Almost there...

Saturday, January 26, 2002

Okay, so the depression has lifted. There was just something about one of those days where I felt really overwhelmed on a lot of fronts. And Wynn's commentary that the project was being perceived as a failure was probably coming from his wife, who is the Dean of Earth Sciences. Unfortunately, her transition team didn't get their act together in a timely manner, and as a result, the users in her group didn't get the access they needed on go live, and they've been playing catch up ever since. She keeps complaining to various people that no one is responding to her HelpSU requests, which is total bullshit. She sent one Thursday morning requesting training for one of her users. This not being an emergency, this wasn't something I ran out to arrange that second. I forwarded the ticket to Val to let her know that she would need to arrange one on one training for this person because she wasn't identified as a user and trained back in November or December when she should've been. That's not our fault, and currently, people who didn't get their paycheck is a bigger priority. Anyway, by mid-morning on Friday, Amy (Wynn's wife) was calling up Shirley (the Persona Project Director) and screaming about how we don't respond to help requests in a timely manner. By god, she submitted a helpsu ticket yesterday morning, and no one had gotten back to her yet (which was a lie because she had only submitted it yesterday afternoon.)So Val called her back, and arranged a time for this user to get trained. The user was going on vacation for a week, so the training won't be until a week and a half from now anyway.

Here's the timeline on this:
2:30 ish, the Help request is submitted.
7pm, I forward the ticket to Val
10 ish the next morning, the Dean is screaming about her non-urgent request not being resolved.
2 ish - I check with Val to see if she got my email because she hadn't responded to me about it and I wanted to be conscientious about getting a positve response back to the Dean in a timely manner. It's at this time that I hear that it's taken care of and the accompanying back story.

Meanwhile, I found out this Dean is also screaming at the Reportmart team because she can't see information she thought she should be seeing. We can adjust her security access, but we just need to know what kind of access she needs. She needs to determine that. Unfortunately, she's too busy being pissed off to do that.

And this is the most likely place that Wynn is hearing the negative feedback about the project. Most of the users who aren't too busy freaking out are understanding that they need to work with the change rather than just freaking out about it.

As it turns out, the auto-responder that I thought was working now still isnt' working, so technically, no, no one had acknowledged her request, but that didn't mean it wasn't being worked on, and it certainly didn't suddenly make her request more urgent than the 50 other people in the queue. We are a small team, about to get smaller, and we can't get back to everyone instantaneously, and if they expect that kind of service, then yes they will be sorely disappointed.

As for my interview, mostly it went fine. They asked all the same lame standard interview questions. "Tell us about a time that you failed. What would you do differently?" "Tell us about a time when you had to work outside of your team to get information" Yadda yadda yadda. It was just about what I expect. Thankfully they did not ask why I wanted the position. After leaving work the night before at a quarter to ten, I really couldn't come up with a positive answer to that question. What didn't go quite as planned at the interview was my arrival. At 10:45, I finally got hold of one of my users who had two helpsu tickets outstanding. We'd been trying to connect for two days to get these resolved. One of them came together just fine. The other dragged. By 11:15, I was starting to worry. I took down all the details to be able to resolve the issue after I got back. When I got off the phone, it was 11:22, and my interview was at least a ten minute bike ride across campus. I ran downstairs, jumped on my bike, and peddled like a maniac. At 11:30, I pulled up and locked my bike, gasping for breath. Up the stairs, and then turned the corner trying to find the right room. Carol and Jia were standing there, and Carol spends a lot of time in Godzilla, so gasping I asked, "Room 109?" She pointed down the hall and I soon (perhaps too soon) found the door. Knocking gently, the door promptly opened to reveal my interviewers, Sue (whom I had never met before) and Jennifer. At that moment, I realized I was still gasping for breath. I tried to spit out, "Support call, ran long." With raised eyebrows, they asked, "Would you like some water?" Uh, yeah, definitely. What a great first impression. Oy.



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