1330 rolls around. Angie is already sat in the stale meeting room waiting for me. Obviously, given the events of the day before, I knew I had essentially caused this impromptu ticket review. To me there remained two choices.
I could head in there, a subservient professional, plead for my sins and be managed. Yep, be managed by Angie. As she had already minced three of my colleagues into vegetative states, I realised this tactic was doomed. However, my heavy metal spirit prevailed; I took a cue from Dee Snider and instead presented myself as just me. The guy who will still smile and offer professionalism with a light hearted stance even in the face of a total bully.
I walked into the meeting room brandishing a pint glass of red fruit juice which I happily placed on the desk. I honestly don't think Angie was expecting this one. I jovially sat down and acted like I was eager to go through any concerns she had with my tickets.
She came straight out with it, "I want to know why you close the lowest amount of tickets out of everyone in the group? This isn't good enough, you are consistently the lowest score in every single stat I have!"
My case revolved around the fact that we were never ruled by stats. Ever. We maintained a low open-ticket count and concentrated on mentoring junior staff and leading by example. I was hired as a senior simply as a representation of my experience and it was not uncommon for me to accompany junior staff on their calls.
As you can guess, as well as a frosty stare, this was met with a single-worded write off: "Rubbish!" she sniped. She tyraded for another 10 minutes, scribbling all over her prints in red pen like a crap maths teacher and proceeded to throw me ticket after ticket and reasons why she wasn't happy.
That's OK, I don't stop there. After she finishes her rant, I decide, I can play your game. I turn her stack of reddened paperwork over and begin to go through them in depth, one by one, to answer her concerns.
"This ticket here, " I started, "you were unhappy as it took too long to resolve. I admit, three weeks is a little out there. However, this PC is running some bespoke medical software and as it happens will only run on Windows NT. The department is not willing to shell out five figures on a new XP-compatible version so they asked us to source a replacement motherboard instead."
Now here's how I knew we had a rat. Angie has no idea what NT is - or even a motherboard. However, her tyrade this time seemed more bitter and twisted. I was really stirring the hornets nest here!
I insisted on moving on after, "I can take your comments on board."
I started into the next ticket. "This ticket resolved around a new vendor requiring set up of several Oracle databases..." Angie stopped me mid sentence. She reiterated bitterly my low call count; if I didn't shape up, she would have no option but to seek disciplinary steps.
OK so I didn't win. But at least the playing field has been set. I don't back down, though I know I won't win. But at least now I know what her prize is. Why, I don't know. She can't be after everyone's job, surely? That makes no sense.
Angie left for the day. I was alone watching a new HP laptop complete a Windows install, ready to fine tune and install, later to sysprep. The balding Head of IT wandered over to ask what all the meetings were about today. I adopted happy-mode and shared my thoughts in as diplomatic a manner I could. I expressed how I was the lowest ticket closer and Angie isn't happy about that.
Initially, Balding Head (BHIT) tried to placate me, asking how I could do better. Blimey, I'd forgotten higher ups were meant to "help". However, he soon discovered my tickets for what they were; all mine were the complex issues. Internal wifi dropouts, preparing master configs for different models of routers the sales reps had, troubleshooting legacy Windows NT and MSDOS 8.3 systems...
And then I landed everyone in it. Compared to some others, it seems the bulk majority of calls assigned by people to themselves in the mornings were password resets.... I guess that's one way to boost your stats...
Ooops... did I just self-rat my team?