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Getting Paid Is Not About The Money

August 6, 2020

It was a crappy project from the start. It was il-defined and complicated.

We needed to update a key driver on our computers.

That shouldn’t be hard. IT departments all over the world do it all the time. Your IT department does it monthly. You generally don’t even know it’s happening unless maybe your computer reboots unexpectedly overnight.

We had actually updated this driver just a year earlier. It took a lot of time for my local engineers, but it wasn’t hard.

And then COVID hit. We spent two months putting everything else on hold as we moved our agents home. Once everyone got moved home we went back to our updating project.

But, this time updating the driver was going to be different. This time we needed to update a driver on computers at our agents’ homes. And not just a few. Fifteen hundred agents all across the country.

I’m the “IT Guy” in my team. But, the frustrating thing is that I can’t actually fix anything. I know the people who can fix things. In this case I knew Jerry. Jerry is one of our engineers.

I won’t go through the details of how he managed to build a solution. But, he did. It was pretty elegant. All it required was for our agents to work their normal shift and then at the end, logout and then log back in, lock their computers and the upgrade would happen during their offtime.

We spent a couple weeks testing it and we were ready to start migrating agents. We divided up each of our sites into two groups. No one upgrades everyone in one night. Despite testing, there is too much chance for an unexpected error. The upgrades went smoothly. The worst part was our first shift starts work at 5:30AM. And if there was going to be a problem it would showup at the start of the shift.

Every day after a migration I had to be on the phone at 5:30AM with my team prepared to resolve any issues. There is a reason I do audio and not video calls.

It worked. It worked amazingly well. Those were some fo the most boring conference calls I’d ever been on.

In fact, we went too fast. At one point we had to push our migration off by a week to accomodate our client’s schedule.

We finished this week. We completed the last site. We identified the groups that got missed. (There are always groups that get missed. It’s expected.) And finally, I can move the hundreds of emails associated with this project to the COMPLETED folder.

And then, I got paid. I didn’t expect to. It started simply. An email from my counterpart at the client.

Rodney, thanks for your great work on this.

And then, of course, a note from our VP. But, then, an email from one of the client executives. One of the hardest to work with, telling us what a great job we did. And then, the Senior VP at the client who is also hard to please with more praise. And an email from our own division president talking about how he sees this project and it’s successful resolution as fulfilling a promise he made to the client executives a year ago. And then, of course, my boss and his boss.

Nothing succeeds like success.

We have a few maintenance tasks to still do, but essentially the project is complete. We’ve wrapped it up and everyone got paid.

I have the emails to prove it.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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