Shoulda

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I shoulda just called in sick today.

That’s not really the right attitude to have, but work sucks today.

I can think of hundreds of other things I’d rather be doing, or hundreds of other places I’d rather be.

Having a hard time dealing with it.

Just not motivated to exert myself in employment today.

My brain already hurts and I’m tired.

Shoulda. Shoulda done a lot of things. Shoulda, shoulda…

Stepping back

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So, there was a pissing match and I didn’t want any part of it.

Turns out that the extra effort to prove me wrong wasn’t just about proving me wrong but to vindicate herself to another teammate too. As a result, a pissing match and tension.

I just decided to step back and not play along.

You can do your thing and the other can do their thing…but tell me what I m supposed to do to help clients when the info wasn’t readily available nor was it clear that there was much more involved than simply running a report on the data.

The problem with pissing matches is that everyone gets burned.

Weird play on words, but it’s true.

Have you stepped into something recently only to realize you best step back rather than get into the middle of it?

Stepped in it

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I made the mistake of working with a client on an issue that was outside of my knowledge wheelhouse. It really wasn’t that big of a deal and should have been an easy solve for those who are more knowledgeable than I in this particular area. However, as it turns out, not only am I a “middle guy” but so is the client. So you have two middle guys passing information back and forth only to have two larger organizations duking it out above us as they blame the issue for each other.

As such, I was trying to keep my head down and just play my part in passing along information.

Well, as I was following up on this issue this morning (I hadn’t heard anything for several days, going back to last week), I found out that there were at least three other people involved, but didn’t now know that because I wasn’t included in the follow up emails as the issue continues to cause problems.

To add even more confusion, one of my colleagues who was trying to be helpful (though she often steps where she shouldn’t) saw an email in our customer support account that wasn’t addressed properly and started an completely new client ticket before looking to see if there was history on the issue. Now, the issue is in giant CF mode!

I didn’t want to deal with this issue in the first place, so I am going to do what anyone else in my position would do when they venture onto the farm and promptly step into a big pile of B*LLSH#$%…pass it to a colleague who should have been dealing with it in the first place.

Now, I need to find a rag to wipe off my shoes.

DOH!

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There are those clients who just don’t know what’s up and then there are those clients who are lucky to survive a day when left to their own devices…

You, of course, have heard of the typical IT calls where someone has to “check to see if it is plugged in” and to “turn it off and turn it back on” and “did you turn your computer monitor on?” You are smarter than that, right? I am sure you have never had to need that sort of tech support, right? You’re all beyond that now, right?

So, yesterday I took a call about the software we support not working. It was in my area of expertise and so I figured it was something the user was doing (or not doing) and that is why it wasn’t working the way they expected.

In this case, a teacher wasn’t able to get the software to record the grades being entered for a graded assignment. I called the client and shadowed them in my virtual meeting room. Below is the conversation:

Me: “What seems to be the problem? Can you show me what is happening?”

Client: “I know you can’t see this but I am pushing the numbers for 2 0 and nothing is happening.”

Me: “Are you using the numbers on the keyboard above the letters or does your keyboard have a 10-key pad?”

Client: “I am using the numbers on the side.”

Me: “Can you push the NUMLK key on your keyboard and try it again?”

Client: “Oh, huh, weird. I have never had to do that before.”

Me: “silence….as I roll my eyes and bite my tongue”

Me: “So everything is working like it should now? Glad I could help.”

Add that to the list of “I’ve seen it all” items.

Why is it that people have a hard time troubleshooting issues themselves? Is it that we can’t, won’t, or don’t because we always expect it to be someone else’s problem?

Chalk this one up as another head shaker…

Planning

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So, I am doing a training today. Teaching teachers to use the software the should be using for grading students.

I am usually the type of guy who doesn’t mind someone pointing at something and say, “Do it.” I show up, and do it.

BUT, this morning is a bit different. I wasn’t a part of the planning of this and I found out yesterday there are all kinds of factors that could make this morning go very poorly.

First, this training was supposed to be to one district who requested the training. Somehow members of another district managed to get into the training. I think I nicely took care of that issue by letting them know that the training was indeed intended for a specific district and that they weren’t really invited.

Second, the registration website being used to sign participants up for the training says the training starts at 8:30am. My calendar says it starts at 9:00am. So which is it? OK, I am flexible and can go with the flow….except for the last thing…

Finally, there is a meeting scheduled in the room where the training is supposed to take place. The meeting is scheduled from 7:30-9:00am. Uh, that is a problem! Not only can I not set up and prepare for my training, but if the training is truly supposed to be at 8:30am what am I supposed to do with the people who show up on time for the training?

Yeah. This could turn into a CF real quick.

I know my stuff. I don’t have an issue working on the fly. Hell, I taught high school for 15 years. I can go with the flow with the best of them…but at least I had some control of my environment to some degree. In this case, I have little to none.

And on top of it all? I am wearing slacks on a Friday, which is supposed to be casual day at the office. Damn.

 

Morning meetings

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Morning meetings, especially long ones, throw the rest of the day under the bus. Playing catch-up isn’t easy for the employees, and it is frustrating to your clients.

I realize there isn’t probably a perfect time to have a meeting, but there are definitely times that aren’t good to have them. Thus, the eternal question of “when?”

So, we play catch-up and everyone’s stress level or anxiety goes up.

#SMH