“Teamwork is important!” a former boss of mine was telling us. “Remember, there’s no, “I” in Information Technology.” I was never sure if he was joking or not.
Back then I was a lowly Tech 1 at a Credit Union. Me an three other Tech 1’s were responsible for the most basic of jobs. Your computer doesn’t turn on? I’ll come by and make sure it’s plugged in. Your mouse doesn’t work well? One of us will run over with a new one. You don’t know how to “do Excel”? I’ll show you how to sign up for a training because I don’t know that either. I replace mice and plug in computers, I don’t excel at Excel!
The four of us shared the workload. And because we were such good teammates we shared it equally. If I saw an easy ticket come in I’d take it right away. If I saw a hard one come in I’d leave that for somebody else since I had already taken a lot of easy ones. If I saw a hard ticket sit in the queue for a long time I’d go home early so nobody else felt guilty about taking it. That’s what I called, “Being a team player”.
We were a team the way Congress is a team. In theory we all worked together towards the same goal but in reality we all had completely different ideas about what that goal should be. Bobbie believed we should replace all the Windows computers with Macs. Another guy wanted to replace all the Windows installs with Linux. I wanted to leave everything exactly the way it was because their ideas sounded like a lot of work. Willy wasn’t sure everybody even needed a computer at all.
I remember one time a user brought in their personal mac laptop. The whole company was Windows so Bobbie never got to work on Macs during his normal duties, and he spent the whole day “fixing” that mac. Phones were ringing off the hook because something or other was down and we were all busy as heck but good old team player Bobbie wouldn’t turn away from that Mac. His idea of helping us was telling us that, “If we used Macs like this instead of Windows that system wouldn’t have gone down.” He spent the day extolling the virtues of Macs while we did our own work and his. It did not make us fall in love with Macs.
The best example of our teamwork was when somebody had to transfer a ticket they had started to somebody else. I remember getting one of Willy’s tickets about a user who couldn’t get email.
“Let’s reset your password.” I told the user.
“Willy already did that, it didn’t help.” The user said.
Now, Willy hadn’t put in any notes so I had no idea what he had or had not done. I assumed he hadn’t done anything because that’s the sort of employee he was. Hearing he had done something left me in an awkward position.
“Did he have you try using the web mail? Yes? Did that work? Okay. Do you know if he double checked your account settings? You don’t know? I’ll do that, please hold a minute. Okay those settings all look good, oh now you remember he did do that? Great. Just … great. Do you know what he was going to do next?”
I’m sure teamwork is important in every job with two or more employees. That’s why my dream job is a small company where I can be the whole I.T. department myself. I work well with myself, and I wouldn’t have to worry about anybody else taking all the easy tickets before I do.