Helpdesk client from hell, and a spineless manager from... I don't know, purgatory or something...
A month or so ago, my boss went on a sudden, unplanned three week stress leave break. I literally came in on Monday morning and was told my boss was not in and wouldn't be back for three weeks. There was no handover process, and she and I usually handle very different jobs - I tend to be the day-to-day helpdesk guy, and she is the head of IT, so she deals more with big picture things and ongoing projects.
We provide IT support for about 150 staff in three separate buildings, spread out over a bit more than one city block. A full-time IT person in another building was also absent that week, so I was doing three people's work in three different premises.
Worse still, the other IT tech has ongoing health problems, meaning she is often absent on sick leave, plus she doesn't work Fridays. Over the fifteen business days of my boss's unplanned absence, the only other tech was present for perhaps five.
Okay, there's the setup.
A few days ago my boss's boss called me into his office, and proceeded to discipline me for providing bad service, on the basis of "many" complaints he had received. I was shocked, as I believe I do a good job and I thought my on-site clients were very happy with me. He didn't tell me who had complained, but said I was slow to respond to requests, had a bad attitude and seemed reluctant to help, and preferred to waste all my time on the internet.
I was too stunned at the time to realise just how badly he had fucked me over. As somebody accused of wrongdoing, I had a right to be told who my accuser was and the specific substance of their complaints, and I was given no opportunity to rebut the accusation and defend my position. It was simply assumed that I had fucked up and the complaint was 100% accurate. I left his office feeling very bummed out and seriously considering looking for another job.
Early the next day, I talked to my (very reasonable) direct supervisor about it, telling her some of my concerns and letting her know I was very upset about the treatment I had received. She let it slip who the complaint was from (and yes, the "many" complaints appeared to all originate from the same person) and also seemed surprised that I hadn't been told the substance of the complaint so I could present my side.
As it happens, had I been given that opportunity I could have cleared the whole thing up, because absolutely none of it was my fault. The delays were caused by me trying to do the work of three people and by the finance guy fucking up a payment and sending it in a month late, delaying a software delivery. My "reluctance to provide help" was due to this guy demanding a software package I have never used and cannot provide support for - we bought him a phone-based technical support subscription for this very reason, and warned him that we could not learn this new package (an advanced mapping and GIS utility) so he would be largely on his own once we had handed it over. I also believe I use the internet for personal use about as much as anyone else in the organisation, but sadly my desk is in a corridor, essentially, and anyone can look at my screen at any time, so there is always a danger that even a minute spent on non-work will be noticed and remembered. Obviously, this prick of a client had done just that, and decided I spent all my time on the internet instead of providing support we told him we couldn't provide.
So yeah, this isn't funny or entertaining, just a stress-relieving rant about how shitty clients can be empowered by spineless managers.
Oh, and I'm not taking it lying down, either. I am considering my options and will probably make a formal complaint against my boss's boss for his poor handling of the situation. We're a government agency and he clearly violated a bunch of rules.
Righteous anger rocks.