Rodney M Bliss

No, Now Is NOT A Good Time To Check In

Rodney? This is Jerry in the Salem call center.

Yeah, Jerry, what’s up?

I just thought I’d let you know that we have a fire alarm going off and they are evacuating the building.

Are you still at your desk?


Hang up! Hang up right now. Call me from your cell phone when you get to the parking lot.

Jerry is part of our mission control group. His job is to keep the call floor running smoothly. If there is an issue that impacts our ability to take calls, Jerry calls me. In fact, I’m the first person he calls. We don’t open a ticket until I’ve had a chance to talk to Jerry and his other mission control analysts. 

In fact, if there’s an outage and Jerry doesn’t call me, I’ll follow up with him. I work very closely with his team. And I wanted nothing more than for him to get off the phone. Our call centers are large buildings with hundreds of agents. They normally run at better than 99.95% uptime. But, like any computer system, occasionally we have outages. We’ve even had to evacuate one of our five centers due to fire. 

Fortunately, the the fire alarm was a false alarm. Sure, the alarm was real enough, but someone had pulled the alarm, but there wasn’t any fire. Our agents were only away from the call floor for 10 minutes. Jerry called me when he got back in the building. 

I appreciate you letting me know, but next time don’t bother to call me. If the alarm goes off, just leave. We’ll get all the details later. 

It seemed pretty obvious to me, but I had to admire Jerry’s dedication to duty. 

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

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(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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