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Firing David Lightman

Got quite a few emails about my recent article No Profit in a Fast Employee Axe dealing with the situation where we had to eventually fire an IT employee for low performance. As you note from the article subject we want to dig into human elements of our profession at times and not always the tech stuff. This article seemed to hit a chord with many readers. In the extended entry for the blog entry I have some reader comments and some of my responses.
And, bonus prize for the person that can tell me where I came up with the alias of David Lightman. (well, no prize, but I will give you profs here on the blog)
Feedback from Reader "CS"
One reader vented his unhappy experiences with a call center. In my reply I noted that I am always open to listen and draw parallels back to our RealityIT articles. I explained that in his case he was dealing with a call center, not a traditional helpdesk. But I agreed that the theme of poor customer service is frustrating. And we all would agree that customers (internal or external) deserve proper service.

Excerpts of Email from Reader CS:
I read your column in the current issue of Network Computing and don???t quite agree with your stand on gentle and gradual correction of poor help desk employee performance."

I have a small retail sales company that does quite a bit of shipping to addresses in the U.S. About a year ago I switched nearly all of my shipping business from and to because their rates were about 30% less than either of the other two companies.

However, during the next several months I encountered 4 different glitches or bugs while using the website to process my shipments. I contacted their tech support desk on each occasion, and was effectively helped only once. Two of the three times that my problem was not solved I was given incorrect solutions to the issue. The third time, the help desk employee simply told me, ???That???s just the way the system is. Sometimes it doesn???t work. Just try it again tomorrow and it will probably be okay.???

I have subsequently stopped using for any of my shipping. I guess that means I am willing to pay 30% more for a service in order to avoid bad technical support experiences.

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