Memories from Corporate Life

Years ago, when you were the Network and Systems Administrator for an Aerospace company in Florida, it was your rabbit to get the new employees up and running. You’d build and configure their computer, program the voicemail system, program their phone, create their email and user accounts, etc.

It was tedious, time consuming, thankless job, but it taught you to find satisfaction in doing things the right way just for the sake of it.

So you’d just set up a system, user and email accounts, and phone for a new employee, Bob. Bob was a nice man in his early 50’s who looked like Kermit the Frog and acted like Foghorn Leghorn. You’d become quite proficient at guessing a user’s computer experience, and everything told you Bob had none.

Although technically it wasn’t your job to teach people how to use their computer systems, how to login, or how to check and send email, you often did so anyway. People were grateful for it, and taking the time to show them how things worked made your job easier.

But Bob wouldn’t have any of it. He claimed he knew all about email and accounts. I know all about the email, he’d say. Said he didn’t need a lesson. You let him know you were available anytime if he ever had a question, and that your office was just a few doors down. Stop by anytime.

Over the next week you noticed that Bob liked to walk the halls a lot, stopping by people’s doors to chat. Anytime more than one or two people would walk by his office, he’d jump up from his desk and jog to the door, making small-talk with the people as they walked by.

Did you setup Bob in cc:Mail? your boss asked you a week or so later. You told her you had, and that he’d refused to be shown how to sign in or send and retrieve his mail. Claimed he knew all about it, you told her. Wouldn’t have a lesson. Well, he’s been missing meetings, she said. His department schedules meetings exclusively over email, and apparently he’s wasn’t receiving anything. He’d missed three group meetings so far.

Turns out that Bob was roaming the halls to try and overhear people talking about meetings, or to intercept people on their way to meetings.

We’ve just updated cc:Mail, you told him the next day, and we need to show everyone how to login to the new system.

Allright, if you really need to show me. Just make it fast, he said. I’ve got meetings!

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