Monday, 16 January 2012

IT Support, Larry Niven's Inferno and Brazil

It amazes me how in modern life , things like service provision take a back seat . There's a saying that the customer is always right , but not apparently when dealing with government or IT Support. The pretext is that these organisations are her to serve us ,  but so often just try to stop us from actually doing anything constructive by laying down impossible to follow conditions , just so they can get away with not actually do anything.

I recently received a letter from the DVLA saying that I wont get a refund from the tax disc I sent them when I scrapped the car because I hadnt told them why I wanted a refund , despite sending me a separate letter saying that they had received confirmation of the transfer of ownership for scrapping the car.

When you work somewhere you build up a history of rights and privileges required to do your job . These should be cetrally recorded to be checked and cross checked when required , but it seems that they can disappear in an instant when departments decide not to bother with keeping records.

I've come up against many IT support departments who's attitude is that their life would be ideal if it were'nt for those pesky users . And amazingly a lot of them get away with it!!

The only way round this is to take your own copies of any document that gives you rights , and just hope you can get backing when you need to go up against the bully boys.

Ithe book Inferno by Larry Niven  (his take on Dante's Inferno) , one of the levels of hel requires the hero to fill in forms in triplicate on tissue paper with a blunt pencil. This is how I feel sometimes going against the faceless foe.

Terry Gilliam's Brazil is another example where Jonathan Pryce has to continually form fill to get the slightest thing done . Maybe one day things will click into place and the world will run smoothly , but I think there a lot of people who will do anything to make sure that doesnt happen!

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