Monday, June 25, 2007

How Pete Lost His Groove....Then Got It Back

I am extremely fortunate to work with truly cool people. They frequently carry my sorry rear in meetings. The cast of characters are:
  • J-Girl is the energy of the team, taking absolutely no crap from anyone....but gets a lot of kidding from us (me)
  • Kirby is the wisdom (and some sly humor)
  • Dwu is a hip, athletic nerd
  • DW is mensa-ish, with some awesome jokes and observations

Then there is Pete.

Pete is incredibly bright, passionate about technology, a textbook work ethic, and an all-around great person. I have held him in the highest esteem....that is until my recent trip with him.

The second half of my recent trip was several days of meetings with users of the technology we support....all internal to our company. Business partners. So what did Pete do to lose his groove????
  1. Prior to the trip he was constantly expressing his frustration that we had no real agenda for our meetings. Very true. Unfortunately, life can go in an unorganized direction once in a while. After a few weeks of his nagging, I think he came to a fragile acceptance that "winging it" would be ok. Come to find out he did a very good job at the meetings looking like we had a master plan. I told you, Pete.
  2. Users always want more. I think they are given training to ask for more whenever they meet with people from IT. From the highest on the Corporate food chain to the most modest, I have never met an end user who thinks they have all they need in terms of technology. Pete is someone who wants to deliver what people say they need (a wonderful quality). Unfortunately, he sometimes "mentions" to users things that would address their needs. This inevitably will result in me trying to explain to those people why we can't currently deliver what Pete has "mentioned". He did a lot of mentioning on our trip. A lot.
  3. "Promising" goes hand in hand with "mentioning". Frequently, Pete was asked, "can we get product XYZ?". Initially, his response was, "I can't see why not". Unfortunately, in a large corporation, delivering on a promise can be very difficult. So, in a defensive reaction, I got a box of markers, and told Pete that each time he "promised" something that we wouldn't be able to deliver I would throw a marker at him. I could have used a second box...with sharper markers.
  4. My idiosynchrasies frequently amaze Pete (as they do the rest of the team). One I have on trips is that I have to go to a local Dairy Queen if I can find one. I love banana split blizzards. Another is that I have to arrive at the airport 2.5-3 hours before my flight. You know, the time recommended by TSA. Pete seems to think these are merely suggestions. Anyway, Pete was not shy to poke fun at all my "oddities" on this trip. Remember, oddities are in the eye of the beholder, buddy. Not sure if that's a zinger, but it sounds good.

As you can see, the trip was an experience. Fortunately for both of us, we were on separate flights home (sorry Kirby, you had me for the whole 2 weeks. I will post of tribute to your patience in a couple weeks....if I can remember it).

Upon returning home, after both of us settled back into our comfortable routines, Pete's groove returned. He is back to his lofty stature in my eyes. Just hope we don't travel together soon.....like in the next 50 years.

Pete, like a brother, buddy. :)
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