Monday, June 27, 2005

The Numbers Game

Sometimes, I sit back and wonder, if I am more than a mere statistic in the office. My manager continues to praise me for the number of calls I have closed, almost like a football commentator giving on the fly vital facts, of calls closed, opened, ratios and best performance of the day, week, month. This month has seen my most successfully to date, as these graph below, clearly demonstrates. [Larger version available over at FlickR]

I hate targets and performance related pay and anything associated with having to reach a certain point before you can even whisper that you have achieved anything. I cannot think of another job, that so much of the administration is done by the person who is also expected to come up with the majority of the answers. So you are drawn into a vicious circle whereby you continuously increase the workload, with the finish line nowhere in sight. Yet I must not grumble, at the turn of the year, there were some four hundred calls in the backlog and we were logging calls to a close ratio of over 8:1. Things have improved and we are constantly hitting the targets as placed upon us by senior management.

My competition, if I can be as harsh to label it so, previously was almost non-existent. When a young man has images of sandy beaches on his mind, he will never truly focus on work, and I was able to capitalise on this by consistently closing more calls than him. Now, with only twenty one days on his 'time served' sheet, I find myself coming up against someone who is up for some healthy rivalry.

To spice things up further, my Manager decided to offer some beer, to the member of the help desk team that closed the most number of calls on a given day this week. There was no doubt in my mind, that I was going to win. You were afterall, talking to the guy that had closed down eighteen calls in half a day, last Wednesday (in the absence of any major encouragement from my line manager.) Of course, I won, but not my any considerable margin (one call). This was a warning, that the days of sitting back and letting things just sort themselves out, in their own accord, were well and truly over. Perhaps, this is just what I needed, a fresh challenge. Someone who is going to fight, in the least confrontational way, for each phone call, PC install, PDA rebuild and voicemail return. I will not flounder.

As always, I will meet each upcoming trial with ambitious dedication. Sometimes I need to keep reminding myself that there are thousands of worse products I could be supporting. There are also millions more of dead end, meaningless jobs I could find myself in (contracting anyone?) I must learn to be more grateful for the hand I have dealt, rather than hoping the next deck will prove more worthwhile

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