Sunday, June 24, 2007

home again, home again, jiggety jig

Back to WA.

Client in Dallas doesn't like my work. They have some reason, but it's mostly
a) poor communication
b) unfortunate events (that could have been prevented by me if I were more diligent)

I was late to a few mtgs, and I hadn't set their expectations well enough as to content/format of the meetings (it's needs analysis and configuration; they keep trying to make it be classroom-style end-user training). They complained to the proj mgr who hired me for the gig, he called me, I said I'd address it. And then I promptly screwed up by oversleeping my alarm when I had 6-8 people waiting to start a mtg at 8am.

There is a reasonable explanation for all of it (even the oversleeping) by which I mean it's not about being egregiously careless or unprofessional. I've gone about 4 wks w/o adequate sleep; my body was still on Pacific Time; I started the wk with a red-eye flight to be with my kids on Fathers Day and still accomodate the client's Summer Mon-Thu work schedule; I was doing a day's work, then going back to my hotel and working till the wee hrs for another client in crisis; the radio station I set the alarm to faded to static by morning; etc) but the bottom line is that none of that should be the client's problem -- it's my responsibility to get there on time and to communicate better.

I have a feeling I set out on the wrong foot, and it might be very difficult to overcome their impressions of me and my work. I'm not such a delicate flower that I'll give up in shame and slink away, but there's a possibility I won't get another opportunity to turn things around. I think they believe there are lots of equally qualified consultants waiting in the wings, and it's just a matter of asking for a different one and Presto, he/she will show up and do things better.

The reality* is that I can do a much better job for them than anyone else, but they just don't know it yet. And if by some chance there *is* another resource available, I may never get a chance to show them so. It's frustrating. Especially the part I could have avoided by having my life in better order so I'm less busy/tired, or choosing a better radio station, or asking for a wakeup call as backup. Or whatever.


*my reality, that is


At Sun Jun 24, 08:31:00 AM PDT, Blogger Irma said...

Hi Bryan, thanks for your updates. I had been wondering about you and now I will be thinking about you.

Sorry about the Dallas client dilemma.

I was amused at an acronym used by a tech support guy. PICNIC: problem in chair, not in computer. I feel you're probably a few rungs up the ladder from this guy, but maybe the concept transfers.

p.s. had to stop this comment to capture a tick crawling up my neck and burn him at the stake. (at least you maybe haven't had that happen lately?!) Guess that's what I get for roaming in our pasture too long.

At Tue Jun 26, 08:00:00 PM PDT, Blogger si said...

well, shoot! (coulda said other stuff but refrained...) it's been a great few weeks for you. :-(

and irma, i like "picnic" -- i'm sure it doesn't apply to me, tho. :)

At Tue Jun 26, 08:34:00 PM PDT, Blogger Kylee said...

There are a lot of times in life I feel that way.

All you can do is the best you can do and if things go wrong - move on and if you get the opportunity to show them what you can realy do great if not - I am sure you will have other clients that will be able to appreciate your true abilities.

Good luck

At Wed Jun 27, 12:48:00 AM PDT, Blogger Erik said...

i always arrive late to important meetings, as sort of a psychological power-play. so far, my results have been similar to yours, but i like sleeping in a lot, so it's win-win.

At Mon Jul 02, 10:13:00 AM PDT, Blogger Crystal said...

look at the bright side - you can spend more time skateboarding on those sick ramps


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