You're gonna want that cowbell!

Tag: Work (Page 2 of 33)

Of or related to my job.

Too Close to Home

I have participated in email threads, conversations, and meetings that contained some or all of the elements below.

Dilbert’s response was the same as mine.

Contemplations from the Tree of Woe

To borrow from Conan the Barbarian, I have taken to contemplating some things upon my own “Tree of Woe.” Specifically, I have been considering some items around a project that I am working on at work. My contemplations, though, are probably much more along the lines of rants.

A rather large project is underway, and one of the components of this project is a conversion from one tool to another.  Unfortunately, the timing of this conversion is unfortunate, as it has to be done by January 1.  Needless to say, lots of different threads are occurring around the same effort, all working on different parts.

One of the problems I have rapidly grown to discover about this project is our lack of communication to groups outside of our area–IT.  It has been non-existent.  This is problematic, as evidenced by the electronic exchange I engaged in with someone well above my pay-grade.  Unfortunately, like most email exchanges, this devolved when someone decided to include someone else further up in the organization in an email thread, who then decided to include someone else further up in the organization in the email thread.  Naturally, that last “someone else” decided to throw their weight around.

Thus, a mad scramble ensued today to make sure that a sufficiently important person in the organization is communicating this change to the business to ensure they are aware of this change coming up incredibly soon and are aligning to support this change.

Admittedly, I should have identified this a long time ago, but I had falsely presumed that with all the effort required on the IT side of things that someone else was engaged on the side of the business.  Clearly, that is not the case.

With this and other ongoing efforts in a holiday-shortened week, the mountain I need to climb just became much steeper.

Workplace Email FAILs

I have become a bit aggravated of late by what I am terming as failures of email in the workplace.  I will admit that I am quite particular in my usage of email, and I have high expectations of my peers when it comes to their usage of email.  Below are some examples of what not to do when it comes to email in the workplace.

  • Using Germane Subjects
  • In the hurried (and harried) workplaces we are all in, the ability to read the subject line of an email and obtain a sense of what is being asked is very important.  The use of mobile devices like BlackBerries and iPhones have made this even more vital.  One should be able to glance at an email’s subject line and get a good idea of the email’s content.  Unfortunately, I receive a large number of emails whose subject has little or nothing to do with its contents.  The use of these devices, though, has increased the likelihood of the email subject being irrelevant to content.  Additionally, with the volume of email ever increasing, email needs to have a relevant and eye-catching subject.  One way to ensure your email will annoy me, send me an email asking a question completely unrelated to the subject.  This transgression is almost as bad as composing your entire email in the subject.
  • Ill-Advised Use of the “Reply to All” Button
    • One of the responsibilities of my group is communication of upcoming change—planned or emergency.  Unfortunately, one of the common pitfalls of this is the potential for replies to be sent to recipients who have no need to receive them.  One of the ways we have worked-around this is to send emails as a distribution list, and the emails are sent to a secured distribution list—only allowed users can send mail to that list.  While this works quite well as a “barrier to entry,” there are still some times where users will reply to everyone on a thread.  A recent example of this revolved around a planned maintenance reminder sent last Friday morning.  Later that afternoon, a recipient of this reminder sent an email replying to all asking if there was a system issue.  There was no issue, and the user was informed of that off-list while at the same time informing them that they inadvertently spammed a distribution list with a question about a system not related to the earlier notification.  Of course, we were down the rabbit hole, as other replies came in.  I will not argue the point that there is value to using the “Reply to All” button, but sometimes, think before using the “Reply to All” button.  I, and others, may just thank you. 

    While these transgressions may irk me to no end, I am fairly confident I am not the only person who does not suffer them lightly.  So, please, think before you use email. 

    An Elegant Yet Simple Desktop Background

    In order to maintain the necessary focus and attention required of my various tasks in the office, I have always sought a very plain background for the desktop of my monitor.  No photos of children or busy science fiction backgrounds for me.  I merely desire something to break-up the dull corporate monotony of the default Windows XP desktop background.

    I have found my new desktop wallpaper for the office, courtesy of Merlin Mann.

    Elegant in its simplicity.

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