Thursday, July 16, 2009

Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter

Today and tomorrow, customer service roadtrip. This is where a bunch of us (this time The Taliban, Don't Spell My Name Wrong, You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Hungry and I) pile into cars with our company logo proudly displayed on the side and drive 1100 kilometers to get to two of our customer service sites and hold reference group meetings.

A reference group meeting is where we sit down, we being product management, with representatives from our customer service, and have them tell us things we should fix. This can be anything, from text on our web page to the way one of our fundamental services works. It might sound extremely boring, but its actually very useful.

The meeting today was good, and then I had to run back and forth to solve a fairly major product problem which has been a thorn in my side for quite some time now. So close now. A simple process update tomorrow morning, and I should be on track. I'm not celebrating yet, though. I have run into far too many walls so far, so until I see a free and clear road ahead of me, I'm still paranoid.

That was one of our founder's mottoes. Always be paranoid.

And it's true. You can never be too paranoid. You never know enough. There are always questions to be asked, decisions and negative opinions to question. That's a big part of my job description. To be a difficult, annoying pain in the ass. Constructive questioning, my boss calls it. Potato potahto.

This afternoon we drove to the next site, and tonight we met up with three other colleagues. Let's call them ADSL, VoIP and PSTN. They had decided long ago to go out tonight, eat food and have a few drinks.

We found a restaurant and got a table. ADSL started eyeing the waitresses. And the women at other tables. Anything with a pulse, really.

I left early. No alcohol for me today, though lots of mirth and laughter around the table. I work with good people. I walked over to the bar and paid for my food. The girl behind the counter was the same waitress ADSL had been eyeing. "Take good care of my friend", I told her before I left.

Twenty minutes later I texted You Wouldn't Like Me to let him know that I had rescued his laptop from our parked car. "Let ADSL know I told the waitress to take good care of him", I added. The response came quickly: "She already told him herself". Mission accomplished.

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