Keeping things in perspective…

I was perusing a technical support community on LiveJournal today and ran across an entry that made my jaw drop.

This poor IT worker had been working on building a new laptop for a VP’s admin assistant because her Outlook client was running slowly. Coming from a VP, it was a rush request and he got it ready for an early morning deployment. So far so good, doesn’t hurt to look good in front a VP who doesn’t dish out praise easily or often. About the time he gets the machine ready to go, another employee comes running into his office with a major problem.

A director who is working on a three-month mission to darkest Africa has ended up with a cracked laptop screen, rendering the entire unit unusable. Since they are only two weeks into this three month mission, it’s a little hard to get parts or a tech to them and they are almost SOL. As luck would have it, another team is heading out there for something, and can hand carry a replacement laptop out to them. Here’s the catch though, they’re leaving the building in 20 minutes for the airport. The only computer that’s ready to go is the one he just got done building. The only thing to do is to quickly setup the user’s email and hand the computer to the team, and wish them a good trip.

“I call my manager to make her aware that the laptop will be delayed a couple of hours as I build a new machine to replace the one I just sent out. She’s not happy, but I don’t care really. I know I did the right thing. ‘Dead in the water in a third world country’ trumps ‘Slow Outlook'”

The tech made a snap judgment call that seemed to be the right thing to do to ensure the business keeps running smoothly. All is well and good until office politics kick in and he gets called into a meeting. Whereupon he had to explain to the VP, his AA, the Program Manager, and the newly installed Help Desk Manager why he made that decision. 15 minutes later, he “left the office with a new bodily orifice, and stronger desire to drink.” Seems a little excessively painful for doing the right thing.

Alas, this is all too common in the business world. Ego and a sense of entitlement grab a hold of many senior executives who feel it’s their right to get new hardware out of IT simply because of their position. It made me realize how tremendously blessed I am to work in an organization where this sort of thing is an extreme rarity. Our executive team is very well grounded and humble, and this sort of ego trip just doesn’t happen.

That’s not to say that the executives don’t have the occasional drop-everything-emergency, but they do have the wisdom to discern what really does merit the IT department’s full attention and what can wait for us to get a chance to get around to doing it for them.

It’s those sorts of seemingly insignificant things that make Resurrection an awesome place to work. The positive impact on everyone’s stress levels of not having an executive team that behaves they’re royalty is something I can’t even begin to put a dollar figure on. Added to that is being secure in the knowledge that my manager will back me up unless I’m very obviously in the wrong, in which case I need to suck it up and take my lumps.

I’m sure that’s one of the things that made us one of the best churches to work for serve. It is truly a blessing to be part of this team.