Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Service Now Next Door

Along the restructuring of our service group this early came well thought plans, wishful experiments and wide-eyed thinking.  Within a few days from conception, we now have service request forms printed in triplicate, serialized, carbonized, glued, and in archaic colors.  Our service team has left the cramped office for a more spacious room.  They got some local phones sometimes working and then some.  Internet connection and wiring was assisted by yours truly.  And just today, they have another computer to play with!

The service request forms serve to put in writing whatever service is tasked to do.  And by that, I mean anything.  It actually surprised me the first couple of times I saw some non-operational tasks put in the service forms.  The service request forms (which I secretly call Job Order forms (because that's what I called them back in July last year in its computerized version)) are creatively colored white, pink, and yellow.  Not.  They're also conveniently segregated into two series: A and B.  I'm not sure which service group is A and which is B, but I'm pretty sure the service group has that written somewhere.  Last week, I was trying to encode some of the forms in the computer.  Unfortunately I encountered quite a number of cacographical issues.

I think they'll have to have some kind of filing cabinets sooner or later.  Although from what I see with the implementation so far, you wouldn't want to browse through them just to look for one particular form.  Thinking about filing so much data makes me want to study library science some time.

The service team has finally left our office, to the rightful dismay of office mates who habitually answer the phones.  One thing that made service a bit problematic was that it can be hard to get in touch with them.  Sometimes, you can't get one complete sentence from them without some preemptive phone call to distract them.  Although the communication issue is with much merit, the space problem is just as big an issue.  We have now three guys (1.4 + .75 + .85 = 3) sharing one chair, one table, one computer and half a phone.  When they get visitors (and they get lots of them), it can be crowded.  So moving them out sort of won that one.  At least temporarily.  I think the communication issue can be fixed in more creative ways.

Which is why they now have two local numbers.  Three would have been better.  But right now, the two are not yet perfectly working.  So let's work that out first.  It would have been fantastic if they can have a sort of local trunk number which our main office can dial to ring any available phone on their side.  That is certainly plausible if I can convince management to invest in an Asterisk server to replace our dinosaur of a PABX.  Other options include video intercom and instant messaging.

What happens if you've got 3 computer novices in an air conditioned room, well hidden from prying eyes, and  two computers with internet?  Chess death match anyone?  Well not really.  They haven't gone that far except for the nearly ubiquitous Facebook.  Now one is helping the other how to do some Empathy, while having fun with Cheese.  Then there's the question of how to shut down.

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