Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Working across time zones

I don't often blog about work, but here goes.

I work for a domestic company (you don't have to be a Sherlock Holmes to figure out which one) that has locations across the US. Our headquarter is located in the Pacific Time Zone, but I work with people in all of the US time zones.

In an effort to make myself available, I have told certain people in the Eastern Time Zone that they can call me at early as 5:00 am Pacific time, because that is when I wake up. I'll routinely schedule 7:00 calls (I can't convince the Pacific Time Zone people to come in too early), if I am primarily working with the Eastern people.

Last week, I was in an Eastern Time Zone office doing some training and we were having server difficulty. Our entire IT staff, helpdesk and data center are all located in our Pacific Time Zone Headquarters.

We were doing user training on a new application and you guessed it the server was down when we walked in that morning. I'm pretty darn competent when it comes to technology, but you can't believe the feelings of helplessness I had. None of the people I knew were around to help, it was too early.

I ended up calling our data center and they referred me to an on-call guy - who didn't know what server I was talking about.

I have to say it was pretty strange being on the east coast and all the support resources were on the west coast. It gave me a new found understanding of watching the time when I schedule meetings and how I make myself available to the people on the other coast.

It is funny how the majority of people live on the coasts, which then puts lots of company headquarters in those same areas; which naturally puts us at odds with the time zones.

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