24 11 2008

Monday morning, 7:40am…normally at this time I am getting ready to head out for work.  This morning I am sitting here in my underwear wondering if I can wait another day to shave or not.

That’s right, I am on vacation this week.  I am really looking forward to a fun week with my family.  I have plenty to do and my family is anything but restful, but I am looking forward to a excitement filled week away from work.

I hope everyone out there has a wonderful Thanksgiving.


Audio problems and bongo drums

30 09 2008

On Friday, we had an offsite meeting for the entire IT department.  I was tasked with setting up a video-conferencing link between the offsite location and our satellite office in California.  I spent all week exploring options and testing them out to make sure everything was in place.  All throughout, I was told not to worry about audio.  I was only responsible for making sure the video was there.

The morning of the meeting, I got there early and did some final testing.  Still, I was told that the audio would be taken care of and that I did not need to worry about that.

Well, when the meeting started, the video link was in place just fine.  We could hear our friends in California.  But, they were unable to hear us.

I, of course, was sitting right up in the front of the room with my laptop connected to the projector for the video feed.  Everyone kept looking at me like I had totally blown it.  Eventually, the California office just got up and left the meeting.

Those that know about the situation know that I had nothing to do with the problem.  The problem is, very few know about the situation and I am sure 99% of the IT department thinks I failed miserably.

So, I closed down the video feed so we weren’t looking at an empty room and.  All my work all week long was a complete waste.  Oh well, what are you gonna do?

So, the meeting continued.  And after an hour of completely meaningless pep talk, we moved into a surprise team building exercise.  We were all given a bongo drum and led in the fine art of the drum.  We all left feeling as though we had been united as one cohesive unit all marching to the same beat.  Oh please…gag me now, please.

The biggest question I had as I walked out of the meeting was when were they planning on telling me about the bongo drums?  Was I supposed to handle the video feed of a bunch of morons playing bongos to our friends in California too?  Well, as long as I don’t have to worry about the audio, I am sure it will be fine.

Ma’am, consider me your system administrator

13 08 2008

I had a funny moment happen yesterday on the phone with a customer.  This person had talked to several people about a problem she was having and no one had been able to help her.  She had basically gotten an internal version of the run-around.  Then, her issue was brought to my attention and I called to see if I could help.  I could tell by her phone demeanor that she figured I was just one more useless rung on a ladder up to someone who knew what they were doing.  But, the thing was, I knew what her problem was and I had been successfully helping others just like her for several days.

So, I countered the doubt in her voice with confidence.  As I was trying to walk her through the steps required to solve her problem she received an error which she immediately read aloud in a “here-we-go-again tone.  The error was “blah blah blah, please see your system administrator”.

I have waited years for the right moment to give my response:

“Ma’am, consider me your system adminstrator”.

She laughed…and I think she finally understood that she was talking to the person who could solve her problem…which is exactly what I did.

She probably thought I was a little arrogant, but, what the heck, it was fun…

“Reduction in Force” = get lost

30 05 2008

You\'re fired!Today was an interesting day at the office to say the least.  First of all, at 5:09 yesterday afternoon, I received an invitation to a mandatory meeting for all IT employees this morning at 10am.  The invitation instructed people to reschedule any conflicting meeting to make sure to attend this meeting.  I knew immediately when I saw the invite that there was going to be some bombshell announcement made.  I thought it very clever of them to send out the invitation just after 5 the day before the meeting.

You would have thought they were giving free t-shirts to the first 50 people because people started herding themselves to the meeting about 10 minutes early.

I walked in right at about 10 and found an empty seat.

And the announcement was…drum roll please…

“Our company has signed an agreement with another company to take over much of the IT roles and responsibilities.  There will be a ‘reduction in force’ as a result of this transition.  Direct all your questions to your immediate supervisor or to an HR representative.  No questions at this time, please.”

Then my group was moved to another mandatory meeting with our VP to tell us how our group will be affected by the announcement.  Basically, it’s not…for now.

Lame-ass moments of the day:

CIO says he has come out to our office because he wants to deliver the message to us in person and then…immediately turns it over to one of his VPs to read a written statement.  Very personal, I thought.  Everytime I want to deliver a message to someone in person, I usually write it down and give it to someone else to read to them while I sit there watching.

In the second meeting with just our group, someone asked our VP if he knew what percentage of people would be retained and what percentage would be let go.  His response: “I am sure there will be quite a number of people retained….or let go.”  I almost started laughing right there in the meeting.  What a classic response.  He went on to remind us that “situations like this are not easy on my side of the fence either.”  Thanks, that makes us all feel a lot better.

 Well, I guess I better get my resume updated…

In honor of the events of the last 24 hours, I am posting this at 5:09 pm.