By Joseph “Jody” Harris

In this third installment of his CIO Journal, Joseph Harris continues to handle tech issues while orchestrating a neat handoff of his duties to remaining staff and organizing his personal documents during his final week on the job at Camelot Healthcare. Prior to this CIO role, he served as an IT manager for a chemical company and as a consultant for SMS. His technical experience includes AS400, Microsoft NT and 2000, and Novell, and he’s spent much time at Camelot working on privacy and security issues in response to federal regulations.

Joseph “Jody” Harris

Mixed emotions in departing


It seems the closer I get to the end, the slower time goes. I am anxious to move on and yet somewhat reluctant to leave. I have changed jobs a few times in my life, and it always seems to be the same: a mixture of sadness about leaving and excitement about the future. You are on an emotional roller coaster with more twists and loops than you would expect.

8 A.M.: Making sure server project continues
I meet with the accounts receivable staff to begin support training and setup for data mailer documentation. I help them make a call to MS4 support and receive a reference number for an AR consultant to call back. Afterward, I assist the manager of IT with the planning for a new internal e-mail server. I recommend that he move ahead with implementation, using server hardware that has been removed from service after we lost support of Camelot’s nursing homes. This has been a project-in-planning for months. We located a low-cost e-mail application from Argosoft, and we were waiting on the nursing homes to stop using the application software that we were providing on our servers. This freed up a server that would be adequate for the e-mail system.

10 A.M.: I officially resign
I submit my written resignation to the HR director. This is not a time for you to tell off the boss. It’s a time to reflect on the positive things that you have gained from your time with the company. A resignation can be short or long depending on what you have to say. You must remember this rule: If you don’t have something good to say, then don’t say anything. But there should always be something good: the people you worked with, the things you learned from your experience. Be positive. Remember: You don’t know whom you may work with again.

11:30 A.M.: More good-byes to friends
Have I mentioned that south Louisiana has the finest food in the world and that I need to eat as much as I can, as it may be a while before I can come back to visit? I go to a coworker’s home to check on a computer issue she has, and her mom is preparing dinner. Since I am working for free, she offers to let me share in their meal. She said, “It’s just crawfish stew, but you are welcome to eat.” The most wonderful experience follows. It is fantastic. I think all of these Acadian people can cook from birth.

1 P.M.: Back to transition duties
I receive a call back from MS4 support and begin to walk through the data mailer setup. An error occurs, and MS4 support sets up a call for tomorrow morning.

I then begin resolving an issue with loading Office 2000 add-ons. I retrieve the Office 2000 CD and correct the problem. I then continue with my desktop cleanup—reading down a long list of e-mails and forwarding those that might be of help in a new position (like contact information for specific vendors and Internet sites for research). Any contacts that I may want to keep professionally or personally I forward to my personal e-mail address.

3:45 P.M.: IT issues need solving
I stop e-mail forwarding to deal with MS4 sign-on issues. I reset several MS4 sign-ons and work with the manager of IT to review how to reset passwords and reenable passwords for MS4. I then work on a desktop issue—training an end user on saving Word documents.

4:15 P.M.: Back to office organization needs
I jump back into the e-mail effort, deleting all e-mail from the system that had no use to me or to my company. You should always be careful not to eliminate anything that could be utilized by staff after you leave.

5 P.M.: Yet another day gone
I will try to finish transferring information tomorrow that can ensure a smooth transition for the IT staff. As I move through this process, I find so much that I do on a daily basis that I was not truly aware of. So much that I do without a mental record, as if I’m on automatic pilot, such as dealing with MS4 support issues, having strategic discussions with the network administrator about the direction of the network, interacting with the field technicians to help them provide better on-site service, and managing the vendor relationships that I have developed over time—something that’s not easily passed on.

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