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I can't do my job

(10 Posts)
ethelb Mon 16-May-16 19:40:42

I started a new job 2 days ago. It is v similar to jobs I have had before and according to the job description uses lots of my skills. It is in a freelance capacity, but I had an interview for a permanent role this morning. Not heard back about the outcome yet...

Unfortunately, I just can't do it. The system they use is simply impossible. I spent 6hours over Friday and today trying to fix something very, very minor and it is still not fixed. I went to my line manager twice to explain that I had tried everything I could think of, researched fixes online, and simply can not do it. He was not interested and a bit baffled that I had come to him about it.

I did figure out how to do one very basic process on it and once I had figured it out it took me 1.5 hours to do a job, that in previous roles has taken me 10-20 minutes max.

Being unable to use the system means I simply haven't got anything done so I feel I am just wasting my time, as I just

Just for the record I have used other systems in this line of work before and while they took a bit of getting used to, I always got to grips with them to the point of being asked to train other people in them.

It was completely unclear to me when I took on the role that noone else in my team would know how to use the system, that the system would be unusable and that I wouldn't receive any training on it but that people would ask me to do some quite complex things on it from day 0.

I have always had cursory inductions in how to use systems which 1. they clearly don't want to offer me and 2. couldn't even if they wanted to as noone else there can use the system. The only person who could left two weeks ago.

I really, really want to just quit but I am currently unemployed as my last contract ended a month ago, and it seems stupid to quit a good, well paying job I can do on paper over what should be a simple technical issue.

But I simply can't even begin to do this job at a very, very basic level.

BusStopBetty Mon 16-May-16 20:23:01

Is there a training course available? You need to ask for formal training ASAP.

Can you say what system it is?

ethelb Mon 16-May-16 20:29:34

Rhythmyx CMS. It is seriously old. And his been set up oddly. I honestly think the only way I could get training is if they bought the old editor back ad a consultant.

The online help forum looks like it was last updated in 2014.

It has really knocked my confidence. Im normally very good at this and it never occurred to me this would even begin to be an issue.

oldestmumaintheworld Mon 16-May-16 20:36:25

Firstly, its only been two days so give yourself a break. It takes about three months to feel really comfortable in any new job and at least a month to be able to do more than find the loo on your own, so stop worrying.

Secondly, this is the time to ask for a one-to-one with your line manager.

Explain that the system is very old (why haven't they kept it up to date by the way - sorry just being nosy), that in order to do your job effectively and give them value for money you need training on it and when can this be organised?
Be very matter of fact about it and let your manager answer the question.

Did you know what the system was before you started?

ethelb Mon 16-May-16 20:58:53

Ok, I was told what the system was when I interviewed for the freelance role. I hadn't heard of it, they warned me it was old and decrepit but that if I was used to learning new systems (which I am) then it would be fine.

I feel I was very naive.

They are planning on updating it in a couple of months and part of the role would be overseeing that. But until that happens, and these things are always delayed.

Every time I ask a question or state I can't do something I am told to refer to the v vauge handover notes which don't cover 90% of what I am being asked to do.

I don't think they could offer training if they wanted to. I feel like they have created my role (it is new) to hand over a problem they couldn't deal with themselves.

They are all perfectly nice and pleasant, but I feel quite mislead. And I can't do it anyway.

oldestmumaintheworld Mon 16-May-16 21:10:15

Maybe you were naïve, but so have we all been at one time or another.

So, the system is very old, they don't know how it works and they have no-one else apart from you who can learn how to use it. I think you are right they probably did want someone to hand the problem onto and that's you. But don't worry about it. You are clearly a quick learner having done so before and yes, this one will be a bit more challenging and take longer to learn, but that's ok. They have no-one else so your position is secure. They can't expect you to crack it in five minutes flat and I'm sure they don't.

I suspect you feel like you ought to be coping a bit better, but seriously take it easy. You can only do what you can do. It will take longer but in the end it will be fine. Get busy on deciding what the new system will be like and get it put in train and in the meantime do your best with what you've got.

Oh, and never say you can't do something. Always say, 'I'm working on it.'

Look upon it as a learning experience.

blueshoes Mon 16-May-16 21:46:21

Chances are as the role is new, no one really knows the issue. They are relying on you to use it and tell them if it is a problem. It is, so start to collect reasons why it is slow or unusable. Research other solutions, cost them out. Present with both the problem as well as the solution. If it takes you longer than usual, well , that is a reason to update the system, like they planned to in a couple of months. If you were doing the job all fine, what incentive do they have to move over to something new.

Deep breaths ... work through it calmly and matter-of-factly, always focused on the solution. It will come, one foot in front of the other. That is what your job is at the moment.

PS I just started in a job that is a new role and almost everything needs to be re-purposed. I could cringe at the uphill task - it will take years - I have. I have to tell myself I can only do what I can and keep my stakeholders constantly updated and prioritise and re-prioritise my projects according to business need.

Chorltonswheelies422 Mon 16-May-16 21:58:43

Eeeeek Ethel - they've landed you with .......... The LEGACY SYSTEM!!!!!

Trust me - have been landed with these so many times. They have just slippy shouldered it to you, hoping against hope that you'll manage to sort it - well that ain't fair bud!

You need to tell them. Give your honest assessment about it and find out from them when (if ever) it's going to be upgraded or integrated into another toolset. Make it clear that your skill set is NOT to make the goddamn thing fully wysiwyg and whizz bang operational.

Just to cheer you up - I had this appear on my desk the first time I got a legacy system - sums it up perfectly

ethelb Mon 16-May-16 22:58:15

Thanks for your responses. They are really helpful at making me realise its not me being pathetic and that my hunch that they are just being INCREDIBLY OPTIMISTIC about my ability to just use it in the way it needs to function.

That Dilbert strip is incredible. Hauntingly incredibly accurate.

The thing is, the technical side of this role was supposed to be very minor. And I simply didn't sign up for spending months and years fixing a broken system and really feel there's too little in it for me to pursue. I also don't feel it is ok for the day to day role to not be done in the meantime, and can't see how that is avoidable as I just can't do it.

Im currently doing the role freelance and will probably continue to do so, but if I get offered the permanent role will probably turn it down and hope they find someone who is a bit more up for this aspect of it. (Im not holding out much hope, I have spent 2 days with a WTF expression on my face!).

But it is a learning experience, and perhaps I won't be so naive and let my lack of confidence ie blaming myself for the problem, get the better of me next time.

Thanks again, its really made me understand the issue!

Chorltonswheelies422 Fri 20-May-16 23:43:01


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