Remember my beloved purchasing software, BAM(N)?  For over a year, I tortured the entire University system with it.  It was slow, cumbersome, unpredictable (well, unpredictable as to results; it was PREDICTABLY awful to use), and universally despised.  The University abandoned it, which was a real slap in the face to me, and I vowed my revenge.  It has taken a bit, but I am nothing if not patient, and I am getting my own back.

With interest.

The miasmic fiasco that is Workday makes BAMN seem like a pleasant game of Pong.  People are fondly calling it Workdon’t.

Look at this friendly interface!


See?  It’s like some happy child’s game!  Hearts!  Balloons! Stars!  Money!  What’s not to love?

Oh, foolish child, where to start?  I’m so proud of all of it!  It’s meant to be a complete, all-in-one payroll-hiring-HR package.

It’s a complete something, all right.   Here are the features I installed:

–No one received any useful training.  At all.  Oh, there are some videos, but they don’t really tell anyone anything that helps.

–No one on campus who uses it knows how it works, not even those who are supposed to be in charge of it.

–It has trouble with timesheets.   The human female tried to put in for 16 hours of sick leave over two days, and her request got bounced for “trying to put in for two 16-hour days.”

–It can’t handle payroll.  People get paid too little, or too much, or have their tax withholding tinkered with unbidden.

–It doesn’t understand about people who get paid from two sources, such as a grant and a salary.  Or a joint appointment in two different departments.

–It decided all the 9-month employees (such as faculty who don’t teach during the summer) would have all of their summer insurance premiums deducted from their June 1st checks. Even if they are still teaching from a different appointment during the summer.   Surprise!

–It cannot handle transferring an employee from one department to another.

–It won’t let anyone change their name.  Not even a middle initial!  The human male’s coworker tried to add his middle initial to his record and was asked to present a birth certificate.

–It will allow a supervisor to delegate permissions for things to underlings and flunkies.  But I made the list of functions that can be delegated really uninformative and cryptic.  The human female and her boss and the Assistant Department Head spent an hour one day trying to give the human female access to a few of the boss’ duties while the boss was on vacation.  In the end, they could only do this by giving the human female ALL the boss’ Workdon’t chores and emails.

–It’s employee evaluation season, and instead of giving everyone until the end of the month to complete self-evaluations, evaluations, discussions, and reviews, the program has chopped it up into little pieces with deadlines that are immutable.

–The email reminders for these evaluation tasks are cryptic and require users to start up the program to access the message try to figure out if they’re reviewing or being reviewed.  Or being asked to name an alternate reviewer.  Or be an alternate reviewer.  Or comment on an alternate review…

–Sometimes, the program will let a supervisor see the employee’s self-evaluation while they are writing their own review.  Sometimes it will not.  Or one that was visible will vanish without warning.

–Sometimes it will eat all the comments a supervisor left, so that if they want to revisit things before final submission, they have to try to remember what they said and put it all back in–or trust that it is somewhere in the Workdon’t system.  Maybe.

–What the evaluated employee sees is quirky, too!  The human female can see her ratings from her boss, but the only thing that appears in the “comments” box for each item is the name of the boss’ boss.  I think he got made an additional reviewer, but clicking on his name doesn’t do diddly.  (Love that word!  “Diddly.”)

And oh, the shining jewel that is the hiring process!!!

I am so, so proud of the whole hiring part of the program.  I get positively misty every time I think of it!

–Is there a word that means the opposite of “streamlined”?  “Bilvetous”, perhaps?  “Adiposian”?  “Congressional”?  If there isn’t one, someone should invent one and apply it.

The human female has been trying since MARCH to promote one of her Tech I’s into the open Tech II spot.  The request went from her and her boss to the Program Head to the Assistant Department Head, to the Department Head, to the Dean’s Office, where it languished for a week or two before being launched upon the rest of the FIFTY-SEVEN STEP PROCESS required by Workdon’t.

–All of these steps require someone to approve an action and forward the request to the next person on the list.  At quite a few of the steps, the action gets sent to a dozen or more people all at the same level, any one of whom can approve or torpedo the request.  Or, if they feel like it, they can all ignore it and assume that someone else is doing it…

–Every three steps or so, the request routs back to the Assistant Department Head or to the main HR office.  They then have to answer some question that was answered in the original request :  What will this person’s title be? What will be their pay rate?  What account are they to be paid from?  When should this take effect?

–Because some employees on the campus are graduate students, EVERY hire approval has to go through the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. Every. Single. One.

The human female’s request, after about a month of bouncing about, was almost to the end of its journey, when someone in the Dean’s office decided that a different form should have been used, so the whole promotion request was booted back down to Step One so it could start over.

I think I hurt myself laughing that day.  Supposedly the request is near the end of the process again, but no one’s holding their breaths…

The human female has also been trying to hire two NEW Tech I’s.  The first posting was sent up the food chain for approval, and the human female was told that it was approved and posted on the University’s employment site.  Except it wasn’t.  It wasn’t the next day, either, when the human female’s boss got a chirpy little email telling her it had been posted.  Finally, the posting did go up, and the applications began to trickle in, bringing a new appreciation for Workdon’t’s complexities.

–Each applicant is screened by an actual human in the HR department, and they are all far behind.  When they finally reach an applicant’s application package, they get to decide whether to pass the candidate along.  Or not.

–Only the one person designated the Hiring Manager for a particular posting can see the submitted documents.  The human female, even though she has been tasked with collecting all the applications, sorting the applicants, calling the lucky few for interviews, completing the hiring matrix, compiling all the interview results, and getting the new hire through the hoops toward actual employment, is NOT the Hiring Manager and cannot see diddly until her boss prints it out and gives it to her.  (There’s my favorite word again!  Diddly!  Diddlydiddly! Diddlydiddlydiddlydiddlydsquat.)

–Each applicant is either tabled or passed to the “to be interviewed” pile.  There is a lovely computer screen at this stage, with a large display of what looks like a ribbon coiled into a cone or funnel that hangs there, urging one to move the lucky applicants down one turn of the vortex.  Except, if the applicants are moved ahead from this screen, the application process breaks.  One needs to do it instead as an action item from the inbox.

–The applicants’ info is presented to the hiring manager in one big table with itsy-bitsy print.  Of course, each applicant’s package can also be viewed individually.  Well, most of it.  I’ve fixed it so that Workdon’t has a subroutine that rolls a die.  If the applicant has been asked to submit a resume and a cover letter, one of those, both of those, or NEITHER of those may actually be attached.  Is Workdon’t acting up, or is the applicant terrible at following instructions?  Who knows!

–Applications come through with about 1/3 of the information that they used to carry under the old system.  Life is more fun when it’s mysterious, don’t you think?

–When there are enough applicants that one wishes to interview, one can make the request to put the position on hold (i.e., no new applicants).  Or, as Workdon’t terms it, one can “unpost” the job.  The human female and her cohorts did this with their position, choosing two likely-looking applicants for interviews.  When the first candidate proved lackluster and the second called on the day of her interview to say she’d accepted a different position (as who wouldn’t, after what by then was two weeks of waiting for Workdon’t), the human female asked that the job be re-opened.  This, apparently, afforded the higher ups at HR some much-needed amusement.  The job is closed and cannot be reopened.  It seems likely that the position will need to be abandoned/rescinded and the whole approval for posting a position process, which takes WEEKS before it even gets to Workdon’t, will need to be begun anew.

–In the meantime, the announcement for the second of the human female’s two Tech I positions has gone up.  There are currently twelve applicants, two of whom were applicants for the first position, three of whom do not live in the U.S., and two of whom have no work history in Biology.  IF the human female and her staff decide to interview some of them and then choose to hire one of them, all of their application scores, interview scores, and reference scores will need to go into a large hiring matrix spreadsheet and be submitted to Workdon’t.  Of course, this cannot be done through Workdon’t itself.  No, it will need to be submitted to a different website, and then someone will have to go back into Workdon’t to tell it that it has been done.

–Meanwhile, I arranged for all the University’s users to receive a “Tell us how much you love Workdon’t and the training you were given” survey.  The human female wrote a blistering response, which was no doubt therapeutic, and which–also without doubt–has vanished into Workdon’ts treacherous maw, never to be seen again.

Oh!  And the person who was involved in getting Workdon’t rolled out University-wide received special praise and a bonus for a job well done.  It doesn’t matter if the program works, only that it was installed on schedule and under budget.

Ehehehehehe!  Is this not a fine prank to play upon the University?  Are you not impressed?   I know I’m having a wonderful time.  Half the staff is in tears and the other half is threatening to quit or retire.  You can be sure I will be getting more mileage out of this as time goes on.  This thing may turn out to be the one thing that finally brings the campus to its knees in thrall to me.  A bit more, and the populace will promise me ANYTHING to relieve them of this monstrosity!

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One comment

  1. My gosh. I thought the one where I work is overly perky. Perky can’t hide the crap underneath.

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