Pride

PridePeople that have known me for some years know that it’s pretty common knowledge that I have in my life so far had a lot of jobs. I know people that have had just as many, people that may have only had one or two. How many in total have I had? Not even I know that answer as some of them don’t even appear on my CV.

I’ve mentioned previously that I tend to get bored easily at what I’m doing and then I start to piss around, subconsciously trying to self sabotage myself which results in me having to find new work either by my choice or theirs. I put it down to the fact that I just didn’t know what I wanted to do in life.

I originally started out as a cleaner at Chesterfield College before moving onto a full time job at a horrific paperboard packaging company; eventually leaving there and working in an electronics factory. From there I’ve done data entry, glass packing, I was a gardener at a covenant, hotel receptionist, outbound sales, kitchen porter in France, customer service advisor and even door to door sales for about four days.

A lot of them have been temporary jobs just to get me by until the next opportunity came along and it wasn’t that I was really all that bad at work; in fact in most cases I excelled at everything I did. Having such a wide variety of job roles over the years has given me the ability to pick things up quickly. And while I tried my best in everything I did; the only thing I haven’t gotten from any of those is pride.

I’ve never in my life had pride in anything I’ve ever done; I have worked with some great people in the past and for the most part I’ve had a good time but the actual work I have done hasn’t been rewarding.

The one thing I seem to have managed to stick at in recent years is the wonderful world of I.T. Support; it’s what my dad started off in so I guess it was only natural that I follow that course.

Over the last four years my I.T. knowledge has grown considerably, my first real role was working on the Royal Mail helpdesk; unfortunately the company that I worked for cared more about numbers than helping the actual customers, a big part of why they eventually lost their contract because they just weren’t getting the job done. They cared more about logging a ticket and passing it to some team in India who would give them a call back in a few days rather than giving out proper training and fixing it on the first contact. I can safely say that almost everyone that I worked with had no pride in what they were doing they were just there for the poor minimum wage they were getting. It was because of that why upper management saw me as a bit of a joke because I didn’t take the job seriously and leaving there was pretty much the best thing I ever did.

Once I had left there and started working at the place I’m working at now; I found it difficult at first because we were expected to actually fix issues upon first contact with the customer, stuff that I had no experience with before but like all jobs previous I picked things up quickly and became a respected member of the team. It wasn’t long however that I was heading down that same road of getting bored with what I was doing and upper management saw me as someone who just pissed around all day. It even cost me a team leader job at one point.

The moment it cost me a management role I felt awful, I felt like I had ruined it for myself and that I should just probably quit but then where was I going to go? Back to being a hotel receptionist earning barely £600 a month? I.T. was the only thing I had, I’m good at it and I work at one of the best I.T. companies in our area; I decided in the end to just suck it up and prove to higher management that I wasn’t a joke and that I can be a guy they could rely on.

It’s been a long road since then because it’s easier to destroy a reputation than it is to build one. I continued in my role as a go to guy for the rest of the team which eventually gave me the opportunity to work as an onsite engineer at our clients offices in Scotland. Doing this earnt me our equivilent of an employee of the month award as it had never been done before, was way out of my comfort zone in an area I’ve never been to and in front of the customer. But (and not tooting my own horn) I performed excellently. From there I spent the first three months of this year working in the clients head office about 100 miles away from home doing knowledge transfer from their internal I.T. department to our service desk. It was difficult and lonely as four nights a week I was staying in a hotel alone and I missed seeing my friends on a daily basis but the respect I received from the clients and my own management for doing this started rebuilding that reputation of being a go to guy, once I returned back to Chesterfield full time I was then given the hardest task of my life.

A new account was coming in, a city council and they needed someone who knew what they were doing technically to help bring it onboard. Higher management suggested me as the guy to help with it; all I’d really known since working there was the account I worked on; a construction company so I was worried about whether or not I was the right guy for this but I felt like I had something to prove.

The first thing that had to be done was to hire a team; I was heavilly involved in the interview process for this as I knew generally what was expected so there I was interviewing people for the first time. Once I had selected my team I trained them with what they needed to know, by the time they’d started however there was only a week to go until the account went live; they didn’t have any accounts, laptops, anything and due to a freak set of circumstances I was left to be the only point of contact for the account.

This meant that I did a hell of a lot of running about, I had to create a knowledge database they could use for when the account did go live which meant I had to first learn how to actually create one. Then I had to find and learn all of this information myself first and the knowledge that was transferred from the previous I.T. company was scarce as it was so I did the best I could with what I had. I had to get the new guys I’d got hired sorted with logon accounts, laptops, phones, headsets, set up the desks etc. The network cables didn’t work as they hadn’t been used before so I had to arrange for them to work. Just so much running about and sleepless nights.

Once the account went live; I ensured that everything went smoothly picking any issues up as soon as possible, for the last month or so I had been working 12-18 hour days whether it was trying to get stuff sorted or trying to get any outstanding issues resolved. It was a bit of a choppy start to the month but we ensured that we passed our agreed SLA (service level agreement) every day since the account was go a fact that is still true to this day. I have been told by many people including upper management that this account wouldn’t have been successful if it wasn’t for the work I had done leading up to the 1st of April and it was at that moment I truly felt something I had never felt before; PRIDE.

But it wasn’t just pride but also I felt so proud because I couldn’t have asked for a better team, they too worked 12 hour shifts; put in the time and effort to make sure the account was a success, they came in and instantly made an impact, coming from the same company I worked at before they showed that they wanted to learn and progress and because of that the first day was the most successful start to an account the companies ever had. I honestly couldn’t have done it without them.

As we head towards May, I was basically given a choice of whether I wanted to stay on that account and basically run the day to day operations of it while the team leader handled the escalations or return to my previous account and possibly have the chance of receiving a promotion to a 2nd line support engineer. While I love the team I helped create and want to see them progress I felt that my place was on the team I started out on as at the moment they need me more.

This last month gave me an insight of an actual management role and while I have proved to those I needed to I can do it, it’s not what I want to do at the moment; I still have much to learn technically before I consider moving into any sort of management role and I still have things I need to prove.

I’ve never felt proud about anything in my whole life more than what I have accomplished over the last month and a half.

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Author: 'Ard Pete

Hey everyone, my names Pete, friends call me 'Ard Pete because... well, I'm well 'Ard. Currently in Chesterfield, England, currently working as an I.T. Technical Lead for BT Business and Public Sector; it sounds more glamourous than it is but I'm a dab hand with Microsoft products. I enjoy television, mainly any Star Trek, all of Stargate, Lost, anything Joss Whedon has produced, 24 and House. Favourite music includes; Mumford and Sons, Jason Mraz, Eminem, Chris Cornell, Ludovico Einaudi, Goo Goo Dolls, Muse, 30 Seconds To Mars basically a wide variety of anything that's real, I hate dance, trance and anything like that, I don't consider that to be music. Not much of a sports guy, I like Professional Wrestling, Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, I can watch Football but only when I'm forced to watch it. Favourite author is Terry Pratchett, favourite film is Armageddon, favourite comedian is Lee Evans, favourite idiot is Karl Pilkington, favourite game is GTAIII, if there's anything else you wish to know, don't hesitate to ask. I'll more than likely not be busy.

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