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Posted by Fiss on June 1, 2012

At work,  I have occasionally needed a password reset due to forgetting which program I am currently logged into, or somebody attempting to log in using my computer and not changing the user-name before locking me out due to too many unsuccessful attempts.  No problem.  We have a handy dandy help desk that we call POC, or “Point of Contact”.   I call them up, talk to a polite, nice young man or woman, and within 5 minutes my new temporary password is in my inbox and I can move on with my life.

Unfortunately, I work for a Corporation, and someone decided that a 4 page, 24 question survey about my “experience” was necessary to judge the effectiveness of the service I used.   This survey, even if I didn’t read it and selected “Excellent” for every question, takes longer to complete than it did to actually get my password reset.  This is not the first time they’ve sent me a survey, either.  At the end of the first, I warned them that if they didn’t streamline the process and have a smaller, quicker, more relevant questionnaire, I would make them pay.

They didn’t listen.  So here was my response for Survey # 2:

Note: All programs, departments and other stuff I could get into trouble for sharing with the public have been renamed.

  • Page 1 of Survey:  2 Questions about the ease of dialing into the queue.
  • Page 2 of Survey:  8 Questions about the professionalism of the agent I spoke to and the magic box titled:
  • ” Please feel free to make a comment about the Agent who served you. “

When I called, the agent introduced themselves as “Momma Chickaboom” and began chanting in an alien language that sounded like an old dial-up modem screeching in my ear mixed with a drunken New York dockworker’s special style of swearing.  When they quieted down after 32 minutes, 20 seconds, I asked if they could reset my password.  They responded “Only Bob Dylan can reset your password” and tried to hang up on me by slamming the receiver of their phone into what I hope was their coffee, but I suspect due to the flush soon afterwards, was actually the toilet.  The phone did not flush, however, and after an awkward moment the agent came back online and told me that if I was able to collect for him the Three Holy Stones of Zorkan The Ageless Papaya, he would indeed cast the ritual spells required to reset my password.

Needless to say, I already had one of the Holy Stones, as I have called POC before.  He seemed agitated by this, likely thinking I did not have the treasure map required to quest for the lair of Zorkan.  Before I could collect my pith helmet and leech-juice and book a flight to Tanzania, he admitted to me that he did not actually want the three Holy Stones and was simply stalling before his break, not wanting to receive any more calls.  I asked him why and he regaled me with the tale of an evil wizard calling every two or three hours, who was stealing his toes via a dastardly incantation.  My poor agent, “Momma Chickaboom” told me that he only had six toes left.

I made him a deal and in exchange for staying on the call with him so the Toe-Wizard could not take any more toes before his lunch break, Momma would reset my password to the computer system.  We developed a fast friendship after that, but I had to explain that I was happily married when he began trilling the love song of the Rakathaian Ancients to me as thanks.  I felt bad that he had bore so much of his soul to me over our call that I eventually invited him over for tea.  Unfortunately, before Momma Chickaboom could come by, the Toe-Wizard snuck through his local number and stole the rest of his toes for his insolence and defiance.

With Momma weeping in the background, I swore eternal vengeance on the Wizard, and have spent the last ten days hunting him down to the Spire of Denmark.  While I was victorious and slew the vile sorcerer using my Nerf Gun of Wizard Smiting, the time I had to take off of work was unpaid, and the cost of the airfare to Denmark was only 50% covered by my Cost-Centre.  Thankfully, meals and Enchanted Nerf-Darts were covered, as I was able to use my corporate card and list them as “Office Expenses”.

  • Page 3 of Survey:  10 Questions about the POC service and more about my agent and my trouble
  • Page 4 of Survey: “Would you recommend this service to another person?”  (keep in mind this is our ONE tech-support department for our company, and everyone NEEDS to use it)
  • “Please comment on your experience and what we did well or how we can improve:”  OKAY!

Chapter 2: The Great Mushroom War

After flying back from Denmark with a bag of magically stolen digits, I was able to get in touch with Momma Chickaboom once gain by calling 1-800-CUT-LINE.  Ironically, he had not been transferred to the Cable Cut department due to his chopped off toes, but rather his doctor had diagnosed his missing toes as too much stress on the job, requesting an immediate transfer.

I was about to send his toes to him via the company’s internal mail service when I realized that in the bag there were several dozen toes of multiple sizes, shapes, colours and states of pedicure.  Trusting my new friend, I sent the entire bag, and asked him to pick out which toes were his and send it back so I could then recycle the rest in our Lunch Room’s Zero-Waste organics bin.

Momma Chickaboom did not honour our agreement, however, and sent back only three toes.  I contacted him immediately via Communicator Chat and he told me apologetically that he had grown hungry while waiting for the aircraft-grade graphite epoxy to harden on his foot as part of his toe reattachment surgery.  I suspect that this surgery was not licensed by Health Canada, as any fool knows you should use a rivet gun with 3.25″ zinc-coated copper rivets for any reattachment procedure involving less than one pound of severed flesh.

I was furious that Momma had denied the compost heap of such a wealth of vital nutrients, and asked him what he was going to do about the stunted mushrooms that would now grow as a result.  I have not heard back from him to this date, and I suspect that it is either because he is blocking me in communicator, or has died due to his faulty toe-reattachment surgery.

I am not impressed.


Having multiple part surveys to respond to a simple Password Reset is ridiculous and a complete waste of my time and the company’s’ time, so I am simply returning the favour.  The agent that took my call was excellent, and I am saddened that you feel that a 24 question, 4 page survey is required to gauge their performance in such a simple, routine situation.

Stop it.


I’m betting Survey #3 will be the same thing.  It will take at least another quarter for anyone to change anything.  I’d better start writing…


– Fiss //


UPDATE: June 11:
The latest survey was a much more reasonable 2 question and 1 “comments” box page! Did they actually listen to me??? Who knows…but it’s nice that someone is at least pretending to be sane. 🙂

Posted under Manifestoes
  1. John B Said,

    Haha- I must admit that as a helpdesk technician, I have seen the surveys that our office make people fill out. and I agree that the whole practice is a bit overkill. 3-5 questions, and an optional comment field would be more than adequate. I hope that Momma Chickaboom got a good laugh out of reading the survey. Cheers.

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