01 July 2010

Zombie Ice Cream Tastes Like Brainz!

As a member of the unit's Knowledge Management ("K.M.") team--and there are precious few of us right now, but that's OK, because there's precious little knowledge to go around right now--I've been tasked to learn SharePoint.

SharePoint is a MicroSoft product that allegedly helps to structure, find, and archive organizational information. In designing our unit's SharePoint environment, the objective is that anyone in the organization can find any information they require within three clicks of a computer mouse.

I've used the computer application before, on small teams doing small tasks, but I've never before been responsible for administering user-access permissions, and website design, and information architecture. I know what needs to be done conceptually, but I am stumbling around on implementation.

SharePoint is not intuitive. SharePoint is not user-friendly. SharePoint is a dangerous and fickle mistress. SharePoint is a tantrum-prone 2-year-old leaving a toy department. SharePoint is a filibustering U.S. Senate populated by legislative robots who never have to urinate.

SharePoint, in short, is the anti-Sherpa.

I thought I'd won a little victory last week, when I learned how to post a unit-wide "announcement" on the home SharePoint webpage. This was my test message: "There will be an Ice Cream Social in the TOC tomorrow at 1600 hours. That is all." I figured that would be harmless, because no one could POSSIBLY think that there would be ice cream served in our high-tech command center--the heart and nexus of our proficient and professional Army organization.

Instead, people thought I was serious.

I practically got hate mail. And death threats.

Apparently, Rule No. 1 about Ice Cream Socials is: Do not joke about Ice Cream Socials.

A colleague of mine later suggested I should've said something about zombies, because no one could POSSIBLY assume that anything regarding the living dead would be true. While she may not have realized that I've seen an actual draft of the State of Iowa's Emergency Response Plan in Case of Midwestern Corn-Fed Zombie Attack--it's something the boys in the plans shop have been kicking around for a couple of years--I liked where she was headed.

After facing a day filled with icy stares and lactose-generated intolerance, however, I didn't have intestinal fortitude enough to post another SharePoint announcement the next day. The one that got away--the one I should've posted--was this:

"Ice cream social cancelled due to zombie attack. Thanks for SharePointing."


  1. Try a Zoombee Ice Creeeeeeeemmmm event.

    One time in Iraq...I was responding to an e-mail on the sipernet...and I thought I'd send back something too silly to be true (a joke).
    I accidently' hit "Reply all" and it went to a a shitload of people...many asked: "Is this real?"

    It was something so silly that I thought any officer pogue who has to ask that must have been a retard.

    Let me tell you, it was well worth the counseling statement I got for it--- priceless.

  2. Oh Sherpa!!! I feeeel your pain! I too am working/learning SharePoint. And got really hung up on the user-access permissions. The repetitive answer from IT - 'yes, that's really the way they are supposed to work, stop whining!' ok. thanks. To hell with those with no sense of humor. You have to save your energy for keeping your eyes un-crossed and the headache down to dull. Good Luck.

  3. Sounds dreadful. Absolutely horrifying. More so than zombies


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