So a large part of my job is mediating things. Yes, technically I do tech support, but since I was promoted (Senior Technical Advisor, check it!), the focus has switched quite dramatically from solving just technical problems to solving people problems. Not necessarily people that are problems, of course. More like people who have encountered problems, and then been misinformed, mishandled or simply mistreated, either in reality or perception (which, we all know, is reality). As a result, my new job relies a lot on calling people at home, apologizing for somebody else’s mess, and trying to repack Vesuvius in under 20 minutes.
I’ve come to realize that just a single call-back isn’t always enough, especially when a case ends up lasting a week before being closed. My morning list usually starts at about 8-10 callbacks, and after those are done, about 10 more arrive before the end of the day. Some of those get resolved immediately (about 30%). Another 50% I place in a file for scheduled callbacks. But that remaining 20% is the group that seems content, but could very likely have a better experience with The Company if I gave them a courtesy call within about 3-4 days.
From the surface, this seems simple. It’s not. With calls coming in every 7 seconds (no joke!), and each call averaging at 17 minutes, it’s extremely hard to keep track of everything. Simply putting it into Pages isn’t enough anymore. Plus, what if the person I call doesn’t pick up? Their name remains on the list, and it gets bigger and bigger, until it’s a massive pile of bloat.
So today’s project is to write a program that allows you to quite effortlessly drop in numbers of people to courtesy call, rank them according to most/least crucial, give a bit of background information, and access a quick person to call based on how much time you think the call will last (for example: a call to check up on an iCloud restore is potentially going to be much longer than a call to see if a particular app has finished downloading).
Anyone who has worked in a call center knows that call lengths are impossible to fully predict, which becomes a problem when you have lunch in 10 minutes, are just about to take a new call, and will get negative attention if your lunch isn’t almost perfectly on the dot in regards to the assigned time. So here’s the solution: fire up my program, sort by outbound calls you think will last less than 15 minutes, and pick up the phone.
The aim of this isn’t to make life easier (despite this post’s sneaky title). It’s based on pure selfishness. I want to write something that all my coworkers can use, and my boss might just accidentally happen to notice. I desperately want to transition from tech support to a development role with The Company. I’ve heard several success stories of people in my exact position striking it big within The Company doing exactly this, so it’s worth a shot. At the very least I’ll have a slight technological edge over my peers.