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company-wide division-straddling project meeting August 26, 2008

Posted by That Guy in Conference Call, Meeting Minutes.
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Last Wednesday, That Guy sat in on a company-wide, division-straddling conference call with added WebEx goodness. Here are some of the things he heard:

* “Let’s wait a few minutes to let everyone call in.” Because those of us who showed up promptly at 3pm felt like having our time wasted.

* “We won’t be answering specific questions on this call, so you’ll have to send them through e-mail.”

* Once again, the call focused on technology that specifically excludes That Guy’s division.

* “Can everybody see?” The person actually doing the instructional portion of the training was getting very, very frazzled by the fact that people were complaining about screen size. A common WebEx problem.

* Poor phone sound quality != good conference call.

* The one corporate guy on the call from That Guy’s division had had enough and finally said, “[Group leader], none of what you’re saying applies to the 23 offices in my division.” To which the Group Leader said, “okay, well, let’s talk about that off the call.” Why the 23 offices in That Guy’s division didn’t just log off in disgust is completely beyond comprehension.

* One of the people on the call — That Guy is pretty sure it was the representative from the third-party company providing the new technology — had a child who occasionally piped up.

* No one wanted to answer questions:
“I have a question, and it is x.”
*long pause*
“This is [Group Leader]. Can the person from [Third Party] answer that?”
*long pause*
“This is [Third Party]. Yeah, we don’t have plans to support that at this time.”
“This is [IT helpdesk for That Guy’s company]. Send us e-mails if you need help and we’ll try to get in touch with [Third Party] to get you answers.”
For what it’s worth, That Guy has followed those instructions to no avail.

* The phrase “action item” was used.

* The person who shared her desktop to run the instructional portion of the session was using IE6. That’s very disheartening.

* The third-party company is only supporting one small facet of a project that That Guy’s office, as an individual branch, completely supported on their own. That’s like saying HP only does support for their inkjet printers, but not their PCs, laser printers, cameras or fax machines; if you want support on those, figure it out yourself.

* One legitimate complaint of the third-party vendor is that they’re limited by the data That Guy’s company has provided. The company’s 100+ branches only got their system logins a couple of weeks ago; the sheer volume of data is overwhelming, and no additional money has been provided on a corporate level to do this project. No wonder the data’s not there… or wrong.

* All of the problems being reported by everyone except That Guy’s division will be solved in the next version of the software. Big surprise.

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