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Worried about my Job (Coworker Issue)

MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
edited December 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I have a pretty decent job right now. I'm a level 2 computer tech. which basically means I do everything above people at call centers but not anything really fun... yet.

I work or a pretty laid back company so honestly my stress level is nil. The problem is I still feel like I'm learning the ropes after starting my fifth month. I don't know if that is good or bad, I feel like it's bad because it seems I should have a pretty good grasp on things currently.

I have a mentor that is helping me get along with any issues that arise but I'm starting to notice that when an issue comes up that I don't know how to do, it turns out he doesn't know how to do it either because where I work is so "particular".

I'm alright with that, means I have a bit more of a curve to follow sure.

The problem I find is that if I do make a mistake, instead of someone calling me to tell me "hey you messed up can you please come correct the issue," there is another old tech who does different jobs now who seems to come in behind me and clean up my mistakes. I'm not all that comfortable with this, though I do ask him for help from time to time since this place is so different so I also feel bad saying "stay out of my business"

I'm not sure what to do.

tl;dr Guy at work is fixing my mistakes but I want to fix them myself, what do I do/ say?

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    The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    MoSiAc wrote: »
    I have a pretty decent job right now. I'm a level 2 computer tech. which basically means I do everything above people at call centers but not anything really fun... yet.

    I work or a pretty laid back company so honestly my stress level is nil. The problem is I still feel like I'm learning the ropes after starting my fifth month. I don't know if that is good or bad, I feel like it's bad because it seems I should have a pretty good grasp on things currently.

    I have a mentor that is helping me get along with any issues that arise but I'm starting to notice that when an issue comes up that I don't know how to do, it turns out he doesn't know how to do it either because where I work is so "particular".

    I'm alright with that, means I have a bit more of a curve to follow sure.

    The problem I find is that if I do make a mistake, instead of someone calling me to tell me "hey you messed up can you please come correct the issue," there is another old tech who does different jobs now who seems to come in behind me and clean up my mistakes. I'm not all that comfortable with this, though I do ask him for help from time to time since this place is so different so I also feel bad saying "stay out of my business"

    I'm not sure what to do.

    tl;dr Guy at work is fixing my mistakes but I want to fix them myself, what do I do/ say?

    You say the limed part.

    The Crowing One on
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    Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Talk to the guy who is fixing your mistakes. Ask him to give you a call whenever he needs to fix your mistakes so that you can tag along and learn what you did wrong, how to avoid doing that, and how to fix it if you or someone else does happen to mess up later. If he doesn't drag you along, just go back to him and say "Hey, it looks like you may have fixed X after I broke it. Can you show me what you did real quick?" Most people are more than happy to show you how to not create more work for them.

    Jimmy King on
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    UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I would ask him to show you how to fix them yourself, but don't expect him to let you tag along for an explanation on every single item, especially if you guys are up against deadlines for any of the stuff.

    Usagi on
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    MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Well that kind of thing is going on right now. He'll fix the mistake and then come by and say "hey so and so called, they had x problem, and I did y to solve it. Just remember for next time."

    I dunno maybe I'm still just in "new guy" phase though it feels like I shouldn't be. I think part of it is this guys attitude about things, if he doesn't see everything done his way or by his hand, he seems somewhat upset as if some important step was forgotten.

    Like just now, we had a visitor come in and do some work, well he was done and wanted to go home. The guy stated "I'm finished and I'd like to leave can you escort me out?" I said sure and showed him the way out. My co worker came in and said "where is the guy" I said, "he left" to which the co worker seemed a bit huffed about him leaving for whatever reason.

    MoSiAc on
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    MadpandaMadpanda suburbs west of chicagoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Like just now, we had a visitor come in and do some work, well he was done and wanted to go home. The guy stated "I'm finished and I'd like to leave can you escort me out?" I said sure and showed him the way out. My co worker came in and said "where is the guy" I said, "he left" to which the co worker seemed a bit huffed about him leaving for whatever reason.

    Does your job have any policies about visitors? I.e they must be signed out by the same person that let them in etc?
    If you were following policy you are fine here, you had no way of knowing the co-worker wanted them to wait. I am guessing your co-worker was upset with the visitor.


    As for the senior tech fixing things. Does he just say I did Y to fix it, or does he explain why he did Y? Most likely he is saving you a yelling at. It sounds like the place you work at doesn't give much time for sitting around trying to troubleshoot an issue. If its a known problem or he knows the fix due to experience it makes sense to fix it fast.

    There is nothing worse than having to sit there and try to troubleshoot something while a user berates you for not knowing how to fix it instantly.

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    PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I dunno maybe I'm still just in "new guy" phase though it feels like I shouldn't be.
    The 'new guy' at my last job had been there 3 years and didn't fully know all the systems.
    The problem I find is that if I do make a mistake, instead of someone calling me to tell me "hey you messed up can you please come correct the issue," there is another old tech who does different jobs now who seems to come in behind me and clean up my mistakes.
    You have the goddamn matrix architect backing you up. This is a good thing. Uptime/availability is the name of the game in IT. Senior techs know this is more important than your (goddamn) feelings so rather than make someone wait (downtime!) they fix it. Coming by and telling you like he did is a shit ton better than sending you a shitty email titled "how about you do your job correctly for once" and CCing your boss.
    Like just now, we had a visitor come in and do some work, well he was done and wanted to go home. The guy stated "I'm finished and I'd like to leave can you escort me out?" I said sure and showed him the way out. My co worker came in and said "where is the guy" I said, "he left" to which the co worker seemed a bit huffed about him leaving for whatever reason.
    If the "visitor" is "doing work" then they're a contractor or outside support person and are, to a man, shiftless, lazy, and inveterate liars. Unless you are supervising them and double checking their work, the POC should be the one to do so before walking them out. If I had a dollar for every tech that tried to weasel out of actually fixing a problem or providing required follow up. Xerox guys seem to be the worst about this - swap a part and not even check to see if the machine powers back up.


    Honestly so far this reads as normal, with a lack of corporate IT experience on your side and a huge lack of communication from your mentor. I would take most of the text from the OP and take it to your boss (the guy that does your reviews).

    PirateJon on
    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
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    darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    What kind of mistakes are we talking about?

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    MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    The main things I've had problems with are just specific 'policies' about the place at work. The only thing I'm worried about is he isn't supposed to cover for me, and I do really enjoy his help when he gives it, but I'd like to get to know how everything wheres at my current job, not just be the guy that keeps making mistakes and then "super tech" comes by to fix any small thing I maybe didn't know about.

    The guy I let go was just doing some documentation on out network stuff to which he said he had done and wanted to leave, he wasn't fixing anything just doing some inventory and what not.

    Luckily nothing I 'haven't gotten 100 percent right' has been anything big, nor will it be really. I just fix the user's day to day issues. And like I said I've gotten the most of it down, I'll just run into a new piece of software that someone needs and I've never worked with it before.


    I'll just try to take a little bit more initiative from now on.

    MoSiAc on
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    darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    MoSiAc wrote: »
    The main things I've had problems with are just specific 'policies' about the place at work. The only thing I'm worried about is he isn't supposed to cover for me, and I do really enjoy his help when he gives it, but I'd like to get to know how everything wheres at my current job, not just be the guy that keeps making mistakes and then "super tech" comes by to fix any small thing I maybe didn't know about.

    The guy I let go was just doing some documentation on out network stuff to which he said he had done and wanted to leave, he wasn't fixing anything just doing some inventory and what not.

    Luckily nothing I 'haven't gotten 100 percent right' has been anything big, nor will it be really. I just fix the user's day to day issues. And like I said I've gotten the most of it down, I'll just run into a new piece of software that someone needs and I've never worked with it before.


    I'll just try to take a little bit more initiative from now on.


    what like IT policies and procedures or stuff like active directory group policies and the such.

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    MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    IT policies, again nothing above general help desk I just don't have to take calls.

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    eternalbleternalbl Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Have you thought about taking him out for a pitcher for his help and to talk shop?

    eternalbl on
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    Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    If you aren't able to get anywhere with asking for more guidance/clarification after the fact, perhaps you can try being more proactive. The next time something comes up, think through the issue, write out your solution, and then ask him if you've missed anything.

    But like other people have said, for the most part, colleagues are more than happy to help you out and train you if you're trying to learn, you aren't a douche, and you aren't complete idiot who needs to be told the same thing 100 times and misses the blatantly obvious.

    Inquisitor77 on
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    MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I think I may get him a Christmas present to thank him for helping me out and showing me the ropes.

    I think I left a major part of my job worries out. Him and I are both contractors for this company we are the only tech people. He's just been here way longer. My contracting group told me to NEVER ask for any help from anyone other than them (which is where the mentor issues arise), so the other guy being nice as he is shows me the ropes and helps me out. I don't want my contracting organization to just fire me or anything like that because I 'sought outside sources for direction' or anything like that, but I think unless I tell them they'll never really know.

    Now, what kind of present to get a guy that isn't your normal tech person. A gift certificate seems pretty bland as a gift to say "thanks for helpin the new guy" but he doesn't seem to have any likes or dislikes, his office is plain jane even though he's been here four years, he never talks about having any hobbies. I think he might be a work-a-holic so are there any good gifts for people that like to work all the time?

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    Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    By contracting organization do you mean like Tek Systems, Apex Systems, Robert Half, etc? If so, you may have misunderstood what they meant. When they say that sort of stuff, they don't mean technical help, etc. They mean as far as resolving any sort of disputes with the company you are at... hours, type of work, pay (which comes from the contracting firm you are working for), etc. The people at the contracting firms are rarely technical and at best used to be entry level tech people who didn't like it or couldn't cut it. Usually they are just salesman, though. They won't be able to tell you how to fix the systems at the place you are actually working or anything like that.

    If you're still uncomfortable with it, ask them to clarify that statement and if asking for technical assistance where you work is ok. I did contract IT work from helpdesk to entry level developer stuff for about 6 years for 3 or 4 different companies and this is how it was, so I'd be very surprised if your place gave you a different answer unless you're working for a different type of contracting firm.

    As to the gift, honestly, I'd just see if he wants to go out for a few beers some night as was suggested before. Giving a present to someone at work who is not really a friend (as I understand it) and seems to keep their work life and personal life pretty well separate seems a bit weird to me. It's not going to get you fired, but it seems a bit strange.

    Jimmy King on
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    Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Yeah, buy him a social life. They're on sale at Walmart. Blue light special. (Sorry, I got nothin'.)

    Inquisitor77 on
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    MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    My contracting group hired me for a big company name starts with D they said "don't ask people for help, only ask us" So it's not the people that pay me but the people that paid my company to pay me told me that's how they want things done, but I really don't think that's going to be too big of an issue.

    MoSiAc on
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    ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Are you making the same mistakes or errors of omission over and over again? Or is it something different each time?

    As a manager, I never expect my employees to get everything right all the time. However, when they make a mistake we go over what happened and how it can be corrected or done better the next time. So long as they take that to heart and get it right the next time all is well. Its the employees that don't pay attention and repeatedly make the same mistakes over and over that end up on the "will be replaced as soon as i find someone better" list.

    It sounds like you are genuinely concerned about doing things correctly each time and take an interest in bettering yourself and doing it better each time. That is a rare and good thing.

    Thundyrkatz on
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    MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Nah it's always something different or something I just can't do but wish I could.

    For instance there is one piece of software I can't install for users, but I get tickets for, the other co worker can give me access to install said software but he 'feels more comfortable if i just pass it to him' because theres a phonecall that has to be made for verification of user use etc.

    The most recent was trying to help a lady get her security password back for our e-mail encryption stuff. I told her exactly what to do, and the rest she's supposed to do on her own but I offered to help her if she got in a bind 'which she did' and I couldn't for the life of me get it to work either following the instructions sent by the people that redo passwords, he goes over, does one little thing different (that isn't in the insturctions) and boom it works, so I sorta look/feel like the stupid n00b and he's a savior.

    It's never been anything like "I forgot how to setup outlook again..." or anything like that, just little quirks that I'm trying to pick up on but without having the former person here to show me the way.

    MoSiAc on
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    ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    In that case, it sounds like you are fine. Its frustrating not knowing everything and being the best. But the fact that you want to, and keep working towards that goal is fine. Give it time, every time you learn something new that's a new weapon in your arsenal. Keep a good sense of humor about it too.

    Just keep track of these things, and maybe write up new procedures so the next "new guy" has an easier time of it.

    When you need to worry is when you don't know how to do something, and no one is interested in showing you how to do it. If that goes on for a while, it usually means they have given up on you and are just waiting till you leave or can be replaced.

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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited December 2009
    PirateJon wrote: »
    The problem I find is that if I do make a mistake, instead of someone calling me to tell me "hey you messed up can you please come correct the issue," there is another old tech who does different jobs now who seems to come in behind me and clean up my mistakes.
    You have the goddamn matrix architect backing you up. This is a good thing. Uptime/availability is the name of the game in IT. Senior techs know this is more important than your (goddamn) feelings so rather than make someone wait (downtime!) they fix it. Coming by and telling you like he did is a shit ton better than sending you a shitty email titled "how about you do your job correctly for once" and CCing your boss.
    Ugh.

    My husband works for a rather large company in "LAN support" (right now-they keep moving him around). When he fixes other people's mistakes (which he spends hours doing in his own free time because he is a nice guy) he sends them an email telling them what was wrong, and that it's fixed.

    On the rare occasion when he makes mistakes, he gets nasty emails CC'd to his boss and his BOSS'S boss about doing his job. I could punch somebody in the face, I swear.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    depending how big the company you work for is what you should do is compile a list of all the supported applications that are currently in the enviroment and then document the information and requirements for installation of each (like application X has this many licenses that are in use and this many in the pool, Suzy in accounting is the application owner and she needs to be contacting if anyone requests access to it)

    Documentation is a big thing that alot of IT staff forget about, while its nice having that info in your brain it makes it alot harder for the company and coworkers if you arent around to dispense the information.

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    twmjrtwmjr Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Just talk to the guy. I'm in a similar role as you; technically second level "customer support." Fortunately, I get to do a lot of technical things outside of my position, but the other half of my job tends to be fixing other people's mess-ups or moving things in the right direction when they're not done right. Usually I will just do things and at most let them know I did something, but if/when someone asks me to explain to them where they went wrong and how they can do it themselves, I'm more than happy to teach them. It sounds like this guy might be the same way, especially since he's sending you e-mails about what he did instead of tossing you under the ol' greyhound.

    twmjr on
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    PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Oh you're a sub. or a sub-sub. Well, shit. Best advice: watch your ass. Keep separate, off site records of EVERYTHING. You will be the first place blame stops and fuckers will backstab you. Contracting's a vile world sometimes but you won't know for sure until it's too late.

    I agree with this post:
    In that case, it sounds like you are fine. Its frustrating not knowing everything and being the best. But the fact that you want to, and keep working towards that goal is fine. Give it time, every time you learn something new that's a new weapon in your arsenal. Keep a good sense of humor about it too.

    Just keep track of these things, and maybe write up new procedures so the next "new guy" has an easier time of it.

    When you need to worry is when you don't know how to do something, and no one is interested in showing you how to do it. If that goes on for a while, it usually means they have given up on you and are just waiting till you leave or can be replaced.

    Or are egoistical self-absorbed wanna-be-alpha-geek assholes. usually it's over fear about being replaced and they incorrectly think pulling this stuff means irreplaceable. Seriously, I've seen that same shit come out of too many assholes too many damn times. And this: "he feels* more comfortable doing it himself" smells like that same shit. Ditto the doing the job himself when he could have taught the OP to do the missing step.

    * -
    I can't fucking stand this attitude. I'd probably mention offhand something like: WHO ASKED ABOUT YOUR GODDAMN FEELINGS COCKBREATH!? BY NOT CORRECTLY TRAINING YOUR JR TECHS YOU ARE FAILING AT YOUR JOB AND HARMING THE COMPANY BY WASTING A VALUABLE RESOURCE YOU RAGGED FESTERING ASSHOLE!
    For instance there is one piece of software I can't install for users, but I get tickets for, the other co worker can give me access to install said software but he 'feels more comfortable if i just pass it to him' because theres a phonecall that has to be made for verification of user use etc.
    Then why are you getting tickets for it at all? What if he gets hit by a bus tomorrow or catches H1N1 and is out for two weeks? You'd get tickets you can't work, you'd have to try to get your boss(es) to help you figure out how to get it done and your boss(es) gets to wonder why it's been 6 months and you still can't do a simple software_x install without backup. Looks bad.

    What I'm saying is; your mentor is doing a very bad job and you need to worry about CYA. Normally I'd advise going to your boss, but in a contractor situation they typically don't give half a shit what happens on-site as long as the money is flowing. But who knows. What I do with the alpha geeks is get in the drivers seat. Take the mouse and keyboard and don't let them take over. Say you learn better that way or something. That way you control how fast stuff moves.

    PirateJon on
    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
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