly scared of complaints and baffles people with science to try and escape blame for any problems. The trouble for him is that he thinks people fall for it, but really they just come to me and say 'I think I've been fed a load of BS' - I always try to be diplomatic as possible and say I'll send the guy back to resolve stuff, rather than go 'oh yeah thats crap let me sort'


Another interesting point is all our sister sites have an extra person but I dont - If I could get that extra person, which we higher at a slightly lower salary, I would love to get someone who is barely technical, but all customer service - they could almost act as a one man helpdesk, doing basic stuff but keeping users happy, whilst escalating any issues to my current guy - this would make him feel like the main man who fixes complex stuff, whilst the helpdesk guy keeps everyone appraised and happy and cuts out all the BS floating about.


In principle I am not sure how hiring someone to solve this guys problem is really the right move but I really think having a tech guy and customer guy would be a great team.

So yeah, whilst I use this place to sound off the negative aspects of my guy, I am not that negative really , I hope I dont come across too badly as I am trying to get the best out of him!

This employee sounds alot like me, tbh, and yeah, the best work anyone ever got out of me was in a role where I had a person in front of me who just asked me to deal with the stuff they couldn't handle, which left me free to focus on the stuff I am good at.

Maybe you need to be fighting up the ladder instead of down to make this work

Shugojin
Sep 6, 2007

THE TAIL THAT BURNS TWICE AS BRIGHT...



Apple: The reason the homepod won't work is your ISP's fault

also apple: No we won't talk to your ISP and tell them what is going on with this thing, we don't talk to third parties




Sickening
Jul 15, 2007

BLack Summer was the Best Summer

Shugojin posted:

Apple: The reason the homepod won't work is your ISP's fault

also apple: No we won't talk to your ISP and tell them what is going on with this thing, we don't talk to third parties






I mean, I kind of agree with them?

LethalGeek
Nov 4, 2009



Soiled Meat

I am curious the exact nature of the issue , like the ISPs stupid tinkering with packets is breaking it or what?

Shugojin
Sep 6, 2007

THE TAIL THAT BURNS TWICE AS BRIGHT...



I am the ISP and I think I have found where the problem is but the lack of help in finding what it is is deeply frustrating.

I have basically no information to work with besides "works on one side of this device but not the other" because the homepod just straight doesn't appear. So my guess is something with getting an IP address but ?????

uniball
Oct 10, 2003



surely this is mDNS issues with the ISP-issued modem/router combo rather than some bizarre filtering of internet-bound traffic? if you’re saying it simply doesn’t appear, service discovery doesn’t even touch the internet anyway.

Methylethylaldehyde
Oct 23, 2004

BAKA BAKA


uniball posted:

surely this is mDNS issues with the ISP-issued modem/router combo rather than some bizarre filtering of internet-bound traffic? if you’re saying it simply doesn’t appear, service discovery doesn’t even touch the internet anyway.

Some routers will drop the Bonjure/air-print/anycast whatever the gently caress apple loves to use to discover poo poo. A lot of routers will have a 'turn this on if airprint doesn't wanna work' checkbox in the settings someplace.

Apple telling you the ISP is loving up is technically correct, because the ISP provides the router for like 95% of america, AND it gets you off their asses and onto someone else's phone tree, so they love to kick that can down the road.

Shugojin
Sep 6, 2007

THE TAIL THAT BURNS TWICE AS BRIGHT...



uniball posted:

surely this is mDNS issues with the ISP-issued modem/router combo rather than some bizarre filtering of internet-bound traffic? if you’re saying it simply doesn’t appear, service discovery doesn’t even touch the internet anyway.

By "doesn't appear" it's "doesn't appear on the app, according to the customer"

If it weren't coronatimes i could go look at all this buuuuuut

This is wireless in rural area and it's "house 1 it works, house 2 who gets it off of a bridge/redirector on house 1 doesn't" so it's definitely the middle thing there but I don't know why yet

Methylethylaldehyde
Oct 23, 2004

BAKA BAKA


Shugojin posted:

By "doesn't appear" it's "doesn't appear on the app, according to the customer"

If it weren't coronatimes i could go look at all this buuuuuut

This is wireless in rural area and it's "house 1 it works, house 2 who gets it off of a bridge/redirector on house 1 doesn't" so it's definitely the middle thing there but I don't know why yet

Yeah, the weird system Apple uses for the Bonjour service doesn't pass through a lot of things you'd think it would. It's UDP 5353, multicast. Chances are good something in the network somewhere is dropping them. Wireshark will be your friend here, and hopefully you can turn on port mirroring, or have a 2 nic laptop you can use to mitm the packets.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Shugojin posted:

also apple: No we won't talk to your ISP and tell them what is going on with this thing, we don't talk to third parties

They used to. Back in 2004 I managed to arrange a conference call with me, an Apple product owner and an HP product owner. This was at about 10.4.3 for OS X, and Laserjet 5100s on the HP side. We had a reproducible error that PDFs printed to the HPs, and not the Xerox pre-press units, would spew out half a ream of garbage and not the PDF we wanted printing.

At that point Apple was providing print drivers for a vast swathe of devices, literally everything on the market you could expect to plug in to a computer. Their driver was to spec, but the spec was wrong. On the call, HP agreed to send a printer to Apple so they could test things out. A fix turned up in 10.4.5. You're welcome.

klosterdev
Oct 10, 2006

Na na na na na na na na Batman!

Second grossest computer I ever had to deal with was a customer who brought in their laptop for a diagnostic after their cat decided to take a pee right in the middle of the keyboard.

Grossest computer was a laptop basically coated in a blend of lube and pre-cum, took a loooong shower when I got home and still didn't feel clean.

fluppet
Feb 10, 2009


Has it really been so long since the spec bucket incident

Sirotan
Oct 17, 2006

Sirotan is a seal.




Ham Wrangler

fluppet posted:

Has it really been so long since the spec bucket incident

I had to look it up, that was 9 years ago

Runcible Cat
May 28, 2007

A post? Never!!

Pillbug

RFC2324 posted:

This employee sounds alot like me, tbh, and yeah, the best work anyone ever got out of me was in a role where I had a person in front of me who just asked me to deal with the stuff they couldn't handle, which left me free to focus on the stuff I am good at.

Maybe you need to be fighting up the ladder instead of down to make this work

That's how I got into IT support in the first place - a friend of a friend who ran a small IT business was looking for someone with enough computer knowledge to install printers/read error messages and enough people skills to get between his business partner (who hated all humanity but was the IT brain of the company) and any users who tried to ask him stuff while he was working on site.

It was a good way to learn, as it turned out.

RFC2324
Jun 7, 2012

Http 418


Runcible Cat posted:

That's how I got into IT support in the first place - a friend of a friend who ran a small IT business was looking for someone with enough computer knowledge to install printers/read error messages and enough people skills to get between his business partner (who hated all humanity but was the IT brain of the company) and any users who tried to ask him stuff while he was working on site.

It was a good way to learn, as it turned out.

The person who was supporting me went on to make a ton of money as a network engineer at L3, so I would definitely recommend it as a career choice

Darchangel
Feb 12, 2009

Tell him about the blower!



klosterdev posted:

Second grossest computer I ever had to deal with was a customer who brought in their laptop for a diagnostic after their cat decided to take a pee right in the middle of the keyboard.

Grossest computer was a laptop basically coated in a blend of lube and pre-cum, took a loooong shower when I got home and still didn't feel clean.

I'm sorry, I'm a computer tech, not a biohazard clean up tech. Goodbye.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Darchangel posted:

I'm sorry, I'm a computer tech, not a biohazard clean up tech. Goodbye.

Back in Hardware Repair we'd get the occasional laptop in a biohazard bad after a spill of.... something. We never asked. Or opened the bags. Those customers were very good about not asking followup questions when we said that they needed to buy a new one and that the hard drive was unrecoverable.

The MacBook Pro that got hit with beaker full of super-saline solution on the other hand go passed around the office. The drat thing had foam on the logic board. He bought a new one too !

AlexDeGruven
Jun 29, 2007

Watch me pull my dongle out of this tiny box




klosterdev posted:

Grossest computer was a laptop basically coated in a blend of lube and pre-cum, took a loooong shower when I got home and still didn't feel clean.

Biological contamination is an absolute no go. Not in this world past 1980.

I would have refused to touch it and fought any consequence all the way up to the supreme court. Ain't touching that poo poo with anything other than a flamethrower or hazmat disposal bag.

Shugojin
Sep 6, 2007

THE TAIL THAT BURNS TWICE AS BRIGHT...



I was eventually able to trick the homepod into connecting. It turns out that for reasons Apple has not really made clear to anyone, you will end up, sometimes, with a network that it will not be able to do its first time setup on.

However, you can give another network the same SSID and password, do the first time setup on that, and then it will work on the other one for daily poo poo.

Extremely Penetrated
Aug 8, 2004
Hail Spwwttag.


A decade ago, in my retail computer repair days, I had a guy bring in a funny smelling whitebox tower. The African-from-Africa dude said his computer had bugs. I asked him to clarify and he just gestured to the case, "inside." I opened it. The odour slapped my face and I saw a swarm of roach-things trying to scatter and hide. I slammed the cover back on and asked him where the computer came from. "Namibia!" he proudly proclaimed with a big smile. We were not in Namibia. I did not want a new invasive species in town, so I instructed him to put the computer back in his car and buy some Raid. "you don't fix bugs??" "only canadian bugs"

it was funny at the time shut up

Dirt Road Junglist
Oct 8, 2010

There's a ghost in me
Who wants to say I'm sorry
Doesn't mean I'm sorry






The most disgusting computer I had during my retail days was dropped off by a couple who looked like a gutter punk parody of Fred and Carrie from Portlandia. My boss was a prepper, so we had a bunch of random poo poo like fume extractors and heavy duty gloves and cleaning supplies, which came in really handy because apparently these people smoked continuously around the poor loving desktop. The entire inside was caked with nicotine tar. It smelled like a 40 year old casino booth that had never been cleaned. I had to leave it open and surrounded by fume extractors overnight just to be able to stomach the stench, and then had to put on the elbow length gloves and carve the components out of their gluey prison so that at least the fans would start moving again.

I was paid $14/hr with zero benefits.

angry armadillo
Jul 26, 2010


klosterdev posted:

Second grossest computer I ever had to deal with was a customer who brought in their laptop for a diagnostic after their cat decided to take a pee right in the middle of the keyboard.

Grossest computer was a laptop basically coated in a blend of lube and pre-cum, took a loooong shower when I got home and still didn't feel clean.

The weirdest thing I've ever personally been asked to deal with was a mobile phone.
In prison we give people the opportunity to speak to the Samaritans at any time here, so when it goes into night time and everything is locked down, we were using cordless phones that could only dial the specific number.
In practice, these phones are frequently vandalised.
In some of our other prisons we have given out mobile phones with locked down sim cards, glued cases, no camera and then only given the prisoner a blue tooth headset to super mitigate the risk of any shenanigans.

It was suggested we try that at my place to reduce vandalism.

Because the staff were not used to this process, the prisoners were saying "no signal" and giving the phones to the prisoner which is obviously naïve but not the point of the story.

This manipulation obviously took place involving a prisoner due to be transferred out to another prison. I found this out when one of our phones came back to me in an evidence bag because he had decided to try and smuggle it over to his new prison via nature's pocket but the receiving prison found it and thought we might want it back

Why on earth would I want that back haha

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




They call it patina

Wibla
Feb 16, 2011


Extremely Penetrated posted:

it was funny at the time shut up

It made me laugh, but I'm a horrible person

I cleaned up a PC that had been in a room with smokers and cats for a few years. That combination leads to some seriously nasty gunk, ugh.

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uniball
Oct 10, 2003



i worked at the genius bar 2010-2013, which was during the final days of disc drives in apple laptops. i got a lot of stuck DVDs out, but this one was my favorite (nsfw)

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