Monday, May 10, 2004

Moving on?

I am finally able to share some news. My boss reads my blog regularly and I didn't want him to find out by reading it. I had a job interview this morning.

Around about tax day (April 15), I saw a listing on the HR web site for a job that looked interesting. It is honestly the first one I felt was worth applying for. I'm not sure I'm ready to go off campus - possible to another city or state - and most of the campus jobs are, at the least, nothing more than a latteral move. At any rate, I was feeling particularly dissatisfied with my job that day and applied for it. Last week, they called me (on my birthday, no less) for the interview.

I have been stressing over this all weekend. Mind you, I don't get test anxiety and interviews rarely bother me beyond the stress of having to answer all of those questions. The stress has been about the possibility of leaving where I am.

Let me explain.

I have said before, in this very forum, that I like my job. For the first time in my life, I really enjoy what I am doing. At one point, I even had that feeling of "I get to go to work" rather than "I have to go to work." That's the most amazing feeling you can hope for in your professional life. Some people never get that. Now, I feel like our new administration has come in and ruined that for me. I no longer enjoy my work. There are more elements of what I do that I dislike than elements that I like. Worst of all, this job has turned 180 degrees and, despite what our directors said when they were hired, it is no longer customer-centric.

I have worked for Computing and Information Services, now known as the Information Technology division, for almost four years. When I came on board, CIS was in the midst of trying to improve our reputation on campus. For many years, CIS was known as "The Evil Empire" and our call center was known as the "No-help desk" (of you want an idea of how it was, listen to this) but that was beginning to turn around. In the three years I worked for CIS, prior to the recent reorganization, we worked hard to become more and more customer-centric, improve customer service, leverage existing technologies, introduce new support models for emerging technologies, provide individualized training for our staff, and just generally improve our image across campus. The black eye was beginning to heal.

I really had hope for our new administration. We were going to continue to leverage existing technologies. We were to be a performance-based organization. We were going to become more customer-centric. We were going strive for excellent customer service.


Everything we worked for as CIS is gone in a matter of less than a year. Externally, we are not respected, we are not trusted, and we don't provide timely solutions. Internally, we are all stressed, confused, and overburdened.

I wish I could sum up for you what this is like to someone who focuses on customer service. Maybe you already know. All I can say, though, is when your personal primary focus is customer service... true service... and you are told it has become a secondary priority, it becomes a source of anguish and frustration rather than a source of pride.

Wow... I didn't know I had all of that in me. Sorry about unloading on you like that.

Anyway, back to the interview...

I got up this morning and, I don't know whether to take this as a good omen or a bad one, I tied my tie perfectly the first time. I don't usually do that. More often than not, I tie it too short. It was dead-on this morning.

The interview was set for 8:30am so I went to work a little earlier than usual so I could get my computer fired up and logged in and take care of the junk mail I had received over the weekend.

The interview went pretty well. I already know one of the ladies that works in the office so that made it a little more comfortable. I'm not sure how well qualified I am for the job. They are needing someone for database work, data security and to help with their web server. I think I can handle those but I've got some learnin' to do. In the short-term, I would be relying heavily on my relationships within IT, especially those within the security office.

I'm just going to take this one as it comes. If there is an offer, I will consider it. If not, I will not be offended.

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