What can I do? It’s a dilemma.

What can I do?

I ran into a person I know over lunch the other day and struck up a conversation.

The conversation happened at one of the food carts near my office.
Food Truck in Portland

“How are things? I asked truly interested.”

“Oh…okay. I’m slammed though.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’ve got to get an order into our system before month-end. I have to test some new pricing first.”

“Sounds straight forward. What’s the issue?”

“I’ve only got 4 days to get through 8 types of orders with 4 user levels and each with 8 discount variations before I can place the order in the system. Hmm… that’s 256 variations to test at about 2-5 minutes each just to place the order I need! What can I do?”

What can I do?
What can I do?

“Wow! That’s crazy. What a waste of time.”

“Yes, I know,” she replied dejectedly. “What can I do? I have to get it done and there’s no other way.”

“Have you asked the IT team to help?”

“They know how much time I spend on it.”

“Did you tell them?”

“Well, no.”

“Did you ask them to help?”

“No, not exactly. Besides they’ll tell me no.”

We live in a period of time with all kinds of resources and information all around us. It is an amazing time. Why then, is she stuck manually testing variations in a software system at the last minute taking time from her family?

What can I do?

I walked away scratching my head, wondering why she is in this predicament.

During the conversation I found out she had a full time person to do these tasks up until a month ago. The person no longer works for the organization. So the task falls to her.

I wondered how much time she spent on the task. Wait, I have the numbers. She told me. Call it 14 hours, if all goes well.

Does the task really warrant a senior person spending that amount of time on a task that can be automated?

I wondered why she didn’t do something about the issue.

I know this one! I know an answer to the question, “What can I do?” But I’m not telling.

There are solutions

I Don't KnowYes, there are solutions to her dilemma that would pay benefits to her like…

  • Free up her time to work on higher priority revenue generation tasks.
  • Let her focus on month-end revenue generation activities.
  • Take pressure off one more last minute rush item.
  • Reduce her stress.
  • Let her spend time with her family at this month-end with year-end school activities happening at the same time, rather than working late each day.

Given your expertise and experience what would you recommend she do?

Go ahead, write your recommendations below in the comments section. Let’s hear what you have to say.


Those who face similar dilemmas, we should talk. I can help.

Give me a call at 503-753-9971 or email me at Phil@PhilBride.com.

Let’s set up complimentary 20 minutes to talk through what’s on your mind.

Get unstuck. Make things happen.

“Dominate your life with Focus, Decision and Execution.”

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