Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Perils of Printer Toner

I am not making this up.

This is an actual email chain that went around the client site today.

A little background:
Yesterday, there was a small crisis here at the client site. The printer/copy machine, which is quite large and looks rather like a new-age space shuttle, ran out of toner.

Now, we all have multiple printers loaded on our computers, but none of us really know where any of these other mystery printers are located. Thus, this toner issue was a large problem.

At most offices, the normal protocol in this situation would be to find the nearest admin and beg for help. In this bizarro universe, however, that is not the case. Here, if ANYTHING happens, like if a printer runs out of toner, if you need a new pen, or if you have to go to the bathroom, you have to "OPEN A TICKET." That's right. In the interest of organizational efficiency, nothing may be done here without "opening a ticket."

Now, of course, tickets are not easy to come by. They take time...and they're about as efficient as the DMV. Any good consultant would find a workaround to this issue in about 5 minutes. My good colleague Laurie did just that. Being the proactive c consultant that she is, she noticed that the printer was out of toner and decided to take action. Note - she did NOT open a ticket. For SHAME!
She went to the floor admin, Jerry, and asked what could be done about this problem. The floor admin, who is known to be about as friendly and helpful as an unevolved sloth, told her "I've TOLD you, Laurie. OPEN A TICKET."

Laurie didn't want to do that, so she went to another admin - who is slightly senior to Jerry. The senior admin sent the following email to Laurie, Laurie's boss, and the top client:

Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2009 12:37 PM
To: Jerry the Admin [C]; Laurie; Ron the Tech Guy; The Engagement Manager;
Cc: Client
Subject: RE: Printer Toner
Importance: High

Laurie, "Engagement Manager" and "Client",

If you need assistance, please submit a ticket to the help desk. Below is the link and the number is XXX-XXX-XXXX. According to "The Boss", "Ron the Tech Guy" should not assist anyone if they do not submit a ticket.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Thinking that this information could benefit a number of us, Laurie dutifully forwarded the above email to a few other consultants on the project:

From: Laurie
Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 11:23 AM
To: Crazy Consultant and other Consultants
Cc: Jerry the Admin
Subject: FW: Printer TonerImportance: High

FYI…below is the process for any technology issues including toner issues.

(she included the Senior Admin's instructions)

Outraged that Laurie didn't open a ticket, and just generally pissed about the message, Jerry the Admin responded to Laurie, the Engagement Manager, Laurie's Workstream Lead, and the Main Client:

From: Jerry the Admin
Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 11:26 AM
To: Laurie, Engagement Manager, Workstream Lead, and Main Client
Subject: RE: Printer Toner

Laurie- I do not understand why you would even need to put me on this email. Everyone on your To: list would have already received the email sent out on behalf of "THE BOSS" which stated the same information. So there is no new process, and no one except for yourself has come to me with this concern, unless they are trying to circumvent the system without doing a ticket. So for further emails please do not include me in your PROCESSES, as I have been with CLIENT X for nearly four years so I do understand the processes.

Thank You,
Jerry the Admin


The moral of the story: OPEN A TICKET if you want to avoid Admin Scorn.


Anonymous said...

I'd use the opportunity to sell a BTO study..

Anonymous said...

Why didn't the damn admin OPEN THE TICKET?!

Anonymous said...

I'd think the replacement toner itself is somewhere nearby in one of the cabinets.

Anonymous said...

Regardless how tedious the process is, it's the CLIENT's process. If Laurie would like to share the information about helpdesk number etc to her colleagues, she should NOT include the admin guy in the email -- it will just embarrass him, and embarrassing client (regardless it's CEO or a janitor), in any circumstances is always a bad move.

But then, the whole thing shouldn't happen if she just follow the process and open the ticket.

Anonymous said...

Do you have copy writer for so good articles? If so please give me contacts, because this really rocks! :)