I've been here several times before. Up, late at night... trying to figure out some issue that's giving me trouble on a job. If you work in the electronics industry, you know exaaaaactly what I'm talking about.
Forgive me for being frank but, In this situation, when you're worn out after a long day, Red Bulls, or alcohol...or both come in handy.
Only if you really need to chillax though and are going a little crazy after you've been beating your head against the wall all day trying to figure out a problem. Or running short on time, or working on a new system, or you don't have the right part, or everybody else left you hangin', or you don't quite know what you're doing, or if you've been listening to the client stress out right alongside you, watching them sweat more than you.
By the way, I'm not really drinking Red Bulls and alcohol right now... I'm drinking a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
Honestly, the only reason I'm even blogging right now is because it makes me feel better to vent before I start my online research in preparation for tomorrow. Gotta be there at 7am.
Everybody can do 95% of the job... right? Its that last 5% that counts. Strange, how that percentage can relate to people in your own organization... It truly is that small percent of people that are unique. I mean, really excel beyond the rest.
I recently read a great book about those type of people. Here the author likes to refer to them as "Linchpins". Check out the book by Seth Godin, its a great read.
In the book, Godin talks about how there are two teams in every workplace: Management and labor. But, now there's a third team, the Linchpins. "These people invent, lead (regardless of title), connect others, make things happen, and create order out of chaos. They figure out what to do when there is no rule book. They delight and challenge their customers and peers. They love their work, pour their best selves into it, and turn each day into a kind of art."
(That's from the book... not my words).
I gotta get me some-more of them Linchpins!
I only had one or two Linchpins on this project. Sometimes that's just not enough though. I mean, you can only work people so much right?
Ok, ok, I know what you're thinking. Blame it on the sales guy. The "yes" man. The, "Oh yeah, we can do that". The "Sure, no problem... piece of cake" guy. We've all heard it before right? That slippery sales pitch... promising the world and not being able to deliver.
Now, being a "technician" (sort-of), I'd like to think that I'm pretty good about not over-promising. I probably need to get a bit better at that, but for the most part, I've been pretty successful at setting up proper expectations with each client.
Hey, I thought it would be easy to simply move the access control system from one building to the other, even if it's a system we're not familiar with. I mean it works here perfectly... just move it over. Just moooooove it over (Happy Gilmore reference).
Like maybe, the guys will probably check out how the access control system is wired first before its removed and moved to the new location. Or stay until they figure it out and not just leave things hangin' for the "sales guy" (even if he did mess up at all) to try and figure out and explain to the clients why I'm the only one there fiddling with wires, without the proper tools, trying to get their door to work.
Even if we did the entire project... all 95% of it perfect... its that last 5% that really matters. It's that last 5% that can make the client love you or hate you.
Right now, this client doesn't exactly love me.
Today I worked from 7am to 11pm. Now I ain't no Alma (if you've been reading my other posts), so... I'm pretty worn out. I've been non stop all day. Alma would be proud of me, to know I'm workin' hard, tryin' to get er' done!
Not done yet though. Now that I'm done venting, I gotta do my research and figure out how to wire up and program this thing bright and early tomorrow morning!
I feel better now though. We'll get it. Us Linchpins always do.
p.s. If you know of any Linchpins in the electronics industry, send em' my way!