Monday, October 12, 2009

Pumpkin Flavored Awesome

The new job is certainly interesting.
I've been made responsible for a high-demand business group. This means a couple of things.
It means that all aspects of the functionality of their varied applications are flung to me first for resolution.
It also means that they users are a whiny bunch of asshats who have gotten the idea that they are entitled to some measure of attention.
Strangely enough, I've held this exact job in the past.
The key isn't solving the various application issues. A few can almost certainly be knocked out pretty easily.
It also isn't getting the users to send valid information about their errors instead of "some application on server 11 blew up" so that a baseline can be established including valid activity parameters, though that would be nice as well.
The absolute must-do in this type of role is to reset the user expectations, first to the limitations of modern computing ("No, the server cannot do your laundry while it calculates your spreadsheet adjustments if you never, ever let us schedule it for a reboot") and second, most importantly, in the responsiveness of their assigned consultant ("Oh, it did 'it' again, did it? Awesome. Please send me the data I requested the last time 'it' happened, in addition to the same data for this occurrence, and I'll see about getting you a better diagnosis than 'it crapped out' this time. Once I get back from lunch, probably.").
The tightrope to walk here is in not ever sending a response to them that is more vague than the request they flung at me. As long as I have a use for the data I demand, there is no reason for it to not be provided.
This is my core skill set. People-hacking.
The other great thing is that I laid all this out in the interview, so no one on my side of the technical fence should be at all surprised by any of it.
The drive from Columbia it Charlotte and back to Columbia every day sucks quite a bit. It is easily my least favorite part.
Hopefully, the house will be on the market soon and we can begin our final drive to Charlotte.
I can endure until then. Some days I work from home. Today, for example.
Today I was productive without pants until about 10:30am, when I needed something out of the car and it was cold and rainy.
After that, the pants seem to have quelled the earlier productivity, though the correlation wasn't made until after lunch, when I'd again dressed the part of working from home.
Why did I take my pants off after lunch? Because I'm a professional and there is a certain standard I like to acknowledge and subsequently ignore.
Pumpkin-flavored everything makes all of this infinitely easier. It's like falling off a log onto a large orange gourd, given the proper no-sugar-added enhancements.

No comments: