Thursday, April 17, 2008


Warning: Work Gripe Ahead!

Ok, now that I've got the disclaimer out of the way...
There are things I've missed about working in the service department. These include the general camaraderie and partnership by the people in the group, talking to the same customers more than once and the challenging nature of the work.
There are things that I definitely haven't missed. These include being looked down upon by management and every other blessed group in the building. This includes putting in 50 or 60 hour work weeks and being told we're not working hard enough. This includes being pulled in 7 different directions by 10 customers who all wanted (or needed) things yesterday but didn't bother to call until the last minute.
Right now the bad is beginning to outweigh the good.
This week I've had to try and figure out how to put together some totally custom training and get it all printed by tomorrow, generate federal reports for some customers who don't have all the information we need, do projects work for a customer that should have been closed 6 months ago, coordinate training at three or four sites... hmm.., I know there were other things on my list this week....
And I've got it easy. At least compared to my friend.
We deal with regulations, a lot. Heck, you can boil down all of our products to one thing; compliance. That's what we sell. Our latest regulatory specialist left almost a month ago now. My friend has been trying to do that job and his. He normally takes the lion's share of report related issues and this is a reporting month. This means he normally puts in a 60-70 hour work week. Well, he's been having to do another 40-60 hours a week of the regulatory stuff as well. Both our current boss and the other departments are demanding 100% of his time.
I have no idea how he's doing this and staying remotely sane.
He didn't go home last night, but worked right through and won't be leaving until at least 6pm tonight. I think he saw his son for a few minutes last night when my friend's mom brought a change of clothes to him.
To top it off, he, and the rest of the team, were told we're not "utilizing all our available resources" yesterday. In the, what, 4 weeks since I've been back here I haven't heard a good word said about this group.
I admit, I haven't been at the top of my game. I also admit we're working from a loosing position. In the last three years we've lost three people (including myself) from the department that really knew what they were doing. We've also had a lot of turnover in the interim. This is one of those jobs where it takes at least a year to even begin to feel confident.
Out of 8 people, we've got four who've been here for 5 or more years. We're about to loose one of them to the regulatory department, and one of them is me and I'm really rusty on some of this stuff and will be leaving again soon for a bit. The third long-timer is notoriously lazy and tends to take the easy way out. And the fourth works out of a remote office in Michigan, so isn't always easy to get ahold of. We've got one who's been here about 2 or 3 years, but he's not really pulling as much weight as he could be. He's also very good at complaining, but a nice person. Of the last three, we've got one who's been in the department only for about a year but is more a network specialist. He was one of our network guys back in the "old days" before we became part of big corporate. Therefore, he ends up doing a lot of network stuff and isn't so good on the software stuff. The last two are very new. One's only been here a few months. So, as you can see, the knowledge base is gone. And we're not the only department where that's happened.
The department hasn't grown one bit in the number of people in the last, oh, 6 years. Yet, our install base has grown tremendously.
And people wonder why we're so far behind.
Yes, I'm feeling very bitter and cranky about things right now. Like I've said before, I love this job, but this place seems to be going to hell in a hand basket. I really feel like in some cases it's rats abandoning the Titanic. It's probably not that bad, but it feels like it some days.

OK. Rant is over now...

On a more positive note, I got a call out of the blue from Great Vally Nature Center. I've really missed that place the last three years. They actually need me back. At least for some overnights on occasion. I told them I could do a few, but that I'm expecting a baby at the end of May. Lynn was supper excited to hear that one! I'll be doing my first program there in almost three years on Friday evening. I'm so excited!

Oh, my doctor's appointment went well today. I've only got a handful more to go. Eek!

Well, I'd best finish this up and get a little more work done before I head out the door.

Peace to all and may you be appreciated and work be rewarding.

No comments: