Sunday, June 8, 2008


So, what do I do job wise? After all, I spend a considerable portion of my life either at or getting to work. But I rarely talk about it.

There are several reasons for that. The first being that you've probably had contact with my employer. If you live in the US (although the company is internationally active) that is. I hope that contact was positive, but I'm not naive. It may not have been. There is a tendency on the net to take anyone with a connection to a corporation and declare them a representative of said corporation. I'm not such a representative and do not want to be. I probably have different opinions from my 309,000 odd coworkers and they different from mine.

The second reason is the greater amount of freedom I have to discuss work if I leave exactly who I am working for nebulous. For the most part I haven't needed to vent, but it is nice to leave the option open. Never know when I'll wanna kvetch.

That being said, I still haven't answered the question of what I do. This is partly because my actual job duties are kind of a shifting target. My team often is given responsibilities only somewhat connected to what we theoretically do. Most of us are happy with that, being the types that frankly get bored with routine. We are given a fair amount of freedom to get things done, often without much of a guideline as to how. Of course we are expected to be mindful of company policy but we are also given a fair amount of trust that we will be able to reconcile the policy with the end goal.

The department I am with is called SPS - sustainment (not a real word) and production support. A coworker characterized what we do as "internal tech support", which is as accurate a description as any. Basically, when other employees (either reps within our call center or sales reps in our division of the company) have difficulty with the systems used to fill orders we either complete the order or assist them in doing so, whichever is appropriate.

Very often this involves reminding the rep of what they already know. One thing many of the folks we come in contact don't realize is that we really have very little access to resoueces beyond what they themselves do. The only real difference is in expertise and the ability to leverage that.

In real life terms I spend a considerable amount of time either on the phone or waiting for a call. I field around a dozen calls a day (but have had as many as 40!) from sales reps as well as take a few calls and resolve a few trouble cases from within my call center. Formerly this included work from a call center in Louisiana as well, but they focus exclusivly on smaller businesses now, whereas we deal with larger companies.

"Companies" being a key word. The division I work in deals with businesses and their enployees. The structure recently changed, and I don't quite have a handle on it. How it breaks down is roughly this: you have a large (if you weren't paying attention 309,000 employees) corporation. Within that corporation is a division that deals with business. Within that division is a group dealing with wireless communications. Within that group is a division serving large business. That division has a group dedicated to ordering and customer care, which has the SPS department, which has ... me.

Phew. See why I don't talk about work much? Too difficult :)


Kenny Scott said...

Can we take guesses as to who you work for? I'm 99% convinced I know who it is, despite not living in the US. But I'd like to know if I'm right (but don't want to "out" you if you don't want to be outted...)

Dave said...

go ahead :) There are plenty of incidental clues littered around. I just want to avoid someone who had a bad experience with my employer holding me accountable. And leave my complaint options open. Bad form to air dirty laundry in public, I think.

Kenny Scott said...

I think I'll not bother... don't want to make you accountable for anything ;)