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Just a Big Tech Girl, Working in a Low Tech Business

justsharkie profile image /*Sharkie*/ ・Updated on ・3 min read

My last job and my current job have both been in small business retail marketing, which is basically this insane, fast-paced, one-person-does-everything-and-its-cousin job that I kinda sometimes love? And other times it sends me straight into the clutches of burnout.

But being a small business, I've ended up being the only Tech-savvy human in the company both of these times. Which is... well, it's been interesting. And there are some experiences that just make you laugh.

These are those experiences.

But like... this stuff is easy, right?

Nope nope nopity nope nope NO. Planning all social media isn't easy. Contests, giveaways, ecommerce, shipping products, receiving products, while also counting inventory, stocking shelves, serving customers and answering phones/emails? Every. Single. Day?

None of it is easy work. Whether you're working on the sales floor or working at a computer, it's all hard, and it's all very unforgiving. I've spent days running up and down stairs when they needed help on the floor. My legs are KILLER.

People also seem to think social media is an easy task. It's not. Trying to get engagement, think up post ideas, come up with lovely graphics and pull in followers, while trying to stick to your brands voice and what your target demographic love? It's HARD. There's a lot that goes into it.

This has turned into a rant, moving on.

SHAYNA... can you fix my computer?

sigh Yup, let me try turning it off and on again... there you go, good as new!

SHAYNNAAAA... the internet is broken, and I need it!

Probably the router, let's go take a peek at it shall we?

SHAYYYYNNNNAAAAAA... my phones broken. Come fix it?

I don't know phones! Try like... unplugging it?

Um... what the hell is on your computer? It looks broken. What's this weird language?

This has happened every time I leave code on my screen while I run off to do something else. It's all English, it's just... code. I'm working on the website. I can show it to you if you want?

This cracks me up every single time. I just... awww it's adorable.

Why does insert program here do insert thing here? Can you make that NOT happen?

Actually, no, I can't.

The program is it's own monster, and I don't control it. I know it getting confirmation to close every time you try to close it is annoying, but that's not something I can just fix. I'm sorry. :(

(Side note: if only I could manipulated every program ever. Wouldn't that be an amazing skill to have. "Yep, I can totally change this drawing program to make it a writing program, because for some reason you forgot Word existed.")

Why aren't you a manager yet? You know... everything?

Ahh, this old standby. I got this from a new store manager at my old workplace, and it made me feel... odd. I don't think I should be a manager, I would be a horrible manager and anyway I don't manage anyone. I just.. do my things and move on with my day.

But I think it was a compliment, so we're letting it slide.

What is this weird slogan you have on your coffee mug/sticker/shirt/other?

It's developer related, basically insert explanation here.

Them: oh... so nerd stuff.

So... what do you actually do?

The age old question. The annoyance I feel when I'm asked this is THROUGH THE ROOF.

I do so much. But if I spend the day on the computer, my fellow sales floor folks always wonder what I'm doing. And when I say "well I was making changes to the website, scheduling social media, setting up sales..." it's always "oh... so that must have been boring!"

It wasn't! I promise, this is some of my favourite parts of the job. But because they aren't used to this kind of stuff, not being on the floor is odd and seems weird and boring to them. So I don't blame them, but I wouldn't mind if it stopped. At least a little bit.

Conclusion

Look, this was a weird post. For all of us. But it sounded like a fun idea while I was driving home from work today, so now I've typed it out and can't take it back.

One of these days. I'll make it into a full out tech job, and these problems will melt away (maybe).

Discussion

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space7panda profile image
Gregory Myagkov

"Why aren't you a manager yet? You know... everything?"

If you think you are a bad manager then it's time to be one.

Bad manager is a manager that thinks he a good one. Good one knows that he is not perfect, and he can grow further.

You already can manage different stuff every day, from social media to "my phone is broken", why not change stuff to staff? :)

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justsharkie profile image
/*Sharkie*/ Author

I wouldn't technically be against being a manager, and tbh at my current workplace I think I wouldn't be as terrified with the prospect.

But I'm also the youngest full timer going, and have no idea who I'd actually manage. πŸ˜‚

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space7panda profile image
Gregory Myagkov

Youngest, oldest. Who cares if you do your job right Κ•β€’α΄₯β€’Κ”

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justsharkie profile image
/*Sharkie*/ Author

Now that's the right way to think of it!

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troyfitzwater profile image
Troy Fitzwater

Really fun read, thanks for the laughs Shayna!

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justsharkie profile image
/*Sharkie*/ Author

That was the goal, thanks for reading!

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darksmile92 profile image
Robin Kretzschmar

So you actually keep the place running, right? 😊

The funny thing for me is that I can relate to some of your points regarding working in a bigger company, too!
It's just the subjects of the requests that change, but you get similar questions in a bigger company.
Let me give you some examples:

When there is budget involved, there is always this one person that tries to connect to you on a personal level to get their "small" requests done outside of the budget.
Like, don't I have anything else to do in my free time?

When you have clients over year, they tend to ask for "small" favors just like collegues that can turn out to be a huge amount of work.

The "you should have position X by now" thing is also very common. Most of the time it comes from people that are entitled to promote them to this position and the people that are being told this seem to totally forget to just ask them right afterwards. It's the magic of rhetoric.

There are also those very urgent tasks that pop up and need solutions that you are tempted to run to when a collegue asks you for help.

So once you got your full tech job, be prepared to just have different problems πŸ˜…

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justsharkie profile image
/*Sharkie*/ Author

But hey, once I get there I'll have plenty of the skills for it. πŸ˜‚

Thanks for your insights, they're super helpful to read!

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dana94 profile image
Dana Ottaviani

You sound like you have the patience of a saint. πŸ˜„
I understand it can get pretty annoying if a non-techie assumes you can fix ALL their computer problems. But I think that's a way to show how much they respect you and your judgement, even if their expectations sound a bit unreasonable sometimes.

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edwinboon profile image
Edwin Boon

Haha nice post. It makes my day!

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justsharkie profile image
/*Sharkie*/ Author

Thanks! I was hoping it'd be a nice fun post for a dull Tuesday.

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edwinboon profile image
Edwin Boon

It really was!

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terabytetiger profile image
Tyler V. (he/him)

Too relatable πŸ˜‚

We should start a support group for the "{external program} isn't doing what I want. Can you fix it?" Requests πŸ€”

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justsharkie profile image
/*Sharkie*/ Author

Honestly, can we? Every time I get one of those requests I just... facepalm moment. πŸ˜‚

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nisajthani profile image
Nisa JThani

Oh, I didn't know you can post amusing articles like this on DEV.to! This makes me happy:)

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justsharkie profile image
/*Sharkie*/ Author

I thought it was worth the risk to be funny. πŸ˜‚

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andystitt829 profile image
Andy Stitt

I worked in the nonprofit world for years, and I can identify with sooooooo much of this. Thank you for saying it out loud!

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justsharkie profile image
/*Sharkie*/ Author

I'll yell it from the rooftops if I have to. πŸ˜‚