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Boss Stood Up for Me


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This happened when i usually work for an IT company who get lots of outsourced support contracts with various large organisations around the world. Most of my time there I was on the Out of Hours team so we covered for about 80-100 clients, although only about 20 would regularly contact us in any given month. One was a reasonably large London Borough Council who I won’t name who had recently changed the system they used for compiling parking ticket data collected by their officers from an old but efficient Unix based system to a new system which probably cost the tax payer a terrifyingly large sum of cash. And it was hopelessly unreliable. Because every night, without fail, the poor souls in London who were transferring the data from the new handheld devices that the people in the street would use onto the system so that fines could be processed & sent on to the “customer” would call us, usually some point between 7 & 9 pm as the system had fallen over. Literally every night. And it went on for months & months, & months turned into a couple of years of the cluster fuck. And every night we’d have to call the really nice guy who looked after the system for the third party who I fortunately have erased the name of, interrupt his time with his kids so he could do his thing. And then we’d copy paste all the details from our calling logging system to him just so he’d get all the info he’d need. The old setup? They’d call to log a fault out of hours maybe 15-20 times a year.

Anyway one night, my last 13 hour shift, (pattern I worked would be 4 nights on, 5 off then Saturday & Sunday day shifts, Monday Tuesday Wednesday nights & 7 off. Going from finishing work at 6 pm Sunday & then having to not start again until 6 pm Monday was always a bit of a bitch, but that time off made it worthwhile) I was dealing with this among the usual stuff, pretty tired at the end of 5 long shifts, get the call from this council employee, took down the details & absent minded wrote a little rant in the details. “X Council are fucking morons” being one key phrase that I quite vividly remember. This wasn’t unusual, you’d just remove this before saving it all.

Anyway, eventually the shift ends, get 7 days off, total bliss. Come back in only to be taken aside by my team leader who tells me that I forgot to remove it. And copied it into the Call History which can’t be edited, unlike the call details. And sent it onto the lovely support guy who dealt with the lousy software.

Now that I did something really fucking stupid isn’t the crazy part, the crazy part to me is that my team leader went out to bat to me despite my stupidity. The Chief Executive of this London council wanted my blood, he was absolutely seething. The contract was worth well over £200 m over a 10 year period to my then-employer. And I basically called this Chief Executive & the people in charge of installing this new software/hardware system fucking morons. But my boss, fucking terrific guy, insisted I was an important cog in his team, with several years of experience, a more or less flawless record who made a mistake. I ended up with a formal warning, & was taken off that particular client & never received their calls on my phone ID. But I didn’t lose my job & got to stay working Out of Hours because my team leader thought to stand up to me, against his own boss, & their boss, & the client. I mean that really made an impact for me. He was a solid, solid guy. And fucking hilarious to boot.

Well, it’s crazy to me anyway.

 

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