Don't know who NB is? You can read Chapter One here. This morning, my work phone rang and NB's name was glowing on the caller ID. She asked if I had a few minutes to come to her office to talk with her.
I sat down in her office with my pen and paper and prepared myself for whatever she was about to say. I still can't read her; I didn't know if this was going to be a good talk or a bad talk.
NB: I was wondering if you could do something for me. Me: Okay. NB: I like to look at pictures. I'm a very visual learner and it really helps me learn if I can look at pictures. Even things like T-accounts help me. Me: Um, okay. NB: Would you draw me a picture? Me: Ummmmmm. NB: I just don't really understand yet the process of the Big Report We Prepare Daily. I think a picture of the process could help me understand it. Me: Oh. Okay. So you want, like, a hand-drawn picture? **I start getting a little nervous. She's very OCD. What if my drawing isn't good enough? What if my lines aren't straight?** NB: Yes, you can draw it by hand if you want. Let's meet again at 2pm to go over it, so just make it as good as you can in that amount of time.
So, off I went, back to my little cubicle to start drawing my picture. I decided to sketch it out by hand and then use Microsoft Visio to put it on the computer and make it look better. I spent a lot of time formatting and lining things up. I let a coworker read over it to make sure I didn't leave out any steps in the Big Report We Prepare Daily process.
Two o'clock rolled around so I grabbed my picture and headed to her office. When I handed it to her, her first response was, "Wow. You have OCD."
Me: No, you're the OCD one.
I was in her office about an hour or so going over the Big Report We Prepare Daily process. It's a long process, and pretty involved. It's not bad if everything runs smoothly, but there are a lot of opportunities for something to go wrong. And we have to go through it everyday.
We spent a quite a bit of time working on one area in particular. I was trying to explain to her why we have to manually correct things and how we can't just correct them on the front end.
Me: Everyone in the company has access to this and can change it. That's why there are so many mistakes. NB: Am I the only one that sees this as a huge problem? Me: Oh, no. Not at all. This is one of my biggest pet peeves at work. It can get me fired up in no time. NB: So have you tried to do anything to change it? Me: It's been a project on my list of things to do for two years now. A lot of it is just out of my hands. NB: Maybe since I'm the newbie I can bug some people and get some answers. Me: I think that would be great. Any help you'd be able to get on this would be awesome, and very much appreciated. **We spend a few more minutes talking about all the different ways errors can occur on this subject. I do a lot of explaining.** NB: Well, it sounds like this is something that might take a good bit of time to get resolved. I'm just going to write myself a note to remember all of this and that you and I are going to work on it. **She puts down the red pen she'd been writing with and fumbles through the container of pens on her desk.** NB: This is important and I don't want to forget so I'm going to write it in green.
And so she put her head down and scribbled out a note on her pad of paper. Then she read it aloud to me.
NB: Lucy and NB kick asses and take names. We will get what we want.
And then we went back to talking about my picture.