Friday, June 15, 2007

R.I.P. Crisis-A-Minute Christy

A not-so secret nickname my parents gave me growing up. Didn't matter how big or small the issue was, for me, it was all about the drama. ALL about the drama. Every little setback was a major catastrophe, every minor obstacle an urgent crisis.

Ask my parents, or just check their phone records for calls at ungodly hours; the trend continued into adulthood. Ask my bosses, my husband, my ex-boyfriends and friends. It was a bad idea to put me in charge of the team Christmas decoration contest, much less expect me to do something like I did Tuesday. Three years ago, I'd have collapsed completely.

5:30AM Tuesday: I'm driving through rain, headed in to cover the Traffic desk for D, who is sick. It's my day off but with the Mandatory OT, I was scheduled to be at work anyway. It's too early to be going anywhere without coffee and I left the house without it.

5:45AM: Properly prepared with Starbucks, I get to the third floor. I start the process of logging into 3 computers, multiple data bases, programs and trackers, and setting up 4 monitors with multiple views of the same thing: who is doing what, where and how fast.

5:55AM: The business analysts just to the right of me are having trouble logging in to their phones. I can't log into the desk phone or my own extension. A quick check, nobody on the floor can log in to their phones.

5:57AM: The main Traffic desk downstairs confirms the phone servers for the entire building are out. May be related to the lightning strike that took out a tree near us the night before. I have three minutes before my people need to be on the phones or retail will grind to a halt and my company will begin losing thousands of dollars an hour.

Maybe during Cowboy's extended and repeated hospitalizations, I learned to deal.

I start making alternate plans. Mandatory OT means our two alternate sites may have people in their seats early. It'll be less than half our staff but something is better than nothing. I find out how to get our people credit for being here on time and get the word out through our leads. I send the hardest email of my career, to the sups, my managers and even the director, that our main site is down and we have no ETA on repair.

6:00AM: Sites T and V have people logged in! Not very many, but there aren't very many calls at six either and Tuesday is our slowest day of the week.

If sites V and T can receive calls, will they be our calls or the default? Two fast phone calls and I have my answer: the calls are (because my allocation did work) are for Credit issues. We're in business.

6:05AM: I have thirty agents here and nothing for them to do. Next plan: I have the leads get most people started on a web based training we all have to complete in the next two weeks. The rest I get into off-queue order processing.

6:30AM: Sup M arrives and joins the conference call I attended earlier. Our problem is minor compared to what all of the Collections groups are groing through. Back at the Ranch: The floor is quiet, everyone has something to do.

6:45AM: Have everybody log out, they're going to reboot the servers.

6:46AM: We select a few people to log in again. Log out. Log in. Log out. Log in. Scattered reports that they're getting Credit calls. Then Collections, Care.. Retention. Log out again. Log in... wait... success!

6:50 AM: We have the whole center log in, I set tentatively reset the allocation to give us the majority and pray. Agents sitting around the Traffic desk give me the thumbs up: it's Credit calls they're getting. Even better, we're operating at normal capacity within ten minutes.

A few minutes later, my screens go live and my magic call tracking eyes are back too. I send out a follow up to my earlier note: the issue is fixed, we're live and kicking; what's more, the issue cost us very little out of our SLA. Throughout the morning people stop by to thank me and I wonder what I did that was extraordinary.

It's not until I am driving home that I realize what I did: I handled a crisis. I stuck my finger in the damn and got everybody filling sandbags until the Army Corps of Engineers could arrive.

I guess she's gone. Rest in Peace, Crisis-A-Minute Christy.


Chris said...

This post gives me hope for my drama king and queen :) Nice work!

Aynde said...

GO you! but really you've always been pretty good at work. :) (((hugs)))