Saturday, January 15, 2011


Too much caffeine, too late in the day.

Had this great interaction with this woman named Alice. By great I mean lousy. This new project i'm working on, there is this woman and for the past 3 days she has tried to spend every working moment talking.

When I was 20 I worked a job as a carpenter, the boss was very into efficiency. He was a great guy. of course talking isn't .... getting work done. For those that have read this blog, I get a little Type A when it comes to getting things done. Talking isn't it. This woman Alice spend 5 minutes telling me about if she is or isn't right or left handed... I suspect she is ambidextrous.. Though I'm still not sure. When I was even younger I worked in television production. Umn.... 5 minutes is a long time. So, Alice obviously has some problems. One of which is that nobody listens to her, since if you do... You will get a few hours of her charm. I umn.... I think in my previous post I talked about "Sharing with people". Alice I suspect has a ton of stuff she wants to share, unfortunately all she can manage to say is .... 5 minutes on if she is or isn't right or left handed. Whatever it is she wants to say.... seems to be lost in translation. The unfortunate side effect is that it means nobody even comes close to listening. It's sort of a closed loop. Alice has something she wants to get out, Alice wants to say whatever it is so bad she can't stop talking, Alice never actually says it or talks about it, At one point it's all gibberish and nobody listens. She is about 2-3 steps away from becoming one of those people who walks the street talking nonsense and being confused.

I'm working on a download issue today. I'm trying to put some data together to do some diagnostics. In the middle of it Alice stops me.
alice,"what are you doing?"
me,"We can't get this data to import, I suspect it's a competency issue and want to run some tests."
"What do you mean"
"I don't think we are doing this correctly."

ok.... here it goes.

"Well that isn't our fault, the clients don't have the right information."

"No, I think we have the correct data, I just don't think we are entering it correctly."

"Well that is because they don't show us the right way."

"Who is 'They' "

"The big 'They', the guys in the suits....(she went into some kind of strange rant.... I could have sworn that the MIB and some helocopters were involved"

"I think we can figure it out, I think the resources are there I just think we aren't trying hard enough. "

"but the Clients still don't have the right information... they need x and y and z... and they never have it"

"Ok, here is the thing... we aren't taking responsibility to figure this out, all of it is there we just aren't doing it."

"Well that isn't our fault!"

"Ok, here is the thing about responsibility. You just take it and do what you need to do to accomplish the goal."

Hopefully for the home viewer, you get what I'm saying about competency here. There is all this blame and all this horse crap... and it's getting in the way of sorting this out. I'd also like to add that this conversation went on for 20 minutes.

alice, "Well, you aren't talking about hacking into their systems are you."

me, "no, i'm talking about sitting down at the keyboard and pushing the right buttons"

"but the Clients never have the right information."

This is where I start getting irritated.

"No, We have it we just aren't entering it correctly"

"Well how do we find out, we can't get the suits to show us how to do it."

"somebody smart.... like me just figures it out, then I'll show everybody."

at this point she gets angry with me...

"You aren't listening to me...... the clients don't have the right info (here just imagine that she talks for a while longer about the same thing.)"

"Nope, it is right here we need this data and this and it should work, we just need to recognize it and enter it. We seem to be too caught up in blaming people to figure out how to do it."

(this is where she gets angry... stands up and threatens to hit me) "You aren't listening to me, the clients don't have the right data... they don't show us how... it's not my fault... (seriously... 10 minutest) I just stood there and waited until she didn't have anything more to say.

"I hear you, may I please get to work?"


I finally get what I need. she turns back to me and starts up again "No.... The clients never have the right data"

ok... I want to point out that this company.... takes 2 weeks to add a new employee to the systems, never sets them up right. Also can't manage to get the Time clock system going.

I've been focusing on keeping the systems running and trying to get the processes streamlined.... and functioning.

All of this while Alice has 80% of her day to sit around and talk about if she is right or left handed.

I was on the phone the other day, talking to the boss... she picked up that line and started talking on it. Then when she realized her error, wanted to ask me 'Why she had done it wrong." I had to explain that I was on the phone and needed to finish the conversation. I would be happy to spend a few minutes and explain the complexity of picking up a phone later, but please... if she could just put it down right now.

I had a classic conversation with the boss. "Well if she can't answer the phone, why don't you do it."
"well if I take that job away from her, what will she do then.... spend 100% of her time talking about if she is right or left handed?"

1 comment:

gregclimbs said...

from a friends FB post:

Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive, because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive, because your behavior become your habits. Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny.