I get all types of reactions on my blog posts. Some people give me strong words of encouragement to continue with exactly what I’m doing, while others think I’m entirely off-base. I do realize the comments I get strongly tend to come based on my own background and writing style. The bottom line is that I’m one of “those negative technical people.”
What I mean is this – I’m more a technical person than a sales or marketing person. I’m paid to solve problems. So, what I tend to see are problems. People give me lots of problems and my work focuses around those problems. As such, my writing and the focus of my business trend toward moaning about problems, talking about how to avoid problems, and the words “problems,” “bugs” and “issues” probably come up fairly frequently in my writing.
While it’s not true in all cases, technical people tend to come across as abysmally negative and sales people as nauseatingly positive. That’s why we hold our respective jobs – we work in areas that fit our personalities.
Also, consider this – part of my business lies in getting people initially working with their systems, either selecting them or implementing them, and in those cases I’m the first company customers think of – I love being the first on customer’s minds! However, the other part of my business is to clean-up the messes others have left. When customers feel they have nowhere else to go, don’t think they’ve been treated right, or have a horrible mess of a system that they can’t use or maintain, they call me. In this second case, there’s not a lot of cheer to be had. It’s not that easy to fix a big mess. Sometimes, there isn’t enough money to do it – just enough to make things less awful. Even with that, I’m satisfied being the person customers think of WAY after the fact – the implementation janitor, basically. Hey, it pays the bills AND I do like the feeling that I’ve made things better for those customers, so I’m not opposed to this kind of work.
In any case, I foresee that I’ll continue to get some mix of what I call “desperation” projects along with the more cheerful ones. As such, I’m sure I’ll continue to see problems and, as such, will continue to write about them.
And for those of you who claim that there’s no such thing as a “problem” that they’re all “opportunities,” well, my guess is that you’re in sales or marketing! 😉
5 Thoughts to “This Negative Technical Person”
I guess being a sales and marketing professional my entire career makes me orient the way I do. While reading your blog I kept hearing in my head “No, Gloria. You do not just see problems, you deliver solutions!” OK, so this is a positive (hopefully not nauseatingly so) spin on what you have written but I do feel it is valid. People pay you to recognize the problems and the FIX them. So, again develop and deliver solutions is what you do.
One parting thought. Even though you see problems everywhere and this makes you feel like a negative person, at least you do not have to create Fear, Uncertainly, and Doubt to get your job done. Sometimes, in sales, this is exactly what we have to do to get customers to move forward. And I’m not really sure what that makes us. I guess the answer is sales people!
Yes, I am ducking and covering now…
They’re not bugs, they’re features! 😉
I think successful businesses can straddle both worlds. I think a good mixture of sweet and sour is what is needed. The advantages of having a company with a broad mix of people is that you can cover both ends and all points in between. The challenge for the small or single person firm is to do the same. I think you can do that if you partner with others who can bring things to the table that you cannot bring by yourself. Easier said than done but if it were easy… you know the story.
Gloria, what you see is not a negative, it is an opportunity for improvement.
Adding to a system to prevent future problems, or adding improvements to a system to get better & more timely information are not negatives.
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