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Thread: Work advice needed!

  1. #1
    AlexGSi2000's Avatar
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    Work advice needed!

    Right - bit of a strange one to post on a forum, but after a little advice.

    I work for a small-ish company, with two sites - 130 miles apart.
    I do the ICT for the whole of the company (8 servers, 70 computers & 130 users)
    The site I work from is based in Merseyside, a few other admin based roles are at the other site (HR.etc)

    My question / issue is about working relationships between a particular department based at the other site.
    The two staff in question work in the same (small) department and have only been working for the company for 6 months, one member of that department is a manager, the other an assistant.

    As I am the "one man band" as it where covering ICT, more often than not I am very busy, often working early, late & weekends.
    I feel that as a professional I provide a very good level of skill and support to the company, having completed various training and gained a few qualifications (Microsoft based, Cisco.etc)

    As a person I feel I am very approachable (trying not to make this sound like a CV!) with a good attitude.
    I feel I always have time for other employees, provide robust & adequate solutions for problems & questions.etc

    From day one, I have felt fairly uneasy about these two staff in a certain department, they have the attitude of "they know best".etc
    I have always done my utmost to cater for their needs for a department (they are known for being quite demanding) - they have much more ICT equipment than any other department.

    My issue is around that department and myself - from my perspective im getting the feeling they think I am effectively rubbish with ICT.
    They are constantly suggesting things to the CEO around ICT that do not make sense in a business environment, i.e requesting a colour printer for their department (even with access to a shared colour laser) and specifying the cheapest one available in Asda.
    There are various instances of other things, another one was the fact they went above my head for ICT advice and started making requests straight to the CEO.

    In the past I have bitten my tounge and got on with it - but its got to the point now where I am getting very frustrated with it all.
    Here is the latest scenario;
    They had a new member of staff, bringing the total to 3 - I was asked last minute to provide a computer with all the necessary software installs.
    I was at that site the next day and managed to fulfill their request with setup done at the same time - computer was ready to be used.

    A week has passed and they decided they needed an additional desk in the office for the new computer to be moved to (apparently having two desks next to each other is too crampt).
    They had a new desk put in yesterday by the facilities department whilst I was on site.
    Members of this department walked past me numerous times whilst I was working on a few other jobs.

    When I got home last night I checked my emails to find a request to relocate the new computer onto the new desk - this was sent at 1pm - whilst I was working next to this particular departments office, as I was busy and didnt get home til 8pm, I didnt have the chance to check my emails until this time.
    Co-incidentally, today I was asked for assistance by the CEO on the site I work at. As it was an issue with Microsoft Outlook, I instantly saw my name being mentioned on an email - naturally I read the email.
    This email was from the manager of this certain department complaining at how unhappy they are with the ICT service they are getting & how it is unorganized - they stated that they had asked for assistance moving the computer yesterday whilst I was at site (but failed to mention it was an email, instead of asking me when they walked past!)

    I bit my tongue again, but really feel like they are having a go at me behind my back at every opportunity.
    I felt like calling and stating I had read the email, but obviously this would be an invasion of privacy - in my role this would not be good.
    I feel I need to get my point across but again, my line manager is blatantly biased towards this certain department (she employed them).

    I have rested safe in the knowledge that it isn't just me so far, as other department managers and staff have told me about issues they are having.

    It is all very complex, another factor is that this managers "partner" also worked in ICT but is unemployed at the minute - you can guess what I'm thinking (trying to ween me out).

    I have thought about making an anonymous complaint - but unfortunately the size of the company and nature of complaint will instantly give me away.

    Hope all of that made sense!

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  3. #2
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    I would just reply to the email request saying that next time it would be best for them to simply open their mouths and ask you any question while you are on their site...


    and email sent, without even a word to you isn't professional, and it's wasting everyone's time and energy.


    directly ask them why they didn't just request the help in person, but felt it more productive for the business to send an email, a non direct method of communication.


    I would then say since this isn't the first time something like this has happened, you are copying in the CEO for their information... then your point is made to them as well, without them knowing you've read the email...

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    Put a small bug in the system just in case they do get rid of you in favour of the other person, so at the push of a certain key, the whole server re formats.

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    are you sure there is nothing that jimmy saville would like on thier putes?
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  6. #5
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    Get yourself a sniper rifle. Get on top of the building and wait until 5pm.
    When expressing your concerns it is always best to do so in neutral tones, good rational, keep it factual and not get too personal. You don't want to open yourself up to attack or attack anyone else. Cue ball is on the money but it would be something like... "I received an e-mail while X and wanted to make staff aware that I am always happy to help and can be contacted on Y number and feel free to approach me." See how sneaky it is? It makes your point but you are killing them with kindness at the same time.

    As the saying goes my friend... if you cant baffle them with brilliance then dazzle them with bullsh1t. Let us know how you get on. If anything it will make things harder for them to find reasons to hate you or let you go or could even take the spot light off you if there is one. Any recruitment of the unemployed guy btw may end up being in breach of HR policy so keep an eye on that i.e. if he gets the job as an indirect hire (no interview, under the table golden handshake) then there are ways of addressing this - cross that bridge when you come to it.

    In the mean time watch this:

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  7. #6
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    Reply to the email stating you will be more than happy to visit the site again and move the pc, but also say that you were surprised that they didn't ask you to do the job whilst you were in the office yesterday, as it would have been more cost efficient to the business.

    cc in the email to the boss.
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    Would agree with both the_cueball and StateOfPlay. Reply to the email, cc'ing the email to the boss. Point out to them that you would have been more than happy to do the job for them, since you were onsite at the time, and more importantly, that they were aware of your presence there as they had gone past you. The hardest part is trying to keeping it from annoying you and wording your response to reflect your attitude to the job and the business. i.e. you were on site; you would have no issues moving the PC; cost savings to the company by not having you make two trips.

    I don't know if this only affects IT, but I have worked in IT for 20 years and have come across a number of these so-called 'IT experts', who like nothing better than wasting companies money persuading their manager to buy the latest gadget because 'they know best'.

    You know that YOU are good at your job, and so do the majority of the staff you help. That's the most important bit here. Don't succumb to the egotistical whims of a couple of morons.
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    Have you ever worked in a larger company with change and asset management processes in place? If so, you could politely explain how such processes ensure that everyone knows the process and are singing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to upgrades, installs, deployments, etc.

    Also, it doesn't help to bite your tongue. It does help to develop an honest yet tactful approach to such things, they need mentioning when they start, even if it's just in a "I don't know if it's just me" kind of way, so that things can be logged and revisited if required later on. If there's a chance of an unfair dismissal in the offing, get your markers in now so you've something to fall back on!

  10. #9
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    Many thanks for the advice above.

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