Guys and Gals, let me give you a tale of doing the right thing the wrong way.
LJ cut and Friends only. RHAT employees, please respect that. Names ahve been changed to protect me. A few more details than what I privately emailed
First Citizens Bank has had a series of zSeries issues open with GSS.
Two dated November 2004. GSS has been slow to respond.
First week of Feb, they call their sales rep and we start the escalation
process. I think I told a GSS rep that “closed unsupported” wasn’t an option. I may have been rude. He deserved it. It gets escalated to the third tier and engineering group in support (SEG).
GSS is still slow to respond. Early March and it’s still in limbo. I escalate again via a phone call to my manager. We talk to the SEG manager. He’s a good guy, and starts running some triage. Takes him almost a week to get everyone on the same page, in a room and an action plan. This is now really an engineering issue.
Engineering is slow to respond. We escalate again. We get cvommits for fixes for some items near, some items in 4-6 months.
So Customer is still not fixed. Customer is starting to make SuSE noises.
We have a large pitch comming for x86, GFS, RHN, the works. GSS and
engineering are making soothing noises, but still no fixes. All of it is scheduled for later.
Friday FCB leaves a voicemail for the sales rep that basically says they’re loosing confidence, and suse is looking like the right thing for their mainframe.
We loose the zSeries, guess what else we’re gonna lose.
I forward the voicemail to the SUpport VP, SEG Manager, Services Exec VP, and Matthew Szulick. I cc my manager and my sales rep on it.
And wait for the hammer to fall.
I am exhillerated. I admit it now. I am having fun stirring up the hornet’s nest, at this point, and walk around in a brief daze knowing full well I am gonna get called out for this, caring and not caring at the same time.
I appologize to SEG Manager, ’cause it’s nothing personal. We’re fedexing our only mainframe QA engineer to the customer (or some equivalent of FedEx).
I get called into Support VP’s Office. She is aggitated.
I am not afraid. I am terrified. I try very hard not to show it. I don’t
think this helps.
She is asking her assistant to find my manager’s cel phone number. I offer it and my phone to her. I think this doesn’t help either.
She asks me point blank what I thought I was doing lobbing this
voicemail to her second and third line managers. I am not appologetic or
penitent. I don’t remember what else was said, but my old manager (now head of GPS) is just outside the door, so he may remember better than I.
She is PISSED. Every answer I give her seem sot make her madder. I bet my parents know how she feels.
I think I said she should feel free to call my manager. I don’t think this
I may have had the cat who ate the cannary smile on my face. I do not
expect that helped things.
I am dismissed after she accepts an appology I don’t remember making.
It lasted all of 3-5 mins. I’m not sure what I was supposed to be, but aparently I was Rude. Maybe I didn’t cower. Maybe I was flippant. I now know why the prior Support Director got the hell into sales. She is fucking scary when she’s not happy with you. And she has a very commanding presence.
As I said to Renee in IM, at that point I feel like I’m invincible and fragile as glass at the same time.
I try to call my manager again, and leave a voicemail. Can’t find him or
my regional supervisor. I call the west suprervisor in desperation, leave a voicemail.
Find my regional guy, give him the 10000 foot overview, ticket numbers, etc.
Wait for the adrenaline rush to die off. It didn’t start to run down until about 7pm. I am still wacked out physically.
Supervisor manages to get Manager. We concall. Manager is not pleased. Supervisor is lost. I ask him if this is a repremand when he’s trying to say what there is to say. Poor guy got the manager challenges with me and the South East outside engineer.
Manager and Supervisor are defending me, I think. We are gonna regroup on Monday.
Inside Sales Directory may not have my back, but he’s watching out for me.
Have not heard from EVP or Matthew yet. Monday is another day. I do not expect to hear from Matthew.
Hashed it over with West Coast supervisor on the drive home SE to SE, not SE to manager, off the record. He thinks I did the right thing, but then he claims he almost got into a fistfight with a former RHAT VP. He is a very cool guy, and I wish he was in Raleigh and not Texas.
I don’t know how bad it is, and what kind of mess is awaiting me on Monday. My manager seems to think I burned a bridge and made the whole group look bad.
In the end, The customer will get fixed, so I expect they think I did
the right thing.
I will probably never be a manager or supervisor at Red Hat. I think I
am proud of this. I beleive I did the right thing. I don’t think I made
any new friends, though.
I have been told off the record by some reps that I have big brass ones.
I think I won some points with the reps on the sales floor.
It was a good day for that.
I dunno if VP respects me because I am not afraid of her, or if I have
made an Enemy. Time will tell. Most of my former enemies are now some of my best resources.
I just want to help my customers. I just want someone to take ovwnership of these things and get them addressed.
I probably need to appologize to VP for escalating around her. I have two days to figure out how to do it without getting fired. If I’m not already fired and just don’t know yet.
I have to try very hard not to call bullshit when she tries to shift blame to engineering. Customer doesn’t see or care. Customer sees GSS. Customer perception is truth to the customer.
I must try very hard not to blast the escalation process I bypassed when it failed. It is flawed and doesn’t let anyone take ownership or responsability for an issue. It has a very wear enforcement policy, and doesn’t take customer needs into the equation.
I must not scream how sticking to process is going to fail us, because the process doesn’t care about customers, just engineers.
This what being the rabble rouser feels like. It takes a pebble to start an avelanche. I am a pebble. I do not know if I will be ground to dust on the way down the mountain, but I am trying very hard not to be.