Phone shopping

Denise and I were out wandering around Bellevue. We wandered into the TMUS phone store in Belle Square…..[August 10, 2017]

Ran into a former team member at TMUS store in Belle Square.
Jessie A is who I ran into.
There is so much to unpack from this little interaction.
Leaving notes here so I can come back and update as I am moved.

Jessie – nice enough; smart enough; native Bellevuean.

Event –
Caro converted her to Full Time in the same move that let me go.

Emotions:
A bit hurt
A bit jealous
This too shall pass

Thank you for closure

I have to admit, that interaction the other day was impactful. It forced me to not just ‘think’ about the job, but work through the emotions that were attached to the thing.
It was painful.
Not the work. The disrespect.
It wasn’t something that happened overnight, it took years. But the seeds were sown early on.
It was a good thing to run into my former team member.
It is nice to be moving forward with something new and exciting with an entirely clean slate.

Get over it!

So being laid off earlier this year was devastating. Much more devastating than I wanted to believe. To be honest, I thought I was completely over all of the emotional baggage that comes with such an adventure. That is until I ran into one of the people that I used to manage. Since I was laid off, the slimy little creature who had weaseled her way into being our manager has since converted this person to an FTE role.
I was upset. I am trying to understand why it upset me, but it did. It was nice to have her tell me how much they missed me. Apparently, they have realized how hard it truly was to do the things that I made look incredibly easy. (Duh, that was in the job description – ‘make this happen’. I guess I was really good at that. She went on and on and on about how hard it was to onboard new people and how much they miss my expertise. She said they brought on a few people the beginning of July and here we are 6 weeks later and those folks still aren’t fully productive.
This is one of the processes and procedures I had mastered. When the challenge was tossed my way to ‘solve it’, our onboarding was normally 90 days before someone was fully productive. Rising to the challenge tossed my way by our previous manager, I was able to create a process and a set of checkpoints that would have a new hire fully capable to be productive within their first 5 days on the time. Indoctrinating them into the environment and getting them to full productivity was entirely dependent upon the person, but overall, we reduced the time from 90 days to less than 2 weeks.
When I left, I was asked to make sure the process documentation was updated and in place. It was. What I couldn’t get the juvenile who had been promoted from graphic designer to be my manager to realize is that it isn’t always the steps in the process that matters, as much as it is how you execute those steps. The reason I could do it so quickly and effectively is that I had taken the time to build the relationships with the folks who actually execute the steps that our outside of my control. I did things in a specific order because there is time in back office processing that has to happen. I have a wee bit of knowledge about access management and networking, so I get what is happening and timed the required manual interventions accordingly so that when we were ready to do the next thing on the list, the systems would be ready too.
This morning, I am over the disappointment and any jealousy I might have had has passed. I am truly blessed to be out of that dysfunctional, unprofessional coffee clutch.

Magenta – fail

So sad. I was talking to a recruiter about some of the work I had done in my recent past.
One of our core initiatives was improving the tools used in the assisted channel. In English: If you talk to a sales associate or call customer care, you interact with someone. That is ‘being assisted’ and you have become a participant in the assisted channel process. Anything that happens now would be impacted by the tools and improvements to the user experience. (the “user” is the internal resource)

I am very proud of the work we did over the last few years, so I have no problem bragging about what was accomplished. My issue is trying to communicate it to wireless outsiders. In an effort to show the types of tools we worked on, I suggested the recruiter take a look at magenta’s website and do a coverage check.
EPIC FAIL TMO – screen shot below. So, so sad…..TMobileMaps_EpicFail

Telecommunications dots

One of the processes I am most proud of defining, developing and delivering during my tenure was the onboarding process. Kudos to my leadership for tossing it my way and allowing me to do it on my own.
Every onboarding activity I did was personalized. Yes, the basics where ‘check-the-box’ simple, but everyone who joined our ranks was an individual and they deserved individual attention.

There are a lot of things that have to be remembered whenever you start something new. Finally, I standardized on converting my checklist to individual notebooks created as the hiring processes proceeded.

This became the new hire’s ‘touch stone’ to be used as a start. This became a shared activity between the new hire and the various team members. Folks who were more adventurous enjoyed doing these activities like a scavenger hunt. Others who were more linear requested more ‘checklists’. That was a lot less fun.

Standardizing the work station provided for each resource went a long ways toward simplifying the time to productivity for each resource we brought in.
Writing the requirements for the ‘work station’ provided really helped set the baseline for the expectations the new hire would be able to perform on the first day.
It is much more difficult to produce a baseline for industry knowledge. Every industry has its own set of facts and history that new hires should be exposed. Pique their curiosity.
We were in the telecommunications industry. We were doing ‘mobile first’ design and delivery, so it really doesn’t hurt understand a little bit about the history of telecommunications. I like to focus on telecommunications in the United States.

I am old. I remember when Ma bell was the only game in town. I remember when it was illegal to own a telephone. My mother was a telephone operator in the 40’s and 50’s. Heck she was downsized by ‘mama bell’ because she chose to follow her husband when they shipped him to Colorado after they shot him with an atomic bomb. But that is a story for another day.

I hate resumes

Naively I assumed that the ability to survive and thrive for over 6 years in a turbulent, ‘fast-paced’ information technology organization delivering the tools that facilitated the ‘un-carrier’ revolution.

Maybe that is where I need to start. Instead of formatting a resume as a brochure to get the conversation started, I need to create the ‘roadmap’ that takes the reader through my experiences.

Connect the dots for the reader!

Job search prep – personal

It is no secret that I am soon out of work and truly cannot afford to be, so I have been traipsing across all of the information in front of me, while trying to maintain a level of professionalism in the job I am exiting. I believe in doing my best until the end, no matter how tempting it would be to drop to petty whining and sabotaging. Not this gal! But that is another post, for another day after the immediate challenges are abated.

While reviewing my work history for files and documents that are my own and can become some of my broader portfolio, I started looking at some of the quotes I have collected while evaluating my current situation. It is interesting to see what I have been thinking over all of these years. Below is a quote from an article I saved when I realized this job that is ending was headed this direction.

The trick to advancing your career and getting paid more is to add value by making certain your contributions are worth more than you’re paid.

Two years ago was a very emotional time for me, professionally. The manager I had been working with since I walked in the front door was being promoted. A well-deserved promotion and essentially one of my personal goals for measuring my success in this role. I was thrilled.

I wasn’t as thrilled when the next shoe dropped and I found out he was moving on and I was being left behind with a new manager. A green wannabe manager. Tough role to fill. Things haven’t been great, either way.

The toughest part for me was changing my style. We never really found a good cadence of mutual respect and appreciation. We would go months without having a conversation. Never a good sign.

No planning for you…

Good news is, I need not worry about the challenges around planning as I was informed yesterday that my last day will be next Friday.

Bad news is, now I MUST find a new job and quickly, if at all possible. My husband has a job, but he doesn’t get paid very well. I have stuck around, longer than I should have because the pay was fair. I am not over-paid by any means, but the commute wasn’t awful and I really did care for the team I had been instrumental in building over the last 6 years. We were finally doing things and I was enjoying my role, for the most part again, but all good things must come to an end.

Callout to anyone who might know of any positions for a Scrum Master in the greater Seattle area – preferably on the east side.

Here we go – planning week again

Two week iterations are perfect, as long as the team is mature.

What I really want to do is send out a bunch of reminders with links to training materials, so everyone is on the same page, but I would be reprimanded for being to forceful. The question is, how are we ever going to get better if we don’t address the maturity level issue. How is the team ever going to move ahead, if everyone doesn’t play fairly? Is it too much to expect that a team member who has committed to the team do everything in their power to be just as prepared as all of the rest of the team members?

Overwhelmed

This week has been one for the books. I am totally overwhelmed, mentally, emotionally, physically. Hard to admit how much all of this has taken out of me.

If I didn’t already need to find a new job, events this week have assured me it is time to do something. First thing I read on Monday morning was a note from my company’s CEO that the company I work for was filing for bankruptcy. Really doesn’t do a lot to motivate someone to keep on keeping on when you know that the company you have worked for for so long has mis-managed themselves into bankruptcy! Kind of set the mood for the week.

The company has done their best to assure us that we will get paid, but it still is unsettling and very uncomfortable. In addition to my tasks for the client, I had to find time to meet with my account manager, who has been in that role for less than two months, poor guy.

That would be enough to put a damper on the week, but at least I do still have a job that I will get paid for for the immediate future, but the job isn’t that great anyway. To be honest, I have stuck it out because it does pay decently and ever since my husband was RIF’d a couple of years ago from his career-length job – over 17 years with the same company – I have been the bread winner for our family.

I am finally doing what I was originally hired to do low those many years ago, but it isn’t that easy to get people to change the ways they do things after they have been doing them the other way for so long. I got yelled at this week by one of the team members. The word I would really like to use is screamed. I get that she is frustrated with everything going on around her, but I am not your punching bag.

She and I have history. First, when she joined the team, she was in the building, hadn’t even completed her onboarding, before she was asking for a change of roles. I don’t get that behavior. You were hired to do ‘x’. You haven’t even mastered ‘x’; you haven’t mastered logging in, yet you want to start doing ‘y’? That behavior is a screaming red flag to me. She has no intentions of being a team player. She is merely here to siphon off knowledge and she is out the door.

That was her first week. Left a bad taste in my mouth. Fast forward a few months. We needed her to do the job – either one or a combination of both would be fine – but do something valuable for the team. A swing and a miss. Not only was she not delivering on the tasks for role ‘y’ that she begged to do, she quit doing the tasks for role ‘x’ that she was originally hired to perform, and she is still having difficulties with the basic tools to master logging in. Red flag number two.

Fast forward to now. She is overwhelmed with the work she is assigned to deliver! Don’t blame her, it isn’t fair! She is not prepared. It happens. Take it out on me? Unacceptable. Third red flag. I am done.

Guess what? We are all overwhelmed. We all have pressure to deliver. I am the one who has been encouraging you to get your voice, but that stops here!