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Support Calls At 8000 Feet

May 16, 2016

The view was breathtaking. I know that because I was short of breath. Maybe it was the elevation and the fact that we’d hiked 2 miles with about 1000 feet in elevation change. But, the views were worth it. I was the tail end of a train of seven boys, aged 10-13. At the front was the former Scoutmaster, who was here as a dad. Looking forward, the boys followed the winding trail along the side of the mountain. Patches of snow dotted the hillside, hiding under the shadow of evergreens and aspens. The azure sky was a gorgeous backdrop to the high puffy clouds that kept the sun from baking us during the portions of the trail through the hight mountain meadows. We could see 50 miles in every direction, from Utah Lake to the West to the looming 13,000 foot Mt Timpanogos to the East. The sounds of the wind through the trees and the birds singing was broken by the harsh ringing of a cell phone. 

We don’t specifically have a rule against electronic devices on our hikes, but the boys typically don’t bring them anyway. The phone rang again. It wasn’t one of the boys’. It was mine.

I dug it out of my pocket. The screen showed,


We hide the number on calls from our production floor. I motioned for the other leader and boys to go on ahead.

Hi, this is Rodney.

Hi Rodney. This is Carrie from Salt Lake via Shreveport. You helped me get my account access set up last week and that’s working fine now. But, today when I logged in. . .I’m taking some overtime calls and thought, Saturday would be a good day, because, you know I have to get them in sometimes, right? Anyway, when I came in today my first call was an authentication call, not credit cards like I thought it should be. Because we are taking credit card calls here in Shreveport, you know? And, I thought, “That’s weird. I wonder why I’m getting authentication calls instead of credit card.”

Ah. . .

So, then I transferred that call and you know what? The next call wasn’t credit card either. It was, you guessed it, another authentication call. And I’m thinking why am I getting all these authentication calls, because, in Salt Lake I’m a credit card agent and Shreveport only has credit card calls. And so, I took another call and then it was the same thing. And now, I’m not sure if I should take any more calls, because they are all coming in as authentication calls instead of credit card. . .

The other leader had gathered the boys at the next switchback turn in the trail. He gave me a look like, “Are you coming?” I waved him on and he disappeared around the corner into the trees, followed by seven boys, who no doubt thought, “I’m never getting a job like his.”

Eventually, I got Carrie slowed down enough so that I could explain to her how to determine which queue of business calls she was set up to take. 

So, go ahead and find the number for those queues and email them to me. I’ll then get them to the group that can get you set up to take credit card calls. Okay? Great. Send me an email. Bye

I figured I would forward the email from my phone once we reached the top. Looking at the emails that had come in this morning, I realized that some of our overnight reports failed and had to be resent. I was going to have to send an email for them as well. Coverage would be excellent from the peak.

I hurried to catch up with the group. I’m a slow hiker anyway and trying to hurry on the trail is only slightly faster than my normal snail’s pace. Finally, I rounded a turn in the path and could see the troop taking a water break on the side of the trail. They looked up as I approached. They heard me coming. Or rather, they heard my cell phone. . .again.

Hi Rodney, it’s Carrie again. So, I found the numbers for the queues I’m on. And they are all Salt Lake queues, not Shreveport. And I was going to send you that in email, and then I realized that Mission Control is here today. I thought they only worked Monday through Friday, but I guess I was wrong, anyway, I tried to explain what you said about changing my queue numbers, but they still said that they had to talk to you about it first. I guess, I’m not allowed to change my queues without approval, so anyway, here’s the Mission Control Analyst.

I waved at the group to continue on. . .again.

Yeah, look, this is really simple. You need to requeue Carrie from queue numbers 1107 to 1167 and 1168. 

I only monitor queues 1167 and 1168. She’s not in either of those currently. How do I even find her in the system?

Should be easy. Pull up queue 1107 as if you were planning to monitor it. You should see her in that queue. Then, go into her profile and change the 1107 to 1167 and 1168. If you have an issue call me back. Bye.

Once again, I hurried up the trail. I wanted to catch the group before they left the summit. I was going to need to catch my breath and I had to catch up on my email. Somewhere someone is writing a company policy explaining how important work/life balance is. I decided I hate that person. 

Hopefully, your trips out to enjoy your nation’s beauty aren’t interrupted by work calls. When in doubt, pick a hiking route with no cell coverage. 

Looking east from the summit of Mt Baldy (8500 feet) at Mt Timpanogos (13,000 feet..)

Looking West from the summit. Utah Lake, and the cities of Pleasant Grove, American Fork and Lehi, UT. The Oquirrh Mountains in the distance.

The calendar says May, but the North slope still has plenty of snow.

High clouds and high mountain meadows.

Taking a support call was a small price to pay to get to enjoy this type of beautiful setting. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2016 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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