Thursday, April 10, 2014

Boom Goes The Dynamite ...

I had a breakthrough today!   The old ThirtyWhat is still here ... kicking around in my head.

I was never a high-end IT employee.  Despite being a LAN Administrator, I didn't do anything insanely complicated ... I didn't even program.   My strengths were in customer service ... problem solving.  People came to me all day with little problems ... and I fixed them.  Sometimes it was teaching them how to run a script from within Excel ... sometimes it was showing them how to embed video or sound into PowerPoint ... sometimes it was something simple like replacing hardware like a DVD drive or a video card.

Over the last six months, I started to get down on myself.  I didn't have a degree ... so what did all those years of work with the feds really mean?  Who cares that I replaced RAID drives?  Who cares that I encrypted laptops or ran AV equipment?  I took a steep cut in pay that I'm never going to get back ... because nobody is going to pay me to do what I used to do.  I think that's part of what's really depressed me down about the whole job situation.

Well ... today ... a little bit of the old me came out.  And boy ... have I missed her.

There was an unbelievably ancient procedure at my new job ... and it really grated my ass. 

When we needed to order a specific type of document, I was trained to take two pieces of paper ... which I'd already run through a copier earlier ... and then use carbon paper ... to hand write out the order.  A couple months ago, I got up the nerve to ask, "Why the hell are we doing it this way??  Who uses carbon paper??  What year is this?"  One of my co-workers icily gave me a dozen reasons why it couldn't change ... why it had to be done the way we were doing it ... why it was silly to try to do anything different.

I wasn't buying it ...

Today ... I created four fillable Adobe PDF documents.   I created required fields ... set the fonts and the field types ... and saved those documents.  I then showed my co-workers how to send a document to the printer and have the printer hold the document.  At that point, you simply walk up with the colored paper you need, put it in the bypass tray, click on the job ... and it prints.

I almost danced when I finished.   In fact, I'm pretty sure I was dancing.  This will save bucket loads of time ... supplies ... mess ... and eliminate errors because we're copying and pasting directly from the order to the PDF.


I did this kind of simple shit all ... day ... long at my old job.  It wasn't anything special or magical or hard.  It was simply fixing a problem.  You don't have to pre-copy two hundred forms on special colors and keep a supply of them at your desk to hand write orders.  Welcome to the new millennium.  If you think there might be an easier way to do something?  There is.

This was the best afternoon I've had at work in six months ... and this was an easy fix.  Can you imagine if I did something valuable???

The new millennium
Yo excuse me Willennium
It can't get thicker than this
Slick like Rick I can't miss
And we gonna party like it's 19 ...
Hold up it is

Will Smith - Will2K

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