Thursday, March 6, 2014

I might be "Jen"

I didn't start my career in IT. In fact, I started about as far away as I could from Information Technology as the government relations/communications manager of the Chamber of Commerce in a small town in Colorado.

Fast forward 13 years and I find myself not only leaving marketing and communications, but working in the one area that used to make me lose my shit as a kid trying to program the Commadore 64 to make a flappy bird appear in the left hand corner of the TV screen as I sat on the floor in the living room.

Thats right; I'm a young professional with an extensive background in communications and marketing living in the basement of a government IT building who often finds herself answering the question, "How did the Marketing Manager for the Planetarium end up in IT?"

If you've seen the IT Crowd, this post will make a lot more sense. So if that's lacking from your watch list, stop here and go watch a few episodes....or at least watch the linked clip.

I traded in my multimedia deadlines and camera interviewing skills for a new opportunity. Websites are my passion. Websites are created in IT. I go where the websites are.

Image courtesy
But that's where things get a bit tricky.

Like my initial struggle to follow the litany of acronyms and the ITIL certification that I struggle to complete. The first time I was asked what the Deming cycle was, I responded with, "A setting that does not exist on my washing machine." Not that I'm trying to make light of the importance of the lifecycle process, there's just an interesting learning curve when you're used to SWOT, PMS, CPM and HIPPO in daily conversation.

I do, however, understand the importance of technology in a government setting and how customers expect services to be available to them 24/7. Long story short; I'm where I want to be at this point in my career.

But every now and again I pull a strange-ass maneuver that goes down in the books as a reference point for why my coworkers enjoy my being in their arena.

It's called entertainment value.

Case and point. During a meeting today I heard what was presumed to be incessant knocking on the conference room door. At first we all looked at each other waiting to see who would make the first move. With my mad social skills and over-eager personality, I decided to get up and let whomever was knocking into the room.

When I whisked open the door. It was promptly met with a "thud."

The noise was the force of my hand forcing the door into the carpet guy's head. It wasn't knocking we were hearing at all. It was the sound of the carpet guy installing the baseboard strip NEXT TO THE DOOR.

Squealing, I jumped back with many apologies as my coworkers looked on in amazement. "I am SO SORRY! You thought you were here to lay baseboard, instead you got hit in the head!"

After awkwardly backing up to let the door close, I sauntered back to the conference room table and sat staring at the rest of the group, speechless. One of my coworkers piped up, "I nominate Dani to open the door....always."

Which was followed up with, "You know why we keep you down here right? Entertainment value."

"This is your peace of mind Jen, and I'm going to pop it....but I'm not going to tell you when.......
Yup, I just might be Jen.

But you know what? I'll take it. Because at the end of the day, when you take yourself too seriously, it's a long and lonely trip out of this ride called life.

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