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"Alpha complex, a win for the reds" Topic

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759 hits since 30 Jan 2014
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Jakse375 Inactive Member30 Jan 2014 1:07 a.m. PST

So being a state entity we have an overly complex and completely broken form of communicating between departments. In order to get a door fixed in my building I have to send an e-mail to my shift supervisor. She in turn writes a work request. That work request gets passed from our department to the appropriate department head. (s)he then sends out the request to the applicable worker to fix the problem. So here is my story on how to fix a door that doesn't latch properly.

The door in question is actually two swinging doors where you bolt one into the floor and ceiling then lock the other door to the bolted door. The real problem was that the doors were too far apart so that the mechanism when closed didn't give a secure closure. If you simply pulled on the door it would open. Now all parts of this door worked fine, it's just that the gap between doors allowed enough variance where you could just pull the doors open.

So I sent an E-mail to my sup. It stated that the doors do not lock properly due to the spacing between doors. She then sent her work order to the locksmiths dept stating that the lock was busted. The locksmiths come out and determine that the locks are in perfect working order (and they are.) so the work order gets filled.

A week later and the problem isn't solved so I send another E-mail, another work order is sent and the completion notice sent back saying it's fixed.

This matter keeps going on weekly for 2 months.

Last week I had the head of Facilities, my next 3 levels of bosses, the head locksmith and a carpenter stop by to inspect the door. They call me over the radio to come see them at this door.

Right off when I got there the locksmith lets into me about how he's tired of coming out here to inspect this lock that has worked perfectly since it was installed ( it's a new key-card swipe). And he's right, the key card part has always worked correctly. So now my direct bosses start lighting into me also. Then the Head of facility services himself starts in.

At this point I move to the closed and locked doors that work perfectly. I grab the handle with my right hand, and give a slight tug. The door pulls right open. Every one of the persons who were just berating me for being an idiot turned into mouth breathers for the next minute.

There was so much I wanted to say, and I so badly wanted everyone of those morons to eat their words. Instead I just walked away and went back to my work. I didn't make any friends that day but I can guess that it started a war between all those morons to determine which one is the bigger idiot.

To actually fix the problem took 1 minute and two small washers. And we wonder why Gov't has no money.

zippyfusenet Inactive Member30 Jan 2014 5:19 a.m. PST

Your direct supervisor, who had two month's opportunity to clarify this matter with you and did not do so, sounds like the prize idiot of the lot. How unfortunate for you.

Did you not have any opportunity in the past two months to approach your direct supervisor and gently 'help' her to understand the problem? For your own survival, you must learn to manage her better.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Jan 2014 6:05 a.m. PST

I've got my money on the locksmith. You don't just look at the gear and say everything looks fine and then walk away. You test it to validate that it works. Not technical testing to see if everything is within specs; operational testing. Does it actually do what it is supposed to do?

I have no doubt the locksmith went down there with expectations and possibly direction to do something different than was needed. However, if you're a locksmith, as opposed to General Unskilled Maintenance Person Learning the Trade #7, you should know better.

After realizing what was wrong and fixing it, the locksmith could have reported how the problem didn't jive with his work order (as written, expectation, tools/parts issued, etc.) and had his sup figure out how to unsnarl that.

Personal logo Ditto Tango 2 3 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member30 Jan 2014 8:10 a.m. PST

Actually, Jakse, your opening paragraph on how the request eventually becomes a work order is pretty standard. Though a lot of places use a building representative instead of a supervisor. The former gets good at figuring out just what the heck is going on.

There are two problems here that both zippy and etotheipi have identified. The supervisor is responsible for fuddling it up (broken lock) but the locksmith should be "owning the problem" (to quote some idiotic human resource type term). Our guys, regardless of trade, are supposed to try and contact the requester (name and number is on the work order) to try and clarify the problem. Your locksmith was a major knob for what he said (tired of coming out), regardless of how the supervisor screwed things up.

Cincinnatus Inactive Member30 Jan 2014 9:12 a.m. PST

Locksmith has probably been very happy to get paid for doing nothing more than driving back and forth. But then someone questioned what was going on with the door and he had to try to weasel his way out of looking bad. So put him down as just unprofessional/sleazy.

The immediate supervisor is easily a prime suspect to blame. They were the first level of filtering of these request and should have investigated when the second request for the same door came in so soon after the first one. That's WHY they are in the process. People above them are farther away from the problem and likely dealing with many more requests and spending their time on bigger problems (or at least that's how it should work).

Good story though.

Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2014 9:43 a.m. PST

Don't kid yourself that private business is any more effective in terms of communications and expense. I could write a book about private companies who've spent millions down a rat hole, have Byzantine org charts, silo everything and cannot figure out why they're not making more money.


MahanMan Inactive Member30 Jan 2014 11:17 a.m. PST

Did any of the non-you people involved have pointy hair?

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2014 1:03 p.m. PST

MahanMan for the win !

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2014 12:22 a.m. PST

Dan is right.
Private Sector isn't much better.
Morons come in many shapes and sizes.

Streitax Inactive Member31 Jan 2014 12:38 a.m. PST

And they are always higher up on the org chart than you. They stay there by squashing he competition in the egg and promoting people less competent than themselves.

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