I know there’s a lack of profanity, but I’m not a profane kinda guy.
I’ve been working on a project to build an intranet, which has mostly been a lot of fun, but I’ve been having a lot of frustration w/regards to my boss as of late, who is clearly trying to drive me insane.:
Thanks for asking for help, I’m glad you know when you need it. However, sitting there and continuing to do what you were doing while I try to direct you is not the best use of either my time or yours.
boss: when I paste text into this tool it comes out looking strange, what do I do?
Eonwe: well, show me what you were doing.
boss: ok shows
Eonwe: Ah, all right. Really what you’re going to want to do instead is to click on the 'paste as text tool…
boss: repeats what he did previously See, there it is again.
Eonwe: Right. But let’s try using this othe…
boss: repeats it again There it is again.
Eonwe: Ok. Really, the best way to do this is actually to click not on that one tool you’re using but this oth…
boss: right clicks to bring up a buggy pop-up menu, ends up crashing the system Er, ok, tell me exactly what I need to do?
Gah! That’s what I was trying to do! If you weren’t so sure that you knew exactly what to do, or if you actually listened to the help you asked for, you could have saved us both about four minutes and a lot of frustration.
If you want to have file naming standards, have agreed that that’s a good idea, and agreed with the standards I came up with, then please, for the love of Og, use them yourself! How can we expect other users in the company to follow those rules when we don’t follow them ourselves. And, remember how frustrating it is to update anything on our website now because of huge lists of poorly-named images and pdfs? I really don’t want to have to deal with that a year down the road from now.
I’m really happy that you’re showing such a hands-on interest in this project as we approach our release date. However, having to teach you to use the editor, and all its quirks, when I have only a week to finish everything I need to finish, is really not what I’d like to be doing at this point. I have more important things to do. In a related subject…
It’s nice of you to come in at the last minute and give all sorts of input as to the visual layout of a lot of this stuff. I’ve been pretty much coming up with it on my own with my staff because you’ve been busy with other projects. But, when I sit down with you and say… well, this is how it went:
Eonwe: Ok boss, I’m glad you’re here. We’ve been exploring a few different color-schemes and layouts [mainly because the last time we met you said you wanted this thing to look a bit more exciting and flashy than what we currently have], so we tried a few on a few different pages. Let us know if you like any of them, or parts of any of them, and we can implement them throughout the site.
boss: looks at first Nah, I don’t really like that.
Eonwe: Ok, here’s a second one.
boss: looks at second I don’t like this. I don’t like the colors that much, and it doesn’t match with the previous page.
Eonwe: Well, it’s not supposed to match. They’re both separate schemes that are options. Or we could do something totally different. They’re just to help us get some feedback as to what might look good and what you don’t want.
boss: looks at third This doesn’t match the previous ones at all. I don’t like it. I don’t like the color. Can we get rid of the color?
Eonwe: Like I said, the color isn’t supposed to match the other pages. Each page is a different picture of what the site could look like. And, honestly, we need to have at least one color for fonts and/or backgrounds, unless you want every page in the site to be black text on a white background with no variation at all. If someone wants to put some color in their pages (like, to alternate table rows, for example), we ought to have a select color or two for them to use.
boss: Well, all that color looks too unprofessional.
Eonwe: rolls eyes
Look, don’t come to me and say, “we want it to look more colorful and flashy, and then come to me two weeks later with nothing constructive to add except that colors make it look unprofessional (very modest use of color).” I can’t believe I’m having to sit here and fight with you to come up with a color that would be acceptable for people to use.
Please stop e-mailing me that pages aren’t finished. I know that. They’re on the schedule. If you looked at it, or showed some interest in my schedule or methodology, you wouldn’t panic that a page has some links that haven’t been made into links yet. I’m on it! Really! Getting e-mails telling me what I already know and what I’ve already got planned, when I’ve told you when those things will be done is annoying and insulting.
Now that you’re here working on this project, I’m really glad you’re kind of editing things all over the place in a random fashion. I’ve got two people who are reporting to me on this project, and I’ve given them a very detailed site map and specific sections to be working on at specific times. On at least three occasions I’ve had them e-mail me wondering what was up, because pages they were working on were changing out from under them.
Part of why this has all been able to be completed on time is because I went about it in a really organized way. It’s hard to continue in that methodical and efficient way when it’s undermined by people going in and editing things. Once a page or section is checked for look, content, functionality, and navigation, it’s done. We check it off and move on. When you go back and change/add things, we have to double check that things are still looking/working right. I’ve pretty much given up testing the site because you keep introducing changes. Such as…
Please don’t click on things anymore. Really. I spent the better part of this morning working on a page. I hadn’t ‘published’ it yet, so the live version was still from earlier this week. You went to make a change, didn’t like it, and then rolled it back to the last live version!! I had to re-do the work I did this morning.
What it really boils down to is this: You know how to ask questions but you don’t know how to listen. You expect everything to work how you want it to just because, well, you figure that’s how it should work, but you refuse to work with the software, or with the person or team. It all needs to conform to you because you don’t have the time or inclination to learn how things work. You want the result now, but don’t bother to learn how to get the result within the framework in front of you.
This project has been very fun and rewarding for me, and in the last week the level of stress and frustration you’ve brought to it has made me forget how much I was enjoying it all three weeks ago.