There was a thread on a mailing list where a person was complaining about slow turn around on tech support emails from a certain company which shall remain nameless here. This response is pretty intriguing:A friend of mine who works on the web team was complaining he wasn’t gettingany bonuses because he takes the support tickets in the order they are generated. Apparently most techs farm through and pick the easy tickets to bring their numbers up (for cash bonuses), and leave the more difficult or time-consuming request for other people. Basically, if it isn’t a 5 second fix it’s gonna sit there awhile.Nice to see that the cash bonuses are generating a true team spirit, isn’t it?This kind of system where a non-appropriate metric is put in place is also why when calling certain companies’ tech support lines you’ll be “accidentally” disconnected a lot. The techs are gauged based on their average call times, so by “accidentally” being disconnected from the caller, the techs will bring down their call times and thus look better to their managers.The only true way to gauge the performance of support techs is to pour over the call or email logs to find out which issues they were facing and how they solved them. But that’s qualitative research, which doesn’t break down into nice charts in PowerPoint, and further requires that the managers know how to do the jobs of the people they are supervising. Qualitative research like that is also very time consuming.So companies will keep using artificial quantitative metrics which break down nicely into charts and reports. Sure, they’re measuring the wrong thing, but look at that chart! Woohoo! Call times are down 14%! The team rocks!Incidentally, if you find that you keep getting “accidentally” disconnected no matter which company you’re calling, it’s because you’re a complete pain in the neck, and the techs are “accidentally” disconnecting you hoping you’ll call back again and get another tech out of the pool. This way they can live in the hope that they won’t have to deal with you any more. Of course you’ll be even more of a pain in the neck after being disconnected, but that’s hardly a problem for the tech who disconnected you, now is it?
Posted Thursday, 12 February, 2004 by Nic Lindh
Another book roundup, including some stellar athletes and soldiers, what might be the most jaded, soul-weary protagonist ever, and some grimdark fantasy.
The Internet is getting creepy, and Nic is breaking out his tinfoil hat after newspaper paywalls push him over the edge.
Nic is tired of tech sites obsessing over Apple’s financials and business strategy. So very tired.
Nic reads a book about the processed food industry and is incensed.
Computers are complicated. This brings out the irrational in people.
Nic proposes the loan word Rechthaberei be incorporated into American English.
The Core Dump is back! Books were read during the hiatus. Includes The Coldest Winter, Oh, Myyy!, Tough Sh*t, The Revolution Was Televised, The Rook, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Gun Machine, Fortress Frontier, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and The Memory of Light.
This site will return in February.
From a true patriot to a world-weary detective, a dead god, and a civilization about to sublime from the galaxy, this book roundup spans the gamut. Includes Where Men Win Glory, Wild, Inside the Box, The Black Box, Three Parts Dead, Red Country, and The Hydrogen Sonata.
Springsteen gives a concert in Phoenix. It’s fantastic.