[unisog] Systems support staff on HelpDesk rotation?

Karyn Williams karyn at calarts.edu
Wed Mar 8 20:54:29 GMT 2006

At 01:43 PM 3/8/06 -0500, you wrote:
>Our management is considering rotating all 
>through the HelpDesk on some sort of preset schedule.  The stated goal is
>to expose the staff to a direct customer service and support environment,
>making them more sensitive to the customer's needs and the HelpDesk's
>position as intermediary.  Management's premise is that a lot of other
>schools do this, and that it will be beneficial to all involved.
>A few queries on the subject:
>	* Is your site actively doing this? ... considering doing this?
>		* What experiences have you had	with it?
>		* Are customers happier?
>		* Are employees happier? (Management, HelpDesk, techies)
>		* Have workflow processes been improved?
>	* What reasons are behind the decision (either way)?

We are a small edu with just two people to take care of the network,
sysadmin twentysomething servers and then two people at the helpdesk. If
the network staff were doing helpdesk support (the helpdesk people report
to me so I do some anyway) then what would the helpdesk people do during
that time and who would there be to do my job ? The helpdesk staff can not
do it. 

Ten years ago I did it all myself. Yes there were some advantages, I knew
alot more people in the Institute and so had a better feel for what was
going on and I miss that sometimes, but with the increased complexity of
the network and number of servers there is just no way I could be off doing
some low level job just to be PC or make someone else feel better. The
expectations will not be reduced as to what technical/systems support staff
are to get done in a given time frame cause everything takes too long as it

It also adds to the complexity of the job(s) because you have to now know
how to do everything in Word, Excel, Access, and still be able to configure
a switch or router and interpret a packet capture. This would add to job
stress significantly.


Karyn Williams
Network Services Manager
California Institute of the Arts
karyn at calarts.edu

More information about the unisog mailing list