8

Short historical summary:

I've been programming at my current job for ~ 10 months now, I've setup QA, scheduling, adherence tracking, roster, and data pulling/warehousing/reporting for anything else that we needed in a callcenter environment. However, I've always been a "Team Lead" by title, while my superiors expect me to perform programming/data analyst duties. I will even get regular requests pull data from a new vendor and generate reports, or to add features to some tools to meet the needs of a different group. I was even offered the position, which was then rescinded due to it not being in the budget. This came with the difficulties of getting access to tools/data/sites that I need, which often required intervention from my boss's boss as I was just a Team Lead to anyone that I had not met before. For me this was a means to an end and I need to experience so I've went along with it.

Meat of the issue:

Recently, more and more sites have been blocked due to the restrictive firewall any call center would be expected to have. I've put in tickets to unblock necessary sites that house documentation on the tools/languages I am using. All of my tickets were recently denied. The majority of documentation for the tools and languages I am using as well as other resources such as stackoverflow have been blocked by the firewall.

The decision was handed down by individuals very much disconnected from the program, or from the problems I run into when I cannot access developer documentation. The reason I recieved from them was: "This is not quite the direction that we want from your role within the program".

I feel like I'm fighting to do the job I'm simultaneously expected to do. My work greatly benefits the colleagues, supervisors, and program managers in my center. It does very little for high-level management outside of the center as it's hard to quantify money saved through less wasted time on a monthly or quarterly report.

How can I move forward with this? Do I continue fighting harder and harder to keep things running, or just stop and let it fall apart and hope for the best? I'm still getting requests for features, changes, and new reports from people who us them.

Edit: I want to clarify: I don't think I'm 'hot stuff', I just landed into a company that has no internal toolings of any sort (~1500 employees). I was in an ideal position to start developing, a thousand problems to solve and the freedom to pick and choose and do anything I could to solve them.

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    What happened when you raised this issue with your immediate manager? – Philip Kendall Apr 12 '16 at 5:58
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    When you find a new job, they will finally get the point. I gave one job the opportunity to give me equity sooner, so I could tell a team lead when they were being ridiculous. They refused, so I gave notice. – Chloe Apr 12 '16 at 6:50
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    @douglasg14b That sounds like these (inane) conditions are now part of the job and unlikely to change. You might have to decide whether this position is still right for you. Given your short time with the company and the fact that your manager appears uninterested in actually solving the problem, you don't have any other avenues left to resolve this. You'd need to go above your manager, which I wouldn't recommend. – Lilienthal Apr 12 '16 at 6:51
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    @JoeStrazzere That's an unfair characterization of both the OP and his company. It could be as simple as a sysadmin playing boy scout. Referencing online manuals is not being dependent on outside sources, BTW. I dare you to try to develop anything without them. – Retired Codger Apr 12 '16 at 17:52
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    @GrandmasterB if the OP can get the company to reimburse the bill, then yes. Employees should not be forced to spend part of their salary to be able to work. – MauganRa Dec 2 '16 at 14:08
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This is your managers problem, all you can do is keep pushing with your manager. It's up to him/her to get it done somehow.

If you continue to get requests that you cannot adequately fulfill due to the blocks, refer the issues and the people to your manager. Don't get yourself in trouble going over peoples heads or trying to do things that will only fail.

What this does is puts the onus on the manager to handle the people who want the work done, and to liaise with others to get sites opened up. Whether he/she does or not does not impact on your reputation as much as if you try and do these things yourself.

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    Agreed. I would also specifically use the wording with your manager that you are being "set up for failure" by having these important reference tools removed while the demands of the job remain the same. If change doesn't occur eventually you'll need to cut your losses and find another company with less restrictive rules. – DanK Apr 12 '16 at 13:06
3

It happens to many employees and in many companies. Problem is most of time department/person who have right to allow permission to access sites do not have knowledge that which employee/department have need of which type of websites or resources. So, they follow common rule for all and sometime block websites/resources which are really necessary for someone to access for better work and company growth.

According to me you have following options :

Option 1 : Meet a person who denied your request to unblock site. Explain him/her that why you want to access those sites/resources, how it is beneficial for company growth and there is nothing you are doing wrong by accessing those thing. If your explanation is perfect then you will get access to necessary things.

Option 2 : If you have been assigned some tasks by senior manager and you really need access to those sites/resources as a part of work then request to that manager and they will help you to get access.

Option 3 : If your manager is unable to help you then you can directly contact to most senior person of company who has all rights to apply anything in company when it comes to company growth. You can meet them or mail politely and explain situation.

Option 4 : If nothing work from above then let it go. Stop requesting.

1

Great that you were being a good motivated individual and set all this up. Now that you cannot do it anymore politely inform those requesting reports, tools, etc. that it is outside the scope of your position and they need to bring it up with the appropriate department or person. You can expand if they press, how about just this one time etc., with 'IT feels that my position does not need access to certain tools and resources, as such there is no way I can fulfill your request. You need to take it up with the appropriate people.'

Now, since you have shown great competence here, find out who in the organization should be filling this role and apply there, assuming it is not just the afore mentioned Team Lead role. I'm guessing here that there is some sort of IT organization that is supposed to be doing this, they are not that innocent in cutting you off i'm sure. So see if you can apply for an opening there.

0

Obviously you could get documentation when you are at home. Obviously you could get documentation if you had a tablet with a 3G connection and paid for the data, even while at work. On the other hand, if the company is afraid of evil things coming from the internet (maybe quite rightfully), you don't want to take a computer into work without permission, and you don't want to pay for it anyway.

I'd check with your direct manager if it is possible to get you that kind of access, making sure that such a tablet would be in no way connected to your actual company network. This requires only money and permission, but nobody has to make any changes to your computer network to do this. It's not quite as good as having the information on your work computer, but better than nothing and possibly easier to achieve. Just don't do this without knowledge of the relevant people, who might react badly.

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    I disagree. The ability to research material for your position, especially in a job that asks you to build something from scratch, is vital. It would be silly to expect a worker to go home and waste their own time researching material to do their job when they aren't allowed to do it at work. – Dan Apr 12 '16 at 17:02
  • @Dan: You are misunderstanding what I say. I'm talking about a technological workaround. The OP cannot access materials at work. He could easily access them at home. So move the method that works at home into the office. – gnasher729 Apr 12 '16 at 19:23

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