Global Training Director (and MacGyver)
I don't really have a title at Apigee -- I remember asking one time and the answer was, 'MacGyver' which, honestly, I'm pretty happy with. After all, my primary job is to go in with limited resources, help people to keep themselves from blowing themselves up, and then get out.
The way I'm doing that currently is to develop and deliver training -- which doesn't sound as exciting as what MacGyver does, but when you really think about it, fixing a broken fuse with a gum wrapper or a radiator with egg whites doesn't really sound that exciting out of context either.
I explain my current job as, 'Travelling the world and going to exotic places to sit in windowless conference rooms.' I'm flying somewhere around 10,000 miles a month (looking at 20K in August) and I am rapidly filling pages of my passport with stamps from places like India and Norway. And I've seen a lot of conference rooms. Some even had windows.
Getting on the wifi in London is a lot like getting on wifi in California which is a lot like getting on wifi in Bangalore, but there are always odd tricks where the mad MacGyver skills come in. I haven't had to turn anyone's laptop into a wifi access point lately but knowing that I can is comforting. And the big bag of international power adapters and video dongles means I don't have to look for paperclips and a curling iron to wire up my presentation.
No, the real McGyver moments are when clients throw some amazing plot twists into the day. These guys fall into two categories -- mad scientists and mad bombers.
A mad scientist is the guy who knows way too much about what I'm talking about and has to ask the really esoteric question about something that only comes up like .005% of the time. Of course, he presents that extreme edge case as an end of the world situation, and while I know when to say, 'I don't know,' I still follow up with, 'But I'll find out.' Sometimes it turns out it IS the end of the world, and then we have to do some gum-wrapper and egg-white maneuvers to save the day.
Then there's the mad bomber. He doesn't actually know that much, but he wants to prove that he knows more than I do. And he'll go off and break stuff before he even has a chance to see how it's supposed to work. You don't have to be a brilliant engineer to blow up a bridge, and a brilliant engineer isn't going to be able to design a bridge you can't blow up.
So I have to have conversations like, 'Say, Bob… I notice you're packing a lot of C4 into that bridge piling… Maybe we should try to drive a truck across it first before we test how it handles explosives…' Not as much tinfoil and duct-tape, but still a crisis that needs averting.
Maybe I shouldn't have set my title to 'Global Training Director and MacGyver Guru' on LinkedIn, but just saying MacGyver Guru makes me seem like some crazed fan (and beleive it or not, I've never actually seen the show), and 'Global Training Director' just sounds like… well, a global training director.
And there are way too many plot twists it my life to be 'just' anything.