Observations from a Padded Server Room….

If you’re a manager, director, boss, or any other title overseeing employees…

  1. Do your job, not your employees job, even if your think you’re helping.
  2. Do Not sabotage your employees by doing parts of their job, having meetings with clients where decision on projects are made by yourself….without telling them…all the time! We need that information…we’re the ones working on the project….your job is to oversee our work. It confuses the client, your employee, and makes job hunting look appealing. Hair pulling, fluency in four letter word usage, and padded room experience are not acceptable skills for resume’s.
  3. Do Not reply to emails you’re copied on saying “I’ll take care of this…” when your employee is already taking care of it….. It makes it look like you are not confident in the people YOU hired. If it was already on your ‘To Do’ list then tell your employee first before replying to all. A simple “Hey, I knew this was an issue and am going to resolve it.” goes a long way. Absence of a heads up leads to #2 above.
  4. And last, but not least, employees like to have faith in their fearless leader. They like to know a few things:

Their boss would go to bat for them in adversity.
Their boss has faith in their abilities.
Their boss can lead without needing to control.
Their boss is available when needed.
Their boss won’t send them to the crazy house.

Note: This post was written in complete frustration. In five minutes I won’t remember it, and likely won’t care about any of it….until it happens again. I would like to think I would be an effective leader BUT….I’m pretty sure I would make the same mistakes, and likely a slew of others. If any of us were perfect we wouldn’t have self help books, right? On that note…. Here’s my suggested reading list for those looking to be effective leaders:

  1. The Noticer by Andy Andrews: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective. (If I had to choose one book to provide to everyone I know….this would be the book!)

  2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson: A Counter-intuitive Approach to Living a Good Life (Not really a leadership focused book but, it is well worth a read!)

  3. The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Gary Chapman: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People (Awesome book!)

  4. The Power of Positive Leadership by John Gordon: How and Why Positive Leaders Transform Teams and Organizations and Change the World

  5. The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations

  6. The Geek Leader’s Handbook byย Paul Glen andย Maria McManus: Essential Leadership Insight for People with Technical Backgrounds

  7. Grow Your Geeks byย Antoinette Oglethorpe: A Handbook for Developing Leaders in High-Tech Organisations

Happy reading! Rant over ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Observation from Under the Desk…

Work Christmas Parties can be nerve racking if you’re an introvert like most IT personnel. However, every so often such gatherings remind why we work here….

…and the winning White Elephant Prize goes to the Administrative Assistant Extraordinaire with the giving of the Maxi Pad Slippers….

slippers.jpg

Slip’on ya’ll! Slip’on!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Observations from Under the Desk

Finding random notes on your phone you don’t remember writing….

note

…can make a day quizzically entertaining. I mean, who is Kate/ Kate bush and what is she doing with a hill? Do I need a cipher to understand the rest?

Note: Screenshot is from today, but note details show I typed it at 3:32 am on 10/11/18. Sleep working, or sleep studying? I’ve yet to decide.

Observations From The Big Red Button

bigredbuttonDo Not Push!

The ability of non-techie people to associate every issue with IT never ceases to amaze me. When did IT become synonymous with, “Those who hold the knowledge to fix everything?” We’re a group of people who have a penchants for technology because we’ve read a book, taken a test, or spent time playing around with random technology. We’re geeks!

Our inability to solve every problem non-techie people (or norms as we’ve called them) have can cause some dissension. I have seen people scream in the face of IT support people. I have watch mature adults throw things at IT personnel. I have watched IT people walk away from an encounter crying…and quitting.

Peoples behavior toward IT goes a little like this….

**Random departments managers ink pen stops working. She can no longer write down notes she’s viewing on the computer. Calls IT….IT suggests getting a new pen, or trying a different one she may have nearby. Department manager yells, “Just get down here and fix it. It’s what you get paid to do.” **

**User printed a form from pdf and now cannot find the printed form. Calls IT….”The computer isn’t working. I printed a form and now I can’t find it.”

IT asks, “Do you remember where you saw it last?”

User, “Well yes, it is on my screen.”

IT, “Can you print another one?”

User, “Why would I print another one? I just need you to come find the one I printed. It’s from the computer, and that’s you’re area, right?” **

**Company-Big-Wig emails the whole IT department, along with all of the Company’s other Big-Wigs.

“I have attempted to call IT multiple times now and they never answer. I have a computer problem I need them to fix right now. They are never available. They never answer. Does anyone even work in IT? They all need to be fired and replaced with a competent team of people.”

Big-Wigs calls show abandoned before reaching call queue which means Big-Wig hung up before the phone could ring to be answered. Big-Wig no longer with company.**

**Upper Management Person’s report is not working the way they requested. Approaches IT person currently working to write said report. Starts yelling, cussing, and belittling IT member…because IT is lazy and doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing. Believes monkeys could do better and take less time, etc. IT person politely reminds Upper Management Person the report has not been put out there for testing, yet. She’s still running the old report which…is still broken. UM Person stomps off, no apologies.**

Never once does it cross peoples minds IT holds an amazing amount of power. All of the technology they use is controlled by IT. The majority of norms like IT….because they fix things! IT works to make life easier for everyone; even the rude and inconsiderate.

The list of things IT could do to make life hell for any individual…. well, it’s pretty long, and would be so much fun to do! But…IT generally just grumbles about such incidents in their meetings and go about their day.

People really need to thank their lucky stars that IT personnel are reserved and good natured…..generally…..but we do keep our hand on the red button just in case. ๐Ÿ™‚

Note: The spark of insanity which leads some people to raise their voice toward any fellow employee is one I question. If this is ‘normal’ behavior for them then I feel for their family and friends. There is never an acceptable reason to yell, belittle, or cuss at anyone. A machine, code, or technology in general…as long as it is inanimate…is very acceptable; even if it is a bit unacceptable by the ‘norms.’ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Observations Amidst an Infrastructure Meeting

tux

Observations Amidst an Infrastructure Meeting….

Bossman: “So, do you want to set that up on Linux?”

Team:

….”Oh, ya, Ubuntu!”

“No, openSUSE, or we could try Scientific Linux! Haven’t played with that one yet.”

“We really need donuts…jelly filled…or…Oh! Cream filled!”

“There is always Oracle Linux….powdered, powdered donuts are best. Or, cake, chocolate covered cake donuts.”

“I think I’ll just do Kali Linux. There are some features we could use for security, but I’d have to go with the cake donuts. They’re the best.”

“Nobody knows Kali, it’s a gimmick. Anyway it is almost lunch. How about pizza?”

“I know Kali! And Mexican food would be better…mmmm…pork chili!”

Bossman: “Can you all stop talking about food and decide. Is it Kali or what?”

Team:

“Mexican food and yes, Kali, since I’m the one working with it. Plus, we really need Monsters or red bull for this afternoon.”

“So, are we going to lunch now?”

“Ya, Wonderful House?”

“Meet you all there!”

Meetings should not be held around lunch time if they are truly meant to be productive. An issue we’ll surely discuss as we go for Chinese. Wonderful House here we come! Be afraid, be very afraid! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

And that’s the Point…

Observations from Under the Desk….

In the daily hostage situations we call ‘at work.’ There are high points and low points.

There are, however, always ‘Ah-ha!’ points.

It is the ‘Ah-ha!’ points which keep us coming back.

Sword wielding, marker throwing, and scissor acrobatics are also points. They’re just not the point I’m pointing too today.

Observations from the Desk of…

Observation from the Desk of the Fitfully Frustrated:

 

The answer is always simple. Once you’ve incomprehensibly complicated things for a multitude of days.

hairpulling