Archive for February, 2009

sick again

Sick again for the second time in a month- no puking, I just feel like crap and have a sore throat. Jackie, Ian and I were all sick- and today was Ian’s birthday :/

He’s learning…

I had this exchange with my son the other day:

<me> Ian, go give that to your mother.
<ian> no.
<me> ...WHAT?
<ian> yes.
* ian walks towards jackie

Employers and Trust

Lets start off by saying Loyalty is Dead. Companies will do whatever they need to to be profitable, meaning they are willing to screw over employees and customers to please shareholders. Sorry, it’s a fact- it’s the way the system is currently rigged. Blame congress.

What really burns me though is the blatant disrespect that some executive teams will have for their employees.

Take the following example that happened to a friend of mine. His company is floundering, and despite their business obviously moving from paper to the Internet, the company (minus IT) refuses to recognize the growing importance of the Internet in their business. They ignore is so much so that they don’t even have a voice for IT (i.e. a CIO) on the executive team. After layoffs, pay cuts, and a new company strategy that essentially stated “Sell More [Paper] Products”, the executive team (well, the CFO and CEO) decided to field questions from the various groups, and set up a Strategy Q&A with IT on a Friday morning.

Fast forward to the meeting. Someone asked, for the 100th time, “Are we considering bringing a CIO on board?”

Now, this is a question that most of IT wants answered. I’d say it’s in the top ten “questions we want answered” list. They know their opinion is more or less ignored because there’s no one on the executive team to say “No, that’s a stupid idea and waste of resources” on their behalf. IT blames many of their woes on the fact that they don’t have that voice, just like the business and marketing units blame IT for everything else.

So everyone was incredibly disappointed when they were told “We’re still investigating that option”. It was demoralizing.

The problem was that answer was a bald-face lie. Lie Lie Lie. Not only had they decided “oh, yeah we should have a CIO,” but they had started looking three weeks prior, had already went through the interview process, picked someone, and made the offer. Supposedly he even had a start date.

Monday morning the Director my friend reports to called a meeting and said something along the following lines:

“Hey guys, the executive team has hired a CIO and he starts tomorrow. I apologize for keeping this from you this long- I admit I’ve known about this for at least 3 hours. They’ve apparently been looking for three weeks.”

So the IT structure looks something like this:

Exec Team
| < --CIO goes here Head of IT /|\ Directors /|\ Grunts There are two things concerning about this:

  • The Head of IT is boned, since he is the only report to the new CIO and will probably be cut (Which is sorta OK, since after all the BS he’s seen, he had to have been looking).
  • Once the Head of IT is gone, the Directors will be the CIO’s direct reports. You know, the Directors who didn’t know that the position was even open until the day before the guy started.
  • OK, OK, fine- lets suppose the company really doesn’t care about vetting his technical skills or whether or not he’s a good fit for the people he’d be overseeing- lets suppose they value secrecy instead. That would almost be believable if people from the business and/or marketing departments at the Director level hadn’t not only known about it, but were supposedly IN on the interviewing process!

    So, there’s two levels of disrespect going on here- one, disrespect towards the Directors under the CIO; and two, the bald-face lies to the entire IT dept when they asked if they were looking for a CIO.

    Ready for the kicker? Here’s one of the questions asked before the CIO question:

    “Why would we trust anything the executive team says? […]How can we trust their judgment?[…]”

    Which is great, because the employees were *already* questioning their judgment and whether or not they could trust the executive team. The execs responded by lying about another question. That’s class right there.

    Loyalty and Trust are closely related- without Trust, there can never be true Loyalty. I think the few people at my friend’s company who were still loyal to the company itself have lost their trust of the executive team. I can’t say I blame them.

    Loyalty is dead anyways, right?

Facebook Integration check

00:52 < ~ziggy> the greatest compliment I ever got was when groucho marx said “eh, clever boy- keep away from my balloons.”

When to Abandon Ship

So lately I’ve been thinking a lot on exactly when you should abandon ship; specifically, what event should be the turning point.

So many questions to ask- is the ship sinking? is it sinking on it’s own, or is someone shooting cannonballs at you?

Lets presume for a moment that the ship isn’t being shot at by anyone- instead, we’ll say that our route has been cut off by a field of icebergs, and the captain has decided “full speed ahead!”

The captain may be reckless and dangerous, but perhaps he knows what he’s doing. Well, lets suppose he gets sick and appoints someone (who was supposedly a captain on another ship) to take over before he dies.

Pretend that you’ve been on this ship for a long time, and you’ve become good friends with the crew, and have actually taken a liking to the ship. Good times, good company, good memories.

The crew starts to get a little nervous about this new captain. Why is this person in charge? She knows nothing about hoisting sails and has never rowed a day in her life. Well, sailing a ship is much more complex you think, so maybe she really is qualified for it.

Within an hour she’s grazed two icebergs, and twice crew members fall out to their icy deaths. The rudder was heavily damaged so your ship can only turn left. Due to the new captain’s actions, you know that the repairs will end up costing you 10% of your take from the journey.

When do you start thinking about jumping ship? You don’t want to be in the next round that falls to their icy deaths, and if the current captain keeps driving, you’re afraid she doesn’t have the skill to avoid future icebergs.

If you abandon ship, any other ships you’re likely to find nearby will also be in the iceberg field, so there’s no guarantee that the next place will be any safer or their captain is more competent.

So when do you jump ship? When you realize half the crew is bailing water, but the captain won’t allow anyone to patch the ship? When you see the people trying to patch the ship are using fishing net to stop leaks?

Now, lets suppose the Captain names an advisor to be the “first first mate” and makes the first mate you trust report to him (essentially stripping him of his power)? You don’t know the new guy, you’re not sure if you can trust him, but the way the situation was handled makes you trust the captain less.

How about when the Captain’s advisor comes down and tells you that, rather than the bilge pumps you should use buckets, because he doesn’t trust bilge pumps. Most of the crew has lost complete faith in the captain at this time, and are planning on abandoning ship, they’re just not sure when.

When do you jump? When you see the first mate say “The captain’s lost it, I’m getting outta here”?

Do you wait until before or after the first mate BTFOs (Bails Out)?

Do you hang on, looking for another ship to jump to, and hope you find one soon?

Right now the first mate is looking for a sturdy lifeboat, preparing to make his escape… so where does that leave you?

Are you ready to abandon ship?

I know I’m asking a lot…

But could you please keep professional correspondence to complete strangers free of “SMS Shorthand”.

I rly h8 wen u du tht.

25 Things about Ziggy

Did you know, Ziggy…

  1. has no hair except for his eyelashes. It’s genetic.
  2. was raised by a tribe of hairy, barbaric gnomes.
  3. fights with two clubs.
  4. once helped a flying snakelady crush a landshark with a golden tree.
  5. once outsmarted a sphynx.
  6. has balls of steel
  7. crushed two stone golems without swinging once.
  8. lived in a Kender village for a year and left with more than he came with.
  9. has worn a sheep disguise on more than one occasion.
  10. befriended a Grimlok with bacon.
  11. got his ass kicked by an alpaca.
  12. woke up a sleeping hippo with a club to the head.
  13. tortured a troll with Lye.
  14. once rolled a “dead elf burrito.”
  15. scared off an ogre with an invisible steel dragon.
  16. raised a zombie army that nearly destroyed a town.
  17. worked at a zoo.
  18. likes to write “Thief” on the foreheads of unconscious thieves in permanent marker.
  19. crashed a zeppelin into a swamp.
  20. was eaten by a giant worm.
  21. was almost eaten alive by baboons.
  22. likes to hide in a magic bag.
  23. is known to wear goggles.
  24. can throw his voice.
  25. hates spiders and trolls.
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