Friday, 28 October 2011

A New Home in the Sky - A Simple Question

It’s a quiet day here at Klueless Support, the sand falling silently and tranquilly through the hourglass, until a soft ping announces the arrival of an email.


The report I ran today is showing the same figures as yesterday.  This is wrong as the numbers are always different.  Please can you fix it.


A User

Now I like a challenge, but there really is precious little to go on here, so there follows an email trail, summarised below:

Me:   Which report is it that’s incorrect?
User:  The Open Calls report
Me:  OK, where in Klueless is that, is it in the public folders or your personal folder?  Do you extract it yourself or get it by email? (Note: there are literally hundreds of reports, some of which the users create themselves.  With the best will in the world, we can’t know all of them.)
User:  As it stands I’m asked to run a report for the Service Desk that generates data pulled from Klueless.  I’ve attached a list of reports that get sent to me if that’s any help?  (6 attachments)
Me:  So, is it one of the sent ones that’s not showing refreshed figures for today?
User:  Thanks for getting back to me. The 2 spreadsheets attached show the same data sent for two different days. We know this is a fault as no two days will be the same as calls get opened and closed continually.  (2 attachments)
Me:  Yes, but I need to know the name and location of the actual report that’s wrong.
Some time goes by and I do some digging around on my own, eventually managing to locate a scheduled job that automatically generates a report called Open Calls.  I see one bit of it has failed, so re-run that.  This does not, however, explain why today’s and yesterday’s figures are the same.
Out of boredom, I open the two spreadsheets that the user claims contain identical data, just in case. 
They do not contain identical data – not even close. 
Puzzled, I email the user and ask him to check again and, lo and behold, it turns out he’s got confused; the two spreadsheets ARE different, but he is sure they were the same earlier.
Hmmmm.  Yes, maybe the little internet pixies altered them or something.

This is a not untypical exchange between us and our beloved user community, more's the pity.  I have to say our lives would be easier if users:

- did not assume we in support have the same knowlege of their reports (or anything else) as they do
- gave us clear information about where they got the report in the first place
- double-checked before firing off an email

We in support are users of other systems, with their own support teams, so this is probably good advice for us too.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. LOLOL - I tend to have the opposite experience with our tech support, wherein I provide LOADS of data & then they ignore it & assume what I'm asking.

    Sorry about the font thing. Fortunately I use Google Reader so I just read it in that & then came here to comment.

  3. Bug - that's an easy trap to fall into, making as assumption about what it is that somebody needs without going through all the evidence first. Been there. Done that.

    Managed to fix the font colour as well - woohoo!


Without your comments, I am but a wave without a shore...