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  • August 02, 2015, 05:28:41 AM

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Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 842488 times)

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Jocelyn

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My mind boggles at the concept that anyone would believe that a very elderly tour guide who lead their tour 40 years ago, would still be available. I might have asked for Sam if he'd been 25 when he led the tour...but if he were in his 80s, I'd realize that he probably isn't an active employee any longer, and I wouldn't recommend him. :)

Midnight Kitty

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This morning I got a call from a prime contractor saying that "the county" was insisting that the contractor become registered haulers.  I'm the one who registers haulers.  I asked the guy if the prime contractor had their own hauling trucks.  He said, "No, we're using XYZ hauling company and their trucks."  I verified that XYZ hauling company is, indeed, a registered hauler.  I told Guy there were in solid compliance with the hauling regulations.  I also said I can't register a company that doesn't have vehicles.  The "registration" is actually laminated construction paper with the license plate number of the vehicle that is supposed to be put on the dashboard.  What am I going to put on the placard?  Where are they going to put their placards if they don't have any vehicles?

The county can make up any procurement requirements that they please, but that doesn't affect state regulations which have the weight of law.  This county frequently makes up new procedures without checking applicable laws first, then expects their contractors and consultants to turn into magicians. ::)
"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.  The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

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MissRose

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I just had a customer call in, and say I want a particular person's email address that works for your company.  He had no open ticket for trouble for one, next we are not allowed to give out our corporate email addresses, but we can offer only email addresses that go to a particular department.  He eventually hung up on me before I had the chance to say would you like someone to give our your work email address to someone  to contact you out of the blue?

Margo

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I just had a customer call in, and say I want a particular person's email address that works for your company.  He had no open ticket for trouble for one, next we are not allowed to give out our corporate email addresses, but we can offer only email addresses that go to a particular department.  He eventually hung up on me before I had the chance to say would you like someone to give our your work email address to someone  to contact you out of the blue?
although it is an impossible request in that your internal policies would not allow you to give out the address, I don't think it is automatically an unreasonable request in itself - it is not uncommon to have a situation where it would actually be more effective to be able to contact a specific person directly - for instance if they have previous fixed a problem which has now recurred, or if they have given information or advice and you have a specific question about it.
And in a lot of businesses, work e-mail addresses are not private.

Of course, if the caller was rude, or tried to argue with you when you told him you could not do that, or refused to listen to options, then he was rude, but a polite request for someone's work contact details doesn't strike me as rude per se.

Jocelyn

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Email addresses have been available on the website, at every place I've been employed. I don't see why a work email address should be any more private than a work phone number- can you explain why you feel they should be private?

athersgeo

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Email addresses have been available on the website, at every place I've been employed. I don't see why a work email address should be any more private than a work phone number- can you explain why you feel they should be private?

There's work email addresses and work email addresses.

I have a work email address that I do give out and one that I don't. The one I don't give out is my "personal" work address which I don't want to get clarted up with spam and non-relevant emails; it's for my actual clients to contact me/send me work and they get the address at the point they become a paying client (or at least become something more than a speculative inquiry). The one I do give out is a more generic email address which is shared between the whole company*. That's the address random inquiries should go to because 99 times out of a 100, I'm not even remotely the right person for the question anyway!

On that basis I would never expect to be given someone's "personal" work email address just by asking because I would assume it was reserved for actual clients, not speculative inquiries. I know there are industries where that doesn't necessarily apply (literary agents and teachers spring to mind as two examples), but in the corporate world I'd assume this was more likely the situation than not.

*Small company - there's three of us ;)

hjaye

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Email addresses have been available on the website, at every place I've been employed. I don't see why a work email address should be any more private than a work phone number- can you explain why you feel they should be private?

From the original email, it looks like this employee works off of trouble tickets that most likely come in through some form of service management software.  They are most likely required to handle incidents only through this system, that way they can effectively be measured as to their productivity, as well as build up a knowledge base for issues that have a recurring theme or problem and the solutions for these problems.  One technician may spend a week trying to fix a problem, once the problem is fixed the solution is documented, the next technician won't have to spend a week on the same problem.  (that's the theory anyway).

By giving out his personal email rather than having submitted a ticket into the queue, it circumvents this process.  If the technician were to handle problems only on a personal email basis, then no one would ever really know what anyone was working on.  A highly productive employee could be looked at as a slacker if there is no documentation to show what they have been doing. 
So if the person wanted their personal email so they could contact them directly to help with a problem, they definitely should not be given the email address.  I would also call this person a SS for trying to work around the system.

modified to add the first paragraph
« Last Edit: July 28, 2015, 09:18:54 AM by hjaye »

PastryGoddess

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Email addresses have been available on the website, at every place I've been employed. I don't see why a work email address should be any more private than a work phone number- can you explain why you feel they should be private?

It sounds like it's a company policy, not the OP's personal policy.  I have worked at several companies where email addresses are not available on the website.  It's not necessarily the norm, even if you have personally experienced the opposite. 
Maryland

Roodabega

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Email addresses have been available on the website, at every place I've been employed. I don't see why a work email address should be any more private than a work phone number- can you explain why you feel they should be private?

...
By giving out his personal email rather than having submitted a ticket into the queue, it circumvents this process.  If the technician were to handle problems only on a personal email basis, then no one would ever really know what anyone was working on.  A highly productive employee could be looked at as a slacker if there is no documentation to show what they have been doing. 
So if the person wanted their personal email so they could contact them directly to help with a problem, they definitely should not be given the email address.  I would also call this person a SS for trying to work around the system.

modified to add the first paragraph
To expand a bit further, allowing people direct email addresses of support personnel not only bypasses the reporting part of ticket handling, but it lets the person bypass all of the people ahead of them in queue and demand immediate attention to their issue.  Thereby affecting people who went into the queue normally.   Additionally, it gives the client the ability to pester someone who worked on a previous issue for them with requests for tips, pointers, "just a quick question".  The service person then has to make the decision to waste time answering or just ignoring.

Even though most of my requests are from internal "customers", we require that they use the ticket system so that we know requests are legitimate, approved, and able to withstand audit.

Carotte

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Email addresses have been available on the website, at every place I've been employed. I don't see why a work email address should be any more private than a work phone number- can you explain why you feel they should be private?

It depends vastly on the industry and the position of the person. Some people will never work *with* a client (support staff, in charge of part X,..) and there's no reason for the client to have the adress even if that person does have a work adress.
Anyway, just like in a non-work situation, you're supposed to ask the person to give your adress/contact to the person if it's not possible the other way around.


The easiest thing to try if you really want to bypass that is to guess the adress.. I once had to contact a supervisor while working retail, no phone number (it was early and the store wasn't open), no adress, but I had one from RH with the first.lastname@store .com set up so I tried that.

LazyDaisy

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Email addresses have been available on the website, at every place I've been employed. I don't see why a work email address should be any more private than a work phone number- can you explain why you feel they should be private?

...
By giving out his personal email rather than having submitted a ticket into the queue, it circumvents this process.  If the technician were to handle problems only on a personal email basis, then no one would ever really know what anyone was working on.  A highly productive employee could be looked at as a slacker if there is no documentation to show what they have been doing. 
So if the person wanted their personal email so they could contact them directly to help with a problem, they definitely should not be given the email address.  I would also call this person a SS for trying to work around the system.

modified to add the first paragraph
To expand a bit further, allowing people direct email addresses of support personnel not only bypasses the reporting part of ticket handling, but it lets the person bypass all of the people ahead of them in queue and demand immediate attention to their issue.  Thereby affecting people who went into the queue normally.   Additionally, it gives the client the ability to pester someone who worked on a previous issue for them with requests for tips, pointers, "just a quick question".  The service person then has to make the decision to waste time answering or just ignoring.

Even though most of my requests are from internal "customers", we require that they use the ticket system so that we know requests are legitimate, approved, and able to withstand audit.
Ah yes, the perpetual ticket -- no matter how much time has passed after the original request was complete there will always be the client who has one more change/question/problem to tack on. That and the referral requests -- "My coworker told me that you helped him with XYZ last year, now I want something tangentially similar so I'm contacting you directly about it."

Adding on to this, it's most likely in the customer's interest to go through the normal request procedures since an individual employee may be out sick, on vacation, left the company, reassigned/promoted etc. They are slowing themselves down.

At my university email addresses are completely available on the website and I get contacted directly at least twice a week for new job requests. Each and every time I must refer them to the intranet request form where their request will get assigned by my boss to the next available designer, who may or may not be me. Clients do not get to self assign. Often there's something about having to formalize their request that inspires people to rethink their needs and eliminates us from doing a bunch of last-minute-just-for-ideas-speculative-work that really has no hope of moving forward.
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Jocelyn

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Thanks for the explanations. As I'd said, it's not the practice in my field, and I was having a hard time imagining why there'd be a problem. There have been very few times that it's been a problem for me, having the general public have access to me, and prior to Facebook, it's been very useful to my friends, to be able to get ahold of me if I'd moved. :)
The only hassle I had was a workplace where our email addresses were first initial-last name. I started getting emails for a young man named Jack, and finally asked one of the people to please let Jack know, so he could tell his friends that he wasn't j-ourlastname. He sent me a nice apology, and we kept up an email friendship for a couple of years until he graduated. Which was better than the next time it happened, which was when a person in another department sent me several confidential emails intended for Jennifer-ourlastname. I sent warnings several times, and had to send a very sternly worded one, before it stopped, and no one ever said 'Oops!' And yes, this was information protected by federal legislation!

MissRose

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A bit more clarification on my post:  for our tech support teams, we have distribution lists that are usually certaintechgroup@company.com which all techs in a group receive.  Most techs do not give out their personal email addresses and/or desk numbers to customers as some people will try to circumvent the process (which I consider SS) of calling 1st for a Tier 1 agent to open (or check on) a new repair issue ticket then the tier 2 tech calls them back (or we transfer either to tech with permission from person or to the queue to get another person to help).

Yarnspinner

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With regard to Sam the wonderful but deceased tour guide:  some days, I would rather try a many years dead former colleague to help a finicky patron than have to deal with finicky patrons myself.