this week has already been intense.
a serious lack of communication led to me running out of patience with my web developer.
it’s been over 90 days since they started development on the site. three weeks ago, they realized that it was going to be more involved than they originally thought, even though i explained in great detail what the site would need.
my project manager said i would get an update on things by the end of last week and that it would be completed by the end of october.
i tried to contact him last thursday. nothing. i contacted him again friday. nothing. i called him twice yesterday. nothing.
by 5p last night, erin’s patience were gone with the 30mph winds we had all day. gone, gone, gone. and replaced with a big ball of frustration.
here’s my question: is a simple piece of communication too much to ask for, especially when it’s already been offered?
and why was this happening to me? my guesses are 1) because i’ve been nice and patient since day one, and 2) because i’m a girl.
now, hang on. stop rolling your eyes at the girl remark. i am not one to throw out the sexist excuse, ever. and that’s not what this is. my thinking is that in business, sometimes guys do not expect girls to behave like guys: objective, straight forward and say what they mean.
since i was getting no response from my project manager, i opted to try for my second contact, the president of sales and the guy who was responsible for getting my business in the first place. typically, i try not and go over the head of my contact, but i think four attempts at reaching the guy was plenty.
my email was short and to-the-point. i explained that i was frustrated and gave him reasons why, all including the dates of the incidents.
october 4: met with “peter” about shopping cart and content editing. discovered that three components to site were not developed. also made a list of items that needed to be corrected/changed.
october 8: talked with “peter” about timeline and was told items would be changed within a week. was also told i would get status update by end of last week and that site would be complete by end of october.
october 18: emailed “peter” concerning status of site. no response.
october 19: emailed “peter” again about status of site. no response.
october 22: called “peter” at 8am, was told he would call me back in a couple of hours with an update. by 4pm, had not received said phone call and called him again, leaving him a message.
none of that, ‘i feel like you guys don’t care about me and my feelings are hurt’ crap that girls can sometimes do. that only works when it’s appropriate and towards a particular boy. duh.
and i did not apologize for any of it. i did say that it was unfortunate that the sales president had to receive this email, but it was a last option. because in reality, i’ve had it. where did patient and nice get me? 90+ days later, i’m still not online and i still can’t sell bagz. and there’s this little thing called holiday shopping that is right around the corner.
i feel that my deadline should be their deadline and i don’t think this is too much to ask. considering that i’ve done everything they have asked and been completely cooperative and patient for the entire experience, i think the least thing they can do is act like my deadline is important to them as well. oh, and communicate with me.
that is my biggest issue; the lack of communication. because really, the fact that it is taking so long would not be as aggrivating if i had any idea why, other than they dropped the ball on these three areas of the site. if i was kept in the loop on the status, i would probably be a lot less nervous about making shopping season and would still have some patience left.
instead. i’m frustrated and annoyed.
this morning, i got responses from both my project manager and the pres of sales. and guess what? i still have no status update. my PM told me that they do value my november deadline and that they are working as fast as they can on it. the sales guy took the blame for underestimating the complicity of my site and said he’d expedite this as much as possible.
what does that mean? will it be done tomorrow or in december? i replied to my PM that he has known exactly what i’m looking for since thursday and i expect an answer on the situation TODAY. i also informed him that this wasn’t too much to ask.
i told the sales pres that i wasn’t looking to blame anyone, i just wanted the site done and i wanted to know when that would happen. i also informed him that i would never have contacted him in the first place if i’d been kept in the loop.
no more mrs. nice lady. sorry boys, you are not dealing with june cleaver here. you now have xena: princess warrior on your hands. or warrior princess. like i know, i never watched that show. it reminded me of dr. quinn: medecine yuck and those shows should not have been watched by anyone under the age of 55. along with murder she wrote. i swear my television smelled like powder and moth balls at the first sign of their theme songs. moving on.
i am curious to see if i get more information by the end of today. i guarentee that the gloves are off and if it takes me annoying these guys to no end to get my site done, i’m willing to risk that. i’m not asking for much and i haven’t asked for much prior to this. but this is what you get when you keep a client in the dark: unhappy, frustrated, annoyed clients.
three things to take away from this experience:
1. when you tell someone you’ll do something (i.e. give them an update by a certain time), follow through and do it.
2. even if you can’t keep a deadline or don’t know the answer, communicate that to the client. telling them something is way better than nothing.
3. girls are tough and stand up for themselves. it’s not good to get on our bad side. we talk and it might get out.
i’ll keep you posted. i will for sure get some results.
and please watch this video. not only will you laugh out loud, but it’s a great example of what i’m talking about. a girl standing up for herself. to a warewolf. and nixon.
update: my PM got back to me at 3p today, informing me that the site, as a whole is 85% complete and the contest portion is 50% done. i’m supposed to see a live updated version thursday. thank you, xena.