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Hurry Up!…and Wait

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stressed businessmanOne of the things that I can’t stand–and I’m sure I’m not alone in this–is that feeling of “hurry up and wait” for anything. I hate having to rush only to find that I have to wait for a long time. I feel like I’ve been in this mode for a long time, so perhaps I should be used to it by now, but I guess I never am. I suppose it’s part of that “instant gratification” that many expect, and I’m no different. It makes it all the more difficult when it’s something that’s out of your control.

I started my new job on 3 January. It’s good so far. But there’s not much to say, even after slightly more than a week. Out of a week, I’ve only actually worked a day and a half so far. I went to the home office for a half day, and all seemed to go okay, but due to some paperwork that hadn’t been done (not my fault), I couldn’t get my ID card, which allows me to use the company computer and network. Okay, that’s no problem. I had my basic orientation, and then lunch, and then I got to go home early. I was given two business days off, and I was scheduled so that I could go in for another day when I could get my ID done, do some training, get my computer set up, and then I could continue some of my training at home, where I would just be able to start playing with the CMS so that I got comfortable using it before really starting in with the work. The training went fine. The CMS I have to use is relatively straightforward, and I just have to familiarize myself with the ins-and-outs of it better, and become more familiar with the content. It’s an internally created CMS, so there’s no way for me to brush up on it as if it were SharePoint, Adobe CQ, or some other CMS out there on my own. I just have to play with it a bit directly.

The problem that day was that I still couldn’t get my ID card. There’s only one person in the company that makes the ID cards, and she couldn’t be tracked down. We found her back-up, but then he said that the computer wasn’t working right. I felt really bad for my manager, as I could see him keep his cool while simultaneously having his face turn beet red. He was not happy, and I could understand why. He was frustrated. I was too, because I’m just so ready to get started and dig in! But again, it was something that was out of our control, so there was no use in getting too worked up about it.

Later that day, we tried a back door login on my computer laptop that would bypass needing the ID, and allow me the access I needed. It seemed to work so my manager put the laptop on “hibernate,” thinking that the login would hold until I could plug the machine into an outlet at home. Yes, you guessed it, it didn’t work. And to get the back door recovery password again, I had to go through the help desk, and the help desk would email the password to my manager’s boss. The problem was that the manager’s boss wasn’t forwarding the email to me to use. (She’s a busy lady, after all.) I’m frustrated, but again, there’s nothing that I can do. I’ve taken advantage of the time to write an article for the STC-Philadelphia Metro Chapter that I was asked to write, and catch up on some curation, but it’s not doing work. I’m not angry at my manager or anything like that. I’m just angry at red tape getting in the way.

So, after all this time, as I said, there’s not much to report about the new job just yet. I haven’t done enough to really get into it to say, “Ooh, this is something that much be a new trend,” or anything like that about content management or content strategy. It’s still “hurry up and wait” mode for me. After waiting a year to get a job, and then waiting more than a month to actually work, I’m just a little frustrated. I like the people I am working with, I like the company so far, and I think I’m going to like the work as well, once I can really get more involved. But understandably, I’m human, I’m tired of waiting, at this point. I wait as patiently as I can, because I know the payoff will be worth it. It’s all out of my hands, and I’m hoping when I go back for training this week, it can all be straightened out.

When it comes to corporate red tape, I know none of this is unusual by any stretch of the imagination. I guess what I don’t understand is how–whether it’s this global company, or any other national or global company that I’ve ever worked for (and I’ve worked for quite a few)–that the process isn’t more streamlined than it is. How many of us have walked in the first day, and the computer isn’t set up, network access administration hasn’t been done, and you can’t get started? Now, on the first day, it is nerve-wracking enough, so it doesn’t have to be the first day exactly, but who doesn’t want a new employee to be able to start immediately with training or doing the work by having everything ready to go? Like I said, I don’t blame my new managers or anything like that. I can see they are frustrated by the red tape as well. It is out of their control as well, and I get that.

I guess the good part is that my new manager and other co-workers are excited to have me get started and flex my tech comm muscles! I think expectations are high, which is a little intimidating and slightly overwhelming, but I’m sure in time, as I get deeper into the actual work, it’ll all become more second nature. At least I have the security of knowing I have the job, and there’s lots to do! I’ve been told that I already have a lot being sent to my company e-mail for things I need to do, and I’m ready to get started!  But first, I need that all-critical computer access to the CMS and the network. Until I go back for more training in a couple days, I just have to hurry up…and wait some more.


Danielle M. Villegas is a technical communicator who currently employed at Cox Automotive, Inc., and freelances as her own technical communications consultancy, Dair Communications. She has worked at the International Refugee Committee, MetLife, Novo Nordisk, BASF North America, Merck, and Deloitte, with a background in content strategy, web content management, social media, project management, e-learning, and client services. Danielle is best known in the technical communications world for her blog,, which has continued to flourish since it was launched during her graduate studies at NJIT in 2012. She has presented webinars and seminars for Adobe, the Society for Technical Communication (STC), the IEEE ProComm, TCUK (ISTC) and at Drexel University’s eLearning Conference. She has written articles for the STC Intercom, STC Notebook, the Content Rules blog, and The Content Wrangler as well. She is very active in the STC, as a former chapter president for the STC-Philadelphia Metro Chapter, and is currently serving on three STC Board committees. You can learn more about Danielle on LinkedIn at, on Twitter @techcommgeekmom, or through her blog. All content is the owner's opinions, and does not reflect those of her employers past or present.

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