Today I was met with a unique challenge: Finding out exactly how many different ways I can say I Don’t Know without having to just come right out and say I Don’t Have A Fucking Clue.
I’m pretty much the Software Administrator in all but name for the Engineering Department – my boss still has that title, but I’ve been assured that the paperwork in is process to transfer that to me. As such, all the responsibility for following, tracking and – in some cases – enforcing the software licenses falls to me. Eventually, I’ll even have to be the one to purchase software – but this won’t happen for a while.
It should also be noted – as this will be fairly important later on in this tale – that another group, GIS, recently was added to our own. They aren’t part of Engineering as such, but they do report to my boss… Their stuff is still theirs, and I have nothing to do with it. In fact, my boss has made a point of keeping me out of that arena, as it’s still pretty messy and he’s not figured out what he wants done with all of it yet.
Well, this morning, I got a phone call from ISD’s software group, asking about Kari, one of the GIS people. Mostly, if she was in.
“I don’t know”
Undaunted, the lady on the other end of the phone proceeded to attempt to explain something about some software license, and the need to finish up a purchase order to renew it, and something else about it being all kinds of complicated and complex, and did I know anything about it.
“Not really, no. I’m not really in the loop on that.”
It went on like this for a while – her bringing up more and more detail, my denying any and all knowledge of anything having to do with this product, or it’s users, or the terms under which it may have been purchased or used. There was mention of it not being listed under the software that I manage, which I said was explained because it’s not something that I manage. There was mention of my role as the Engineering Software Administrator, or at least the Software Contact, which was deflected by my pointing out that they aren’t Engineering, and they do their own thing – reporting only to my boss. At some point in the conversation, she was joined on the line by her cohort. A double dose of questions about something that, frankly, is not my problem or responsibility!
I was getting frustrated, as were they. Finally, I just gave in – “I don’t know anything about this software. It’s not mine, I don’t use it, I don’t even really talk to either of the GIS people. They are new, and never around. My boss handles them – he keeps me out of it. I don’t know what is going on with it, I don’t know why I’m not part of it, and I don’t know if there are any future plans. I don’t know if either of them are in, but I do know they have voice mail and would be far more able to help you than I can.”
That – finally – got them to realize that I was a dead end, and tired of trying to help. There was mutterings about my lack of help, about mentioning to my boss that I needed to be brought in on this, and that they’d try the others in GIS…
Why couldn’t they have done that in the first place, I wonder.
And, of course, the answer is I don’t know.