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the long-awaited whine session about my job. its practically going… - Speak Friend and Enter
Grammar and Lord of the Rings
the long-awaited whine session about my job. its practically going to be in essay form, with a thesis and supporting paragraphs. thats how much time i've had to think about it.

Despair, Thy Name Is IT

Jobs are funny. When you don't have one, its this great big deal, and its even bigger that you're actually getting a regular paycheck. When you first start out, minimum wage doesn't seem quite so minimum. Then as you move onto other jobs, hopefully with higher wages, you start to realize just how low you started. Soon you hit double digits and you think to yourself, wow I'm not doing too bad for myself. Only then do you learn that other people make more than you. When they shouldn't.

Ok, screw this essay crap. I'm just going to rant.

My job sucks because:
*I get paid $2/hr less than someone I have 2+ years of seniority on, because of my classification
*We get zero training here
*We don't have any kind of updated hardware
*We are expected to read minds
*We don't have any policies or guidelines

Did I forget anything? Let's take them in order.

I was hired here as a Student Assistant, basically the lowest form of life in state government. At the time I wasn't too concerned - in fact, I was happy because I'm a legitimate state employee, with some of the benefits that go along with that. Vacation time and fifty billion holidays. For a while, that was OK. Then there was this state hiring freeze thing, and they started to bring in students through something called the CSUS Foundation. They aren't employed BY the state, but they work here. As of now, all but 2 of us are Foundation employees. For a while, I didn't really think much of this - it seems I still had the better deal, because if I quit, they can't fill my position, it just disappears. That was until last week.

One of the guys here asked Wena what she makes at this job. She said $12/hr. Hold the fucking phone. $12/hr? Is that a joke? Imagine my surprise when I take into account that I had to work my way up from $8.82/hr to the absolute peak that I can make here, $10.41/hr. She's been here for 2 months and she makes $2 more than I do, 2 1/2 years after starting. She STARTED at $3-4 higher than me. Now, I really don't know how this is justified, because I haven't asked.

For the record, I have a right to be pissed. Not just because I have years of seniority, but because my knowledge on this stuff far outweighs hers. I'm not just saying that, I know it for a fact. I probably know more about fixing computers than anyone else here, but I'm getting royally shafted on my wage.

The Student Assistant classification basically gives my employers the right to fuck me over. Not only on my wage, but on my work hours. I'm not allowed to work at 7am because its required that there be a supervisor in the area when a student is working. I'm not kidding. I can't come in earlier and avoid taking the bus because I'm a fucking student. This is why I was looking for a new job.

Next up: training. Absolutely everything I have learned here has been through experience. We have not received one iota of training on any software we support, or implement, or otherwise make available to our users. I didn't know what Attachmate was when I got here, and I still have no clue what Maximo does. Does the department train us, the Help Desk staff, on these programs? Hell no. We have to just learn them through practice. Thats a solid investment right there. As of now, since we don't know dick about Maximo, we actually have to refer users to other people when problems arise. Why do they even have our phone number on there then? Who knows.

My favorite topic now. We at the Help Desk do not have the most current hardware. Now, granted, its not absolutely imperative for us to perform our job duties, but wouldn't you think it might help us if we already had something similar to what the users are getting? I have not had a CD-burner in my 2 1/2 years here. When a user calls up with a question involving one of the new computers, I have to troubleshoot it blind because I don't know what it looks/acts like. If I had the same hardware, I might be able to support it better. Twice during my tenure here, they made offers to get us new computers. The first time, they showed up, then were promptly doled out to other people. That was a nice big fuck you. The second time is still in the "maybe" stages, which as far as I'm concerned, means "yeah right, maybe when you're 50". The movement promptly died once our boss got wind of it. We were lined up to get new machines, then the original number was cut from 10 to 6, now I think its at 4 and it still isn't signed off. No better way to motivate your Help Desk staff then by in no uncertain terms telling them they aren't worth spending any money on. No, really, we'll keep doing all this bitch work with our dinosaurs, we don't mind!!! As an addendum, we never do any software testing. Someone buys a program, we have to know how to fix it without ever touching it. I honestly think its stupid for us to support shit like Adobe programs that we don't have copies of/have used. But there aren't any policies...

That's right, we really don't have any policies regarding what we support, what users can do, or anything else really. About the only thing I ever saw was a memo saying "Don't install WinMX, its naughty". So we have to support basically everything because we have no policy to fall back on when we refuse to support a program. Granted, for the most part I will happily try and help a user, even if its something like accessing hotmail here at work, because I know how to fix it. Even if its not officially supported. But the fact that we have zero room to deny service is frustrating. Just recently I had to fix computers acting up because they had Webshots installed. I requested there be an interim policy just for that program because its such a headache to us. Do you think users with it already installed will uninstall it? I'm realistic. Even if they did, it doesn't get rid of the garbage that makes their computers so slow. Our users have free reign to download whatever they want, and we have to figure out why something doesn't work later, without really having the clout to start removing shit. There was a period when 9/10 machines had DeskFlag installed, an utterly worthless program that had a little waving flag in the system tray. Did it cause problems? Beats me. But I couldn't go removing it because there was no policy against it.

All of the above adds up to why I applied for a new job. The end.
3 pity screws or Do me
trick From: trick Date: April 28th, 2003 12:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
just a sidenote...most of the it depts. i've ever worked with cannibalized the old/broken/unused computers and customized their own until they had supermachines.
okay, not supermachines, but big ol' hard drives and some nifty special tweaks...like one guy who got sick of not getting a bigger screen set it up so that his 'puter fed to four screens arranged in a a square shape. he was quite skilled at working it like it was all one big screen. i would have had major issues myself...

there's also the kickass computer at my work now that has no hard drive. heh. it's kickass because i got to plug my old laptop's hd into it and rescue SOOO many things i thought were lost forever. heh.
suffocated From: suffocated Date: April 29th, 2003 10:15 am (UTC) (Link)
we actually cannibalize like crazy - its just that apparently its somehow illegal when we jack a part from one machine and put it another. now, its only illegal if we get caught. i just stole a cd-burner from another computer of the same model because i never had one. i think i'll get in trouble.
trick From: trick Date: April 29th, 2003 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)


bah. if you're the techiest geek out there, who'll know?
3 pity screws or Do me