Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it

Jan loved her job. Sure, no job is perfect, but she really, really liked this one.

Jan ran Division 48 at a large corporation. She had a lot of people that depended on her doing her job right. And not everyone in the division liked how she did her job. But most did. And the Division was doing a lot better than many of the other divisions in the company. Jan was satisfied that she was doing a good job.

That morning, like many mornings, she noticed some strange people on the floor. Like every other morning, Jan had parked in the garage, walked to the employee entrance, swiped her badge, and entered the building. And, again this morning, she noticed that there were people wandering around the building who didn't have a company badge.

She discovered that, while the door she entered every day was working, not every door to the building worked properly. Not that the doors wouldn't open or allow people to entered with a badge swipe. No, the problem was that the doors would open without a badge swipe. And people from the company next door would walk into the building at will. And people from other companies could just walk in at will. And people who wandered the street would just walk in at will.

There was a desk at the main company entrance -- a public area -- where other people could enter the building and wait in line at the security desk. There were also security doors required a badge swipe on each floor of the building adjacent to a public area. Not every division was adjacent to a public area, but many were. Including Jan's.

Jan sat at her desk, wondering how to handle the situation, as she had done for many days. This morning, though, Jan reached a decision. She opened Outlook and scheduled a meeting.

The meeting went well. Not everyone agreed with the decision. But Jan had decided that someone from her division would be stationed at the security door, checking anyone who wasn't from the company, ensuring that visitors had a visitor's pass.

Jan sent the memo around, copying the other 49 divisions, plus corporate headquarters, about the policies that were being implemented at the security door between Division 48 and the public area.

Minutes later, the phone rang. It was Eric. He oversaw the security for the company. And he wasn't happy.

Jan explained that security was a problem on the floor, and that Corporate Security wasn't doing its job. Eric said that his group was doing just fine thank you very much. His people had more important things to do than stand by the door outside Division 48.

"Like what?" Jan asked.

"Have you seen how many people are putting plastic in the paper recycle bin?" Eric responded. "It's a full time job keeping people from mixing paper and plastic. We don't have time to fix the security doors and man the floors looking for people without badges."

Jan sighed. "That's crazy, Eric. We have serious security issues at the company, and if you won't or can't do your job, my division will do it where we can."

"We'll see about that," Eric said. And the call ended.

Susan concluded her meeting with Eric and Jan. She told Jan that people in her division could do some of the duties outlined in her memo. But some of the items crossed the line because they fell into Eric's area of responsibility.

Jan would comply. Susan didn't run the company, but her ruling would stand for now. Jan would appeal.

She just hoped the company would stay solvent until the security doors and processes were fixed.

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  1. Jan had better hide the Post-it Notes, paper clips, and coffee filters.

    Or increase Sheriff Joe's staff.

    Nice one.


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