Archive for April, 2010

It Grows On You

April 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Last week I had to speak to two people about the new assignments I was proposing (yes, one of them was S). I opened up an instant messaging window, typed “Pls meet me”, and was about to hit the “Enter” key when I stopped.

I was about to do one of those things which I hate about my seniors here – treating employees like “Resources”, and not as “Humans”. Till a month ago, I would have walked over to their desks and spoken to them. If not that, I would have at least called them up to discuss. But I never used to break such news or discuss such important matters on chat – at least not in a brusque manner.

I have been constantly ranting about the culture in this company, and how I need to protect myself from getting infected. Last week I saw the first signs of the infection – thankfully I was able to recognize and avoid it. Right now I am looking for a vaccination. If you know any, please tell me.

P.S. – Post by email is great, no doubt about that. But I realize that I need handy a list of all tags already in use. Need to put that on my to-do list.

Categories: Corporate Tales Tags: ,

The Gods of Metal

April 14, 2010 Leave a comment

When you’re talking to yourself,

And nobody’s home

You can fool yourself

You came in this world alone

You don’t talk so loud,

You don’t walk so proud, anymore…

WordPress + Post-by-email = Inner Peace

April 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Last month or so, the network folks here installed a new proxy server. Since then, all hell has broken loose – most of the websites I used to frequent are now restricted. I miss gems like FastCompany, but what hurts most is being unable to access WordPress.

Thankfully, WordPress has the answer – post by email. I had tried it a few weeks ago, and again the day before yesterday. However, each time, the post would end up as “Uncategorized”, and I would have to subsequently login to WordPress, do the necessary categorization & tagging. While I was sure that there was a way around this, I found it out only today. This is my first real “test post”.

I hope that I will still be able to post to WordPress.

I hope that I will be able to eliminate the signatures attached by my office email server.

I hope that I will be able to categorize & tag my post via email.

I hope.

(Mr. Stephen King, I owe you much more than one)

Categories: Thinking Out Loud Tags: ,

Not My Problem

April 5, 2010 1 comment

My current company is a software service provider, and my department specializes in a niche ERP application. The model under which we operate is simple – we train fresh graduate engineers in the technical aspects of the application, and as they work they way upwards, they eventually build some expertise in some area – a niche within a niche. For some it is the complex interfacing skills (with third party applications), for others it may be system administration, and for the rest it is the ERP’s application to some specific industry. The common factor in all these cases is “working your way up” – taking on a variety of challenges before finding something you would like to specialize in; you usually get enlightened about your preferred specialization after about 4-6 years of work.

* * *

A few weeks ago, I had to fill a position for a client, where the requirement was expressly technical – the engineer was not expected to understand the client’s industry. He would be given purely technical problems to solve. I called up a person – let’s call him S. S has close to 2 years of total experience, and for the past 6 months has been working for one of our larger clients (large = more revenue for us). However, a couple of months ago the client got into a financial crunch, and most of the work was suspended – putting S out of work.

So when I appraised S about the new work that I had for him, I was stunned by his answer. “I don’t want this kind of work. I only want the kind of work that I am used to doing.”

I told him that the way the economy is, having some work, however undesirable, is much better than having no work at all. He nonchalantly replied, “having no work to do is not my problem. It’s your responsibility to find work for me.” I was speechless, and ended the meeting.

If it had been my previous organization, S would have got a round of heavy firing, and would have had to work on the new assignment anyway. But then the “culture” of this place is different. We do not “offend” or “hurt” people. We do not do things which would potentially risk their jobs.

So what if he’s a non-performer with a holier-than-thou attitude?

Let the business suffer; it’s the employees that are more important.

Categories: Corporate Tales Tags: , ,