I'd also suggest trying to teach people something. Usually you'll see some sort of pattern in their requests. If they're having problems with their email a lot, maybe it would be good to spend some time showing them how Outlook works. A lot of people have no idea on what you can do with it. It's a great opportunity to be proactive and help them out. IT has an interesting role in an organization where your job is to assist everyone else to get their job done (for the most part). Try treating people as customers for a while and things get a lot better.
I speak from some experience. I had a "manager" (more a senior admin) at a smaller 40 person company and everyone thought he was the BOFH. After he was basically forced out of the job (office politics got really bad for a while) I had the opportunity to change things. We set up a quick 15 minute weekly meeting to let people talk about issues they're having so that we could hear what's going on. The perception of IT changed drastically to that of IT helping them rather than IT doing some black magic or playing games all day. I think some of the perception issues were due to a lack of understanding and visibility, which lead people to believe that IT didn't do anything.
I used to use One or Zero at my last company. Out of the box it's okay, but like you said it is quite easily customizable and serves as a good starting point.
I had looked into eventum a little bit. It's a good backend, but it's lacking a customer facing portion to be complete. I find that managers sometimes want to track their department's tickets to know who is submitting what tickets, etc. One Or Zero worked well for that.
You still risk a credit ding if you get behind on your mortgage. I'm current on my mortgage and I have no intentions of falling behind just so I can get bailed out. That's just plain stupid. Also, honor does play a part of the reason why I want to stay current on my mortgage. I think it's a part of human nature to want to take care of and support your family, and I take pride and honor in the fact that I am doing just that.
That said, you are absolutely right that honor does not directly pay bills. There are people that don't care about paying bills on time and are a general leech on the economy. I would argue, however, that the average person does value their honor.
Now I think I should return to the Klingon home world and sharpen my bat'leth.
The problem started with the sub-prime loans. The corroding effect of them first caused Bear Sterns to go under. The Fed then sent them money through JP Morgan Chase, because they realized that they were also heavily invested in credit default swaps.
Now, a credit default swap is a type of an insurance that when you invest in some company, if it goes bankrupt, you get your money back.
The problem with these credit default swaps is if a large company goes under, now you have to pay a LOT of money to a lot of people. After the bailout of Bear Sterns, this was actualized when AIG started to go under. AIG had issued by far the most amount of credit default swaps.
When Lehman Brother's went under (again caused by bad mortgage loans), Paulson had had enough of bailouts and going against his free market principles, and wanted to send a message to Wall Street that they couldn't expect bailouts.
AIG had issued a lot of the credit default swaps for Lehman Brother's, so now AIG was forced to pay investors billions of dollars that they didn't have in the bank.
We're not out of the woods yet, but it's pretty clear what did happen. The bad mortgages started the ball rolling, but they're far from the only cause of the market meltdown.
I watched Frontline's Inside the Meltdown last night. They have a great timeline of the events. Based on what I had already learned it seems mostly accurate. I may have mixed up a few details as well, so please feel free to correct me.
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