Monday, May 20, 2013

More and more of the same

So I finally finished reading the stupid textbook for my stupid certification exam. Now I just have to figure out how to jump through the hoops of actually getting certified, which apparently involves purchasing an exam voucher from one company and then contacting a separate testing provider and scheduling a time to come take the exam under controlled conditions and then waiting to get my results back (and doing it all over again if I fail to get the 84% correct answers that constitutes a passing score). It is a racket, I tell you.

In the mean time, I still have yet to attend a staff meeting since I got back from paternity leave. A week or two ago I made use of one of the little tricks I’ve picked up over the years: as the lone techie guy around these parts, sometimes I volunteer to submit “periodic” reports on how our in-house web applications are being utilized, with statistics and trend analysis and all that. They are fairly easy to generate and make it look like I am keeping busy. The periodicity of the reporting tends to be entirely determined by how often I feel like I need to justify my continued existence or remind people that I still work here. So I sent one of those reports to my government supervisor the same afternoon that the third staff meeting in a row got cancelled. She thanked me for it (via e-mail from parts unknown), so that’s a good sign.

Of course it was not too long afterwards that I attended our department’s very first meeting with newly installed boss’s boss, where somehow an introductory meet and greet (with free bagels and scones) turned into a spirited discussion of the future online collaboration needs for the agency, which brought up some of the underutilized projects that I’ve been working on around here for years. So suddenly I am a key player in some hotly contested areas, or so it felt in the heat of the moment. There’s a tendency for these things to be fiercely debated in the moment, until someone takes it upon themselves to look into what should be done about the issue, and then interest dissipates and the status quo reasserts itself as everyone gets distracted with their primary duties once again. Maybe I’ll have some new big project to pivot to after I get my certification and finish the old big project. Time will tell.

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