Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Please Use Other Door

Illegible because iPhone 4.

Four glass doors mark the entrance to my office building. Each day, up to one thousand people pass through these doors on their way to work, to lunch, to smoke, to walk, or just to get out for a moment. These doors are busy, for certain.

These doors are also broken.

See the door on the left? The sign says "Please Use Other Door." And that sign has been Scotch taped to the glass since at least December, when I started work here. It didn't bother me at first; doors break all the time. The world is an imperfect place. But after a few months, I started to wonder if the door would ever be fixed.

Now, seven months later, it seems that this door is doomed for dysfunction. What's worse: no one even notices it anymore.

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In IT infrastructure, we spend time two ways: building things and fixing things. Personally, I like building, but love fixing. It's a chance to stretch your brain a bit as you detect, diagnose, and dispatch a problem. Usually, a problem arises, we sort it out, and we move on. But what about the problems that you don't fix right away?

Given enough time, you stop seeing these problems. You develop a blind spot; the problem still exists, you just no longer recognize it as a problem. It's like the old adage: the worst thing you can do with a problem is ignore it.

Dear readers, let this be a reminder to you: broken doors won't fix themselves. Stop making signs, and start solving problems.