Maybe everyone in IT should go hiking every weekend

You don’t get what you don’t pay for.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
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IT support staff meets every week to discuss open requests and go over support tickets from the previous week. The new CFO decides to sit in on one of these meetings, where one ticket that pops up for review is from a VP who requested support over the previous weekend because he was unable to log on to a system.

The request opens the door to a discussion of whether IT should provide weekend support.

Pilot fish argues against the idea; the company isn’t in retail, and it’s closed on evenings and weekends. But he adds, if the owners and senior management want to do it, IT can certainly plan accordingly.

That leads to more discussion, this time about expectations and compensation. It’s generally agreed that responses would have to happen within an hour or two of a trouble call. Somebody notes that would mean that activities like hiking, cycling, boating, skiing and camping — anything that would make it difficult to get to an internet-connected computer — could not be allowed when on call. Inevitably, someone else points out that adult beverages would have to be off limits. All right, says one staff member, I’d find $200 per on-call weekend fair.

I’d even just swap those days for days off during the week, says another.

That’s when the CFO puts a halt to the discussion. We’re not going to pay a weekend bonus, he says, so let’s forget about having anyone on call. But, he adds, if anyone has a problem over the weekend, they can certainly send an email to IT support, and someone in IT support should certainly be able to handle it within two hours. “So we don’t need to have anything formal in place.”

Or, as everyone else in the room interprets it, the company can have its cake and eat it too.

Sharky is always on call, waiting for your true tales of IT life. Send them to me at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

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