Scaling Up at ItzBig

My career at itzbig started on 8-15-07.

Actually, it started about three or four weeks prior. I’ll just say that in the job search, no means no, but silence means maybe! This is especially true in small to medium size companies.

My initial impression was one of awe. I was really going to work for a true blue startup company. Throughout college I’d always lived in a quiet horror of going into the machine of a big multinational corporation. I knew it could happen because I wouldn’t say no to one. I like to give everyone a chance, and I knew my dislike of them was a little irrational. (Just a little. I’m sure at some point I’ll start a rant on how giant corporations break the free economy, and thus freedom.)

But I had lucked out! By the grace of God, and the McCombs Business School Alumni Job Board, I’d found my way into my own little start up company. Just in time, too. Things started gearing up even faster after I arrived.

Not quite right after I arrived, though. There was definitely a calm before the storm. I was staying busy learning all the tasks that my predecessor had been taking care of, and adding about fifteen or twenty jobs a week into the system.

Then after about a month, on a Thursday, my boss tells me he’s got about 300 jobs queued up in his inbox. I guess the sales guys started trying or something, but my jaw dropped. I’m pretty sure he cackled.

Maybe he didn’t, but regardless, by Tuesday we had three temps from one of the local temp services that use our network.

It was kind of rocky there at first. They sent us some people interested exclusively in data entry, when the job actually requires about 80% data analysis and the rest as data entry. So after a few days, getting caught up on the entry, we basically had 2 people who could only do the five minute job data entry job waiting on 2 people to do the thirty minute data analysis job. And that 2nd person was me, who often gets called away from analysis for tech support or other details.

But one of the data entry only people was called away to her true passion, flower arranging. And they replaced her with another data entry only person. I kept her busy with data entry for most of the week, but the last few days I had her try the analysis. She kept getting real frustrated with it and didn’t seem to enjoy it at all. She didn’t come back on Monday, though I think that might have been of her own will.

Next we got Theresa, who immediately took to the data Analysis along with Martina, who’d been doing it since the third day. With them focusing on data analysis and Anna dedicated to data entry, we finally got production running steady. I still jump in to pick up any slack, but mostly now my time with production is spent breezing over the job files sent to me by Gino for jobs we don’t support and for nasty surprises.

Tech support also keeps me busy, since I’m the single tier 1 support operator. It comes somewhat naturally, though, since I’ve always made myself available as a helper for the online games I’ve played in the past.

Gino: Gino’s been a great recent addition to our team. He took over for my boss the task of managing the incoming jobs from success managers and passing them off to me. He’s the contact point for all the sales team and success managers, so I can focus on working with the temps to get everything into the system. Since my boss was doing it before him, it frees up a big chunk of his time which lately he seems to be spending on developing automated accurate reporting tools between our SQL server and Excel.

And most recently (today) we hired an intern on from UT. Today’s her first day, so I gave her my “Production Walkthrough” and let her rip. We’ll see how it stands up to real use by someone new.