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I'm feeling better now

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by tripwire45, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Not 100%, but it's getting there.

    We have lots of threads about "my first day on the job" or "my third day on the job" and such but I've found that "the rubber doesn't meet the road" until a few months into it. The newness has worn off and you are expected to have gotten your feet wet and have started to actually be productive. That's where I am.

    I have been creating a lot of content on a new product line (not really "new", but it's hard to explain) and individual subject-matter experts have been acting as my sources, but there'd never been a high-level review of my work. I was starting to get nervous. What if the stuff I was producing overall wasn't what they had in mind. After all, I was never given any really explicit instructions on how they wanted these help files structured.

    My first surprise came last friday during out morning "scrum" meeting when I was told that my help projects not only must exist as a "stand-alone" but must fold into the older product line's help file structure (which is amazingly vast). I was stunned. I wasn't even sure it was technically possible to do what they were asking with RoboHelp/HTMLHelp (I did the research and it is, but it requires a bit of "slight-of-hand" to pull it off).

    I had emailed my manager and my "mentor" and asked for feedback. After a flurry of emails, I was advised to setup a meeting for a document review. What? Me? Chair a meeting. Understand, every other place I've ever worked, contractors and line staff don't schedule meetings. Managers, supervisors, and team leader schedule meetings. I'm not that savvy in Lotus Notes and I didn't know how.

    I got a reminder a day later asking when I was going to set up the meeting. I swallowed my pride and explained that I didn't know how. I was referred to my mentor but by now my pride had reasserted itself and I found the info I needed in the Lotus Notes help files (imagine that, I looked in the documentation).

    I found out how to see someone else's schedule and the schedules for conference rooms and set a meeting up for today at 2. Of course, I had no idea what to expect or how to conduct the meeting. I put together a little outline based on the TOC of my current help project and emailed it as an attachment to the attendees (only two, thankfully) ahead of time.

    About 15 minutes into the meeting, we all figured out that it would be better to be able to see the actual projects involved, but they live on my PC. I discovered that my team has a "group laptop" and that I could actually use it to remote into my desktop from the big conference room and use the projector to show the files on the screen.

    Ok, that may be incredibly obvious to most of you, but really, how often to I use remote desktop. Granted, it's really simple, but it just never occurred to me. Usually I attend meetings where someone else handles all that and I take notes. On the other hand, this was the only way to get the feedback that I needed.

    Turns out that the room I needed plus the people were all available at 4 and I launched into the meeting. It went better than I expected. They liked what I'd done and gave me a ton of information about what I needed to add in and what I needed to ask the developers about.

    I've also gotten the feeling over the past month or more that, "diamond-in-the-rough" though I may be, I still ultimately outshine my predecessor. One of the first clues is that the QA guy and I were setting up an IIS server on a vm so he could show me how to install a web-based application. As I went through the Windows components screen, he mused that it was nice to have a technical writer who knew his way around a computer.

    Today, when I went through my summary of the TOC, my manager mentioned that my predecessor probably couldn't have put it together. I had also put together numerous help pages without completely accurate information. My rationale being that if the pages needed to be tweaked, at least they existed and it would be less work to go back and edit existing pages than to wait and create them at the last minute when the final information about the product became available.

    I've really been concerned about how my performance was perceived and if I was going in the right direction. All of the software developers around me are busting their buttons trying to get this problem and that sorted out, but at least they seem to be "on the plan" and know what they're doing. As the newbie on the block, I'm still trying to fit in and make a positive contribution with my content. I think it's starting to work. When you're a contractor, you are very aware that you are also temporary.

    This has been building up for awhile so the only purpose for this thread is for me to blow off steam. Somewhere in the middle of it though, maybe some of you folks who are "newer" at your jobs will recognize parts of yourself in my missive. Cheers.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  2. Mitzs
    Honorary Member

    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    I'm glad your finally starting to settle down there Trip and feel more at home. I have to say though, I am also glad that they are making you go out side of your comfort zone and utilize some of that talent of yours that just lays dormant. You have so much talent and knowledge. You are like a deep well with a good strong river that flows beaneath it. It just never goes dry. I'm glad someone else sees it too. Maybe you have found your new home. Cheers my friend.:thumbleft
     
    Certifications: Microcomputers and network specialist.
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  3. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Good stuff trip and believe me I know how you feel. It took me almost a year to be comfortable in what I am doing, because before that it was tough in regards to how things operate in the office, getting to know the people, understanding everyones role, ironically the technicality of the job was not so difficult I was able to adjust quickly.

    Anyways I am glad to hear that you are fitting in well, keep up the great work trip. All the best.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
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  4. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    1) You learn by doing.
    2) Those who have a solid foundation of knowledge are able to overcome when thrown into "unfamiliar waters".

    Yup... looks like they picked the right guy for the job. :thumbleft

    You're right that it takes a while to "get feet wet". Josh and I are still getting things all sorted out at Boson, even after 7 months! And it's finally paying off, with the release of some key products. :)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
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  5. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    It always takes a while to get into a new job, especially if its not what you used to.

    Good luck with the new job. :D
     
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  6. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Thanks, all. I thought I knew RoboHelp before but this job has made me take a much deeper look at the tool. I'm using the 5X version which is somewhat out of date (it's up to 7 now) but I've been on the Adobe forums for RoboHelp (and was surprised to find that Adobe acquired RoboHelp since the last time I used it) and see that it's really a commonly used version.

    Yesterday's meeting yielded a lot of new information so I'll have plenty to do starting later today. I like to keep busy. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  7. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Trip,

    Glad to hear you're feeling better now.

    Now maybe you'll stop being a grouch and Bah! Humbugging Christmas..... :twisted:

    Good to see you getting comfortable. It really takes a lot of time sometimes especially when in your position as a contractor. Glad you're getting a lot of positive feedback, but then why wouldn't you? You're the mighty Trip... :biggrin
     
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  8. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Bite me, "Fantastic Freddy". :rolleyes::biggrin
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  9. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    LOL. Actually, I wasn't being sarcastic, Trip. I was serious when I said that I couldn't see any reason why you wouldn't get positive feedback. You impress me, for whatever that's worth....
     
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  10. fortch

    fortch Kilobyte Poster

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    What's the name of those two old guys in the balcony on the Muppets?

    :p

    Hey Trip, familiarity breeds comfort. I, too, am feeling more confident at my job, and I'm around the 6 month period myself. Glad things are going well; being a contractor can be stressful at times. In IT, as you know, pride can get you in a LOT of trouble, particularly when you factor in the efforts of cover-up. We all feel, at times, that we are expected to know *way* more than we think we do, and that leads to nervousness and indecision. If everybody would just man-up, like you did, then things would probably operate much smoother. A slice of humble pie should be in EVERYONE'S diet. Often times, when I just admit to not understanding, it turns out that I really do understand much more than I thought, because I'm in 'listen and learn, stupid' mode, rather than 'does this guy think I'm an idiot' mode.
     
    Certifications: A+,Net+,Sec+,MCSA:Sec,MCSE:Sec,mASE
  11. juice142

    juice142 Megabyte Poster

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    Statler and Waldorf. :biggrin

    [​IMG]

    Which is Freddy and which is Trip? Is that a keyboard that Statler (on the right) has on the balcony? Has Waldorf just dropped his mouse? We need to know. :blink

    J.
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), A+, Network+
    WIP: 70-270, MCSA
  12. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Just a side issue there is a guy at my place who looks like Beaker
     
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  13. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    That's me on the right. I'm the real grouch, and Trip really does look sorta like Einstein.... :biggrin
     
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  14. juice142

    juice142 Megabyte Poster

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    I sort of guessed it might be that way around... I'm still trying to get my wireless card working in xubuntu and it makes me grouchy too. :biggrin
     
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  15. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Start a thread on it and let's see if I can help.
     
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  16. juice142

    juice142 Megabyte Poster

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    Will do, thanks Freddy. :thumbleft
     
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