Thursday, March 06, 1997

Tool Time from Hell

Editor's NOTE: This is a moldie oldie that I pulled from a text dump archive. None of the links will work anymore (or 99% won't) - but the names and companies have NOT changed.

Judging from all the email we received from our last issue from poor, hapless souls trapped in "...huge multi-national corporation...", the Mac spirit is alive - although the body is slowly dying in Corporate America.

Numerous people wrote in (from many different companies) saying that they love the Mac (and FileMaker) but are being forced into dumping their "toy" in favor of a bean-counter-approved Windows box, and trade in FileMaker for the "standard" - Microsoft Access. AAAAAHHHHHH!

Let me share my views on this - it SUCKS, is short-sighted, and just plain won't work.

The thing that some folks don't seem to understand is that computers and software are tools that were created to help us get our work done - so that we can go home and see our significant others and have some real fun. I mean, how many of you want to go back to keeping all of your contacts on 3 x 5 index cards?

That being said, it's plain stupid to force people into working with a tool they're unfamiliar with, don't want, don't need, and that will actually stop them from getting their work done.

Let's say you're using a regular hammer to pound nails - that's your job - "Director of Corporate Nail Pounding." Now imagine if the "powers that be" decide in their infinite wisdom that you should stop using that "outdated", underpowered tool because they got a great deal on 50 pound sledge hammers. Besides, they drone, it's easier for the guys in tool maintenance to maintain 50 pound sledge hammers, and they don't want to deal with "non-standard", regular hammers.

Absurd? Nope - reality.

Since you have no choice or voice in the decision (god-forbid that the people actually pounding nails have a say in what tool they use), you "buckle up", put on a happy face, and try to use your brand new 50 pound sledge hammer to pound your nails... the only problem is that you can't lift it. So, being the conscientious worker you are, you decide to call down to tool maintenance, and have one of their "technicians" come and help you.

YOU: Hello, tool department? I have a question about my new 50 pound sledge hammer...

TECHNICIAN: Are you using the Compaq5000, Compaq5000 R5 DLX, Compaq5001, or the Compaq5001 R8 DLS?

YOU: Uh... I don't know, how do I tell?

TECHNICIAN: (heavy sigh) It's very easy - anyone who knows anything about sledge hammers would know. I can't help you until you tell me which model you're using.

YOU: I understand, but I have just a quick question...

TECHNICIAN: No model number, no helpie.

YOU: Yes, but I just need to know how to pick it up... you see, I have 100 nails to pound before the end of the day.. and I just can't get it to work...

TECHNICIAN: Pounding nails??? Do you have the special "nail pounding adapter?"

YOU: I don't know, what does it look like?

TECHNICIAN: (another heavy sigh) Well, if you don't know, we can't help you. They're probably on backorder, but once they come in we'll have to reconfigure your tool to accept the new adapter. Since everyone else got new tools, we're backlogged until six weeks from Tuesday. Thank you for calling tool maintenance. "CLICK";

Faced with an impending deadline, you proceed to pound the first 50 nails using your stapler, and write a memo detailing why you won't be able to meet the deadline. "Management" dismisses this as an "isolated" incident since "no one else" seems to be having problems.

READER EXERCISE: Requisition a really, really good dust cover for your new tool and blow the dust off the old typewriter in the corner - at least then you can get your work done.

MANAGER EXERCISE: Stop bitching about "non standard" equipment - and give your people the tools that they need to remain productive. You'll save a ton of money, keep morale high, and stay in business.

Oh, by the way, FileMaker Pro was just declared the #2 Windows Database...

No comments:

Web Analytics