Wednesday, May 24, 2006

All Show and No Go

Does Wichita Falls actually have falls, I was asked?

Why, indeed they do.

The district training experience was... interesting. I like how our PowerPoint presentation announces in big exciting letters that the software we work with is "carrying us into the future!"

The accompanying graphic is a picture of the Apollo moon lander.

Part of me desperately wants to pull the PowerPoint apart, redo it with lots of flashy modern graphics and a few bullshit statistics thrown in to make it look legitimate, and glibly run through it with confidence and charisma. This is the way we did sales presentations where I used to work, after all; the idea being that the client wouldn't catch on that we were "all show and no go" until long after the dotted line was signed. But I'm not sure that even Tiffany would have the ovaries to sell this.

Fortunately, none of our audience actually were being asked to pay anything (except of course through taxes), so we weren't driven out by enraged hecklers.

We have really got to modernize, though, because this is ridiculous. I think my coworker has been giving that same presentation for eleven years, since the software was implemented; all the slides refer to what's new and exciting about it, and how it's a great improvement over drawing stuff out by hand. There are several screenshots with pretty, high-tech green letters on a black background. Still many of the younger members of the audience seemed unimpressed.

I really may redo that presentation with more of a focus on "here's how to use this old crap until we can come up with something better" - a bit more tactfully worded, perhaps, but you get the idea. I'm good at giving presentations. Maybe I can sell the "ready, set, retire!" crowd on the idea that the mainframe is not cutting-edge these days.

Actually I doubt even Tiffany could manage that one.


At May 24, 2006 9:55 PM, Anonymous b.R. said...

Love the falls. You just answered a question I've been asking for years. You really do learn something new every day.

At May 25, 2006 9:18 AM, Blogger Beth said...

"You really do learn something new every day."

Even working for the State!


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