Recently we had a Comcast issue at work and I got the pleasure of working with technician. We needed our work done after hours so we requested a 5:00pm start time. Our technician arrived right on time and got to work.

Quickly it was determined that we would need a new modem. No problem! our technician had one. All he had to do was call up the main office and have them switch it over.

Our Comcast technician then proceeded to call Comcast.

He was put on hold.

we waited.
and waited.
and waited.

30-40 minutes later, Comcast came back online and took care of the 5 minute task.

Despite the fact that I had to wait just as long as he did, I was overjoyed that the injustice of Comcast hold time had to be endured by the Comcast tech. The only thing that would have been better is if they had come back onto the phone and promptly reported that they’d have to transfer him to another department.

Career Fair

A few coworkers and I were earmarked to go to a career fair at MIT to seek out new talent for the office. We were short an Electrical Engineer, so we approached the big boss about inviting Sander along. His response?

Boss: “No way, Sander’s time is too valuable.”
Mike D: “Should I still plan on going?”
Boss: “yes. You should go.”

… wait a minute…

A far cry from Paleontology

It’s 7:00am on a Sunday in the middle of Ohio. Snow is carried by cruel gusts through the gaping industrial garage doors of our building, collecting briefly on the steel toe of my boot before vanishing – taking with it one more calorie of heat from my body.

I’ve got 750 gallons of water/glycol, a sticky gluey solution, to pump from heavy 55 gallon drums into an empty labyrinth of pipes and hoses: the circulatory system of our machine. Our transfer pump is tired. I have to prime the pump and all the connecting hoses just to coax the suffering motor into pushing liquid. I pour cup after cup of glycol into the fluid reservoir from a weary paper gas-station coffee cup. It’s impossible not to spill. Ice cold Glycol runs down my arms, soaking into my sleeves. It has a sweet cotton candy smell to it, but will oxidize into oxalic acid if ingested.

I pause and think back to elementary school. Back then, I wanted to be a paleontologist. I had great dreams of digging and discovery. The Apatosaurus was my favorite; these days I think if asked I’d pledge allegiance to the Stegosaurus. It’s silhouette is simple, iconic, and immediately recognizable.

In fact, I’m wearing a Stegosaurus t-shirt under my lined Carhartt jacket and Under Armor hoodie.

The glycol hasn’t yet soaked through to my t-shirt.

A Marketing Problem.

About 18 months ago I was given the supplementary job of IT manager at my company. This was meant to be a small hat to wear. And in the grand scheme of things, this is mostly true. The job is cyclical and as I am trying to implement some significant projects, there are times when it sucks up my time. But mostly, I spend my time working with engineering and sales on new projects to expand the business.

Here’s the problem. When I work with engineering and sales, I interact with about a dozen people. When I help with IT, I interact with everyone. So more people have come to recognize me as the person who helps with IT.

As a result, people across the company have started introducing me to customers and new employees as the company IT guy. Nothing against IT, but this is only a small portion of my job and in comparison to my other projects, a very simplistic component of my tasks. I feel this sells me short.

I’ve got a marketing problem. How can I accomplish my all my tasks and pull my reputation away from ‘the computer guy’ and more towards ‘a major contributor to the company’s bottom line’? Somehow I have to better communicate the actual work I do. I don’t know how to do this. Hopefully I will come up with something.