Experience

I’ve seen enough change to know that more will come
-Gloria Steinem

I’m looking for work again. I am a lot calmer about it than I have been in the past, because I realize I have successfully found work so many times before I can trust myself to do it again.

There is a name for that:
Experience

I have a lot of experience now. I’m not entirely comfortable with that, because it would be very comforting to look over my shoulder and ask someone else how to do this. It’s just…I’m that someone now.

One thing I’m good at after all these years is working with people remotely. That’s another hot trend right now “working remote” It means everyone is on their homes.

But it also has another meaning. When I am in my employer’s office building in California and I need to work with a coworker who is in DC, I am assisting remotely. I’ve had to do this kind of cooperation for all kinds of global work.

My work has to do with physical equipment, network connection and audio and video signals on each side. And very few of those things can I check remotely, only the network and that only a little.

Across time zone and language barriers, with the stress of the High up Executives wanting this all to work, I have to talk to my colleagues in all the other sites at the other end of the meeting and get it working. I have to trust the person who is there.

I know the equipment. I know which lights blink and how it all is cabled together. But I am not there. They are. I have to hear what they are telling me.

Even when it seems impossible and wrong.

But if my colleague is on the phone with me, describing the lights and the cables, I have to believe he is sincere. I’ve talked janitors into re-cabling entire systems for me. If we stay on the phone and trust each other it comes out all right.

I have heard stories that sound impossible. I know for sure how these systems work!

But I learned to listen. To ask questions and hear what my colleagues are saying. To trust them and ask again and again until we figured it out.

And we always figured it out. Because I did know how the systems worked. And they were telling me what they heard and saw.

Sometimes there were very big language and communication barriers. But I learned to use better words and be more precise. And to get confirmation from the remote colleague that she understood what I was asking.

There were a lot of tense moments, but every single time we did it. We just had to keep talking.

I’m thinking about that right now in my country. We are very politically divided. I am at home without a job and I’m feeling discouraged.

But I have experience. I’ve experienced how it can work out. We just have to keep working it. We’ll get there.