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Subject:Re: Printers, Fonts, Netw From:Marilynne Smith <m -dot- smith182 -at- GENIE -dot- GEIS -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 30 May 1995 05:53:00 UTC
>> MIS is in an unusually good position to bring work to a standstill . . .
Lighten up Robert. MIS people everywhere aren't dragons. When people who
can help you aren't, you need to persuade. I usually do this in three steps.
1. I go to the person who is giving me problems and I explain quietly what
I need and what they need to help me get it done. Being female helps some.
It works maybe 80 % of the time.
2. If I'm getting no cooperation, I go to their boss. Depending on the
company I'm working for, I either go to the boss directly, or I go to my
manager and explain that I need help getting cooperation.
3. If the boss won't help, I most definitely go to my boss and try to make
it the boss's problem. I explain that this no cooperation is preventing me
from getting my work done. I explain the impact. I accept whatever
solution the boss wants to try first in order to make my point. I have to
do this in about 2% of the cases.
I did run into a roadblock when I got my version of Word for Windows from a
LAN. Before my time, the pubs people each had their own version loaded on
their PCs. Just before I was hired, someone decided that we should
discovered that while *I* couldn't change the options, the people in MIS
certainly could, and did whenever the urge came upon them. You can imagine
the problems that caused for me. The choices of a programmer or systems
person are not necessarily my choices. I solved that one by explaining what
was happening to the LAN administrator.
The second problem was harder. As part of my work, I needed to convert
documents from anything at all to W4W and back again. W4W has a conversion
facility that does this pretty well, but the MIS people didn't want to load
the full version of it. They had customized the installation and made their
choices based on minimum space required. I had about 3 choices. They would
argue that W4W 6.0 will automatically convert any lower version. I would
explain that I also needed to be able to convert it to W4W 2.0 because one
of my key source people was offsite and didn't have access to W4W 6.0.
Sure, I could convert it to ASCII, but the resource person was really busy
and he didn't need hassle from me. All I got were blank stares. I think
they didn't know how to do a custom installation on existing software or
didn't want to take the time.
I left before that one was solved. This wasn't the first problem of that
sort and every deadline was a hassle beyond imagination. I work as a
writer, not as a systems solution person. I am willing to solve problems to
a reasonable degree, but I can't get any writing done if I'm fighting
systems people all day long. I felt like I had someone in MIS who was
inventing problems for me to solve.
My original point was that not all MIS people are dragons and that
negotiation usually works. If it doesn't, it's time to polish the old
m -dot- smith182 -at- genie -dot- geis -dot- com