Use Me, Abuse Me, Make Me Test Your Web Site

Day 4 of Library Day in the Life project

Not the best day of the week – I woke up at 2am with a nose that suddenly turned into a faucet.  Not a dripping one but one that was on full force.  So not to wake hubby I took my tissue box and myself nose into the computer room.  Blow, blow, wipe, blow, wipe…..went on for about an hour.  I have no idea what caused that.  Finally took some allergy medicine but by then my nose was as red as poor ol’ Rudolph.

Did all the normal morning stuff to get ready and out the door.

Get to the library.  Checked in with Foursquare, yep still the Mayor of Central 🙂

Unlocked the office door and did my morning routine of swapping out the tapes for Horizon and Authority Works and unforwarding the phone.

Caffeine was a must today.  Went down to the vending machine in the staff lounge (on the hopes they had filled it) only to find they had not.  So over to the expensive vending machines in the lobby.

Back upstairs with 2 Diet Cokes to fortify me I booted up my Ubuntu and Windows machines.  Fired up Tweetdeck, Thunderbird and Firefox on the Ubuntu machine and Horizon on the Windows machines.

Moved a bunch of photos I had taken over to my Dropbox account.  Love me some Dropbox!

Noticed that one staff member had found the new staff Intranet and had registered for an account there.  She had recently left so I deleted her account on the new Intranet which wasn’t really up and working yet.

Decided to tackle my Inbox a bit.  Noticed I had an email that I remember entering as a helpdesk ticket.  It drove me  nuts – I couldn’t find the helpdesk ticket and I didn’t want to delete the email until I knew it was recorded somewhere.  Finally figured out that I hadn’t use the subject line I thought I had – deleted email (along with a bunch of others).  I tend to use my Inbox as my to-do list.

Sent two emails to OverDrive support regarding two helpdesk tickets that had been assigned to me.  I still find this such bad customer service – customer has problem – has to fill out form on OverDrive site – which then gets sent to someone here in MD – then they forward onto us – then staff here enter into helpdesk – I then get it assigned to me – I contact OverDrive – they write back – I write customer – usually problem is solved.  But the path it takes and the time it takes is just so wasteful.  I must admit their support team is pretty helpful but still this path is not the best way to serve our customers.

Logged into my blog and wrote post for yesterday’s fun filled day.

Our network admin came and showed me one of our old colleague’s, Mike Ricksecker, latest endeavor – Ghosts of Maryland.   He was so sweet – he named each of the IT members in his acknowledgement section.  Gotta buy me a copy and visit all the cool sites he documented.

Sadly removed my old boss’ photo from our Intranet and put it in the “Gone but Not Forgotten” section of our gallery.

Edited more of the photos I had taken with Julian in regards to the scan feature on the copiers.

Took a call from our PR dept. regarding a change on the web site.  Made the necessary change.  While on the phone we also established that I would be listed as the donor of my services so I would actually appear as a donor on the web site. I’m being auctioned off (silently at our fundraiser Evening in the Stacks) as a social web/Intranet consultant.  Hope someone takes me up on the offer and raises money for the library.

Our ILL dept. submitted a helpdesk ticket regarding an system error when trying to print the pick list in Marina.  Did a little digging and called Enoch Pratt since they are the first point of contact.

Ah the first usability test of the day – drove to our East Columbia branch.  Went very well.

Quickly grabbed some lunch.

Then downstairs to Customer Service for the second test of the day.  Again good feedback.

Came back upstairs and made a few tweaks to the new Intranet.

Then we drove over to our Miller branch for the third test of the day.  She was a ringer – got everything right off the bat and quick too!

Came back to Central.  Responded to a customer via email about their OverDrive problem.

Called Pratt again and got some more information about the problem with printing and ILL.  They will have to contact SirsiDynix.

Linked new blogger to the Contributors page on our blog, Highly Recommended.

Answered a staff member’s question about screen savers.

Started to make some changes to the MAILL (Maryland InterLibrary Loan) web site.

Played telephone tag with our HR dept. all day – tried one more time, she is now it.  (every time she called me I was on the phone – every time I called her she had stepped out of her office – maybe tomorrow?)

Home to crash – I NEED SLEEP!

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It’s a New Dawn, It’s a New Day

Don't let the sun go down on your grievances
Image by kevindooley via Flickr

…it’s a new life (or at least a new work life).

Arrived a bit early – unlocked the office.  Even though I didn’t have morning duties I still am the first person here so I unforward the helpdesk phone and swapped out the tapes from the Horizon and Authority Works severs.

Went downstairs to get my huge purple mug full of ice from the staff lounge.

The sun coming over the trees and the apartments next to the library caught my eye out the window of my ex-boss.  So I went into her empty office and snapped a shot.  Wasn’t my best but took it anyway.

Fired up by Ubuntu and Windows machines.  On Ubuntu I opened Tweetdeck, Thunderbird and Firefox.  Checked both work and Gmail – looked at the helpdesk tickets on our Staff Intranet.  Assigned them including two to myself.

Luis our network administrator called to say he was out today.  Had completely forgotten he had volunteered to chaperone his grandson’s field trip to Montpelier Mansion.  Emailed the rest of IT because invariable I was going to be asked at some point during the day, “Where’s Luis?”.  I suppose since I am mainly stationed at my desk I seem to know most people’s coming and goings.  I’ve become the unofficial IT secretary.  I joke about it being a pain and sometimes it is but I also like being reliable and knowing the answers to the whereabouts of my co-workers.

Approved a comment on my blog than updated my T is for Training Meme by including links to others that had answered the same questions I had.

Read email from Read/Write/Web and tweeted a few interesting bits.

Worked on the morning bounceback emails.  I often find these amusing since customers often hit reply instead of forward.  I wind up getting love notes meant for spouses or kids saying “Hey honey, do you still have this the library needs it back”.

Schedule another staff member for the usability testing or our new Intranet.  Think we have everyone set now.

Blogged about Monday’s Library Day in the Life.

Then the IT department met with Director of HR and our Deputy Executive Director.  They assured us that Amy’s departure would not effect our jobs, that they’d be posting her position ASAP as they knew with our new ILS migration coming we’d need someone to lead that and told us who our interim boss would be.  A familiar face – Holly Johnson who had been my boss when I was part of the Automation department.  Then Holly came and let us know she wants to make this as smooth as possible.

I went to her office and spoke with her privately about all the things that had gone on in our dept. over the past year.  It’s been a topsy-turvy one for us.  I told her she is getting a great team but maybe not at the best time.  We will recover, we will come together and get through this it’s just we are still a bit in shock at the moment.  I think she understands.

Worked on tweaking the usability tasks and survey.

Grabbed a quick lunch before the first usability test of the day.  Went quickly and if all our staff was like this person my job would be done.  She found almost everything with no problem.  However, I know that won’t be the case but she gave us good feedback.

Our web programmer and I went to our Savage branch to do the next usability test.  Results were interesting.  He also gave us good feedback.  Danny, our web programmer, and I got to talking about all the results so far (4 by then) and decided we wanted one more person before we made any changes to the site.  This would give us another round after the changes to see if the change helped or not.  So we made an unexpected stop at our East Columbia branch.  We asked the Customer Service supervisor to recommend one of her staff.  This helped to make up our minds about one change we had been waffling on.

We came back to Central Library to make the change and then it was time for me to head home.

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Yes or No?

One Lightbulb To Rule Them All
Image by armisteadbooker via Flickr

I just had one of those lightbulb moments.  So often I hear the words “I’m SOOOO busy” utttered where I work.  I’m sure that other folks hear them too.  It is a bit of a pet peeve with me.  To me saying that implies that YOU are busy but I AM NOT.  Which is not the case at all.  One man (or woman’s) perception of busy is a day off to another.

With that aside, onto my actual lightbulb moment.  I was responding to an email from a colleague.  I had asked them to review some content on our Staff Intranet.  They offered to make a few changes themselves.  I was thrilled and immediately replied.  I started off saying yes, by all means please make the changes I then added a sentence about all the stuff I was going to have to do with the new Staff Intranet when it hit me.   She probably didn’t care if I was busy or not.  A simple yes or no was what she was looking for.  So deleted the sentence and thanked her for her offer.

Some of you might think, well d’uh.  I knew that deep down but this is the first time I was the one going on about how busy I WAS when I truly realized how it must come across to others.  Now I know why when I hear those words it rubs me the wrong way.  They are usually a response to a question instead of a simple yes or no.

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Friday and Payday, What’s Not To Like? – Day 5

TGIF!  End to a full, long, interesting week.  One thing I really love about my job is the variety it affords me.  I never really know what will come my way each day.  Since this is the last day for documenting I thought I’d try something a little bit different.

Day 5

  • Pulled into the parking lot and entered the building. Annotated video on YouTube
  • Unforward phones, swap out tapes in the server room, checked Twitter, email and Staff Intranet. Annotated video on YouTube
  • Went to get ice for my green tea, turned on lights for the building, checked reserves and visited my book display on 40th Anniversary of the Moon Landing. Annotated video on YouTube
  • Back to the office to get down to business. Annotated video on YouTube
  • Uploaded the aforementioned videos to YouTube since they were too long to use on Flickr
  • Consulted with co-worker who was doing the morning duties.  She was getting bounced back to beginning page of her account in HIP.  Tried recreating it on my machine and she showed me on the Day End machine – still wasn’t able to recreate it.  Chalk it up to computer gremlins.
  • Typed up my blog for yesterday – Day 4
  • Got a phone call from the Glenwood branch manager regarding the email I had sent out asking them to cleanup the branch notices on Staff Intranet.
  • Since my boss was out on vacation, I assigned the IT staff to their day at our Admin office for next week and posted the notice on our Staff Intranet.
  • Uploaded my photos of my 40th Anniversary of the Moon Landing display to Flickr
  • Deleted notices for Glenwood branch manager per email she sent me (after phone conversation)
  • Worked on bounceback email notices – since this is such a tedious mind numbing job I decided to blip some Robert Palmer songs on blip.fm while I did this.  Having great music to listen to helps!
  • Bounce backs make me hungry so I went and popped some 94% fat-free popcorn
  • Checked the helpdesk tickets and assigned on to fellow IT-er
  • Downloaded Adobe Flash CS3 Professional to my Windows machine
  • Got a call from our Network Administrator who is on vacation in England (visiting his wife’s family) – just checking in with us to make sure things are okay
  • Installed Adobe Flash CS3 Professional on my Windows machine
  • Emailed staff member who submitted a helpdesk ticket.  Needed more information so I could solve her issue.  Consulted with web programmer to see if he had any suggestions but agreed we needed more info before we could proceed.
  • Children’s librarian came to my desk asking questions about burning music to a CD for children’s classes.  I pointed her to the FAQ on our Staff Intranet with great instructions and screen shots.
  • Got a call from HR dept. regarding publishing an announcement on our Staff Intranet.
  • Wrote another post for my blog – not related to Library Day in the Life
  • LUNCH finally seems I’ve been eating later and later this week
  • Children’s librarian came back up for some assistance with burning cd – went down and showed her how to add songs, delete ones you don’t want and move them so you get the order you want.
  • Analyzed current navigation and started documenting what different departments use on Staff Intranet in hopes that this will help us set up better navigation for the new version.
  • Got a follow up email from the staff member in regards to her helpdesk ticket.  Solution was a simple one – she needed to log in with username/password to access forms list.  Emailed her back and closed helpdesk ticket
  • Saw a Tweet from @julie and realized I had missed T is for Training podcast.  Logged into the chat area for the last 15 mins or so of the show.
  • Got a call from hubby that severe storm had blown down 2 trees (turned out to be just very large limbs not the whole tree) onto our garage which houses his precious baby, a 1960 MGA.
  • Took personal leave to go home and document damage for any insurance claims.