Thursday, September 10, 2015

Why wait for the imminent complete breakdown?

Wireless Internet aka WiFi has become an essential part of our life. Most of the companies now offer a WiFi for their visitors to connect and work. The WiFi enables me to connect to my company network even while I am visiting a partner site. There was a time I had to abandon my laptop while visiting a customer site. If I carried the extra weight of the laptop to the client site during those days, I could only connect painstakingly through either using a data card or using my mobile as a hotspot. Since WiFi has become a vital part of working life now, a recent incident with WiFi connectivity made me realize how mechanical we have become in our working lives.

As part of a recent engagement, a few of us work out of a partner site. Since most of us belong to the management team, we carry our laptops and seldom has a need to connect to the partner network directly. So all of us connect our laptops to the WiFi at the partner site to go on about our tasks. As more and more people join, the WiFi sputters and backfires. After a few days, we became passive to this problem. One fateful day, the WiFi stopped working, and all work ground to halt. Proclaiming myself as the de facto leader of the noble quest to restore the internet connectivity, I called up the helpdesk. After recording an incident, I waited for the resolution. While waiting, we turned our mobiles as hotspots and connected to these temporary hotspots to continue our work. Very soon, the batteries on the mobiles started running out. We survived the day with great difficulty. Unfortunately, the connectivity issue persisted on the day after too. At this point, we were also concerned about the data plan. So, we called up the helpdesk again. This time, we were in for a surprise. Although our problem was recorded, no one has acted on it because the severity was low. According to us, the severity should have been high since none of us could work if we did not have our mobiles. From the point of view of the helpdesk, there was only one incident against this issue. When we got out of the call, the rest of us called up the helpdesk separately to create tickets. Within an hour, we had registered multiple complaints that translated to various incidents in the systems. The severity rose as the number of tickets related to the problem were high, and the technicians resolved the issue in another hour.

Reflecting back, WiFi is an integral part of working life. The issue should not have taken more than a day to fix as the resolution is mostly rebooting the router. Sometimes, the resolution takes longer because nobody knows the location of the router. Don't be surprised. That one is a true story.  Why did the helpdesk wait for a day? Why did the helpdesk wait for many people to complain before taking the corrective actions? Haven't we all heard about the best medicine named prevention? Is it not possible to identify the significant impacts by looking at the symptoms? Are we waiting for loud, uncontrollable cries before we attend to the problems?

Tags: Musings, WiFi, Helpdesk, Resolution

4 comments:

  1. He he...... the irony of democratic system. One ticket low priority. Lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In one way, the number of tickets is a good way to identify how many people are affected. The number of affected people is an indication to the severity. While talking to the help desk, they also ask how many people are affected. We always tell them a number. Can't they take that also a criteria? If they can't, why are they asking this question? If they are not acting on it after taking down the information, it is counter productive. On the bright side, now I know how the help desk views the real world.

      Delete
  2. Looks like we are Nona... oh well!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When we are in this mode, we are reactive instead of being proactive

      Delete

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 India License.