Follow the Rules

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When you work for a large corporation, you deal with a lot of bureaucracy.  And when the company becomes too large, there are other companies that will sell you fancy software “tools” that will help you automate certain things that used to be handled manually.  Want to assign training courses?  Just write a little script that says “if employee X is in category Y, assign course Z”.  Push the button and life is easy.

The problem is that the software just does what you tell it without question.  All software is probably nicely designed and brilliantly written by very smart people.  But it seems most often to be used by very dumb people.  They are trained not to think because the software does it for them.  And they trust the software so much that it can be thought of as infallible and therefore any issues are the fault of the end user.  The software is perfect!

Until it isn’t perfect.  And then the not so smart people have to figure out what they did wrong and try to fix it.

Guess I should probably get to the point now.  Training is a big thing in our company because we have thousands of important procedures that must be followed and you are required to be trained on any procedure that is important for your job.  And you can’t do your job unless you are trained.  The software pushes training courses and then tracks your completion and sends out a list every week of anyone in the company who is delinquent.  (Statistics have probably shown that shaming is a good way to get compliance)

Really, it is no big deal.  It is just the cost of doing business in the type of industry we are in.

Well, with all of the recent changes, somebody programmed the software incorrectly and it thought my team was somehow in a different country and we got pushed two courses for people who actually work in that country.  The courses came out on Friday afternoon and were due for completion on Saturday (yeah, they do that from time to time).  Well, I was at the retirement part on Friday and didn’t come back to work so the first I heard of it was Monday morning.  My first thought was that somebody screwed up somewhere and no big deal we’ll just fix it.

This is why I find personality stuff interesting.  Because I had a couple of rule followers who were out on Friday afternoon and were super stressing about being late and showing up on the shame list.  I had others who were mad that their perfect record of never being on the bad list had been broken and wanted to give someone a pieces of their mind.  I had others who saw that it didn’t apply and still did it anyway – guess they’ve been beaten into submission.  But I was telling the rule followers not to worry about it and that it had to be a mistake and we’d deal with it and at least one wasn’t having any of it.  I could just see the stress level rising.  Probably having some internal dialog “How can I ignore it?”  “we are supposed to do all training and I’m late”.  And you can’t even use logic at that point.  I tried pointing out that the scope of the course didn’t include us and it was relevant to the job so it didn’t matter and we’d get it removed.

One email and it happened with the usual excuse about somebody glitching the software and that they are working on a fix.  Just times when I really don’t want to be the boss of anyone.

Oh, and then I got roped into setting up a meeting with my new boss to go over some procedures that we use that he needs to understand since he’s on the other side of the ocean.  INFP’s are not organizers and planners.  I did manage to find a room and invite the right people and set up a skeleton of an agenda.  Then, I realized that the meeting was from 11 to 1:30 so I probably needed to set up lunch.  Granted setting up lunch is just an email to someone else to ask them to do it, but it just another thing to have to remember.

Last little random rant for the day.  As much as I love summer, I do have one reason to look forward to fall and cooler, less humid days.  I do my workout with the young guy on Tuesday (today) right at the end of my day which is in the middle of the afternoon.  The Fitness Center is a bit of a walk from our building.  The workouts are tough and I sweat a bit but it is never like the mess I can turn into at a dance party.  So I can get away without taking a shower – since I’m headed home anyway and my dogs are happy to see me regardless of what I look like.  But on nasty humid days, I end up sweating a lot more on the walk back to the building.  I look fine leaving the fitness center and then I turn into kind of a mess when I get back.  Fortunately, it is the end of the day so I can just drop my gym bag off and head to the car where I can crank the AC at full blast.  Which is good but my drive home from work isn’t that long so the car is just really starting to cool off right about the time I get to my driveway.  Oh, and he did finish today with a plank – told you that guy is just pure evil.  So part of me is looking forward to days where you don’t feel like you are swimming back through the humidity.

OK, I’m done for now.  Don’t know why but I just felt like a little rant today.



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