I work for the State of North Carolina. I love my job, and I applaud efforts by the government to move us in the direction of efficiency. In one such move, they changed our timesheet management system so that everyone across the state will utilize the same system. It’s a great move in concept, but not as smooth as all would have hoped in reality.

Our big move happened on April 1st, and I’m still trying to figure out if the powers-that-be meant it truly as an April Fool’s joke or if it was just a sheer, though somewhat painful coincidence, that they implemented BEACON then. Needless to say, it’s been, well, interesting. The support teams have been great at striving to work out the kinks, and yes, it is getting better.

But one thing that’s not gotten better, at least for me, is the amount of time that it takes to enter my time. This is how it goes. It happens at the end of the day. I pull of the Web page that sends me to the portal. It starts spinning the hour glass around and around. I stuff the water bottles and coffee mug that I’d brought from home into my bag.

My login screen pops up. I enter my User ID and password. Once more the hour glass does its spin. I stack my papers and straighten my desk. The home page pops up. I click on the icon to go to the time entry system. Now, a two little circles, one blue and one gold, start forming and keep forming over and over again. I go to the restroom and come back.

Now the timesheet entry home page is up. I click on the link to enter my time. The circles again appear. Staring at them, I’m mesmerized. I blink and pull away before THE MACHINE tells me to go and sell all I have to the widget maker.

The timesheet screen pops up. I click on the day and row for the time I want to enter. The circles start going again. I jump up, refusing to be taken in by their schemes. I wander the hall and talk to a coworker or two. I return to my office. The circles are still going. Suddenly, they stop. I can enter time!

The actual time entry to that one cell takes three seconds. I click on another row for some more time. The circles start again. Time slows in a time warp. At last, I can enter the remainder of my time and log off. By this time, I’ve about lost my sanity. I log off, which takes even more time.

All in all, I’m now late for my after-work activities. But at least I made it out alive. BEACON hasn’t taken my sanity–yet.

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    The Conversation

  1. Steve West says:

    Hi Jennifer. I’m enjoying your blog. Do you find it helpful?

    I don’t think I have your current email address; I tried to send you an email about a house concert I’m having in October, but it was kicked back. Let me know! Also, here’s the link to info about the concert:

    Feel free to pass that along or publicize it on your blog.

    Thanks, and keep writing,


  2. Alex says:

    Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!