Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Venting (Ignore if you don't want to read a post that is riddled with complaints)

AAAHHHHH! I hate it when people commandeer projects without having a clue why things are being done a certain way!

We have created an online survey for our project. The region has a population of over 250,000 people and we have had a total of 109 people take the survey so far. Pathetic. We have done out reach through the media and our committee members multiple times yet are numbers are dismal. We clearly need to take another approach. I have recommended a number of times that we should offer an incentive that will be free to us and could increase traffic for local businesses, i.e. offer coupons to a restaurant or shop. My restaurant I worked at was interested and I'm sure we could talk my boss at the engineering firm (who also partially owns a restaurant) would be interested. People liked the idea except the client and so the idea was dismissed. Now everyone is scrambling to find ideas to increase the participation rate for this survey. We were suppose to close out the survey this week but we can't until we have a better population sample. This problem is now going to push back our project schedule by a minimum of a month if not more.

So we had a meeting last Friday to kick around more ideas to improve the participation rates. Some people just wanted to continue with the same approach that we have been using which I believe will just piss everyone (media and committee members alike). So I came up with what I think is a much better solution. My city will be hosting our regions largest tourism event of the year in the next couple of weeks. This event brings people from all over the place, giving us access to a wide range of people (demographically and spatially). We would set up a booth where people could take a paper version that would be shorter than our online version (so it would be less than 7 mins to take instead of 15 mins), which would than enter them into a grand prize. An Ipad, kindle, something. We would also give out a choice of a magnet, sticker, recycleable grocery bag for just taking the survey. The booth would also provide us with an opportunity to educate the public through posterboards, brochures, etc. We would have a maximum of two volunteers, who would be knowledgeable enough to answer questions regarding the project and ways to get involved. Makes sense right? Everyone seemed to be on board so I began to work with our boss to finalize the plan and put it into action. Great.

Fast forward to today.

My boss and I met with our marketing department to find out what freebies we currently had available to use as giveaways and to also run the idea past them to make sure we weren't forgetting anything. They had a lot of great comments, however recommend that we see if we could set up computers to take the original survey. At first thought I like the idea, but then with the thought of dealing with IP address restrictions of the survey, potential weather issues, theft, time to set up, the length of time of the original survey along with another slew of reasons, we all agreed to scrap that idea and stay with the paper survey idea. Yes, doing it in paper form will cost us time to collect the data, but we can get more people taking a 7minute paper survey (More people can take it at the same time) than a 15 minute survey (Confined to the number of computers we have at the booth). When my boss and I left the meeting, he told me to go ahead and start shortening the survey (I took the original survey and split into three different surveys so we could have a more random sampling of questions taken). It took me three hours but I got it done and was in the process of putting it is a final format when I saw an email, sent out by one of our modelers (Not involved in the morning's conversation), go out to our IT department requesting 2 Ipads to take the full length survey on. He wants to send two people out to walk the crowd and read the survey to people.

So I walked over and went to find out why we were going back from using the paper form. He attended a meeting with the client where our boss discussed the idea. The boss didn't give out details of how the survey was going to be done so the modeler just took it upon himself (with the help of my troll of a project manager) to get the ball rolling. Although I appreciate the effort, the boss never indicated that he was assigning him this task, afterall this guy is so over his head in work that he barely has time to go to lunch, so why would he give him this task when at best he is going to half-ass it. I explained the conversation that had taken place already between the boss and I and how I had already been working on the project for most of the day and it was nearing completion. No big deal right? Instead he tries to fight me tooth and nail on the issue. Seriously, I was told this is a done deal and to proceed. He had no idea that we are doing a giveaway, no idea that we cannot get a power source at the booth, no idea that we were not allowed a tent over the booth, no idea that the boss and I have hashed out the details, or that we are not allowed to walk around the event and survey people like he wanted to do. On top of that he forgot that the way the survey is set up, reading the questions and potential answers would be a nightmare. The survey taker would have to read it themselves. Plus who wants to be approached by a surveyor? Not me. I would rather come up to a booth and explore it at my own pace.

It will be more interactive this way. That's what he said. If the two volunteers are busy running a survey with a person, who is going to be available to answer questions and encourage people to take the survey? I don't see this as "interactive" at all. And personally, I don't want to "interact" with a stranger for 15 minutes when I could be eating carnival food or riding rides.

Man am I fired up!! I hate wasting time, I'm tired of people not even giving my ideas a chance, and I'm tired of the disorganization of this department. Everyone is so use to nobody being in the leadership role that everyone just goes off and does things on their own without consulting anyone else. Their is a complete lack of team work and communication. It may be the hormones but it still doesn't change my mind about wanting to leave. Oh great now I'm going from complete anger to wanting to ball my eyes out. I hate that this place does this to me. I know not every job is perfect but there has to be something better than this.

Ooh and the other thing that got me fired up is having to endure a 5 minute conversation about how my boss's church (he's on the board or in some decision making role) is thinking about closing it's doors and moving to the suburbs because they are starting to get people from the surrounding neighborhood who have (gasp) tattoos and piercings. Oh my god!! Seriously this just chaps my ass! Isn't it more important that they are attending to be closer to god? Gotta love all that judgement.

1 comment:

R said...

Bunch of jerks. You're right - no one wants to interact with a surveyor for 15 minutes at a fun event. It'll just prove you right when the plan doesn't work, not that that's helpful right now...

I have work issues right now, too, thought not as bad as yours. Hang in there. At least you're pregnant, right?!