By: Hannah Peerbolt, Property Manager
Last week a few members of our staff went to a training conference out of town. I thought I’d share with you my experience in one of the sessions so you can catch a glimpse of what we do here to keep up with the latest technology in order to serve our tenants and owners better.
I consider myself an intelligent person, but the moment I walked into this particular session I knew I was in way over my head…
My first clue was that the instructor had an over-complicated IT title and a maniacal grin on his face knowing what he was about to put us through. He started off quickly and straight to the point:
“As you move through this report, go through and tell it what position you want the character as a variable in the text. After the first loop, you would have the output account number; the charge type will have MH assist in it. The second time through the report will strip off the pipe character. Rinse and repeat.”
I pretend to comprehend and follow along on my laptop, typing words I’ve never used in the same sentence. The session goes on, going downhill as the disconnect between speaker and crowd grows larger.
People are looking disoriented and confused; he’s claiming that he spent a lot of time covering template import and export and no one dares disagree. I personally don’t know what he has and has not spent time on as I float through the session in a daze, keeping up with the rare familiar word that comes up once every twenty minutes… Report. Customer. Unit. These words jolting me back into reality while offering hope that there is possibly a subject in this session that I am able to grasp.
The room is still and quiet, not one mouth speaking a question though our minds are reeling with them. Eight people have walked out and I am convinced the rest of us are here out of politeness and to save face. He hasn’t talked in five minutes, he’s focused on creating these reports like I focus on tacos. Ten people gone. He cracks a smile and we laugh nervously. He is starting a report that he does not have a template for. Adding in tenant charges as a unique ID (which he assures us can be whatever we want it to be), he is now trying to match up a report that he has previously exported. He claims that we got “most of the information” and we all blindly believe him, because really, which one of us would dare to call the master out? He says this is the most complex script in the software and laughs with pride. We are now smiling mostly out of fear as he walks us through this script.
The script in question is three pages long. The usefulness of this report is questionable as he is discussing writing checks to each and every city that could possibly be involved in your life. Can you write separate checks? Absolutely. But why would you do that when you have the opportunity to use the most difficult and complex script in the software? Twelve bodies have now left the room. I look around nervously as my typing is the only sound in the room. I thank God I am wearing glasses as they are the only thing remotely connecting me with this elite group of humans who remain in the room. My head hurts. Organized large variables are being created on the screen and I’m searching my brain for information I don’t have in order to back this up and understand a tiny morsel of what the man is saying.
At this point, 15 people have vacated the room and I am about to follow. Counting down the minutes left, I plan my escape. I walked out right before Q and A as not even I have the stamina to endure what was sure to be either the most awkward human speech encounter of all time or the most intellectual conversation known to man…