EDIT: I submitted the question yesterday, and I have had a ton of helpful suggestions and a lot of great answers. Thank you very much for your help!
You all have helped me to deal with some difficult situations in the past, and today I find myself in another tight spot. I am hopeful that this community can help me, but I'm not sure if I can word the question adequately. Do you think the Workplace is the right place for this question? Or is there a better way to ask the question?
Working Title: How can I convince my colleague to call the help desk instead of contacting me directly?
This morning I received an email from a colleague, who doesn't want to call the help desk anymore, [we'll call him Joel.]
I manage a small team of IT professionals, responsible for the care and feeding of a pretty typical SMB with less than 1000 employees. Among our many responsibilities, we all answer a shared phone line that we colloqiaully call the "Help Desk." Users call in with a variety of problems / questions. We have users that run the spectrum, from power users who only call when there is an outage, to technophobes who call for help whenever an unexpected dialog box appears.
Joel has been a pretty regular caller in the past, but this morning he emailed me to let me know that he doesn't want to call the Help Desk anymore, instead he will be contacting me directly for all future questions. When I replied, asking Joel for details, he let me know he doesn't want to talk to my direct report [we'll call him Rick.]
"Nothing personal with Rick, but I have tried working with him in the past and he doesn't know or can't help and he is over bearing to talk too [sic.]"
EDIT 1: Rick has been with the team for almost a year now, and he has a consistently positive attitude. He is far and away the friendliest and most outgoing member of our team. He is a knowledgeable and capable member of the Help Desk, and this is the first time I have heard any complaints about his performance there or anywhere else.
For a number of reasons, I don't want Joel contacting me directly every time he has a question.
How can I convince Joel to call the help desk instead of contacting me directly?
I intend to craft another question regarding how best to manage Rick through this situation, but I am open to any advice you have to offer on the topic.