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Helpdesk work

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by fatp, Nov 26, 2008.

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  1. fatp

    fatp Byte Poster

    Hey people.

    I was talking to my boss about helpdesk work as he started there and worked his way up to desktop support after 2 years of doing it. He says it was crap and am lucky that I skipped that as I do hand ons desktop support. Do most you helpdesk guys talk of the script? Is it some people can't take the highly pressurised call center environment? What were the shortcomings of your helpdesk experience if you started there?

    The reason why i asked as I got a call from a recruitment agency for a first line support position on the same current wage for my desktop support role. He said that it was a step in the wrong direction and would be working backwards rather than acquiring more skills and he said i should concetrate on moving towards a more solid 2 line role job.

    fatp. :rolleyes:
  2. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    He's right. Helpdesk (first line helpdesk that is) has as much in common with IT as stacking shelves in a supermarket. The reason its being offered at the same rate you're currently on is because nobody wants to bloody do it!

    I've never worked on a helpdesk, but have often worked alongside them in the same office. I would poke my own eyes out with a pencil if I had to do what they do all day!

    Stick with desktop support. Whilst I personally would find that tedious, its like living in an episode of 24 compared to first-line!
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  3. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    It may depend on the size of the company that is offering you the 'first line support' job.

    I work on 'first line' but it's a traditional second line role (I believe).

    It seems to be a common theme, certainly within the IT arena in the legal sector, to define First Line as an all-encompassing helpesk analyst and 'hands on' support tech - covering all potential grey areas in between.

    'first line' in legal IT was my first job - and the most recent script I have read was a play by Shakespeare (about four years ago...).
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  4. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

    In my place of work, first line take around 20 calls each per day or less. If you do the maths thats one call every 24 minutes!

    If I had to go and see Users, my tea would get cold.....

    On a rota basis a 2nd Line person goes to our main clients HQ once every two months for a week.

    So in our company, 1st Line 20 calls or less per day, 2nd Line hardly any calls, but a tiny amount of Desktop Support.

    What would I prefer......to be System Admin :D
    Certifications: CCA | CCENT | CCNA | CCNA:S | HP APC | HP ASE | ITILv3 | MCP | MCDST | MCITP: EA | MCTS:Vista | MCTS:Exch '07 | MCSA 2003 | MCSA:M 2003 | MCSA 2008 | MCSE | VCP5-DT | VCP4-DCV | VCP5-DCV | VCAP5-DCA | VCAP5-DCD | VMTSP | VTSP 4 | VTSP 5
  5. creamofluve

    creamofluve Bit Poster

    There are some first line job that are practically like 2nd line support even though you have to take calls but your still giving a task of 2nd line, but if the new job you got called for are kinda like 2nd line support task i would like you to take it, but if the 1st line is just like the typical 1st line i rather you stay with desktop support.
    Certifications: MCP,MCTS,MCSA
  6. slyuen

    slyuen Byte Poster

    Hey.....don't make the same mistake I did.

    I moved from desktop support (or field / on-site support) to helpdesk 2nd line (yes second line, but have to take incoming calls - on a lower phone priority, but still, it's annoying enough).....

    Realized in about a week that I have totally regretted the choice I've made.

    So don't make the same mistake I did, helpdesk (first or second) is just a post that you'd hear a lot of people moaning to you everyday about this doesn't work that doesn't work, because they can't see you, they treat you less good than they would towards a slave.

    In a helpdesk, the harder you work (towards closing most of your calls), the more calls you'll get, because your senior will assign them all to you if they saw your call queue going down, so they'll keep you busy.

    Whereas in the desktop support role I did previously, I felt pride to what I did, people respected me for giving them solutions to different problems and you get time to get involved in projects, research and stuff.

    In a helpdesk, you won't even have time to drink a cup of coffee, because as soon as you have the first sip, the phone rings, and if you ignore it someone will give you an evil eye.

    So helpdesk, no (it's true that nobody blooody wants to do it.)

    Now I'm stuck and am continuously looking for a Prison Break.

    On a typical day, someone phones up for problems they're having, you try to help them troubleshoot, tried to log down what you did and that, because you finished, another phone comes, you never have time to do anything.

    Lastly, don't be tempted by money. :dry
    Certifications: ECDL,A+,Network+,CST,CNST,MCDST,MCSA
    WIP: MCSE, CIW, CCNA, CWNA, Others...
  7. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    Srsly, guys, find helpdesk work in an SMB.

    My 'helpdesk' is three of us - me being the 'supervisor' though I don't even take the title, there's no distinction of ability between the three of us, and I have nigh on 8 years less experience in the job than the other two.

    No SLAs. Yeah, you have to answer the phone - but if you have a good service manner, it's not difficult to deal with phone calls. Come on - no one's going to call you for a chat when you work on the service desk - people only ever contact you with issues. Don't be disillusioned about it - it's your job to fix these problems :rolleyes:

    If a user is abusive or rude on the phone, you are more than well within your rights to warn them to smarten up their talk or terminate the call.

    On the same token, if we're rude to callers, expect the call to be terminated the other end.

    If you're het up about helpdesk when writing about it online, imagine how it could come across in your mannerisms at work - if people pick up on this, I would hazard a guess that very few helpdesk calls go smoothly or well.

    I trot around work with a manic grin on my face that is possibly akin to one worn by a psychotic killer. But good moods rub off on people just as much as bad ones.

    In an SMB, you get to know your users, and this helps your calls massively. In a call centre environment you have to treat calls impersonally to keep the throughput up; in a smaller environment when you recognise the voice at the other end of the phone, you can take the conversation to a more colloquial level. It makes the talk-through and the resolve a much more pleasant overall experience.

    I love the fact that I can pick up the phone and go 'hello Trouble' instead of 'Hello IT Dawn speaking how can I help?'

    Helpdesk or helldesk - the job is still what you make of it, SLAs or not. Call-taking when I was in sales, I posted on average 96 calls per 7 1/2 hour shift. My customers loved me - because of the service element. If you approach something with negativity, then it will go wrong.

    If you approach it with positivity and it's not what you thought, then at least you know you tried.

    But not all helpdesk is bad. Call centres are bad. Scripts are bad. But helpdesk doesn't necessarily have to be - especially if you work in the kind of environment where you are encouraged to move 'onwards and upwards' (or at least laterally)
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
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  8. slyuen

    slyuen Byte Poster

    You're quite right above this, to be honest, I'm generally not a negative person and people like me and the way I work and communicate. I guess it's the workplace element, if the place gives you no encouragement to move on, no training, but lots of grieve on everyone's face. Call centre IS bad this is true.

    The call centre I'm in, people contantly leave and there's not enough people to fill back these posts, ending up with extra amount of works with everyone. Only just the fact that no one bloooody wants to do it or they must somehow have a poor reputation (which I really should have known before I joined).
    Certifications: ECDL,A+,Network+,CST,CNST,MCDST,MCSA
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  9. Stuzzle

    Stuzzle Byte Poster

    What's an SMB?
    Certifications: A+, MCSA: Windows 7, 70-640, 70-642
    WIP: 70-646
  10. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

    Small to Medium Business also sometimes called SME (Small to Medium Enterprise).

    The actual number of staff or turnover varies depending on who you talk to (i.e. Microsoft tend towards larger numbers).
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
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  11. fatp

    fatp Byte Poster


    Cheers arro for your insight. The helpdesk / desktop support boundaies afre often blurred / the same in a smb - ta for the feedback.

  12. westernkings

    westernkings Gigabyte Poster

    I'm in the same situation as you so seconded.

    Being in a call centre and a small help desk are two entirely different situations. I couldn't do a call centre job.
  13. nXPLOSi

    nXPLOSi Terabyte Poster

    I agree 100% with Arroryn, I work for a SMB, and do the following... 2nd Line Support, 3rd Line Support, Network Admin, System Admin, Exchange Admin, SQL Server Admin... get the idea? I love it, exposure to absolutely everything I could possibly want. There are around 75 users, 4 servers. I have a guy who works on one of the "normal" teams within the office who I can summon to go on the jobs, I guess you could call him 1st Line Support. Other then that we have SQL Developer and little old me.

    As Arroryn said, its often "less formal" and I prefer this, a friendly atmosphere where your looked after. I mean, I report directly to the MD of the company, and we get on both at a professional level and personal level, he knows my name, what I like etc.. you dont often get that in larger companies.

    I'd rather be a big fish in a little pond, then a little fish in a big pond.. im sure some will agree.

    SMB, in my opinion, is the way to go at your current stage.
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+, MCSA 2003 (270, 290, 291), MCTS (640, 642), MCSA 2008
    WIP: MCSA 2012
  14. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster


    SMBs are often great places to work. You're usually asked to wear many hats. However, there's no "hiding" behind other techs in an SMB like you can in a large enterprise or governmental organization, where you can lose yourself in the crowd underneath a mask of statistics. For those who know what they're doing, you can really shine in an SMB. After having done some support work for larger enterprises, I can say pretty confidently that I prefer working in a smaller company.

    In my last job, our "helpdesk" staff basically consisted of two desktop support techs. In truth, the "Helpdesk Coordinator" (who was the senior desktop tech) answered most of the the calls, entered the tickets, and then assigned them to herself, the other desktop tech, the server/network admin (me), the IT manager, or one of the medical records app managers.
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
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