Friday, May 30, 2008

Being Mr. (or Ms.) Tough Guy (or Girl)

So most of you that know me know that I am a very kind-hearted person that usually wears my feelings on my sleeves and have a REALLY hard time being mean to people that are coming to me for help. WELL starting next week my VP has asked me to take on a personal mission (character building) to be Mr. Tough Guy with people out in the field that call me for help on issues that I have created documentation on.

In a way this is a good thing because I spends HOURS working on step-by-step instructions on how to fix an issue or how to deal with a new procedure (I take screen for screen snapshots of everything and lay it out step by step). Some days I feel like no one out in the field is reading the documentation that I am putting together b/c I will get 5-6 calls a day about an issue that has been documented. Not only do I create these documents but I email them out to everyone and I post them on the internet in two different places (our Sharepoint site and our Blog site ( But I still get calls on these issues... don't get me wrong, I am in NO WAY complaining about having to take the calls, but it takes me away from helping someone that is really stuck and needs help.

I know that I am going to struggle with this character building assignment because I hate turning people away when they come to me for help. Even if I don't know how to help them I will take the time to research how to help them. I even hate telling people that they are doing something the wrong way (but Phil says I am only hurting them by not telling them)! My VP said that for the first little while people will get upset with me or get mad at me for not helping them "just real quick", but no matter what he is holding ME accountable for telling these people "no sorry refer to the notebook, and if you still have trouble then call me back"! In the end I know that it will only be benefiting the end user more because they will be able to feel comfortable with their handheld and will have a better understanding of how to deal with issues as they come up. I know that by being firm I am making them take ownership, but I don't want people mad at me or cursing me behind my back. On the other hand this will open up more time for me to help the other guys on my team with enhancements and other beneficial projects.

I am excited for this character building because it is a life skill that I will need to acquire at some point in time... how to help people help themselves by learning something on their own. Whether it is now or when I have kids I will have to help other little birdies learn to fly. When I have kids I won't be able to hold their hand through everything they will need to learn to take iniciative and learn how to do things on their own. I have great respect for my VP for pushing me to take ownership in this adventure and for wanting to help me really understand how to help others. Another big thing my VP always pushes is learning how to deal with conflict resolution, I guess now will be a good time to work on that too. Because I am sure me not helping people out real quick will cause some conflict and I don't want to have to run to the other guys on my team or my VP every time someone gets upset with me for not helping!

Hmmm sounds like I am going to be busy! EXCITING and SCARY at the same time! Plus on top of all this Convention is in a week and a half and I will only be able to take support calls for about an hour or so a day... so as Amy said that other day "Time for them to put on their Big Boy Pants"! (ha ha I don't know why but I love that saying!) But really YAY Convention time is almost here!!! I am getting really excited to meet everyone I talk to on the phone regularly!!

I will keep y'all posted on my experience as a Tough Girl! :)