Oops, I Am Revealed

So I am reading this piece in the Implement change to overcome workplace anarchy“, mainly because I transposed the verbs when I read the headline, and it says:

I’d seen it before with other teams. It was another “Lord of the Flies” situation. The leadership vacuum had created a breakdown in moral behavior. Like in William Golding’s famous book, “The Lord of the Flies,” the group had deteriorated into anarchy, with some members resorting to cruel control tactics to assure their own dominance and survival. Newcomers were mistreated, positive acts were sneered at, rude and cruel treatment of teammates prevailed, management’s directions were ignored or challenged, and customers were barely served.

The circumstances leading up to this situation, were predictable: a weak leader, or a series of many leaders over a short period of time; a hardened, cynical group of workers; a few positive employees; a band of negative employees, who filled the power void with intimidation and retaliation as their weapons; and some fence-sitters, who kept their heads down and their mouths shut.

The new leadership team had to take back control and restore order and civilized behavior. But where to start? First, we needed to get a clear picture of what we were dealing with. I lead the management team through a process to determine where each member of the team fit: positive leaders, negative leaders and fence sitters. As we stood back and took a look at the finished product, the picture emerged — most of the employees were either fence-sitters or positive, with only a handful of negative, bitter leaders at the other end.

and I thought, “Great, a bunch of MBAs hired from outside the company with no real knowledge of the way the software works but has so damn fine book and spreadsheet theories, so they hire a hotshot consultant to troubleshoot our attitude. I hope I’m in charge of the trust fall when this nutbar goes down so I can catch him by his necktie.”

The new management’s probably just preparing for layoffs anyway.

So now you know what sort of co-worker I am. As I explained to El Guapo, maybe Cagey, and certainly my other co-workers, I am the worst case scenario guy. Whatever the company-wide e-mail says, you come to me and I’ll augur the worst possible scenario from it. Worse than you could think of, werd.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Spike ‘Em

Boeing’s trying to flex its corporate extortion privileges. If the government spikes the ill-conceived contract to “lease” tanker aircraft, Boeing will lay off 500 voters.

Blow it out your exhaust vent, Boeing. I grow weary of the influence you peddle over taxpayer dollars with the threat or offer of jobs. Sorry to the 500 who’ll have to find other jobs (which they will; it’s time they learned you ain’t the only fish in the sea, just the biggest plankinton-and-krill sucking sea denizen of the blue). But Boeing, you’ve been taking tax abatements to come into a community and then being a “good corporate citizen” by throwing some crumbs to good local causes and supporting other local corporations–particularly sports teams (Heaven forbid we are deprived of your glowing logo during the national anthem at hockey games).

Me, I pay my taxes to be a good citizen. And then I go to hockey games. You just have to go to hockey games.

What’s my point? Oh, yeah. Big corporations sux, and so do the governmental playas who coddle them and who then hump big corporate legs.

500 jobs for $200 billion tax dollars. A pox on the politicos who thought this was a good idea.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

You Can Hire 5 Off Shore Developers for the Price Of 1 American

Just remember to keep an eye on the extradition treaties, or else you might find your software available for download on the Internet.

(Link seen on Fucked Company. I read it every single day, which explains why the first line of John Donnelly’s Gold is “Robert Davies tried to log onto FuckedCompany.com, and he could not, and he knew he was fucked.” Werd.)

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Quote of the Day

From a Tech Central Station article about the rather forward CEO of Ryanair, Mike O’Leary, we have this nugget of wisdom about portfolio allocation:

I don’t want to get stuck like those dot com f—-ing goons that lost everything because they failed to realize their paper wealth.

Diversify from those options, kiddies. Not that I’ll have that trouble, of course, since I’ve put all my money in liquor, canned goods, can openers, and firearms. That’s all the portfolio diversification you need.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Buzzword of the Day: Sanity Check

So I am minding my company’s business (since I was on the clock, by terms of the employee licensing agreement I signed when I started, any business conducted on company property is company business, so you won’t catch me selling on eBay things and adding to the company’s revenue stream, werd), when I heard the most blatant buzzword since a couple of jobs ago when I heard a project manager say face time without a smirk on his face. This time, it was a project manager, too, who probably heard the phrase in a project management seminar or took it from a project management magazine, where it was nestled in between the ads for project management software.

This buzzword:

Sanity check

The context: “We’ll perform a sanity check.” I think he meant evaluate the position of the project vis-à-vis (Author’s note: This use of the italicized French term does not represent a “buzzword”; instead, it’s pretension. Please note and appreciate the difference. Thank you.) contractual obligations and customer considerations. However, because it’s the first time I ever heard of a “sanity check,” I can only guess this is what he meant.

From whence did this asylum-escapee of a buzzword originate? Never mind, perhaps the bedlam of the information technology field needs buzzwords and common cues from the world of psychology.

You want a sanity check? Here’s a schnucking sanity check:

Now, take a look at this, tell me what you see, and I can diagnose your particular sickness. What is it you see in this picture?

    I see a leading enterprise-caliber best-in-class solution for….

      Obviously, you’re delusional, and you work in sales or marketing.

    I’m not sure; let me call a meeting to discuss with others what I might see.

      Welcome to project management. Worst part is that after the meeting, you’ll still be unclear about what you see.

    Whoa, that’s a cool new technology/specification that’s not mature yet! We should tear down the complete infrastructure and rebuild all applications and server components to use this new design

      You’re a developer, and heaven help us all, but an influential or lead developer. Here we go again.

    I see a series of lines and arcs that I can understand and describe in elaborate detail.

      You’re apparently in documentation. Don’t bother trying to describe the picture for me. By the time you’re three-fourths of the way through your description, one of those lead developers described above will shake up the Etch-a-Sketch and you’ll have to start over.

    It’s a damn mess. A boondoggle. What am I supposed to do with that? There’s nothing about that that even resembles a picture. Tell me you’re not shipping that out in a frame, for crying out loud.

      Welcome to Quality Assurance. Now please be quiet, we’ve heard enough from you.

You know the worst part about “sanity check”? Not only is it a buzzword, but it’s an inappropriate buzzword because it assumes there’s some sanity to check.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

It’s Called Synergy

At first it might look of accidental chocolate in the peanut butter, but I think Centene Corporation is onto something here. I mean, it’s a fringe benefit to the employees that the Centene will take care of their children while the employees work, Centene reduces mail distribution costs by using child labor, and the children learn that life is drudgerous work punctuated by meals and cadaverous sleep to almost refresh one’s self for another day of futile, Sisyphean endeavours. No matter how much mail you sort for distribution, the mailman postal carrier’s going to bring more tomorrow.


Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

We Could Be Tycoons, El Guapo!

Check it out: O’Fallon Brewery is doing a stock offering, selling 140,000 shares at $5 each to raise money to expand. You and me, El Guapo, could be like Anheuser and Busch, getting in on this ground floor opportunity. Sorry, bad example. Still, if you want to invest in a small brewery, send them an e-mail for a prospectus and whatnot. You could get the second name that all caballeros have. You will be Don Guapo y Rico!

Or you’ll have a cool, $500 wallhanging for your eventual bar, werd.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Cascading System Failure

The Riverfront Times has a story this week about a paycheck-to-paycheck guy who got screwed when his last paycheck from a company that closed down got yanked out from under him, after he’d gotten it. Basically, it went like this:

  1. Company’s out of money and closing down, but it’s got enough in its account to pay employees their last paychecks.
  2. Company authorizes the payroll outsourcing company to issue last paychecks/direct deposits based on the strength of the money in its accounts.
  3. Payroll outsourcer issues checks and direct deposits from its own funds, expecting reimbursement from the company’s accounts.
  4. Employee gets money directly deposited into account.
  5. Employee pays bills with money.
  6. Company’s creditor seizes company’s accounts.
  7. Payroll outsourcer tries to get money from company’s account. Surprise! No money there.
  8. Payroll outsourcer contacts employee’s bank and asks for the employee’s directly-deposited pay back. Of course, payroll outsourcer can’t get money from checks it issued, but it will take what it can get. Payroll outsourcers cannot typically get this money back from the people it pays unless they issued two payments or overpaid, but dammit, it’s not going to be the one who takes the hit on this deal.
  9. Bank gives money back to payroll outsourcer, even though some bill payments have cleared, and counts this unethical withdrawal as an overdraft against employee.
  10. Other checks from the employee come in and bounce since the money’s no longer there. Bank adds overdraft charges and payees add their charges.

—— (Sum)

Employee on the hook.

Keep in mind, dear readers, that paperless direct-deposit schemes and and their hell-spawned counterparts “online banking” and “online bill pay” are not designed for your convenience, they’re designed to trim some costs of your banks and your creditors, and unless they offer a benefit beyond saving you some ink from a ten cent Bic and a first class stamp, they’re not worth the possibility of a cascading failure.

For rest assured, this entire system is designed to handle a failure of this nature gracefully, as far as the designers of the system are concerned. When it comes to Paul and Mary getting reimbursed for financial shenanigans beyond your control, guess who’s paying for it? Why, that’s you, Peter. Hand over the money and you won’t get prosecuted for passing bad checks.

Of course, as a final bit of fiscal advice, I recommend you take your pay in the form of guns and whiskey like I do. When the whole system collapses, you’ll have something to defend yourself with and something to trade for necessities.

Also, I would not recommend cutting me off during my afternoon commute on paydays.

Thank you, that is all.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Layoff Warning Signs

MSN has a list of signs you’re going to be laid off. While somewhat descriptive, it’s obvious that a writer, and a “business” writer, composed this list.

You want to know if you’re going to be laid off? Let your Paranoia Shidoshi, who has been laid off before (schnuck those schuckers), guide you.

You’re facing impending layoff if:

  • The vice president in charge of your section suddenly knows your name, or employee number.
  • Colleagues no longer ask to borrow your office supplies; instead, they want to know where you hide yours.
  • You are reading this at work. So, how much time do you have?
  • You know the names of your children and you certain they’re all yours.
  • You have not yet received any notice from your subdivision’s Homeowner’s Association about the length of your lawn or the state of your home.
  • A technical writer (or QA Engineer) named Brian J. sits in the cubicle next to you and says, “I am excited about this company’s prospects!”

What to do?

As previously enumerated, you can:

  • Get into a job that cannot be done anywhere else. That includes construction, repair, and other location-utility trades.
  • Start your own business.

Or you can start sending your resumes out now.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories