Tuesday, August 30, 2005

He's going to blow!

I took a brand workshop class today.

The class was interesting, fast-paced (our instructor spoke fast -- I love that while others hate it) and loooooong all at the same time. She decided to wait on personal introductions until after our one and only break (1 hour into our 3 hours). We started on my side of the room and luckily I made sense because I'm still confused about where I am in the structure of things after being in the same job for 5 years and having a very clear idea where I was in my old structure of things. So I gave my name, rank and serial number and we went on to the next person. There were a whole bunch of people sitting behind all of us at the conference table, so they were the last to go.

Everyone was a vendor until they got to him.

I took a quick glance at him before he started talking because I heard him on the phone during the break and he sounded tall. Don't ask me what tall sounds like, he just sounded tall. He wasn't. He was short and fat and kinda creepy looking. Then he started talking, and I realized we had a live one. He said his name, what he did and then went on to complain about how his group's web site isn't compliant and so now he's working on making it compliant and wah wah wah...whyyyyyy?????

Everyone looked around at each other. Then we looked at him. Then we looked at the instructor.

Luckily, she thought as fast as she talked (we all usually do --- I'm a fast talker myself), and she very diplomatically yet in a very friendly tone (something I've yet to achieve) told this loon that she since she wasn't familiar with his project, she couldn't really give him an answer, but that she appreciated him working on something for his internal customers because they're just as important, blah blah blah.

Oh man.

She should have just said, "Okkkkkkeeeey.....next?" and hoped he'd shut up on his own.

Whatever she said, I think loony thought it was an opening for more complaints. Like we were really all interested in his job stress, and darnit, our instructor must surely intervene -- somehow. If only that were true, she could help me with a few projects I was dealing with. Maybe she could talk to my cats and tell my older one to stop trying to kill the younger one. Hmm.

So this loon began talking again about his stupid web page project and whyyyyyyy did it have to be done in 6 months, and wah wah wah he's behind on his real work. Now, let me stress that most of the people in the workshop were contractors. Now, if I thought he was a loon, then what were these poor contractors thinking of him and the company? Does the company strap its employees to the wall with a computer at reach for 10+ hours a day? Do they not get breaks? Lunch? Perhaps they can't even go home. That was how this loony was making his job out to be.

So our instructor yet again intervened and tried to save us from his tirade. She told him yet again and this time a bit more forcefully that she wasn't familiar with his project, and if he'd like to discuss anything after the workshop was done, she would be more than happy to talk to him. Then she threw in: But I'm glad you're trying to make your deadline! (His project was due in 30 days).

At some point, people need to learn to stop being so positive.

So loony takes this as another open door for complaining and grumbles, "like I'm going to make it." Our instructor cut him off quickly at this point and went on to the next person.

I felt for her because I went through a similar incident when I had to teach a class once. I got verbally jumped by someone, and no matter how many times I told her I didn't know how to fix her problem, and perhaps she should call one of her LAN admins, she just kept attacking me. Like it was my fault, which was furthest from the truth. Luckily for me, her LAN admin was there, and she told this lady that she would look into it since it sounded like an application issue.

You better believe I used the LAN amins as my back-up from that point on. It's always nice to pass the buck when you can.

Back to the loon from today -- he was seriously that one person who never says anything to anyone until that one day...when it all...builds...up. And WHAM! Verbal bombs and hostility fly!

No comments: