In the past week I have finally appreciated what I actually do! I enable people to do stuff with what they already have! I am not an early adopter, I am a laggard!
When I started in this business, bluetooth was prohibitively expensive, so I was never going to need it. WRONG! Bluetooth is everywhere now. It is becoming as common as electricity, so I better know how to use it, regardless of my location. (I could so insert a rant on the topic of our abuse of terminology, but I will resist.)
Here’s where I made the connection. I bought a new car, my last one was old enough to be on the cusp of the wireless enablement revolution, I didn’t even have a port. I am cheap and take good care of my things, so there was no need to do anything. If I had to do it, I found inexpensive workarounds, and it got done.
T-Mobile is my cell phone provider and they have been giving me more stuff all the time, I just didn’t need it — yet. I didn’t understand the appeal of some of the benefits of these programs that keep getting added to my account. I am getting a better understanding for the value of these things.
I called the only person I knew who actually used these services I am setting up in my new car as I was excited to get her thoughts on the satellite radio. I told how awesome it was for the car salesman to show me how to navigate to the menus on the user interface, but it was unsettling when we finally popped up my Pandora login displaying my playlists: one Billy Joel soundtrack and the rest children’s songs. I guess I only listen to music with my grandchildren.
We both laughed. She warned me to keep track of my data usage as Pandora will use your wireless data plan to deliver the signal. Then she reminded me, I don’t have to worry about that because I am on T-Mobile. I finally got it! http://www.t-mobile.com/offer/free-music-streaming.html
Yesterday was crazy busy! I work in an environment where all users are required to change their password incredibly frequently. Yesterday was that day for me.
Upon logging in and receiving the notification that my password was about to expire, I did my due diligence and went about the tasks that are necessary to complete that task. I know it should be as simple as logging into a single place and doing it once, but it isn’t. It takes a lot of time and at least one hard boot of my device to complete this task. Upon successfully finishing this laborious, time-consuming task, I went on about my day.
Fast forward:: Life would have been good if I hadn’t had to change sites to be able to get to my appointments. The password change came back to bite me. Thank God I had built in an hour for lunch and travel, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to resolve my technical issues and arrive on time for my meeting. To be honest, this is actually one of the things my favorite manager likes about me. He likes that when I encounter these little challenges, I don’t just throw up my hands and walk away.
I get it. I understand that not all of the servers that service the tools that I have to use to do my jobs all get updated in the ‘blink of an eye’. I get that ‘real-time’ means the configuration of the portal that I am currently using to access data and sometimes the tools. Guess I have been around long enough to realize there is processing required to use every portal, everywhere. There are reasons for daily maintenance windows and overnight batch processes.
Knowing that gives me a baseline to use to troubleshoot my own issues. This saves so much money for all of my employers. I can fix it myself. I don’t have to tie-up a minimum of one support resource to resolve my basic issues.
For me? This is a baseline metric for anyone who claims to be a IT professional. How much does it cost us to keep you productive?
Windows 10 upgrade hosed my mail on my android device?
This morning, randomly I could no longer retrieve email from my phone. Not a happy camper. I have an amazing husband. He took my device after I whined something about lugging a boat anchor around.
Through his dedication to solving the problem – it took hours – he got it fixed. It just hit me, I wonder if the ‘known issue/unknown resolution’ hiccup we encountered is related to the Windows 10 upgrade I just did? Hmmmm
I was recruited. Actively pursued to take on the responsibility to deliver the onboarding factory for this communications company.
They needed me. I needed them. The timing was right, the environment was wrong.
There was a team in place, they needed some organization and leadership. As a team, we were able to clear the backed-up pipeline in less than ninety days.
What we didn’t know is that we were picking up the wreckage from the previous attempts. We wound up dissecting the processes and redesigning the delivery directly to the architect of the nightmare, the creator of the out-of-control-pipeline. This taught me to ask a few more questions before jumping in with both feet. Test the waters. Do your homework. Unless this is a greenfield project there are people attached and somewhere someone is connected to this chaos. Be careful.
This happened so long ago that it is truly a distant memory but the emotions that came running back when I started thinking about what happened were disconcerting.
I really think it is those damages that led me to stay in my next position so long. Far beyond the expiration date for the role, so it is time to be moving on.
This is the place where I literally produced TPS Reports. I tried to make jokes about ‘flair’ and ‘red swingline staplers’ but my humor was lost on my fellow cube dwellers.
Since the last time I sat down to blog, I have accomplished a lot. Probably why I haven’t found the time to blog.
Recent events caused a complete upheaval for one of my family members’ travel plans. I am so sorry they weren’t able to make it home to celebrate our mother’s ninetieth birthday, but it has evolved into a full-blown family reunion. First one in almost twenty years!
Seizing the opportunity, I approached the family about planning a get-together to celebrate all of the parents’ milestones this year, but in one fell swoop. It is difficult to get all of us together in one place, at one time.
Quickly, I identified everyone’s schedules to consider. This was so much easier when all of the grandchildren were kids and the parents had a lot more control. Now, everyone is a grownup, taking care of grownup things, so this task has become much more complicated.
I am proud to say that by the end of four days communicating, we were able to get the pillars in place that allow us to move on to the more interesting challenges with planning and executing a family reunion.
This sounds really mundane, but it isn’t. We were able to agree on a date, location, schedule travel and other arrangements for 20 people in less than one week. That is pretty impressive by itself, but toss in the fact this involves 4 different states, 10 professionals, 2 senior citizens, 2 teenagers and a couple of great grandchildren and the breadth of the task starts coming to light.
Set the stage – for the last year the most uncooperative, self-important person I have ever encountered has been talking about how awful the new infrastructure is and how painful the process has been.
Every time she whined, I paid attention. The negativity is annoying, but there are nuggets in those statements. The way I see it? Listening to tales of woe are invaluable when you are doing a task or designing a task. If I can avoid encountering those issues by preparing on my side, the whole painful process will be less disruptive to productivity. In days of yore, we called this pre-processing. I think one of the buzzwords is operational excellence.
The little task I was bragging about yesterday? She started that process last February! I think she completed it in January. I forgot. I don’t really care. The only reason I know about is frequent audits of her historical artifacts identifies missing responses from my teams.
I started the task on January 26, 2016. I negotiated to minimize the impact on team operations. The development team made my site read-only last Thursday – St. Patrick’s Day 2016. Cool. This is a system, infrastructure migration, a little maintenance time is necessary. We didn’t decide to do this. TPTB did. We are merely complying.
I am proud to say that I was able to complete the mirrored migration in less than a week. It isn’t a brand, new, beautiful, fully-functional site, but it is enough to keep us working in a brave new world. I am readying myself for the adoption complaints, but that is when I see opportunities for improvement!!
Here’s a little insight into me, when you whine, I listen and learn….