Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Complaints, Navigational Aids, and How to be Happy

Things I love about my job, in no particular order:

I do things. You know, things. I mean, I get in at 8-ish and I've got a list, a long one. And I know I'll be lucky if I knock half the things off before I leave at 5-ish or 6-ish. Sometimes I stress about these things and the knock-off-ability of them. The things matter, and if I don't knock them off, who will?

Today I left the office and thought, completely without irony, "Oh shit! I forgot to send all the tweets!"

"All the tweets" are to announce a website redesign. We do a website providing an interactive map of currently reported highway conditions on state highways in the state where I live. It is imperfect, gradually becoming less and less so. It is an unspeakable improvement over what we used to have. I am deeply involved, both culpable and creditable for what is wrong and right with the current site. I have never been so proud of anything in my life, even my children, who are great and all but seriously, for roadway information they are not much good. They seem to have difficulty sometimes finding the way to the kitchen from the bathroom. Kids these days!

I get to read all the complaints filed by the general public against the organization to which I belong. Some are valid. Some are not. Some are so screamingly hilarious that I might need adult diapers (not right now, but I could see this becoming a problem in the next several years).

Some complain about our website, and those are the ones I get to answer. There aren't many. I am not here to solicit more, but I do always get a big kick out of answering emails that say things like "Your website sucks and nothing works and you should all be shot!" Often, these are time-stamped 2:37 A.M. and in one case, a call to the complainant to discuss his problems was met with a complete lack of recollection. ("Wait, I said what?!") We call these "three-scotchers."

Other times, they have pretty informative feedback we've been able to incorporate into later redesigns. Or they may just be blowing off steam and frustration, understandably enough, and respond kindly to a good-natured email with an offer for future help (people can really be pretty awesome, by the way).

I could base a whole blog, if I weren't particular about keeping my job, on the kind of complaints that come in. Did you know that people complain that rumble strips along the edges of highways cause stress fatigue on their hands when they drive atop them for extended distances? Well, they do.

Poor me, I have a fulfilling job I really love and make a decent living at. Can't openly blog about the ridiculous things that sometimes happen there anymore. Is there a tiny violin in the house?

I ought to file a complaint.

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