Came home, we had baked potatoes for lunch, deciding that we would skip the pack outing to Mitsuwa both for dietary and financial reasons... and I didn't want to go to the zoo, mostly for financial and weather reasons. (It was realllllly cold Saturday morning, and I didn't have a lot of extra money to spend and wasn't about to ask someone to pay my admission)
Much fun was had later at fuddruckers... and on the way over, I discovered Aureth is jealous of the engine in my truck. Muahaha. After odd movies, we came home and passed out.
Sunday was fun, picked up a few things meal wise, (I think I may have made the potatoes on sunday. I can't remember), went to SAM's for a few more odds and ends, then went to Trader Joe's to use Roho's gift certificate. I was quite pleasantly surprised by the prices - He had described it as an import store, so I was expecting everything to be ultra-expensive. It was quite nice to see that in some cases, the prices were lower than Jewel/Dominicks. We picked up some kiwi, crackers, cheese, and some kitty treats very similar to pounce. I snagged some garlic and ginkgo supplements, and we came home to watch Die Hard 2.
At some point during the weekend (I think it was Saturday) we went to a nice little second run theatre in buffalo grove and saw Harry Potter. that was a treat. =) I greatly enjoyed the movie, and look forward to seeing it again.
Yesterday, I had a bit of trouble getting myself up and about... made it to the couch and didn't really want to move. Made my fajitas for lunch (instead of the soup I had made on sunday), and had to talk myself into going to work.
Once I *got* to work, I discovered that our system was down, and that everyone was flying blind. Oh joy.
Just a brief description of my job - I am helpdesk for a large company. A dispatcher, if you want to be exact. People call in to the manufacturer of their computer (we deal with mostly businesses), they do the troubleshooting, and if it is determined that a repair must be made, and the customer has one of two warranty contracts, they write up a repair ticket and shoot it over to my office.
There are three basic jobs for us-
1. Dispatching new tickets : Checking every 5-10 minutes for new calls and dispatching them to techs via paging their cell phones to let them know they have a call.
2. Monitoring the calls that have been paged out to the technicians to make sure they're answering the pages.
3. Answering the phone to give information out on tickets, close tickets, talk to the parent company (we do contract work), whatever.
All of this is made more difficult by the fact that Sprint isn't the best cell provider, and not all of our technicians have sprint phones. (We page them through Sprint's website) So a tech can be in a dead area for 3 hours and not realize that we are frantically trying to reach him.
Okay. Now, to make things more interesting, we have two types of tickets that come rolling down the line and into our laps. 1 day tickets, which is the responsibility of the night shift to dispatch (always due by 5pm local time the next day), and reactives (which are due in 2, 4, 8 and 12 hour increments). Reactives are timebombs. They must be dispatched as quickly as possible so the technician can meet his response time (IE, the time they're due). Since we are on contract, this is extremely important. We're late, we lose the contract, company goes under.
Yesterday, our system was out for... probably an hour. In that time, we couldn't do anything... dispatch new calls, monitor the pages, nothing. When it came back up.... I had 50 paged out calls to try and get technicians on, and there were even more sitting in the "New" queue. Bleh. It took me about an hour to knock them down to 20.... took me all day to get the numbers under 10. (The display only shows 5 at a time... so we try to keep it under 5 as much as possible. Any more than that and it takes you too long to go through them)
I don't think I can fully express the magnitude of pain this was. I had help for about 30 minutes - when my boss told me to go to lunch, and someone else would work on them. (I don't actually know if he did, I just know he was supposed to) Working the pages of late has become an excercise in stress and frustration, as we have calls come in and cannot reach anyone to accept them. Our techs are turning their phones off at night, some of them are getting ridden hard about overtime (No overtime- some have had their hours cut by their managers), so I can understand them not wanting to be bothered... but...
Last night almost every LEAD in the field I called.. you know, the people that are supposed to be managers, in charge, and.. oh... AVAILABLE.... had his phone off. One had the gall to tell my coworker CH that he turned his phone off at 5, didn't want to hear anything from us. This man called later, after the phone systems shut down, on my private line and wanted me to move calls around for him. I wanted to tell him off. Grr.
Anyway... We have a system that we're supposed to go through, escalating when we can't get anyone on the phone. I used it many times last night... and had one FM bitch me out for it... (Not *my* fault that he does things differently than everyone else and it's not documented anywhere)
The gist of my pain last night came at 8:30pm... I was down to 5 calls in paged status (some were to be left for the morning dispatchers), and I took a look at what was supposed to be dispatched for today.. 1 day calls... there were over 300. For two people.
We ended up staying an hour over working on those. CH was still there when I left at 10:30.
If Judy comes up to me with a mistake I made last night, I'm going to throw it in her face that we had no help. It isn't fair what was done to us yesterday... our other dispatchers just merrily skipped out when their shifts ended... and didn't help with the load at all. And because CH and I knew that morning dispatch couldn't handle the load, we stayed. Sometimes integrity is a royal pain in the butt.
Roho was wonderful... very supportive.. and when I got home, I had a skinny cow sundae and a very nice backrub... mmm. All the same though, I don't think I want another day like that.
All in all, it earned me an hour and a half of overtime. $30 on my paycheck next week. I suppose I can't complain too much...
I hope the rest of the week is better..