Broken Vendor promises-Cisco

I have used lots of Cisco equipment in my previous jobs. They have been a mixed bag. Some things lasted a long time, and others were useless the day they were installed and didn’t change. This is one of those times.

A company I worked with had spent tens of thousands of dollars on Cisco equipment in an effort to improve their infrastructure. Cisco promised them that it would work with the addition of some software. Great. The company after buying and installing the product then found out that the software was in beta. Oops! It took months for it to come out of beta status. Then the software of the product they bought was “experimental” and not supported. So they upgraded their software hoping it would work. Guess what? It did not work.

So when you have broken vendor promises at the start of any project, then is the time to cancel the project. When someone can break a promise, they will do it again, as Cisco continued to do. Just do this and it will work-nope. It is better to recognize your mistake and back out, then try to make a bad situation work.

Now for the company, myself and everyone involved Cisco has a black eye, and I felt compelled to write this to share and warn you as well. When a company has bad service there are real consequences and I have no problem showing the company those consequences. If I had owned the company that equipment would have been returned the moment they first admitted a problem.

So what can you do if you are stuck and you can’t return equipment? You just tell the vendor and whomever you bought it again that you won’t do business with them again. I know I won’t, and eventually karma does catch up.

Stories from My Past: Don’t tell anyone ok?

It is not easy for anyone to be respected in a job. Even though someone has the experience and desire to do a good job, you often have to prove yourself when you come to an office. So it is no surprise that I have noticed that many women feel they have to be “tough” and just like men to get ahead in the business world. There is a point to me saying this, just be patient.

Stories from My Past: Don't tell anyone ok?I was talking with a coworker and she let it inadvertently slip that she was sponsoring a child from a developing nation. I probably made a silly joke that she responded to without thinking. Anyway once she realized that I knew she told me “Don’t tell anyone ok?” I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone, but was curious and asked her why. Her response surprised me even more.

“If people knew I was sponsoring a child, they would think I was rich and getting paid alot.” she said.

“So let me get this straight I said.,” I said. “Don’t tell anyone you are a good person so they think your just a tough no nonsense woman right”

“Exactly.,” she said.

I never told anyone. I thought it was fascinating that when people act tough they don’t give others the chance to be weak as well. One of the things I have learned in IT is that everyone has computer problems, no matter how knowledgeable you are. Even I have IT problems that aren’t immediately obvious. I find the solution, but having a problem doesn’t mean you are less of a professional.

In an interview, or really anytime you deal with anyone else you have to show you are human and have weaknesses. When an interviewer asks what my weaknesses are I sincerely say “How much time do you have?” They usually laugh, but knowing your faults is part of what makes you effective. You not only have to push yourself to grow, but also know your limitations. When I sense there is a limitation that is best addressed by someone else, I tell them. I am not the answer to everything, and I don’t have to be.