Sunday, September 28, 2008

Handover

I'm tired. I'm stressed.

I won't pretend to hide it.

I'm pissed off at the system, thoroughly fed up of how things currently are - in my work, my life, and in many things around me.

Yet, still, most things are going fairly well...

I'm now the "AV manager", and discovering more and more how disorganised and messed up it is.

We have small forms in the drawer under the computer which are used during the sunday service on board, we give out the little forms, then people can fill them in if they want to, so that they can give to the weekly offering (usually to help a local ministry, or work in India, or similar) direct from their on board account, rather than having to use cash.

Anyway, this morning, the guy running the service came up and asked for them.. We had 10. Not good enough! So, I told him a few ideas of who he could ask for more, but this was at half an hour before the service, on a Sunday Morning. Not the best time to go looking for people to do random work like that.

We need to have once a week or so someone to check how many we have, say on a Friday, and then to get at least 200 before the Sunday morning.

Not a big deal, right?

Well, no, not a problem at all. Just the problem is that there are *hundreds* of little issues like this. Every day. And *NONE* of them are written down. When I started, there were no current weekly checklists or anything.

I don't want to become a lists and rules based dictator, but how on earth else do you manage to get everything done that needs to be?

When I took over this job, there was maybe 1 hour of discussion between me and the predecessor about stuff, but none of these little details were noted. Each day day I find mord

And it was the same thing when I became waterman, 2 years ago. There's no consistancy! As soon as people leave, things get dropped.

It's why ships tend to have such strict and over the top and detailed procedures - everything gets written down.

Anyway. It's just intensely frustrating. I'm so bad at admin, so weak at organisation, so forgetful about details, so easily overwhelmed by situations, so inexperienced at leadership, so unknowledgeable about everything technical I should know about, so young!

I guess in one way it's kind of exciting. I mean, whoopee! So much stuff to learn! So much I can improve!

Yet it's kind of hard to say that and not at least have some irony and sarcasm in it too.

Yes, it's good to be stretched and have all this improvement to do, but at the same time, it's "live". We're not playing with blank bullets. Every round is for real.

Every time I start a video playing in a programme, it's not school, not training. People are in the programme, watching, and notice if things don't work.

The audience have paid, usually. The programme organiser has spend hours arranging everything, and if I screw up, it's her work that gets ruined.

Trying to set priorites, and figure out what actually is realistic and achievable...

And then how to make sure it happens. And each day discovering more things which have got dropped and then not only do we need to carry it, but we have to stop, pick it up, clean it, do repairs on it, and then start carrying it again.

I could go on. My list of current frustrations and things we're doing badly is pretty much endless.

And I know I'm a perfectionist, but this isn't perfectionism.. This is realism.

  • Wireless Microphone Batteries Dying mid-show
  • Cables going glitchy
  • Videos playing during rehearsal but then refusing to play in performance
  • Audio levels on all videos being different and needing constant riding
  • Audio patch-panels/jackfields acting
  • The trash not getting taken every day
  • The room looking a mess all the time
  • Cables not getting fixed or taken out when they break

Those are all itty bitty technical details. But they effect almost every programme we do.

And why?! Why have they not been fixed? And how can they be fixed easily, or at least dealt with, or worked around?

Well, they can. But we're lacking any way to report problems, to deal with them, or do anything in a purposeful or directed way.

And it's not just about technical details. Those are the easiest for me to see - of course - and those are the bits that are our job. From a programme side, this show up as mics dying unexpectedly, feedback, disruption, long pauses, lack of flow and professionalism, etc, etc, etc.

And we've all become so accepting of it! And that's wrong. We cannot accept crap, when we are capable of beauty, and if we're not capable of exquisite complex beauty, then we must simplfy until what we do is excellent at that level.

There's so much attitude and team thinking that has to change too, and just as soon if not before the technical bits can get solved. I really am trying to focus on the people, in the team and those we work with/for, and that's a topic for a whole other post, or possibly whole other blog. So I'll just stick with the technical day to day bits today.

Everything is so reactive. Like the offering forms this morning. Having problems show up, and then deal with them.

Honestly, we - the ship - has been doing programmes for so long now that ALL of these things should have become non-issues. And once we can get out of this constanct scrambling to pick up the pieces of something that's just exploded, or running around like headless chickens to stop something from exploding, then we can actually start enjoying it, and being creative and actually going somewhere positive and improving.

But man, it's tiring right now.

3 comments:

Kris said...

I understand. And I'm sorry. Rest assured, the rest of the world does not operate so scatteredly all the time...something to look forward to in a couple of years. Meanwhile, I admire your persistence! Who's your team now?

Sue said...

big hugs from Larnaka (where it's RAINING!) XXXX

Bridget said...

Everything is CRRRAAAAAAP.
(Including this computer which just lost the comment I already typed.)
I miss Ussi. Despite the fact I never actually met him. His legacy is living on though. :)