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The Daily Rant - Focus on What??

Ever had days like this?
The only customer focus I'm interested in involves a table, some rope, a sunny day, and a Really Big magnifying glass.
              -- Roger Burton West
We are all subjected to it in our workplaces.  The dreaded 'teaming' exercises.  Be it under the names of Employee Involvement, Six Sigma, or whatever the name of the week is for the latest manglement fad is.  The truth is, all these tend to do is take your focus off of the real issues, which are helping the customers and giving the best service possible.

Scott Adams is right when he says that some of the signs of the apocalypse for your company are things like teamwork and reoganizations.  It's a clear signal that there's something wrong with simply letting the work that's expected and instead cause them to focus on incidental aspects of the work flow, such as reports and presentations.  We've replaced the idea of being productive and competent with the concepts of being vague and avoiding real work, thinking that by producing miles of reports and presentations we're actually accomplishing things.  Truth is, we're simply spinning our wheels until someone comes in to buy out the company so that the ones who brought us to this state get large golden parachutes and the hard workers who tried to make something end up getting the short end of the stick.

Ah well... maybe I should get into web development and content creation.  It's no different than making powerpoint presentations, only they'd be prettier.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 20th, 2007 05:38 am (UTC)
Go into web development and learn the joy of dealing with people who want to use the latest piece of browser-specific chrome, and don't care that what they want to do can't be made Section 508 compliant. People who have a specific idea of what they want their pages to look like, and never mind that it conflicts with the corporate page format standard, expect you to do all the layout, and then blame you when it doesn't look exactly as they wanted it. People who want to put interactive content on the site that requires proprietary software to present it, and then expect your department to buy it for them out of your own OPTAR. I could go on, but after a while, the people coming in to see our webmaster to throw what they want on our websites begin to blur into a mass of people who can't seem to understand that their wants don't automatically get your top priority.
Mar. 20th, 2007 10:49 am (UTC)
Trust me, it's no different in regular IT support. You've got folks who want the latest and greatest software that is not approved by the corporate standards group. Then they want you to purchase it out of your operational funds as they've spent theirs along with their out-of-scope funding. THEN they want YOU to train them in this new software as none of the folks who will be using it has the time for training. And oh yeah, the support license is twice that of the actual software. Oh, and by the way, this is a contract requirement with the AF, and we can't change the contract.

You try to grow a thick skin over these things, but they come at you with one of those slice-n-dice things from Ronco.
Mar. 21st, 2007 02:17 am (UTC)
Oh, I've been glad that I'm out of the IT support chain, particularly last week, when SPAWAR decided to give us a security patch that was to be pushed out to all users... except that it turns out that they didn't test it on enough different machines, and when we pushed it out to the 6,000 some odd systems we have, several thousand of them became much more secure... by denying users write access to the C: drive. And that had to be fixed from in front of the computer; remote access wouldn't do it. IT was running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to get people out to all the afflicted systems to fix them... And we discovered that the patch 'works' on Vista, too -- except that there's no known procedure for fixing it, which means that the Vista system that one of my coworkers was evaluating is functionally dead... Couple this with the DST registry patch getting pushed out, and not reliably taking effect, and you've got chaos...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Tal Greywolf

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