When the going gets tough…

08Mar08

What do you do?  Do you pull the “That isn’t in my job description” card out or do you roll up your sleeves and make it happen?  I’m not talking about the copier jamming, I’m talking about when the shit hits the fan and you find yourself performing tasks you never imagined you’d be doing when you signed your acceptance letter.  When you go through a few of these situations you learn a great deal about the people surrounding you, such as who you can count on to help when the going gets tough.

Perhaps it was the way I was raised, but I don’t accept failure as an option.  Bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, need a base hit…..I want to be at bat.  4th and goal, 1 second left on the clock, need to score….I want the ball.  No matter what the situation I trust myself to get the job done and to get the job done right.  As I said, failure is not an option.  Do I have an ego, of course I do, after all I have a blog so that should be a given. Seriously though, when a crisis situation hits I know I can help fix it so I jump in to perform CPR and breathe life back into the otherwise soon to be corpse.

Since working as a professional in technology I have had to do some bizarre things that friends and co-workers just don’t understand why I bother?  What kinds of things you ask?  In no particular order I’ll list a few of them:

  • Fixed a leaky roof during a storm at a new complex
  • Helped lay pavement for a parking lot at a new facility
  • Dug a hole and cemented in a flagpole
  • Wired and installed lighting fixtures
  • Wired electrical panels at new facilities
  • Assist carpenters with building and installing multiple things
  • Assisted with HVAC installation
  • Installing drywall

These were all situations where if they were not done in time would have resulted in cancelled events, delayed openings, denial of permits or certifications, and disappointed customers (and management).  Notice however that none of the items above are IT issues.  I could have easily just used the “This isn’t in my job description.” card, but thats not how I role.

My experience has been that people working in technology are more apt to roll up their sleeves and get the job done in these situations than non technology folks.  Make no mistake, I have met IT folks who are lazy as can be and have the “Not my job” attitude, but the majority seem to be willing to do what is needed.  Have you seen the same?  Why do you think that is?

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2 Responses to “When the going gets tough…”

  1. 1 Susie

    I disagree strongly about stereotyping IT people as the only ones who get things done. I have seen them as coworkers WHO THINK they are THE ONLY ONES who can get things done. Wearing blinders and not accepting criticism. My way or the highway. Inflexible. Unwilling to compromise and work as a team unless it was within their department.

    I seem to recall you digging a trench and jumping in dumpsters, but I suppose college jobs don’t count.

  2. 2 Dan

    I never said that IT people are the only ones who get things done. My point was that if you were to look at all the departments in an organization, IT would have a higher percentage of employees willing to take on these tasks in comparison to the others. Certainly getting things done is not limited to IT otherwise we would all be in serious trouble.

    College jobs were left out because I think the “That isn’t my job” is more prevalent in a corporate environment when egos about position come into play. In college everyone is pretty much at the same level. Besides….who doesn’t like jumping in dumpsters?! 😉


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