Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2001 > Early November 2001 Edition

Early November 2001 Edition

First, I admit I got the address for Eric Raymond wrong. It has been corrected.

Indian summer is upon us, and the weather has been wonderful.

I have plenty to do next week. I have a CompTIA i-Net+ beta exam to take next Thursday. This is followed by an exam of a different sort, on my eyes. The pupil in my left eye is developing a twitch, and it's very annoying. Besides, I have to take off my glasses every time I need to look at something close-up. Bifocal City! :-o

smelly candle

Only one really bad thing has visited me recently. I was buying one of those scented candles at a gift shoppe that had its sign on an iron post in the middle of its parking lot. When I backed out of the lot, I heard a crunch in front of me. The post met up with my left front bumper, and put a six-inch dent just behind the headlight.

You don't call your insurance agent for something like this. I was at fault here, so it would mean my premium would go up, and it's expensive enough as it is.

Let's just say that I've gotten one really expensive candle. And it's not even for a family member (none of whom are into smelly candles): It's for the upcoming office XMas party.

And speaking of office…

This rant is about one of the most irritating aspects of my job: the internal customer survey. This is supposed to gauge the quality of internal service throughout the company.

You are given this form with a list of all departments against a group of five quality factors (caring, accuracy, timeliness, knowledge, and phone courtesy). We are supposed to score each department on a scale of 1-9 on each factor in the past three months, according to the quality of service we received from them in that period.

What is the problem with this?

First, the form is not handed out in a timely manner. For (say) July through September, you should get the form on October 1, not early November. I at least am not going to remember well my relations with the other departments over a month ago.

Even if I did, I find the idea of rating other people or groups, um, troubling. I just don't like doing it. I would have thought the whole idea of being in a group is to get alone, and judging others is not the way to do that. If someone is slothful or rude to me, I don't fill out a form: I report that person to my boss.

Then, what do you do when your department is Information Services: the type of department that gives services to other departments but does not receive from them. None of the other departments (except maybe accounting) provide us with any services. We are not their customers; they are ours. Now, how is it possible to grade them for services we have never gotten?

I have been trying to evade this odious chore since it first started five years ago. At first I simply did not fill it out. Then, when I could not avoid it, I integrated it into the new (at the time) help desk program, so that my boss could combine the scores off the program. Then I had a change of boss, and she insisted I fill out the damn form anyway. Although she is no longer with us, the form is still here.

Copyright © 2003 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Last updated 30 November 2003.