Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Job Responsibilities

When I was told I'd be working with a "special needs" business unit, I assumed the definition was the standard.
I expected that sometimes they would blow up their equipment.
From experience, I thought they would overwrite vital data with crap and then fling blame.
I entertained the possibility that written instructions should, perhaps, be read in reverse for the purposes of functionality.
All of these things I have seen.
What I had not seen, and did not expect, was that they would not be nice about it.
I've worked with difficult people. If elaboration is needed I suggest hitting and archived post at random and running with it.
I am not what one would describe as "thick skinned", and I tend to take a lot of stuff personally which maybe I should not.
At the same time, repeated where-the-hell-are-you-i-needed-this-thing-done-twenty-minutes-ago instant messages while I'm on the phone with my manager are not the key to wringing a response from me.
In fact, since I was on the phone with my manager specifically about how obnoxious they were, I felt it was a more valid use of my time, overall.
The key in this case is the proper re-direction of fault. Geek Fu is less about technical ability than it is about using a user's mass and momentum against them.
"Why don't you answer your desk phone?" when I don't actually have a desk was not a question I could answer in any way except, "Given that I've gotten so little documentation from your developers I'd prefer all contact from you to be written and not verbal so that I can create my own documentation by copying and pasting."
Of course, it also helps to find the place in their code where a file is sought in half a dozen non-existent locations in the half second before the server blue screened.
I'm still quite often driving 90 miles to work and 90 miles home.
I also have not located a place in my part of South Carolina which has decent coffee before 6am.
This is the price of having a job in finance, I suppose.
Or, perhaps in a past life I burned down an orphanage and karma has chosen to catch up with me here, in the southeastern United States.
Stupid karma. There's nothing to do here north of Orlando.

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