Friday, July 24, 2009

Rough Afternoon

One of the issues we seriously need to address at work is turnaround time for software rebuilds and new machine deployments. I spoke about it before but, basically, if someone's hard drive crashes, we start with a Windows installation CD and go from there. It's a very inefficient process. I've been trying to find an imaging solution but they all seem to suck in one way or another.

We've had a computer in the shop since last week. The complaint was that it was running slow and we discovered the hard drive was bad. We ordered a new hard drive and it came in on Tuesday. I think I made a mistake in assigning it to a part-timer. Not that he couldn't handle it but when he's only here for half a day, the work either stops at noon or doesn't start until 1.

Long story short, we got a spare on the person's desk pretty quickly so she hasn't been offline all this time but her boss sent an email to my boss asking why we've had her computer for ten days. Counting last weekend, that's a pretty close estimate. What it comes down to for me is that this type of issue is something my boss should never have to deal with if I'm doing my job right. Plus, I felt really really bad when I realized it had been damn close to ten days we had it.

I called the tech who was working on it for a status report, finished it up and got it back on her desk this afternoon. That doesn't change the fact that I feel really bad about taking so long and I look really bad in the boss' eyes.

Issue number two is trying to bring a new support tool online. Last week, the boss told me to "make it happen" and that's what I endeavored to do. I kept him informed about pricing and everything else along the way but he never looked at the web site until today. The web pricing is significantly different (lower) than what we had been quoted. I had a conversation about it with the salesman and, basically, the web pricing is for an individual license and the pricing he gave us was for a business license that is transferable. Now, I suck at negotiation. I tried to get something out of the company and they flat wouldn't budge so I tried to make it happen like I was told to do.

Due to some technical difficulties (bad programming) on their end, they weren't able to convert our existing accounts from the beta test of their product so the whole process has been stuck in limbo. We finally decided to do what they wanted to do and 'buy' a day pass so they could convert our accounts. That's when the boss logged on and saw the web pricing and decided to have a talk with the salesman.

My lack of negotiation skills is not the problem. The problem is that in the process of trying to "make it happen" I filled out a subscription agreement. At the time, it didn't click that this was a contract. I am not authorized to enter into contracts on behalf of my employer and may have put us on the spot. I definitely caused some additional frustration if we decide we're tired of being jerked around by this vendor.

So, the boss was already pissed off at the vendor (and getting more so by the minute), then I told him about the agreement/contract. Strike two.

I have a knot in my gut right now. It's not as big as it was at 5:00 but it's still there. I'm definitely bringing the boss in on the first issue on Monday. I'm just not sure which direction to take it and need his input. Problem number two I want to run away from but I'm going to have to drink the kool-aid (did I use that right?).

Neither of these on their own is all that bad, really. They're certainly not insurmountable. It's just that I got in trouble for something a few weeks ago - it was something I didn't know I had done and it was one of those serious they-could-have-fired-me deals - then immediately after that was when I had the lukewarm performance review (on which my previously mentioned f-up had no impact). So, in the grand scheme of things, I'm really hoping they aren't starting to regret hiring me. That's something I want to avoid for their sakes and mine.

Sorry for dragging you down into my depression and anxiety. I had to get it out.

No comments: