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Posted · Original PosterOP

Greetings, Organic creatures.

 

So- I've been working my first true IT helpdesk job for the past six months, it's been going fairly well- I've learned a lot and I'm looking forward to moving on to Desktop support and repair in the future...well- I think I am anyway.

 

You see, being somewhat new to the idea of business IT...I make mistakes, and a lot of them. I've never done something huge like- giving a password to someone not authorized or anything that compromises people's data like so, but I do make smaller mistakes that I'm slowly getting better at. Sometimes listing an incident as a restoration instead of a request, sometimes forgetting to note a step or two in my tickets, sometimes not reading something correctly and enacting the wrong step at the wrong time...smaller, fixable errors.

 

But I always do my best to repair them or fix them, I go through my tickets every night and ensure that they're all up to snuff and revised as needed. I try really really hard to be the best I can be, and I tend to tear myself apart over the smaller mistakes. It doesn't help that some of my superiors make it seem as though I just dropped a wrench and killed IBM Watson with every call out. (I know they mean well but they have a tendancy to try and scare you into fixing your mistakes rather than just letting you know they exist and letting you take it from there.)

 

I was wondering if anyone else feels the same anxieties I do, and what you do to deal with them in this line of work. I enjoy it very much and I want to be as good as I can be, but I'm not going to lie- my own anxiety is tearing into me over it.

 

Thanks.

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I'm not working in that exact business, but there are some things that should also apply to your field:

Making mistakes is something that happens to everyone. You are still fairly new at your job, your performance will improve over time if you put effort into it. For now, be sure to deal with the mistakes you make in a responsible way and don't worry too much about them. You should still care and try to avoid them in the future, but keep in mind that no one is perfect, so there is no need to be angry at yourself or scared.

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Get out of your head a bit and slow down, these seem like mistakes you can prevent by slowing down and confirming before proceeding. They probably treat it that way because they don't wan't you to have a big error that screws things up big time.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
25 minutes ago, Labeled said:

Get out of your head a bit and slow down, these seem like mistakes you can prevent by slowing down and confirming before proceeding. They probably treat it that way because they don't wan't you to have a big error that screws things up big time.

It is true, this is something I think I picked up when I worked for an ISP by the name of Cox Communications. "Get their problem fixed, get them off the phone asap otherwise no sales for you."

 

And it's an issue that I must admit I've had a lot of trouble finding a way to stop myself with. My main inclination with fixing an issue is to get the individual fixed up and happy and off the phone asap. And it doesn't help that one of the clients I serve(of which I serve 31 different clients) has a time limit of 30 minutes for a phone call.

 

Also- I'm at the front of the queue most of the time due to a long story that I won't get into here.(technical issue of sorts) Which means that even if I just got off of a call I will always take the next call first even if someone else on the team hasn't taken one for a while.

 

All that said, I'm still trying to figure a way to help my mind slow down a bit more and be more meticulous while also not compromising speed to resolution, you know?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
33 minutes ago, greenhorn said:

I'm not working in that exact business, but there are some things that should also apply to your field:

Making mistakes is something that happens to everyone. You are still fairly new at your job, your performance will improve over time if you put effort into it. For now, be sure to deal with the mistakes you make in a responsible way and don't worry too much about them. You should still care and try to avoid them in the future, but keep in mind that no one is perfect, so there is no need to be angry at yourself or scared.

Thank you for the encouragement!

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There is no problem with making mistakes...even big ones. For example I once, many many years ago, forgot to include part of a where statement in an update query and wiped out an entire database of orders for the countries largest travel agent. (A problem made worse because the DB admin had never tested the backups, meaning most of the heat was on him, for obvious reasons, I argued that I shouldn't have had to do it direct on production anyway, but hey, I'd already warned them it was a possibility in previous tasks).

 

The thing that makes or breaks you is how you deal with those mistakes. I always "got away with it" because I instantly hold my hands up and say "I fucked up" and ask for help. Some managers and colleagues think that if you make a mistake you should fix it because it is your mistake, this is not how it should be, a good team will pull together, if one person fucks up then the TEAM fucks up and it's the team that should take ownership of an issue, but they can only do that if they know about it straight away. The main reason is that it is rarely your fault for messing up in the way you do. Adding the wrong status, forgetting a step or jumping in at the wrong point are all things that are related to having way too much work to do.

 

From time to time you'll just have a "brain fart" and mess up, don't worry about it, fix the issue and move on with your day. 

 

Put it this way, me wiping out data, causing months of support work for half the police force in the UK, stopping court proceedings for a day in the entire south of England and crashing a van into the loading bay of a Pirelli factory (causing enough damage to have my company at the time pay £50k in damages) put me in the position (or at least didn't affect my ability) to work at JPL (NASA)....so really, don't worry about small mistakes. Many of us industry veterans have stories that will make your toes curl in comparison, and were all still here, hell alot of those people became CTOs at one point.

 

The best advice I could give you is to communicate, communicate, communicate. If a task is delayed from 1 week to 3 weeks most reasonable people will thank you for the update and leave you to it. (sales guys tend to be assholes to everyone so don't take what they say to heart, and just direct them to your manager when they kick off). The thing that gets people agitated is the unknown, so the moment you have a status update tell the relevant people, that will make your life as easy as it can be. You remove the stress of getting things done in a rush, you remove the stress of disappointing people at the last minute and in general you remove the need to fight fires one after another (you end up with more of a controlled burn than a wild fire). 

 

Bonus mistake that happened at my first company: we imported a lot of records into a courts system, and the "ethnicity" column in the DB was set to be 6 characters for some unknown reason....so when we encountered a person with the ethnicity "Dark European" it truncated, and displayed to the court, "Dark E" luckily it was spotted and fixed quickly, and everyone involved had a good laugh about it. No harm no foul. 

 

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Mistakes are completely fine as long as you learn from them and own them ("yeah I fucked up and I'll fix it up and try my best not to do it again" rather than making excuses). If you keep making the same mistakes then you need to try understand why you keep making those mistakes, and ways you can prevent yourself from making them again.

 

I started on IT help desk 7 years ago so I know your feeling, my job was pretty cruisy though it didn't matter that much if we made minor mistakes, and there wasn't very strict rules around recording steps/resolutions.

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