Two years ago I was assigned to a project in JB. (This was when Sheryl was still working in JB and we made plans to meet up but never did.) The customer is one of our toughest. It was the only project where I had to redo hardware testing a few times, just because the customer was not satisfied with my installation forms.
Besides the customer, the project team was also tough. There were two ladies in the team, Mrs. S and me. The rest were stubborn, impatient and not so gentle men. Miscommunication was our everyday issue. Many things were delayed, certain things had to be redone and most of us had to travel back and forth, KL-JB, KL-JB, a few times in a month.
I was in no position to criticize the whole team, but I think it could have been managed a lot better.
The messiest unfortunate event happened after I have completed my hardware configuration and was about to schedule for handover with the customer. It was a huge misunderstanding caused by miscommunication between the stubborn guys. Well, the guys scheduled a major configuration change in the middle of the night without warning the rest of the project team, me especially. Mrs. S and I were always being left out when it came to ‘strategizing’. Perhaps the guys thought that we’re such a pain in their asses, thus we were not informed about that night’s plan. Yeah, it was one of those back door solutions they decided to apply in order to correct some mistakes they realized a bit too late.
So, the guys’ secret mission caused my server and database configuration to go haywire, I woke up the next morning greeted by my customer's scream on the phone. I had to spend the next day to recover everything. At one point I was in tears for I had to redo things that took weeks to complete in just 4 hours. I didn’t take lunch or drink anything the whole afternoon and held my breath many times while praying each component would work again. I managed to recover the system at 7.30pm and decided to just return to KL that night and postpone the acceptance test.
While I was recovering the system, the whole project team didn’t even dare to come near me. I didn’t look at them in their eyes. They bought me drinks and snacks which I didn’t touch. I just let them swim in their own guilt. I heard a few of them ‘sok-sek-sok-sek’ behind the cubicles but I just ignored it.
That night, before I headed back to KL the stubborn and not so gentleman guys decided to ‘belanja’ me. Predictable, kan? That’s what every other guy would do to ‘buy’ your ‘jiwa’ back, lah. So, during dinner, one of the guys apologized profusely for their stupid secret mission. I punched their shoulders - not in a friendly manner. Luckily it was not their faces. (Can you imagine how does a size 16 woman's punch feels like? Naaaah, you don't wanna imagine it.)
I managed to handover the hardware 2 months later as a result of that stupid mission that made the customer decided to inspect and re-evaluate the whole implementation. Thank you team mates.
I must have been the happiest woman on earth when the project was finally concluded.
Well, that was before I received a notification last week that I’ve been assigned to a new project with this same customer, upgrading the equipment we delivered 2 years ago. This time with a whole new, blurry eyed, grief stricken looking group of guys as my team mates. This time, I'm the only lady in the project team.... *sigh*
The old project team members were laughing their asses off while wishing me luck for ‘tercampak kembali ke lubuk yang amat dibenci.'