Monday, April 26, 2010

Crash and Burn…and Sushi

Without going into a lot of detail, lets just say that sometimes customers get angry…and sometimes it’s for good reason.

Recently I was asked to do technical debug sessions…like installation debug…that I am unfamiliar with. While I used to be a developer and regularly communicate technical concepts, it’s more ‘technical evangelism’, more of the ‘how to get value’, not the ‘how to get it running’ install issues. The result was a a bunch of fear and anxiety about my job that I’ve never had before. Un-good.

Surrounding this new-found atmosphere was an executive pitch I was scheduled to do. My assumption was I was going to crash and burn big time. My attitude about the whole week turned quickly from a “Heck yeah I’ll travel to DC for 2 days for a 3 hour briefing…and explore the city” to “Not only is the customer angry…I'm going into the lion’s den. Terrific”.

However, through long hours working with the customer, educating myself on deep technical details, issues, and workarounds, we pulled it out and they’re satisfied…and the executive pitch went really well…so well that they want to expand the use of our product.

Since the whole briefing turned successful, I needed to burn off some anxiety by doing something I know I’m good at. I also HAD to feed my travel bug. The result? I took the time to explore DC.

…from the tasty morsels DC had to offer…

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…to the museums showcasing our history…

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…to the views that stunned me and made me appreciate my country…

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…and finally, I decided to squash my anxiety and fear by creating a documentary of sorts highlighting who knows and likes our product…

In the end it was a exceptional trip where I learned a lot about myself, what I love and don’t love about my job, and how weak my faith in Jesus really is when it comes to the details of my life (future post I’m sure).

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