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[P]
Waiting To Be Fired.

By NoMoreNicksLeft in Culture
Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 08:57:26 AM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)
/etc

I'm one of those vaguely self-destructive personality types you make acquaintence with throughout your life. Admittedly, if I didn't want to be fired, I could have kept my mouth shut. Or more accurately, my fingers under leash.


The office that I work in is rather typical for a phone support operation, I think, though it probably falls on the small side of that spectrum. There are several dozen phone support techs like myself there working two shifts. And it was nice at first. The first three months or so were fun, interesting, and only mildly stressful. It even paid well for a phone support job.

I worked the evening shift, from early afternoon until midnight. I help new customers set up their dialup or DSL service when I can, and I'm fairly good at that. If you were having trouble with either of those, you'd probably want to talk to me... I don't read from a script, and if you tell me you are using something other than Windows, I don't freak out and get rid of you. I'd even help with things less supportable than alternative operating systems, supposing no other calls were waiting. Routers, playstations, you name it, I'm familiar with it enough to help.

Many dumb things happened that I didn't worry too much about. Offices are that way, a person either ignores it, or bad things happen. I ignored them. The evening supervisor was friendly, a fellow geek, and best of all, someone who could help you figure out a problem even if you can't do it yourself. He'd take supervisor calls if you bothered to weed out the whiny customers even a bit for him.

The people I work with were cool, after 10pm or so there was often enough times between calls for idle talk.

Then things changed.

We got a new supervisor, a bad one, but not so bad that he was immediately intolerable. He's the chinese water torture of bad supervisorydom. One little drop of water every day or so, and what's a drop of water? But now it's been over three months, and its all but indistinguishable from the waterfall.

One particularly bad evening, he emailed me about some call escalation. A customer was driven insane about our inability to provide reliable DSL, and drove 450 miles from Philadelphia to our headquarters. He somehow managed to get inside a secure building, and accost the CEO. So, shit rolls downhill, and the word is out from up top that we need to call this customer up every night til it's fixed. He never told me any of that in the email though.

I call the customer as he asks, but I only get voicemail. Figuring it's fairly important, I decide to wait til my supervisor gets back from lunch to tell him. It's always better to tell him in person, right? Well, too bad that he decided to take a 2 1/2 hour lunch that night, something he's started doing more of lately. The miracles of salary. So I forget to tell him.

The next day he goes ballistic about it. I explain that I didn't bother to email him, and that by the time I got back, I had forgotten to update him on it. Not good enough though. I even bite my tongue, and fail to mention that it's not my business to be taking escalation calls, and that I'd not be able to help this guy in any event. But the Director pulls him away in the middle of the chewout. Hardly a rescue, as I'll soon describe.

Later that evening, he decides to pick up where we left off. Three minutes after I had clocked out for my own lunch. He asks me if I want to clock back in for it (as opposed to waiting for my lunch hour to end). I tell him its no big deal if he intends to keep it short. It ends up being 52 minutes of my lunch hour.

I really would like to describe that conversation to you, and I do certainly remember that it was in english. But it was so bizarre, I find that I simply cannot summarize it. He starts off about how he has a lot of responsibilities now that he's a supervisor, despite the fact that a) he never helps us solve any issues, b) there are reports that show that he never makes any outgoing calls to customers, c) his little kingdom is too small for all his time to be taken up by mundane paperwork that is taken care of by Human Resources anyway. It gets fuzzy here, but I do remember one or two jabs at the former supervisor, who "didn't want to be here anyway". Who would want to be a manager? There are no technical challenges. It wasn't that much of a raise. The only ones who would be are ladder climbers, if one can indeed start climbing ladders on so low of a rung.

There are insinuations and innuendos about how I wasn't getting along with any of the new recruits, even though I'd never said so much as a word to any of them yet, having been busy in addition to the fact that at that point they had maybe been there all of four days, two of those days being my day off. I got lectured on how I had better shape up, and start pulling my own weight, even though I had fewer complaints and took twice as many calls as anyone else. Even this past month, I ranked #4 in the department, not bad considering that nearly every single one of my calls is interrupted by one of the new techs who have caught on pretty early that our supervisor is incapable of helping them in any technical problem and will deride them for even bothering to ask.

So, a week later, he comes back from a long lunchbreak, and sees me surfing the web. The records show this was as long as thirteen minutes or so, not suprising since company policy allows non-offensive web usage during breaks and deadtime, and that there were no calls holding.

At this point, it's becoming rather irritating. I mouth off. My sarcasm bites hard, and it is something like "I'm obviously being derelict in my duty, and you need to write me up so the Director can fire me tomorrow". It was not the brightest thing to do for someone that still has a few months to go before his credit cards are paid down, and he can start saving. I admit that. Time for another lecture.

This one starts out with the, in my opinion, nearly philosophical question of "What did we just talk about at our last meeting?". What didn't we talk about? So, he draws this out for over an hour, complete with selective testimony of my co-workers. They're brought over, asked leading questions, even the guy that had just had a heart attack scare a week before. He was taking medication, but damn did he look nervous and stressed-out. Calls are piling up in the queue during my kangaroo court trial, even as the words slop out of his mouth that "obviously I didn't give a damn about any of our customers".

The verdict: I'm guilty of being too easy a target, and on top of that not meekly playing the submissive to his control-freak personality. The sentence: being written up. Followed up with a "you had better shape up, I'm going to be keeping a close eye on you". Double my stupidity, I point out that I might as well be fired now for efficiency's sake. I continue, stating that people fudge things in minor and completely forgivable ways all the time and that if I'm under a microscope I'm not going to bust a ventricle like my coworker trying to make sure I'm not "back 10 seconds late from my lunch". We take our lunchbreaks off the clock, for fuck's sake.

So, a few weeks later, we're working the weekend shift. He's not there, so that generally means things go smoothly. It's one of the weekends that are becoming rarer lately, where we have as much as ten of fifteen minutes between calls, and often there are several us not in a call. We joke, talk, do the things that any human being would do in a lonely building when there is no work to be done. In particular, we joke about some of the worst customers we've had, something that I would be shocked if I discovered that it happened in less than 100% of the call centers on planet earth. The joking goes on for maybe the better part of an hour, on and off, us being careful to not be overheard by any customers that a coworker might be talking to.

I'm pretty sure that the nature of the joke is immaterial, but in case I'm biased, toward the end we joked about answering a call with it in mute, and just letting them get tired of it and and hang up. I pantomimed doing so. There are several reasons why this could not be more than a joke. One for instance, is that the queue reports show all phone activities. How long you have a customer on hold, how long it takes to transfer them, even whether or not we have those customers in mute.

It doesn't help that customers get tired of the muzak, hang up, then call back an hour later bitching that they were hung up on. Let's see, you were calling from a cell phone with 3% battery left? You're phone line has problems, and you were calling in about that in particular? You're a pathological liar who gets to dish out abuse in what is actually a perfectly legal way to reduce your stress? You must be one of our customers.

It actually required that one of the new guys be a snitch, because the queue report didn't show that we had done that. Yet, the following Thursday, I'm called into another meeting. I worked on Monday, no one said a thing. The following two days are my "weekend". So, the weekly reports don't show anything, no more than the usual number of calls on Monday to our customer support department claiming they were hung up on or spoken rudely to that weekend. And I'm still written up. Second written reprimand. The kicker: I'm told that bosses three rungs up the ladder are absolutely pissed, and that I'd be fired if only they could prove that I had done it. I'm not a teenager anymore, I don't act guilty during this meeting. I chuckle and point out that we were joking. I ask him how I can be written up for joking, and his only words to me are "Why would you even joke about that?". I'm no Troi, but there was a little sense of him actually believing that was the extent of the behavior.

So, joking about hanging up on obnoxious customers is the equivalent of joking about babyrape and Nazi gas chambers. I did not read that memo.

Well, I'm not quite at a boil at this point, so it goes another week or so. Then, eight days ago on Monday, there is a department-wide email saying how certain sofware is banned from use. This happens to be software that makes my job easier. I don't bother asking my supervisor, and it's not yet 4:30pm, so I ask his boss if she can spare a few minutes to speak with me. The answers are barely satisfactory, but I'm given some probationary permission to continue using it.

So, it's Final Stupidity Jeopardy, I've bet all $17,200 and I'm boiling over, relatively positive outcome or not. The answer is, NoMoreNicksLeft writes this scathing slashdot journal entry and doesn't bother to scrub his damning publically viewable email address.

Time til the superschmeizzer found it, despite the fact that I can't imagine him reading anything other than sportscar websites? 7 days.

I recieved an email late last night telling me to prepare to "have a meeting" when I come in Thursday afternoon. The bastard doesn't even have the decency to avoid having me drive 20 miles before telling me I'm shitcanned.

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Display: Sort:
Waiting To Be Fired. | 314 comments (276 topical, 38 editorial, 0 hidden)
you're thirty years old? (1.15 / 13) (#6)
by cbraga on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:11:51 PM EST

oh god, I thought you were 19, definitely no more than 22, then I read your journal where you complain that a 30 year old man doesn't get respect.

guess what? respect is something you have to earn, and whining like a little kid won't get you any, and working on a dead-end job at that age is far short of impressive too.

ESC[78;89;13p ESC[110;121;13p

Fuck you. (2.10 / 10) (#7)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:19:36 PM EST

I take what jobs I can find. I'm not ever going to be able to "go back to school", and I doubt that I want to even if the opportunity presents it.

But keep on spouting off all your "respect is earned" mantras... you never bothered to ask if I did. Do I have to re-earn it every time a new fuckwit gets promoted?

I don't whine. Sounds like you do though, and your magical asshat ears translate your own faggoty words to shakespearean rhetoric for that little peabrain of yours.

Oh.

And fuck you.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

No, seriously! (1.00 / 6) (#15)
by The Hilarious Genocide of the Obese on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:07:44 PM EST

You're thirty and still working an entry-level call center job.

[ Parent ]
Really? (2.50 / 2) (#17)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:25:18 PM EST

You must mean the second fulltime job that I'm working to pay off bills, and the lesser paying of the two? That job?

Or maybe you mean the job I work despite the fact that the government mandates employers give respectable jobs to everyone age 28+.

Besides which, if it is an entry level job, in a sane world I might have earned another notch or two up in the food chain. 12 or more greasemonkey scripts comprising about 8000 lines of code that integrate 7 webapps and information previously only available on some buried folder nested 5 deep in a network drive. 10 pages of setup documentation for System 9 and OSX, PS2 and Xbox. More or less training people on nightshift 5-10 minutes at a time.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

That is the biggest bunch of horseshit. (1.00 / 7) (#21)
by The Hilarious Genocide of the Obese on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:38:38 PM EST

Or maybe you mean the job I work despite the fact that the government mandates employers give respectable jobs to everyone age 28+.

Hahaha! Why don't you just go on welfare and not have to work at all if you think age alone entitles you to higher wages? It sounds like whatever country you're residing in has a pretty cushy social safety net anyway.

[ Parent ]

I didn't realize you were one of those... (2.33 / 3) (#22)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 09:01:14 PM EST

With the newly discovered brain disease that impairs your ability to understand sarcasm. Dumbass.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
I was surprised too (none / 1) (#27)
by khallow on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:44:46 PM EST

I guess he used up his lifetime's quota of sarcasm thinking up that nickname.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

I don't think his username is sarcastic (none / 0) (#42)
by speek on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 08:11:49 AM EST


--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

OTOH (none / 0) (#50)
by khallow on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 09:53:40 AM EST

He probably does. And that thought squeezed the last juice out of the hideously shrunk and deformed part of his brain which handled sarcasm.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Really (none / 0) (#19)
by trane on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:34:36 PM EST

He should be applying for SSI.

[ Parent ]
breaking news (none / 0) (#26)
by cbraga on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:40:34 PM EST

Lack of education isn't an excuse, there are plenty of successful people who lack formal education, e.g, Michael Dell started selling computers while he was in high school.

ESC[78;89;13p ESC[110;121;13p
[ Parent ]
breaking breaking news (3.00 / 6) (#31)
by nkyad on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 11:22:45 PM EST

Lack of education may not be an excuse, lack of opportunity is - for every Michael Dell in the world there are millions of broken-hearted men working for minimum wage in three jobs, just to keep some food at their kid's table. It amazes me that people keep using the few and far between instance of enormous luck to justify their lack of empathy.

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
you missed the point completely (1.50 / 4) (#34)
by cbraga on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 12:46:06 AM EST

The point being that the author's attitude is completely opposite to that of Michael Dell's. Dell worked his ass off selling computers before he became rich, while the author apparently passes his idle time making jokes on customer's inability with computers instead of asking himself what he lacks that even though his boss is so inept as he described it was his boss and not the author who became supervisor.

What do you think is more productive? To spend your idle time complaining how unfair life is and how incompetent your bosses are, or to spend it trying to figure out how to turn the table around and, if not to become rich, maybe just to live better?

We need not take the super-rich as examples. Just look around your city and you'll see thounsands of shops, offices and small industries, all owned by thousands of people who aren't as noteworthy as Dell or Gates but definitely do well on their own.

As time passes I become more and more convinced that fortune does not depend as much on a single big breakthrough as on thousands of small events which add together every day. When competent people work hard opportunity eventually comes, and you have to be ready to hang on to it otherwise it just passes by and you may not even take notice.


ESC[78;89;13p ESC[110;121;13p
[ Parent ]

you're a complete ass (3.00 / 5) (#41)
by speek on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 08:09:55 AM EST

In case you didn't notice, he has a second job in addition to this one. Plus, he improved their internal webapp in some of his spare time. Ya, he took some time out to gab with his co-workers. What a worthless shit! In case you've never noticed in life, the people who tend to get promoted to positions like his manager are the ones who do nothing but gab with their co-workers. That's what gets them noticed and liked.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

For every idle minute I spent joking... (3.00 / 5) (#57)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 03:30:04 PM EST

I've spent 3 idle minutes working on problems no one else bothered to. I wrote software to make the job easier, for fuck's sake. I wrote documentation. Sometimes, I'd spend the better part of a lunch hour doing this, off the clock. One evening, I stayed 20 minutes after clocking out, just because I had finally figured out how to get the software to do what I wanted.

You think that is easy, try fucking writing something difficult, 3 minutes at a time, in between calls. Try doing it in fucking javascript, because that's the *only* tool you have to work with... I can't exactly upload modified PHP to the server.

You think that is insigificant. I only wish I could show you how ineffective these damn applications were. For months, we couldn't look up email addresses by account number. If you called in, telling me you had forgotten your address, I could not look it up. If I tried to create another for you, it would complain that the account had already reached its limit though.  But it wouldn't tell you what they were, so you could delete them. One of the easier examples to relate to someone not familiar with our jargon.

As for my misfortune, I'm not a businessman. I know this. I'll never be one. I have many ideas, a few of which might be great even. But being a success in business has nothing to do with ideas, great or otherwise.

Besides which, if you mark it up as whining, and bitch at me for whining, you miss out on what is otherwise what I thought might be an interesting story. Something to chew on while your on hold with your ISP's support department.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

ya you're right (3.00 / 2) (#80)
by trane on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 11:11:23 PM EST

i bet michael dell never made jokes about his customers, ever.

[ Parent ]
Anecdotal evidence is no basis for argument... (none / 0) (#101)
by skyknight on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 12:13:32 PM EST

except in the case of proof by contradiction.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
And the PARENT got zeroed?!? (none / 1) (#123)
by cribcage on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 04:31:04 PM EST

I don't whine. Sounds like you do though, and your magical asshat ears translate your own faggoty words to shakespearean rhetoric for that little peabrain of yours.
Well, you handled that nicely. You're clearly a mature, well-balanced individual, and an asset to your company.

Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
This is a diary. (2.33 / 12) (#14)
by Scott Robinson on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:55:50 PM EST

And not even a K5 diary, but a diary hidden in your bedroom so no one ever will accidently read it.

Stop whining, and stop working at shitty jobs. This is the sort of behavior you should expect for a call center job.

Never said it wasn't a "diary". (2.80 / 5) (#16)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:15:16 PM EST

As for the whining. Hmm, that's actually interesting because I wrote it with a shit-eating grin, and I'll be glad to be rid of the place. I always thought of whining as being something with a particular tone of voice (something impossible in the written word), or barring that, with a certain desperation and frame of mind. Since neither of those apply to me, I can only conclude that most people have a significantly different definition of "whining", or perhaps that they don't feel the need to analyze it. Which is strange, because taken to the extreme, everything except happy bubbly words end up being whining. If someone does a writeup on why x86 Macs are a bad idea and the wrong move, that could concievably be smacked down as whining. Our president is an asshat? Whining. And those Abu Grahib prisoners, those big crybabies.

Too much attitude to whine, I think I'm bitching.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Actually, I didn't think it was whining at all (none / 1) (#37)
by rodoke3 on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 05:19:28 AM EST

From my reading of it, it looked as if you went through the entire ordeal more for entertainment than necessity, which is probably why I kept misreading the title as "Wanting to be Fired".

I take umbrage with such statments and am induced to pull out archaic and over pompous words to refute such insipid vitriol. -- kerinsky


[ Parent ]
Well... (2.50 / 2) (#46)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 08:32:22 AM EST

That misreading of the title isn't all that inaccurate either. 80 hours per week isn't fun. And it would be the first time I could be fired in my life without it being devastating.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
well, it's kinda techie and kinda from da trenches (2.00 / 3) (#18)
by kpaul on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:32:26 PM EST

what's the last thing *you* submitted to the queue? (i'm saying this w/out looking at your uid page, of course ;)

this is a lot better than some of the other stuff we've seen go through lately, no?


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

To be a little more fair... (none / 0) (#39)
by Scott Robinson on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 06:19:30 AM EST

It is not worse than a lot of the recent items.

I just think it falls short of section.

[ Parent ]

IAWTP not only "kinda" NT (none / 0) (#44)
by shinnin on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 08:20:15 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Maybe a new section is called for (none / 0) (#205)
by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:43:35 AM EST

"The War at Work"?

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
It is never appropriate (3.00 / 4) (#20)
by trane on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:37:22 PM EST

to accept or expect unfair behavior in the workplace. Ever, anytime.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, people should stop ever (3.00 / 2) (#23)
by Egil Skallagrimson on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 09:15:03 PM EST

feeling bad.  Whiners.

----------------

Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.
[ Parent ]

Expect it. (none / 1) (#40)
by Scott Robinson on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 06:21:26 AM EST

If you come into a job, and find out the culture and environment is abusive you have two choices: leave or try to change it.

But face the reality that low tier jobs often have abusive management.

[ Parent ]

Why is it a reality? (none / 0) (#79)
by trane on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 11:08:00 PM EST

Is it some immutable law of nature?

If not, are there things that can be done to change the current reality?

[ Parent ]

Well... (none / 0) (#82)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 11:19:12 PM EST

I'd go so far as to say that it's a law of sociology. The things that would be tried to change it would probably make it worse.

Not to mention, they'd have to be implemented by those who caused the problem in the first place. How likely are they to actually fix it?

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

The problem is (none / 0) (#206)
by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:47:37 AM EST

that these battles have to be fought boss by boss, section by section and company by company. It takes people with guts and determination to topple these petty tyrants and to be honest, it does take a toll.

I've fought any number of these battles in and outside of unions and my favorite thing is that they use the chain of command against you not realizing just how much of a double-edged sword that is. Piss me off  and your superiors will be in your shit for days. There is no stupid act that goes unpunished nor should there be.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

This is why: (3.00 / 3) (#95)
by rpresser on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 10:02:52 AM EST

It's an Anthropic Principle effect.

  • Abusive managers exist.

  • In order for them to be managers, they have to work somewhere in the organization.

  • The higher they rise, the more people they will affect, and the more chance that their abusive behavior will cost them their position.
  • Therefore, abusive managers are most likely to be found in lower tiers.
    ------------
    "In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
    [ Parent ]

    I can't agree (none / 1) (#207)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:50:37 AM EST

    Eh, my experience is that this isn't the case. It's across the board and that class warfare is so prevalent that no one even bothers address it 99% of the time. The only difference is that higher up they're a bit more careful about who sees it than what it is that they actually do.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    So you agree. (none / 0) (#258)
    by rpresser on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 10:25:24 AM EST

    they're a bit more careful about who sees it

    This does not contradict what I said:

    Therefore, abusive managers are most likely to be found in lower tiers.
    ------------
    "In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
    [ Parent ]

    No (none / 0) (#293)
    by destroy all monsters on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 11:27:28 PM EST

    Found only in terms of being on the outside looking in. Those that don't see it on the inside are too clueless to grasp fundamental office politics to begin with.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    "Diary", not Diary (none / 1) (#29)
    by nkyad on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 11:18:14 PM EST

    This is definitely not your good-old-run-of-the-mill  diary guetho daily rant. It is just a diary in the sense of telling a personal and (supposedly) real story from the first person perspective. And it tells it very well, like many great stories we had in the past years. A good tale, well told, spiced by a hint of human drama - what else can we ask for?

    By the way, if I my memory serves me well (believe me, it does, it is just a figure of speech), the very first localroger story to reach the front page was a personal account of his gambling experiences (actually a series). There are other examples but I am lazy.

    Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


    [ Parent ]
    'Tis true (none / 0) (#225)
    by strawser on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 11:00:23 AM EST

    > This is the sort of behavior you should expect for a call center job.

    Incompetent low-level management looking or a fallguy is status-quo for tech support call centers. Sounds like the guy is typical: he's not competent to do his job, and to distract, he has a "problem employee". For now it's you, but he'll pick another soon enough. He'll keep on doing it until his boss realizes he's a walking failure, then fire him. Then he'll go on to another company, kiss ass until he gets a management job, and do the same thing.

    Continue that exact cycle for the rest of his life, with him always certain he's a noble victim who's done nothing wrong.



    "Traveler, there is no path. You make the path as you walk." -- Antonio Machado
    [ Parent ]

    Yeh... (none / 0) (#239)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 12:51:19 AM EST

    But he can always use the last position to jump in a little higher the next time.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]
    don't be so sure (none / 0) (#30)
    by khallow on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 11:21:40 PM EST

    My bet is that your boss is upset because you went around him or her. That's probably enough in their book to fire you. If they happen to know of your web postings, then that'll be convenient.

    Stating the obvious since 1969.

    In what way? (none / 1) (#43)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 08:13:25 AM EST

    About the software, I had tried to show it to him a few weeks before any of the writeups. Made sure it was when he wasn't busy. He acted liked I was showing him a dogturd, perhaps something even more unpleasant than that. He made mention of it then that I wasn't allowed to be using Firefox, despite the fact that at that point, my company didn't have a policy on it either way. He ended up calling the helpdesk on it, only to have them tell him they couldn't care less as long as I didn't ask them to support it.

    I even showed the dayshift supervisor, who said "That's the thing we'd like to see more of", until he realized that it was not IE, to which he responded "that's not good" as he walked away.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    huh? (3.00 / 3) (#49)
    by khallow on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 09:51:55 AM EST

    I don't bother asking my supervisor, and it's not yet 4:30pm, so I ask his boss if she can spare a few minutes to speak with me. The answers are barely satisfactory, but I'm given some probationary permission to continue using it.

    You go above a boss's head, especially if it's justified, you make them look bad. They take it out on you. I bet his boss chewed your supervisor out for letting the unwashed masses (you) dirty supervisor's boss's office. The rest of your comments are irrelevant to whether or not your supervisor will fire you. I wouldn't in the least be surprised if this guy has no clue that you post less than perfect thoughts about him on slashdot.

    Stating the obvious since 1969.
    [ Parent ]

    In this situation (3.00 / 2) (#223)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 10:43:00 AM EST

    it's best to get a written rule from whoever handles that - IT or whatnot. Then he can disagree all he wants with company policy and look like an ass for doing it.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    So what? (2.71 / 7) (#32)
    by Kasreyn on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 11:48:22 PM EST

    I was shafted through about three stages of my company's discipline system when an extremely draconian new tardy policy was put into place and made retroactive upon past instances. I went from "no problemo" to "twitch and you're fired" in one sheet of paper. It's just life in a corporation. I don't see why you think it's news-worthy.


    "Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
    We never asked to be born in the first place."

    R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
    I don't think he said it was "News" (none / 1) (#33)
    by nkyad on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 12:14:14 AM EST

    "Section: Politics, Topic: Culture" - I would argue that it's not "Politics" as generally understood here.

    More to the point I think you're heading, I thought it was a story worth reading, despite its shortcomings (maybe too long, maybe too personal, with the "big picture" linkage left as an exercise to the reader). But then again, that's me.

    Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


    [ Parent ]
    It may not involve Famous World Leaders (none / 1) (#140)
    by glor on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 08:50:06 PM EST

    ... but it's absolutely politics.

    --
    Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.
    [ Parent ]

    Anything (3.00 / 2) (#81)
    by trane on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 11:14:46 PM EST

    that goes against truth, justice, and the American Way is newsworthy.

    [ Parent ]
    HA HA (none / 0) (#264)
    by ylikone on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 12:15:16 PM EST

    "against truth, justice, and the American Way"

    Corportism IS the American way!!!! There is no truth or justice in it. Get used to it.

    [ Parent ]

    Sad. (none / 0) (#275)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 01:19:40 PM EST

    That saying predates corporatism.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]
    where i live in texas (3.00 / 3) (#35)
    by auraslip on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 03:44:23 AM EST

    There is a call center called "vacation tour and travel".
    They hire anyone, and almost everyone quits. I managed to get fired.
    Everyone that works there for more than 3 months must certainly be dead inside.

    124
    get your super fired (3.00 / 2) (#36)
    by dimaq on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 04:44:21 AM EST

    or at least try to.

    You hit the nail on the head there (none / 0) (#208)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:54:17 AM EST

    They have to made examples of. That way when you've gotten the next boss in deep shit they can't say they haven't been warned. :)

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    Do you care about the job? (3.00 / 3) (#38)
    by bil on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 06:12:22 AM EST

    If you really care about keeping the job you could make a claim of victimisation by your supervisor and demand someone else hears your disciplinery. Written reprimand for making jokes, and for surfing the web if the company policy permits it sounds like it might be a good grounds. The slashdot write up was dumb but if you can make a case that software that helps you do your job has been banned because management doesn't understand the technical aspects of the work, and you apologise you might get away with it.

    In the UK you have the right to representation in any disciplinary hearing, if you have something similar use it even if their only job is to kick you under the table when you start saying something stupid.

    Of course if you dont care about the job tell them all about how good you were at the job (with reference to all the appropriate statistics) and then tell them you quit because you can t work with your supervisor.

    Whatever you do dont lose your temper, anger leads to sacking, sacking leads to misery, misery leads to credit card bills, that way lies the dark side.

    bil
    Where you stand depends on where you sit...

    Yes. (none / 1) (#62)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 03:47:10 PM EST

    At least I did at one point. And while I have no idea what career I'd choose if the career faery visits me, one at an ISP would have been cool.

    But I can't change it. The atmosphere there is now one of "You do what you are told, period. You answer calls, and spend at most 10 minutes per on them." These are people that won't allow me the autonomy to install Firefox on my work machine for whatever reason, even as they tell me to help customers wth spyware issues. You'd think I could be trusted to decide what (excepting license issues) software to install on the thing.

    In the US, there is no way to file any sort of grievance unless you're a union worker, and I doubt it's all that easy then.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    whoa, complete bull (none / 0) (#76)
    by speek on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 07:58:00 PM EST

    In the US, there is no way to file any sort of grievance...

    Of course you can file grievances. If they have an HR department, you can start there. After that, there are worker advocacy groups, department of labor, and lawyers. And I'm sure there's lots more others would know more about. My wife (were she in your position) would get your boss fired, no problem.

    --
    al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
    [ Parent ]

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! (none / 1) (#83)
    by C Montgomery Burns on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 11:47:57 PM EST

    File a grievance with HR?  You have got to be kidding!

    --
    ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD
    Intelligent design
    [ Parent ]
    not really (none / 0) (#90)
    by speek on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 08:30:51 AM EST

    If you actually want to accomplish anything, it's pretty much a necessary first step. If they fail to do anything, it gives more teeth to subsequent legal action.

    --
    al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
    [ Parent ]

    Hate to murder a thread... (none / 0) (#93)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 09:22:34 AM EST

    But it's a "right to work" state. The oxymoronic definition of that is that they can fire me for any reason, or no reason, excluding some particular ones in federal law (because I'm gay/black/jewish/etc).

    I'm not gay, black, jewish.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    Start surfing on gay support sites (not porn) (none / 0) (#104)
    by OXDEADBEEF on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 12:29:29 PM EST

    Hoping you're not married, but then you can maybe let them suppose you're bisexual...

    Make sure you are seen on pages titled like "I'm pressured for being gay in the workplace, what should I do?".

    [ Parent ]

    You may not be gay (none / 1) (#113)
    by zerth on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 01:50:58 PM EST

    But you can use it.

    Say you thought he might have been making a pass at you and you tried to put him down gently, except really, you misunderstood and now he's trying to fire you because you thought /he/ was gay.

    A guy in HR at my wife's company used that one on his boss and it succeeded massively(although mostly because the boss was a rampant homophobe, yet everyone figured he was going to came out of the closet any day).

    Rusty isn't God here, he's the pope; our God is pedantry. -- Subtillus
    [ Parent ]

    Love your sig (/meta) (nt) (none / 0) (#177)
    by Cornelius on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 02:54:26 PM EST




    Cornelius

    "Your suffering will be legendary, even in Hell", Hellraiser
    [ Parent ]
    The gay card is an excellent one to play [n/t] (none / 0) (#212)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 10:04:20 AM EST



    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    California is a right to work state (none / 0) (#211)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 10:03:17 AM EST

    and there's more than enough in the statues here and federally to keep these people busy and in fear for a long, long time.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    Move to Europe! (none / 0) (#91)
    by bil on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 09:11:48 AM EST

    In the US, there is no way to file any sort of grievance unless you're a union worker, and I doubt it's all that easy then.

    If there is no formal grievance procedure in the company, and none are set out in your contract, you could go up the management chain to your bosses boss and talk to them, make it clear all you want is a fair hearing and you cant get that from your boss. If they refuse try mentioning the words "unfair dismissal", "my lawyer", and "compensation", then they will probably get someone else to hear the case just to cover their asses.

    Alternativley you could just move to a more enlightened jurisdiction.

    By the way, whatever you do make sure you go into the meeting well prepared, know what you want to say and say it, stay calm, dont get angry or threatening, use your best tech-support-talking-to-clueless-user manner. Never, ever, ever, resort to insults, even if they deserve it. Work out what your boss will say beforehand and have good answers prepared, if you can get call logs to back you up so much the better, and dont get technical unless you are sure they will understand, making someone feel like an idiot is a sure way to turn them against you.

    Its all common sense stuff really but if you come across as a incoherent slacker with a temper, who doesn't give a damn about them and their company you may as well not have wasted your petrol (gas).

    bil
    Where you stand depends on where you sit...
    [ Parent ]

    That's how they try to intimidate you (none / 1) (#210)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 10:01:40 AM EST

    is with the atmosphere. What the bosses don't get is that you run the place and they don't (unless you're at a mom and pop and the power shifts slightly).

    What you do is get everything in writing. Ignore all verbal reprimands and bullshit. Always take every one of your breaks and if they're interrupted for any reason the clock starts all over again. Lunches at precisely the right time. Notifying your boss's superiors of his work habits, the gamut. Stop fucking them when *you* get tired.

    You're wrong about grievances both in and outside union shops. I've worked both and it's helpful sometimes to have a union but I've always ended up bringing in the contract and fighting them myself. You just have to know your state's labor laws and federal ones to the extent you can screw them. Health and safety codes too. You can make these people utterly miserable.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]

    Anger is (none / 0) (#209)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:55:23 AM EST

    the engine that leads you to destroying your opponents in my estimation.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    why I didn't like it (1.44 / 9) (#56)
    by army of phred on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 03:24:26 PM EST

    Your attitude probably hurts your employer, but its probably not your fault. Hopefully you'll get fired and can save that poor company some grief. Try retail, its not that bad, and for petes sake, learn some respect.

    "Republicans are evil." lildebbie
    "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
    "my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
    Respect is earned, not given away for free... (3.00 / 2) (#115)
    by triddle on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 02:01:25 PM EST

    at least for me. Giving someone respect who doesn't deserve it doesn't help in the long run; it's the principle of the matter.

    [ Parent ]
    Boss (2.00 / 2) (#119)
    by Xptic on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 03:28:35 PM EST

    When you disrespect the guy who signs your paychecks, expect to get fucked.

    Respect IS earned.  If someone has a better job than you, they probably deserve your respect.  If for no other reason than they were smart enough to reach a goal you didn't.

    [ Parent ]

    Wow... (none / 1) (#121)
    by nate s on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 03:51:43 PM EST

    That's pretty presumptuous.

    If someone has a better job than me, I immediately assume that they are either much older (seniority) or better-connected; not in any way that they are smarter than I or that they deserve my respect.

    You're quite right.  Respect IS earned.  That means that even Bill Gates himself gets no respect from me by default, even tho he has a much "better" job than I do.  I'd greet him with neutral civility until I determined that he is either brilliant or a lucky asshole.  Nobody gets respect from me based solely on their resume/CV.

    [ Parent ]

    and in even more plain terms (none / 1) (#159)
    by army of phred on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 08:25:15 AM EST

    what you do is respect others by default. You respect their rights, you respect their property, and if you work for them, you respect their position. I mean thats just common sense, and if you, nate simpson, want to be some sort of elitist punk too good to participate in civilized society, then more power to you, but better you than me.

    "Republicans are evil." lildebbie
    "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
    "my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
    [ Parent ]
    So you found my last name... (none / 1) (#165)
    by nate s on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:26:42 AM EST

    aren't you clever.

    I think we're using "respect" in slightly different senses.  I'm using it in the sense that sure, I won't damage/deface other peoples' property, or trample on their rights, or try to steal their jobs.  I'm all for the Golden Rule, so to speak, and I tend to live by that.  At the same time, I in no way think that another person is "better" than I am, or admire their achievements by default,  simply because they have immunity to prosecution, or go everywhere in a limousine, or have a C?O-type job.  

    If you want to think other people are better than you for such simplistic reasons, then be my guest, but as someone who has extensively studied class issues in the pursuit of a sociology master's degree, I can say with a certain amount of informed certainty that the achievement of a "good job" or the accumulation of material possessions is less an indicator of personal ability and more an indicator of your birth status and the connections your family has.  I'm not denying that poor roots can't be overcome with really hard work and a bit of luck, but there is definitely a luck element there and I respect some hard-working people who have never "made it" a lot more than some people I know who make six-figure salaries.  As I said, respect, in the sense that I'm using it, is earned.  That doesn't make me "elitist" or a "punk."

    [ Parent ]

    kids these days (none / 1) (#180)
    by army of phred on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 04:04:29 PM EST

    I think we're using "respect" in slightly different senses. I'm using it in the sense that sure, I won't damage/deface other peoples' property, or trample on their rights, or try to steal their jobs. I'm all for the Golden Rule, so to speak, and I tend to live by that. At the same time, I in no way think that another person is "better" than I am, or admire their achievements by default, simply because they have immunity to prosecution, or go everywhere in a limousine, or have a C?O-type job.

    This is what respect means to you, that for you to respect someone else in anyway somehow demeans you or makes you a lesser person? That says boatloads about you right there, maybe thats the attitude you should reconsider holding. I wonder how much the origional poster shares with you in that regard, maybe thats the root cause of his difficulties.

    "Republicans are evil." lildebbie
    "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
    "my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
    [ Parent ]

    You misunderstand. (none / 1) (#183)
    by nate s on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 04:26:57 PM EST

    It's not that respecting someone else demeans me in any way at all.  Nowhere did I say that.  I just said that I don't admire people by default, and if you notice I used quotes around the word "better" - that in reference to the original suggestion that someone who has a "better" job than you deserves your respect.

    If you go back to the original post that I was challenging, the sense of the post was that someone who has a better job has capabilities or talents that you don't, and thus you should admire that person; I disagree.  I think that a person needs to prove that they have such capabilities and talents to me before I'll admire the person; I don't grant this by default.  To use a dictionary version, I'm not "deferential or holding people in esteem" by default - but I will show them polite behavior, which is a different type of respect altogether.

    To sum, I will be courteous to you, but I will not honor you, hold you in high esteem, or defer to you, or any such other meaning of the word.  Any "respect" more than basic courtesy must be earned, irrespective of your occupational achievements.  If that bugs you, maybe you should look at why you feel so strongly that you need to be honored by others, or why you are so ready to behave deferentially to people you don't know.  (Not that, judging by your posts, the latter seems to be an issue to you.)

    [ Parent ]

    nah (none / 1) (#184)
    by army of phred on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 04:38:36 PM EST

    I'm not really bothered that you find the act of respect to be somehow beyond your means, or that simple respect of another person somehow makes you a lesser person. This is in fact all too common, and I'm just pointing it out when appropriate.

    "Republicans are evil." lildebbie
    "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
    "my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
    [ Parent ]
    Yes, because you are a monkey. (2.00 / 2) (#185)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 04:55:28 PM EST

    And him not acting like a monkey, but continuing to look like one is confusing. Lesser monkeys are supposed to be deferential by default, dammit! He looks like a lesser one too, why is he acting like the alpha male?!?!?! I'll beat him up and show him just where his place is!!!!

    We're all monkeys, to one degree or another. I do wish a few of you would evolve past this one trait, but it won't happen. Too vaulable as a survival trait.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    heh (none / 1) (#187)
    by army of phred on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 05:56:46 PM EST

    I'll beat him up and show him just where his place is!!!!

    thats probably why they wanted you gone.

    "Republicans are evil." lildebbie
    "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
    "my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
    [ Parent ]

    Yes. (none / 1) (#191)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 08:01:27 PM EST

    Because I didn't know my place. Duh. In my book, that's a virtue, in yours a sin. There are more people like you than there are like me, which is somewhat sad. However, I can't say that you don't punish each other enough to suit me.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]
    I doubt that was the problem (none / 1) (#201)
    by army of phred on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 02:27:05 AM EST

    it was more that you didn't know your place but thought you did, in combination with an unwillingness to accept others input when it was their job to enlighten you.

    "Republicans are evil." lildebbie
    "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
    "my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
    [ Parent ]
    My place... (none / 0) (#240)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 12:54:00 AM EST

    Is to be fired for not acting like the peon that I am, and to be ridiculed by trolls like yourself if I dare speak about it. Duh.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]
    when someone says something I don't like (none / 1) (#251)
    by army of phred on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 05:01:24 PM EST

    I call them a troll too.

    Oh wait, no I don't.

    I've been in bad jobs with bad management before. However, in your case you were at greater fault, and according to your account, a really really bad employee who probably shouldn't have been hired in the first place, but hiring errors to occur.

    Also, after I quit, I didn't plot against them, I got on with my life. Its sad that you're apparently 30 years old and can't even get to that point.

    "Republicans are evil." lildebbie
    "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
    "my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
    [ Parent ]

    Plotting against them? (none / 0) (#252)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 05:12:43 PM EST

    A really, really bad employee? Hmm. Objectively, I did the things that I've been told that good employees do. Extra work, trying to help improve things. I gave my supervisor first crack at seeing it. Disinterest. Didn't bother him with it again, he used it as a club to beat me with. I complain to his boss, she's a dumb bitch.

    I didn't even say a bad word until after that meeting. Sometime during it, or shortly afterward, I realized that I didn't want to work there. Prior to that, the only things that I "did" were all inside my head. So unless you are trotting out thoughtcrimes, I have no idea what you are talking about. I may have been a really really bad soldier, a bad PFC. But guess what dumbass, I didn't enlist in the army.

    Ever wonder why so many science fiction (Harrison's Hammer and Cross, Hogan's Cradle of Saturn)stories always have the band of heroes working together, just getting things done efficiently without all the bullshit? Because it's fiction, it doesn't happen in real life. People like you get in the way.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    haha (none / 1) (#253)
    by army of phred on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 07:40:59 PM EST

    A really, really bad employee? Hmm. Objectively, I did the things that I've been told that good employees do. Extra work, trying to help improve things. I gave my supervisor first crack at seeing it. Disinterest. Didn't bother him with it again, he used it as a club to beat me with. I complain to his boss, she's a dumb bitch.

    Yeah a class act you are.

    Ever wonder why so many science fiction (Harrison's Hammer and Cross, Hogan's Cradle of Saturn)stories always have the band of heroes working together, just getting things done efficiently without all the bullshit? Because it's fiction, it doesn't happen in real life. People like you get in the way.

    Thats it of course, you believe that we're all just trying to get in your way, and that inevitably is going to be an unproductive worldview.

    You are 30 years old and you don't know shit. You need to be in a menial job, but not of the level of the one you just left, it needs to be lower skilled then that. You otherwise will not build an appreciation of nice jobs. You absolutely need to get a job where you work your ass off just to build yourself some personal character and get rid of this teenaged punk mindset you seem to be trapped in, EVEN AT 30 YEARS OF AGE.

    Damnit you are a flippin adult meandering toward middle age without a clue and folks like me are just trying to give you a heads up. But you seem to just try to fight off help so I don't know why I should even bother.

    "Republicans are evil." lildebbie
    "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
    "my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
    [ Parent ]

    I don't get it (none / 0) (#254)
    by destroy all monsters on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 09:25:21 PM EST

    Why are you responding to someone who is clearly baiting you and denigrating you?

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    If you don't feed the trolls. (none / 0) (#255)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 11:09:05 PM EST

    They'll never grow up big and strong.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]
    I guess I can just chalk it up to you being (none / 0) (#257)
    by destroy all monsters on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 02:33:45 AM EST

    contrary.

    It makes me wonder if if what you're doing at work is to play "I'm cleverer than you" instead of just screwing your opponents though. One of those gets you somewhere and the other one feeds one's need for a superiority complex. Then again I'm probably reading too much into this anyway.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]

    he was creating problems (none / 1) (#259)
    by army of phred on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 10:34:23 AM EST

    Besides which, if it is an entry level job, in a sane world I might have earned another notch or two up in the food chain. 12 or more greasemonkey scripts comprising about 8000 lines of code that integrate 7 webapps and information previously only available on some buried folder nested 5 deep in a network drive.

    A clear example: 8000 lines of UNAUTHORIZED code, in an obscure scripting language on an UNAUTHORIZED webbrowser hitting their enterprise app, and he thinks he should be rewarded. The boss didn't even want him running anything but internet explorer.

    Honestly, he needed fired, and he's lucky he had the opportunity to quit. He is arrogantly stupid beyond measure.

    "Republicans are evil." lildebbie
    "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
    "my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
    [ Parent ]

    Unauthorized, obscure, blahblahblah. (none / 1) (#268)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 12:51:20 PM EST

    Javascript is anything but obscure. Though you may not have noticed, some of the biggest ecommerce sites end up making use of it in pretty much everything they do.

    "Unauthorized" just means that authorization is more important to you than anything else. It serves as a bludgeon to fuck with people that you don't like. If someone stands up and urinates on his desk, do you fire him for unauthorized urination? Nah, you do it because he's an antisocial maniac. Likewise, do you fire him if he goes to the bathroom without asking? Well, maybe you would, depending on what mood you were in. Or maybe you "pre-authorize" everyone to go when they need to. Who knows. It's funny that you default to the micromanagement attitude though, no matter the scenario.

    Did I need to be fired, from the company's perspective? Unlikely. Big companies can absorb all sorts of borderline behavior without it affecting their bottom line (though it may affect whatever corporate culture is there, to be sure). Did my bosses need to fire me? Well, it depends on how they define necessity. If "need" means "needs to because it makes it impossible to get work done", then that's a *NO*. It didn't affect my ability to get work done, my coworkers ability to get work done, or my bosses to get work done. There are other "needs" though, such as the all too human need to be the one in charge. Which is hard to do at times, especially when you aren't very talented or bright. Even if I kept my mouth shut, it would be impossible to hide that I was doing things differently, or that they could even be done differently. And once it becomes general knowledge that things can be done differently, others might want to do it differently too (especially when standard procedures suck ass). When anyone and everyone does it how they see fit, it doesn't matter what your title is anymore... you're no longer the boss. And if you are somewhere in middle management, there's not even any interesting work left to do, other than that. So yes, my bosses needed to fire me, in a selfish, personal way that betrays the company.
    Just to finish it off, let's say you possibly meant that I needed to be fired, for my own sake. I suppose that is possible. I don't need to be around people like that, especially if their attitudes are somehow infectious. I'd hate to start thinking like they do.

    As for being lucky to be able to quit, how does that change anything in any significant way? I effectively had no choice about whether my employment would end, though I could have eked out another half of a paycheck maybe. Maybe you're the kind of person that thinks having meaningless options for their own sake is better than having none, but philosophically I have to disagree. The "I can shoot you, or I can shoot you" choice isn't a choice at all, it's a mindgame played by a sociopath.

    Arrogantly stupid? Well, not that I believe in intelligence tests in any meaningful way, but I do tend to score high on them. Still, I use bad grammar (thanks Internet! thanks IRC) more than I should. And socially, I'm about as stupid as they come. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. I try to be helpful, I try to be friendly. I tend to take things seriously where a less naive person would just blow them off. So yeh, I'm stupid. Arrogant though, that means something else entirely. My own fuzzy definition of it seems to make me think that there should be some element of class/caste to it. An aristocrat can be arrogant, a judge might be arrogant, even a lawyer. The incredibly wealthy can be arrogant too. But a bum, a crackfiend? They're not arrogant, even though quite a few act in ways that could be described as arrogant if only they had another station in life. Mind you, I'm a few notches above crack-smoking homeless person, but I'm also more than a few notches below billionaire. It was a poor choice of a word, I'd think.

    Maybe you meant obnoxious?

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    clarification (none / 0) (#273)
    by army of phred on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 01:19:33 PM EST

    You are not unintelligent, you are just arrogantly stupid beyond measure, and this is the stupid that you get by choice. This vastly overwhelms any native talent you may have, and thats probably the equation that you refuse to consider here.

    "Republicans are evil." lildebbie
    "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
    "my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
    [ Parent ]
    You've oversimplified this to the point (none / 0) (#285)
    by destroy all monsters on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 10:33:55 PM EST

    that you're obscuring any real points you may have. The only people I've ever met that were "arrogantly stupid beyond measure" were all in management who seemed to think that they could do anything superman can just because they somehow got into management. If there's anything this guy is guilty of it's being clueless about office politics and being too desirous of showing how clever he is to realize that shooting oneself in the foot isn't.  

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    I should have written might be guilty of. [n/t] (none / 0) (#286)
    by destroy all monsters on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 11:05:58 PM EST



    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    I disagree (none / 0) (#298)
    by army of phred on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 12:27:20 PM EST

    "nomorenicksleft" just rejects the truth, additionally, he needs to apologise to me specifically for stinking up my planet with his attitude.

    "Republicans are evil." lildebbie
    "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
    "my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
    [ Parent ]
    Attitude. (none / 0) (#300)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 02:14:31 PM EST

    Is a phenomenon caused by the interaction of two personalities. It is not a personality characteristic/flaw itself. That's why I can think you are a worthless fuckstain of a person, while others that know you well in real life might think you're a swell guy. Next time you think someone has an attitude, stop and think for a moment what you're doing that enables that. Some people "always" have an attitude, and for those people it's probably their own fault. Others, you are the cause. Heck, I bet some people are just incompatible, and it's neithers fault.

    In our case though, I'm thinking its you.

    Oh, about that apology. Go fuck yourself.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    disagree (none / 0) (#307)
    by army of phred on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 07:12:19 AM EST

    s a phenomenon caused by the interaction of two personalities. It is not a personality characteristic/flaw itself.

    I know you wish this to be true, that you can somehow project your troubles upon others but thats not the case. In this particular case, I'm pretty amazed that management showed the degree of patience they did, and in my opinion they were more than fair with you, indeed they were very generous. Of course I'm going by what you've described but you yourself said that they didn't fire you, despite your obvious poor judgement calls.

    And I can only judge your attitude by your posted reaction to managements gracious attempts to help you. The fact that you can post what you did in your story is an unconcious admission of a serious attitude problem, but obviously your attitude is a very popular one, the "punk fuck the man" thing that kids love so much today, I'm just pointing out that you have this attitude but aren't really a kid by your own admission.

    "Republicans are evil." lildebbie
    "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
    "my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
    [ Parent ]

    You're not very bright. (none / 0) (#308)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 08:25:20 AM EST

    There are any number of personality flaws that you can accuse me of having. Pick one, hell, pick three. But the one that idiots like yourself like to choose, that of the "generic attitude", while it exists, is an interaction between two people. Either that, or its one of those flaws that can be there one moment, and not the next... which seems suspicious to me. Maybe you're not as observant as I am, though. Maybe you amplify this interaction with everyone, and never get to see how it's not always there. What's that say about you?

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]
    no (none / 0) (#309)
    by army of phred on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 08:50:25 AM EST

    while it exists, is an interaction between two people.

    thats just you shifting blame.

    "Republicans are evil." lildebbie
    "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
    "my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
    [ Parent ]

    he needs it (none / 0) (#277)
    by army of phred on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 01:26:37 PM EST

    otherwise he's going to somehow feel he was actually a valuable employee there and won't learn from his experience.

    "Republicans are evil." lildebbie
    "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
    "my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
    [ Parent ]
    Dude (2.33 / 3) (#262)
    by daveybaby on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 11:18:39 AM EST

    You were working in a fucking call centre. it WAS your job to be a peon. if you wanted to be creative and not just part of the herd then maybe getting a job in what is reknowned as one of the most soul crushingly mindless jobs known to man wasnt a very good idea.

    You sound like someone who gets a job flipping burgers at McDonald's, then complain because the manager wont let you change the menu to include steak tartare - the fucking philistine!

    [ Parent ]

    The dilema. (none / 1) (#267)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 12:28:06 PM EST

    Do I flame you because you think that there should be jobs where people deserve to be treated like peons?

    Do I flame you because you think creativity is all fine and dandy until you let it out of its cage, that it's something that should only be used in certain circumstances?

    Do I flame you because of a piss poor analogy that fails to take into account that I neither wanted to try offering any other service than what the company was already offering? I mean, let me fix that analogy, I've rearranged the sandwhich table so I can make a Big Mac 3 seconds faster, but the manager tells me that I have to put it back the way it was. See, it wasn't so hard after all, even using your premise.

    Maybe you sympathize with management because you're a worthless cocksucker who does that automatically? Maybe you were born an anacephalic retard who can't make a decent analogy to save his life? Maybe someday you'll sit on hold for an hour, only for the person on the other end to tell you it must be your new eMachines XP computer that is the problem?

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    let me reemphasis here (none / 1) (#276)
    by army of phred on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 01:24:37 PM EST

    you shovelled 8000 lines of some javascript horror onto an unapproved browser hitting up their ENTERPRISE APPLICATION and you equate this with making a hamburger 3 seconds faster.

    Go ahead and reaffirm that you do indeed consider this equivalent.

    "Republicans are evil." lildebbie
    "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
    "my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
    [ Parent ]

    Apparently the answer is: (none / 0) (#282)
    by daveybaby on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 06:46:33 PM EST

    Yes, you do flame me. Well done you. No wonder you are out of a job.

    You are, as usual, completely missing the point. The point is this: Your management are running a production line. They do not want imagination. They do not want people on the production line to change the way things are done on an ad-hoc basis. They want lots of drones who will shut the fuck up and get on with their jobs.

    If they decide to change the way things are done, it will be on the say so of very highly paid consultants (who may or may not be more qualified or talented than you). Since the management are paying these consultants lots of money to make these decisions, they will listen to them. They dont really want your opinion on the matter, because the are paying you to provide support to customers.

    If you do want to make progress on this sort of matter, there are ways of going about it successfully (or at least with a greater chance of success), and ways of going about it unsuccessfully. As many people have pointed out, you have to learn to deal with assholes at work (because they will ALWAYS be there) in a way that doesnt fuck you over.

    You dont seem capable of grasping this, though.

    [ Parent ]

    Production lines. (none / 0) (#284)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 10:07:50 PM EST

    Each person contributes a small piece to the finished products, and only at the very end of the line can you tolerate the slightest deviations, even then its only a matter of a degree... you still have to go back and fix things, just thank god it wasn't one of the middle jobs that got fucked. Yes, I understand production lines well, far better than people who mistake non-production line work with production lines.
    <p>
    It's a seriously flawed description though. Treating a non-production line environment as a production line doesn't border on managerial incompetence, it strikes deep into the heart of that territory, never to return.
    <p>
    <em>As many people have pointed out, you have to learn to deal with assholes at work</em>
    <p>
    There is no good way to deal with them, other than to accept abuse, or leave. I could stay there plotting and backbiting, but I don't want to turn into them.
    <p>
    BTW, on production lines again. I worked at one, right out of highschool, one of those you sign up for at the temp agency. My uncle worked there too, suggested it to me, he was the supervisor on his own line. He got along well with everyone, and as I remember was promoted and so forth based on him being creative, and discoverying things moved more quickly if stations were rearranged.
    <p>
    Three weeks after I start, I come in to work one day to find my time card gone, a note in its place to call in to the temp agency. Turns out I was shitcanned there too. My uncle was riding with me, and he had to return with me, couldn't find a ride back if I wasn't there. Next day, at lunch, the supervisor of the line I worked at walks up to him, starts joking about that weird-looking redheaded guy he got rid of, just cause he didn't like him. My uncle tells him "You dumb motherfucker, that was my nephew. I had to use a personal day cause I was riding in with him."

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]
    Respect, Faith, every good drone should show both (none / 0) (#314)
    by wnight on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 04:33:49 PM EST

    You don't "respect" (defer) to others by default. You probably don't believe in things without proof either. You wicked little monkey - that manager sucked every cock above him to get his promotion and you dare to overlook his title and expect him to stand on merit alone?

    I'm with you - I'm polite to Gates because Gates hasn't earned my emnity (directly) and because he could buy me, but not because I think he's a better person who my ideas aren't worthy of being around.

    I've had good managers - ones who got into the thick of it with the programmers and made decisions based on the technology (as well as the marketing requirements, etc). I've also had chair-warming jerks who acted hostile to everything they didn't understand - forbidding us to use tools they didn't understand, despite their never having to work with these tools and the *whole* tech department saying that they supported the use of these tools.

    The whole dept was five guys, but this goes to show that it wasn't concern for training, or future hires, or anything. We had a horrible text-based ticket tracking app (I mean *HORRIBLE*, it would die, hide menu options, show (and accept entries) differently because of how you got to the menu, lose entries, etc) and this boss had a screaming tantrum over use of 'screen', a unix program to open multiple shells under one login and hold them open even if you logout.

    I was told to fix a system that was having networking problems. I manager to login and like any unix tech worth his salt, I opened screen so that when I inevitably got logged out I wouldn't lose my work. My supervisor asked how I was doing at one point - I said 'Slowly - Foo is an annoying process, too much typing'. He decided to kick me off my computer and complete a Foo to show me what to do - he had to be coaxed (quietly, he was very sensitive) to do it properly, and was slower than me. In this procedure he noticed he couldn't scroll up with the scrollbar (I told him the hotkey for this) he got frustrated after clicking the scrollbar a few times by accident, and he picked up the keyboard and while incoherently screaming (I kid you not) he pantomimed slamming it into his forehead.

    After that the whole office was given the talk about "incompatible tools" that will "confuse your co-workers". So, everyone had to stop using screen, just so that he could sit down at our terminals and screw up whatever we were doing at the moment.

    Better position than me? Hell yeah. Worthy of respect? Hell no.

    I'm a skilled professional in my field - he wasn't. Who's worthy of respect? I accomplished my duties - he kept us from accomplishing ours by his "managing" of the process.

    But, manager lovers will never accept this. Surely I was doing something wrong to taunt him. Surely the tools I was using (which weren't listed in an 'allowed tools' page - despite 'ssh', 'vim', and 'ls' not being there either) was going to destroy the company. Surely he was a misunderstood genius and we - lover paid monkeys - were ditching work any way we could - despite the fact that by this point I'd done more work in three weeks than my two predecessors in six weeks each, and started to document the job.

    I think these people are overly fond of Ayn Rand books. Some people simply can never believe that management is wrong - or rather, not completely right, even about things they've never heard of. Likely, they're managers.

    For them I say: "Anyone dumb enough to not listen to an idea from someone obviously skilled in his field (respect for proven accomplishment??) simply because he wasn't fellated in the manner appropriate to his position, is a detriment to the company."


    [ Parent ]

    You respect their position (none / 0) (#166)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:37:41 AM EST

    you respect their position

    Unless of course, their position is so ambiguous and/or contradictory that it's impossible to know what it is you're respecting. But what the hell, why not respect it anyway?

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    just checking (none / 0) (#179)
    by army of phred on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 04:00:50 PM EST

    Didn't you just post a rambling rant about how you're "waiting to be fired?" Yet you're still trying to tell us that you are somehow unaware of somebody elses position in relation to your employment?

    Just what point are you trying to make here?

    "Republicans are evil." lildebbie
    "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
    "my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
    [ Parent ]

    Two things. (none / 0) (#247)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 12:45:51 PM EST

    First, I had meant prior to that, the "be a good employee and go above and beyond" bullshit. Which is always a lie, they don't want that.

    Second, even that was ambiguous. I'm entitled to my opinion, but its so worthless that they can't be bothered hearing it. I'm not going to be fired, they want me to still work there, but checked on the sheet of paper she had me sign is "Willing to rehire? - No".

    Hell, the supervisor (the day shift one, not my own asshat supervisor) had even liked what he saw, until I pointed out that it was only possible on Firefox. A "that's what we'd like to see more of" turned to a "that's not good" (his words, pretty sure I'm quoting 100% accurately) in less than 3 seconds.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    hahahaha [n/t] (none / 0) (#215)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 10:14:03 AM EST



    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    Respecting someone's postion (none / 0) (#214)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 10:11:47 AM EST

    isn't the same as respecting *them*.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    I agree (none / 0) (#224)
    by army of phred on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 10:58:28 AM EST

    But even then, I approach relationships with an initial respect for the other person also, its just a matter of courtesy, but I know that this is also not in vogue nowadays, as most folks in the new punk mindset have an initial contempt for others.

    "Republicans are evil." lildebbie
    "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
    "my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
    [ Parent ]
    Right, but common courtesy is one thing (none / 0) (#226)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 11:11:22 AM EST

    and respect another. I abide by common courtesy (which is what most people mean by respect anyway since there's very very few people that one tends to truly respect) even when my bosses have tended to forget it - at least in front of others. When they disrespect me in front of others I make an example of them. Shaming is an effective tool when dealing with bullies which is what most bosses are deep inside anyway.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    You mean. (3.00 / 2) (#130)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 05:59:42 PM EST

    They were conniving enough to be promoted. If I wanted to be in the IT dept. it wouldn't have been because I was being promoted, or even for the extra nickel an hour or whatever (not that that hurts).

    It would have been because there are more interesting problems to be solved. This guy wanted to be promoted, so that he wouldn't have to solve any more interesting problems. Even the ones that go with that job. How else do you explain it, when a customer who has been without dialtone for 6 weeks due to crossed lines manages to call in, lord knows how, and we've sent out 8 techs never fixing the problem, I can't even schedule another for a full week, and he's the only one who can authorize bumping this guy to the head of the line, and he just ignores it completely? Customer service problem, one that he could end up being a hero to the customer, but he just leaves it to me. And I can't do shit.

    I'd rather evolve past the alpha male primate theory of respect.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    Respect isn't due to those who aren't respectable (none / 0) (#213)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 10:09:55 AM EST

    So you're saying might makes right?  I've almost never met anyone in a "higher position" than me that I respected. Never for the reason of their job title.

    My position isn't my life or my station in life and I categorically and vehemently disagree with your notion.

    Most reasons why people get in positions of power is the ability to kiss ass or because of who they know. I don't see how that is anything admirable whatsoever.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]

    Sadly... (3.00 / 7) (#58)
    by jd on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 03:38:20 PM EST

    ...I've heard of other cases like this, and from people I know perfectly well are calm, pleasent, hardworking, yadda, yadda, yadda, so the usual argument that the "victim" must be doing something wrong to deserve it doesn't hold water.

    (That's not to say the original author isn't, it's just that I don't know either way, so can't offer an opinion.)

    One thing to consider in a situation is this: if you end up paying more on medical bills, after poor work conditions send your blood pressure through the roof and your brain chemistry into shock, than you earn, what is the point?

    Employment, right now, is not in good shape but it's not impossible. Working with The Beast from Revelation -is- impossible. I'd suggest investing the time more wisely at the job center. The meeting will just waste time and will just end up with you more embittered than you already are, which'll just hurt you later on. Why hurt yourself twice more, over this?

    Kangaroo Court? (3.00 / 3) (#60)
    by actmodern on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 03:45:48 PM EST

    At least here in Canada humilation is a violation of human rights. Your boss would be sued and if what he did was exceptionally sick he would be thrown in jail.

    You don't drag an employee into your office and have his co-workers INTERROGATED in front of him.

    Also, don't laugh when people walk all over you. It's a sign of weakness.


    --
    LilDebbie challenge: produce the water sports scene from bable or stfu. It does not exist.

    I missed this earlier (none / 1) (#216)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 10:17:37 AM EST

    but he has a point. There's a harassment case right there. You can't dress someone down in front of his peers or use them for such in Calif. state law and to my knowledge in federal law either. You might want to take a look at the NLRB's website.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    +1, not about coding [nt] (1.00 / 3) (#61)
    by Egil Skallagrimson on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 03:46:07 PM EST


    ----------------

    Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.

    haha (2.50 / 2) (#69)
    by pHatidic on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 04:51:55 PM EST

    I'm not a teenager anymore, I don't act guilty during this meeting.

    I thought I was the only one who did that.

    Nah. (2.00 / 2) (#70)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 05:01:04 PM EST

    I was always the nerd in gradeschool. And talking in front of teachers during any meeting was the worst anxiety I ever have experienced. Once, this is my freshman year of highschool, a teacher asked to see me after class (supposedly to compliment me for reading a 150page book in a single night), and it also happened to be the last class of the day. My bus driver always was an ass, and neurotic me is about to piss his pants, thinking I might miss it. She says I'm acting so guilty, that her supposed goodwill turns sour, sends me to the principal's office. I miss the bus.

    Now, I think back and chuckle at the stupid bitch. If I'd had half as much brains back then as I thought I did, I would have tossed the book in the trash and spent that night dreaming up ways to ditch school.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    School was always a joke. (2.66 / 3) (#144)
    by RubberRetropack on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 09:31:55 PM EST

    I had it pretty good in grade 11. What I had done was signed myself up for the InfoPro (computers) class, and then challenged all the modules and basically finishing the entire course in a week (not bragging that I'm smart, just that the course was so basic and pathetic, like "how to use MS Paint" was a whole module, etc). Then I set up a deal with my InfoPro teacher that I'd would go to the shop class and do screenprinting type stuff for extra credit. The best part was, it was an open ended type thing: the shop class instructor wasn't told to expect me every day, he just let me do stuff when I showed up, and if I didn't show up, he'd assume that I was staying in the InfoPro class that day. And the teachers didn't communicate. At all. And it was the last class of the day.

    So, last period of the day, I'd show up for attendance in my InfoPro class, told my teacher I was going to shop class, then walked right out the door and went home. Both of the teachers just assumed that I was with the other teacher.

    Yeah, I guess you could say I had it pretty good back then. ;)

    [ Parent ]

    Time to move on, my friend. (3.00 / 11) (#71)
    by thelizman on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 05:08:53 PM EST

    When the dot-coms were all the hype, the one consistant trait I noticed is that Corporation didn't know jack-shit about the technology they were employing. To reinforce that, they put managers in charge that didn't understand the technology. The managers were pressed for results, and out of frustration and ignorance they merely transferred that pressure to the talent.

    The one hard lesson I've learned form all this is don't ever work hard unless you're working for yourself. Even if someone else signs your paycheck, look out for number one. It is just a job, it's not worth an ulcer, or being unhappy even for a day out of your life.

    Find something you like doing. Do it. Enjoy it. Money will follow.
    --

    "Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell

    A sunday's Dilbert (2.85 / 7) (#72)
    by Quar on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 05:21:20 PM EST

    Dilbert commented about Pointy Haired peoples take on personal innovation just the other sunday.

    the real problem here is ... (3.00 / 5) (#73)
    by pyramid termite on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 05:22:21 PM EST

    ... you've invested yourself emotionally in a place that doesn't deserve it and will never pay you back in that way ... thus, your sarcasm ... and now, your firing (maybe)

    the less you can take it personally, the better off you'll be, and the more likely you'll be able to stay ... yes, it sucks, it's stupid, they're jerks, but ... you aren't going to change it ... and you're only going to drive yourself crazy getting upset over it

    bitch to those you can trust ... and let everyone else's bullshit just slide off of you


    On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.

    Make a Bonfire of Your Reputation! (1.66 / 6) (#74)
    by MichaelCrawford on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 05:33:09 PM EST

    Pardon me, I must whore a link once again:

    It's not my writing though, its a century old commencement address by John J. Chapman that I found in The Cluetrain Manifesto. It's linked from every page on my site with the link text being "Words to Live By".

    It's not often that my schizoaffective disorder becomes an issue in my consulting work, but sometimes it does, and when it does I always tell my client right away, and I'm always careful to point out to the client that I never tried to hide it.

    And how do I point this out to them?

    I suggest they do a google search for:

    Try it! It's fun!

    I'm very pleased to report that at least some of the clients I've reported my illness to have given me more contracts once I got better enough to work again.

    When you interview for your next job, what do you suppose your potential new employer can find out about you with the aid of Google?


    --

    Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


    Well... (3.00 / 5) (#78)
    by localroger on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 11:04:25 PM EST

    People who don't know my online persona can't find jack shit about me through Google, because not only is "Roger Williams" almost as common a name as "John Smith," it's shared by at least four famous people one of whom has every conceivable kind of monument in the entire state of Rhode Island named after him.

    That can be useful at times :-)

    I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
    [ Parent ]

    Thank you for (2.33 / 3) (#92)
    by Harvey Anderson on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 09:20:37 AM EST

    telling us more about you; didn't know enough already!

    I bet you don't even realize what you do.

    [ Parent ]

    Just get a new job (1.00 / 2) (#75)
    by maynard on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 05:59:06 PM EST

    Lots of others have posted similar advice. I'll just be a parot and chime in with yet more of the same. Don't let a terrible boss destroy your health. They don't care about you, why should you care about them? If it's that bad, just find another job.

    BTW: I clicked on your homepage. Turns out my grandparents live in your neck of the woods. Maybe one day you'll bump into grandpop! Say hi if ya do. He's the really old guy who stoops over a cane and responds to "grandpop". Well, he does for me anyway. :) --M

    Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.

    your business (2.20 / 5) (#77)
    by FreeNSK on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 08:09:06 PM EST

    Why you don't start your own business? Then *you* will be the boss!

    === NSK ===


    Friend of a Friend (3.00 / 2) (#84)
    by IceTitan on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 01:10:49 AM EST

    People will rise to their highest level of incompetency. It would appear that you now work for someone that has peaked early, so to speak. If you are certain that you will be let go, surplused, shit canned, fired shortly, make sure you let this mental midget know this. If he pulls you into his office to give you another good talking to, put him in his place. Tell him to stop bull shitting you and playing little games. If he flat out doesn't like you and wants to get rid of you for whatever reason, make him say as much. Don't feel bad about insulting him. What has he done to deserve any sort of sympathy let alone respect.

    Now would also be a good time to start acting strangely. Invite a spiritual advisor to come by work on your lunch break to perform some bizarre religious rite. I practiced voodoo at my last job. Imagine a lower middle class white kid doing voodoo. I also would tune a radio to static and turn the volume up to a normal listening level. You've got to be creative.

    Also don't leave them any of that glorious IP ala monkey scripts.
    Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

    I wouldn't say this if I wasn't there. (3.00 / 20) (#85)
    by Peahippo on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 02:03:19 AM EST

    NMNL, I have some news for you. Losers work in call centers today. The turnover is high since the management acts like animal herdsmen. The turnover is high since the workers are inept. The entire call-center business model is in a state of complete moral bankruptcy.

    (Of course, having worked in one, I consider my opinion extremely informed.)

    You need to leave ASAP. Save your money. Reduce your expenses. Quit that job. Move to an area that isn't like a piece of a Third World country disguised as some patch of American soil.

    Do yourself the favor. You can clearly see in that "supervisor" (i.e. herdsman) about the type of petty retard that call-center work attracts ... and if you succumb to the pettiness too, then you also become a petty retard. It's infectious ... and is so often the case with infections, it's best to burn it out.

    For a final note, Corporate America cannot stand a smart-mouthed little bastard like yourself. I say this with no desire to insult at all -- I'm just pointing out from your own testimony how you appear to the endlessly-paranoid middle management. You obviously ooze a highly "negative attitude" ... hey, I don't care about that, but the corporate drones react to that like a Human immune system does to the presence of foreign bacteria. They will eject you eventually, even if you are just tooling around and not harming anything.

    Corporate America takes itself very seriously, but doubly so when it tries to pull something absurd. When you laugh at that (as do I), you incense them as ferociously as an Israeli Defence Force soldier gets incensed when he sees a Palestinian child all happy and playing. Seeing such joy in the midst of their self-inflicted ridiculousness is too much to bear. The Israeli whips out the rifle and makes the kid do the "lead dance"; but a corporate drone whips out the write-ups sheets. Paperwork is the mark of little men with a lot of hormones but little constructive outlet for their energies (assuming their mentalities are complex enough to direct such exertions).

    P.S. Aw, screw it. Set a fire and burn the place down.


    I love you, Peahippo. (none / 0) (#87)
    by Torka on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 07:14:23 AM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Complain about your supervisor (2.50 / 4) (#86)
    by nebbish on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 05:45:55 AM EST

    to the people above him.

    Of course none of this would happen if people could be bothered to unionise.

    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

    Please note this does not always work (3.00 / 2) (#110)
    by triddle on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 01:46:01 PM EST

    My theory: If your boss sucks it is only because the boss above him sucks. If that boss sucks, its because the boss above him sucks. This keeps going up the chain until you either get to the top or to the one jerk who is lying to his boss about what a good job they are (not) doing. Here is an example of talking to your bosses boss only accelerating your being fired, from my own experience: I got fired from Earthlink for reporting a nation wide outage.

    [ Parent ]
    Untrue (none / 0) (#138)
    by tzanger on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 07:47:23 PM EST

    Two faced people can decieve both the higher ups and the lower-downs on their business ladder.

    [ Parent ]
    Nah the shit only stops (none / 0) (#219)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 10:26:15 AM EST

    when you've made it to the supervisory level high enough not to want to hear it. Also never threaten to sic the gubmint onto your employers, just do it and watch the dominoes fall. Generally speaking that can all be done anonymously.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    I can't figure out... (none / 1) (#89)
    by Do Not Panic on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 08:29:56 AM EST

    if I voted this up because it was well-written or because I felt sorry for you. Good job!


    So how'd the meeting go? (3.00 / 5) (#94)
    by OzJuggler on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 09:58:14 AM EST

    Oh that's right, you yankies are 16 hours behind us.

    You know in Australia we were calling the WTC attacks the "attacks of the twelfth of September" for about four days before it was crushed under its american counterpart.

    OzJuggler.
    "And I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together
    at Osama's homo abortion pot and commie jizzporium." - Jon Stewart's gift to Bill O'Reilly, 7 Dec 2005.

    5 hours to go... (none / 0) (#96)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 10:04:25 AM EST

    I'll let everyone know.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]
    Email sent to my work account... (none / 0) (#105)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 12:41:15 PM EST

    Doesn't seem to be bouncing yet. I thought the first thing you do is disable all accounts like that. Will know for sure in a few hours.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]
    heh (none / 0) (#127)
    by RubberRetropack on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 05:18:27 PM EST

    "9/12" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

    [ Parent ]
    It was short. (3.00 / 9) (#131)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 06:50:17 PM EST

    I'm waiting for my supervisor, when he shows up. He says, the meeting is with the director. So, I go there next. She seems to be in a mildly perky mood.

    She starts, with "Hey I read slashdot too." Verdict: Unlikely.

    "And you know what, I'm not going to fire you. You're entitled to your opinion." This is repeated at least twice, maybe 3 times. I grin.

    Somewhere in here, I shrug. I may have been starting to speak, if so, it was nothing more than acknowledgement of what she had just said. Before I can even get the briefest sound from my lips, she makes to interrupt me. "This isn't a collaboation." Referring to the discussion.

    I quit. I left. The only other person there after 8pm tonight, that's been there longer than 3 weeks quit the day before, leaving for another job.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    I worked in a call-center (3.00 / 3) (#174)
    by Egil Skallagrimson on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 02:13:32 PM EST

    for all of 9 months and it made me want to kill mtself and every other living being.

    I quit, too.  That job was causing me emotional damage.

    ----------------

    Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.
    [ Parent ]

    it was better for you both (2.00 / 3) (#182)
    by army of phred on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 04:19:35 PM EST

    you weren't happy, and you were screwing up the company. Congrats.

    "Republicans are evil." lildebbie
    "I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
    "my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
    [ Parent ]
    "This isn't a collaboration" (none / 1) (#241)
    by destroy all monsters on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 01:29:03 AM EST

    This kills me. I've said things like "Oh, that's OK I'm sure your boss will actually want to listen then." There's no way that as employees this can be allowed. We aren't serfs no matter how we're treated.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    Your supervisor owned you. (2.20 / 5) (#261)
    by daveybaby on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 11:08:03 AM EST

    Tweaking you to get you to quit in self righteous anger is so much better than having to fire you.

    I have real trouble believing youre 30, because in every post you come across like an 18 year old goth. Stuff like this:

    She starts, with "Hey I read slashdot too." Verdict: Unlikely.

    ... just reeks of self obsessed elitism and refusal to even attempt to meet anyone halfway. I mean, we're only hearing your side of the argument, but i still keep getting the feeling that your supervisor isnt the problem, here.

    [ Parent ]

    I didn't quit angry. (2.00 / 2) (#269)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 01:10:32 PM EST

    My words to her were something like "It seems I didn't give you nearly as much credit as you deserve." I liked those words, it's not often that I can say something so subtle on a moment's notice. I then told her "I don't want to work here anymore, is there anything you need from me?".

    I signed the paperwork they put in front of me, after making sure there wasn't anything sneaky in it.

    Born September 2, 1974. My mother was in labor on labor day. Do the math.

    I don't care much for any fashion, especially something as stupid looking as "goth".

    As for slashdot, they're closing in on 900,000 UIDs, and it's certainly become more mainstream lately. I have no doubt that there are middle managers who read it all the time. However, the likelyhood that she found my journal just by stumbling on it within a week of me writing it? That's what she implied, and I just don't see it happening. I think I had 3 or 4 posts all the previous few days, and none of them in a story that was tangential to this particular industry.

    Strange that you could be so wrong in how you picture me, the semi-anonymous internet denizen, stranger still that even though you can logically deduce how often you are likely to be wrong, you'll still go on utterly convinced that you are right just the same. I try not to do that myself, honestly, but even I've been zinged a few times. Take Baldrson, for instance. I don't know who the hell he is, and every time I have him pegged as this or that type of personality he shows up here or somewhere else and suprises me.

    As for me meeting them halfway, it was never offered to me. I was never given any opportunity to offer it myself, even if I could have thought of some compromise. Who knows, maybe he'll drop by and tell his side of the story, after all, they read slashdot!

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    Goth (2.00 / 2) (#281)
    by daveybaby on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 06:20:09 PM EST

    Its more the attitude i was alluding to (persecution complex combined with a misplaced sense of superiority to the mediocre masses). Why would clothing be relevant to this conversation?

    I may be wrong in how i picture you. But all i have to go on is what i read here. And so far you have only surprised me with the consistency you have shown in missing the point of everything that everyone has said to you on this topic. People are trying to help you see light, but you are steadfastly refusing to open your eyes.

    [ Parent ]

    You're the one that said goth. (2.00 / 2) (#283)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 09:54:14 PM EST

    The most obvious characteristic of people that identify themselves as goths is in fact their clothing. Me being a non-goth, I might have missed some of the more subtle characteristics, if indeed there are any. Does kind of bother me that you throw labels around willy-nilly, without actually meaning what those labels tend to mean. Lazy choice of words on your part. Are you the kind of personality that has trouble being specific? Do you just have a small vocabulary?

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]
    Jesus. (2.00 / 2) (#287)
    by daveybaby on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 04:00:32 AM EST

    There really is just no communicating with you, is there? kthxbye.

    [ Parent ]
    Isn't more truthful... (none / 1) (#302)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 02:43:22 PM EST

    To say that anyone that uses "kthxbye" can't communicate, period?

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]
    Don't tell me (none / 0) (#310)
    by trane on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 07:22:38 PM EST

    you're a manager, and like to abuse your employees too, right?

    [ Parent ]
    You have made this worse than it had to be. (3.00 / 11) (#97)
    by IAmNos on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 11:16:17 AM EST

    This is not what you want to hear, but I've been in similar situations and have handled it both better and worse.

    Never get mad, especially during a "meeting". I've done it, it doesn't help, you won't think clearly, and you'll say things you'll regret: I point out that I might as well be fired now for efficiency's sake. Instead, make notes of the issues they have with your actions. Think about it after your blood pressure has returned to normal. Request a follow up meeting in a few days. Don't be vengeful. Posting here and at /. is a sure way to make things worse without any real benefit. If you need to vent (and you probably do), vent to friends and/or family but not coworkers, or folks who might have other contacts to your place of work.

    Often there are reasons why certain software is banned from use. Even if it makes your life easier, it might make someone else's harder. Imagine you are supporting corporate desktops and someone starts using a different mail client that has a bug that randomly deletes email... suddenly its your problem, where if they were using the standard, approved client, this never would have happend. I'm not saying Firefox, or any other tools you want to use are bad, I probably use them myself. Just realize that there may be good reasons why only certain tools are approved. If you think a different one is better, find out if there is a process to getting it approved.

    Which brings me to my next point. Always try and see both sides of an issue. Don't picture yourself as the victim. It may be the case, but without looking at the other side of things, you're not going to get very far.

    You are not the glue holding things together. They have and can in the future, survive without you. Firing you, or better yet, getting you to resign, may actually be an overall benefit to the company at this point. You are using up valuable resources (time of staff and management) as well as raising stress levels. You are becoming a hinderance because of how you have handled this. Even if the original problems were because of a bad supervisor or environment, your reactions in this matter would make me question your value to the company.

    What I've said might seem harsh. But I strongly recommend you read it, and if you find yourself in a similar situation again, pay attention to it.


    http://thekerrs.ca
    You are polite. (2.20 / 5) (#99)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 11:56:50 AM EST

    I've never thought of myself as the glue that holds the place together. Even were that somehow true (not that it could be), companies tend to think of such things as a liability. What if I died in a freak accident, or the supervisor gets caught fucking my wife? Any number of things could happen... and there could be no replacement.

    That being the case, they've evolved in such a way to minimize such liabilities. It's better to get along with 20 fools than 1 genius, even if fools cost more. They're a known quantity, easily replaced, and you'll offset the cost elsewhere.

    I don't know if I come off as dumb, or if this principle is considered so subtle that I can't be expected to see it immediately. It's as clear as glass.

    Their point of view on software is one of them being the only ones who can make decisions. They failed though, as evidenced by their choice. They don't use anything but Office themselves, they only read weekly trade rags. They've done this for decades at every single company, ever. But software is ultimately decided upon by the users, not management. Do you think PCs became popular because visionary management saw how great it would be years in advance, and prepared to acquire these incredibly useful tools they couldn't live without? I work at a construction company that hammers nails with rocks. I spent 3 months forging a steel hammer. Only to be told we can't hammer nails with it. That it doesn't work. It's laughable, that when I first had to look up a DUN error number I'd never heard of, IE loaded 3 popup windows. It's funny, that when you need 5 or more webapps to do your job, and you might be following up more than one customer, that I can be expected to work efficiently with windows' task bar so cluttered no window titles can be read, even while a better piece of software exists for free. It's funny that they'd pass up the opportunity to have a choice... Firefox means they can stay with windows, or dump it for another OS. They're not held hostage anymore. It has a fucking fedex search engine plugin, that will let me look up whether a DSL modem has arrived without digging through a bloated favorites menu, or clicking through 3 links. Hell, actually, I wrote a few internal search plugins too.

    And the problem they claimed it caused is 100% impossible. Never mind that they're too stupid to understand that to be the case. The php webapp we use to open tickets only allows for notes to be added to a ticket. The one time we ever had to delete notes on a trouble ticket, meant 3 hours of bullshit with the AS400 admin. Had to be done manually, in the database. And it's telling that they never bothered to consult with anyone that understands anything about software, before putting the smackdown on it.

    And what about support? Do you think I or anyone else that was using it ever bothered to call the helpdesk? It was pretty much understood that any support would have to come from me. That didn't bother me, and I tried hard to nail what minor bugs did creep up. The worst case scenario always seemed to be that a ticket wouldn't save, and you'd end up having to open IE to save the ticket. I got most of those fixed in a hurry.

    As far as me somehow consuming valuable managerial time dealing with the problem that is me, there's a simple solution for it. Ignore me, take credit for the extra work I've done. They only spend as much as they're willing. But there are several flaws with that solution. It tends to breed autonomy, and it makes them feel less important. Neither of which can be tolerated.

    They wanted a dumber worker. More managable. The answer for me is not to become either of those, I think.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    I think you've missed my point (2.80 / 5) (#106)
    by IAmNos on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 12:53:12 PM EST

    Reading what you have said in the story and comments as someone who has only your accounts to verify the situation, I would fire you. Its that simple. I tried to explain that there are different points of view but it seems apparent that you are not willing to even go there:

    • Their point of view on software is one of them being the only ones who can make decisions
    • software is ultimately decided upon by the users, not management
    • they're too stupid to understand
    • Do you think I or anyone else that was using it ever bothered to call the helpdesk
    • there's a simple solution for it. Ignore me

    You are repeatedly showing that you will not even consider another side of the situation. The whole support for custom software is an example, not the only reason for restricting software on corporate desktops. Instead of breaking the rules, try finding ways to work within the system. If you can't, find a new job. I'm not going to go through and debate all your points. I'm going to leave you with one thought, take it or leave it. Your handling of this situation has raised stress levels, taken up time of staff and management, and you have by no means appeared to have learned anything from it. Your usefulness to the company does not outweigh your cost.


    http://thekerrs.ca
    [ Parent ]
    What other side? (2.40 / 5) (#107)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 01:17:01 PM EST

    C'mon, throw me a bone, make one up. I won't cheat and then claim that it's nothing like that in reality. Give me some fictional account of "their side" that doesn't include power tripping. That's the only condition. You can still use business myopia, ignorance, personal misunderstandings or mental illnesses.

    They didn't restrict software on the desktops. They hired a bootcamp MCSE at one point or another, that clearly doesn't know how to lock things down. I didn't hack the damn machine to install Firefox, I just chose another location. If they'd like to hire me into the IT department, I'd be glad to show them how to set up permissions in a non-braindead manner.

    Taken up what, a few hours, spread out over more than a month? They raise their own stress levels, and those of others, including a man with heart disease of unknown levels. He's a nice guy, that can't take the abuse that is the natural outcome of their refusing to escalate calls that should be escalated.

    But since their time is so precious, explain to me why their spending time putting up decorations that seem less out of place in a 2nd grade classroom. They're out there doing their damndest at customer service (by avoiding talking to customers as much as possible), helping new employees (by insulting them when they ask for help with problems they haven't seen yet), and learning the ins and outs of available software (by a] thinking that firefox can magically delete db2 records and b] choosing IE over it).

    and you have by no means appeared to have learned anything from it.

    I'll gladly confess to refusing to learn poltical lessons. Funny, if there's one thing I was ever good at, it was learning. Of all the insults I've heard over the years, that's the one that is so ridiculous that it doesn't hurt. Let me make one thing clear, if I have nothing else. I understand the entire world is dysfunctional to a degree that can only be described supernatural (in a poetic, not literal/religious way). I understand that refusing to flow nicely with this dysfunction can be quite uncomfortable at times, and that some people find comfort in not trying to swim against that current. I understand what it would take for me to do the same, and I wouldn't be the same person I am, if I did that.

    You are the kind of person that can't imagine a worker continuing to work if there is no manager. If the worker isn't managed, they'll go off and do all kinds of drunken loutish things, the lazy unwashed things. The people who can work unmanaged, but they're rare aren't they? We need to indoctrinate them from an early age and promote them into management, to keep the others in line. Why do you think your children go to a school where "leadership" and "gifted" programs go hand in hand?

    I doubt you'll bother to try and explain this lesson one more time, so does anyone else care to try?

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    Speaking past each other (3.00 / 5) (#116)
    by saodl on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 02:06:02 PM EST

    Your frustration with the difference between the way things should be and the way things are is valid. I do not think that any explanation of their position would satisfy you (or me for that matter). He is intentionally not addressing these things, but rather advising you on the practical skills necessary to deal appropriately with a situation like this one. By speaking out of frustration and anger you eventually put too much stress on the system, and it ceases being relevant whether you were right- it is no longer worth it to keep you around. The structure of the company may be innefficient in this situation, but on a larger scale it may be correct and necessary. We are not in a position to be certain it is not, nor (more relevantly) in a position to do anything about it. Given that you must take the structure for granted, it is reasonable to expect that you deal with it (if you want to continue working there). You know as well as he and I that you handled this badly. You were right in terms of what you wanted, and yet your actions led you to a place where you are certain you will be fired. Clearly it is not the initial problems, but rather your reactions that got you there. You are not be fired for using firefox or being efficient. His advice was on dealing with the realities of the situation in a way that has a chance of being useful to you. While there are no guarantees, he gives some suggestions for how to imagine reasons for their position and acting more effectively by dealing with the underlying situation. He also encourages you to avoid creating the stresses that can get you fired.

    [ Parent ]
    Thank you (none / 1) (#117)
    by IAmNos on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 02:21:46 PM EST

    I'm glad someone saw my point, and was able to express it more clearly than I.
    http://thekerrs.ca
    [ Parent ]
    but it's a shitty point (none / 1) (#157)
    by speek on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 08:08:47 AM EST

    If you always just lie down and take it politely and play within the system, then the system never changes - no reason too. There are times when expressing anger is appropriate.

    --
    al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
    [ Parent ]

    I disagree (none / 0) (#220)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 10:38:13 AM EST

    The reason it isn't a shitty point is that s/he's saying there's ways to do things and ways not to do things. This is a classic case largely of things not to do. I don't think IamNos is siding with management and I know I'm not. You have to make yourself informed with _functional_ methodologies in order to combat stupidity.

    For one thing, you have to put your anger in terms of "I" statements and "such and such frustrates and angers me". It makes you come across as more human and less laying blame - which is crucial when trying to win your points. Realize that anything that the company wants you to do to waste time - do it. Don't fight for what *should* be because you'll never be appreciated for it anyway. Just fight long and hard enough for them to leave you the fuck alone. That is how I survived any number of idiotic situations.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]

    and you never change the system (none / 0) (#229)
    by speek on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 11:41:03 AM EST

    as I said.

    --
    al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
    [ Parent ]

    Not true (none / 1) (#231)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 12:00:41 PM EST

    but I think there's different possible goals at work. Do you prefer to martyr yourself to "save" the system or your co-workers or do you act in your best interests?

    There's ways to bring things up within the system that do make it work for you. I have. In fact as someone that's written both grievances (union) and internal petitions (management) I've always gotten a better response going through the management channel. I prefer to screw management through their own channels anyway since the irony is so sweet but that does not negate that you absolutely have to present yourself in such a way as to get sympathy by the sane folks that are in the room. Not only that but you have to find that traitor in your midst and find a way to hang them out to dry so that they join your side.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]

    I think you lose your humanity with that route (none / 0) (#233)
    by speek on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 12:51:53 PM EST

    There's only so many times you can channel your anger through beauracratic pathways before you forget what being human is about. If you're out to screw them, going through channels is the way to do it. However, filing grievances and petitions and creating a documentation-trail ready made for the climactic lawsuit (or threat of) does still feed the system as is. After all, to protect themselves from future lawsuits, what do you think they do? They create more beauracracy and more absurd rules that only make sense because of a pervasive CYA attitude.

    --
    al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
    [ Parent ]

    never could spell bureaucracy [nt] (none / 0) (#234)
    by speek on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 12:54:22 PM EST


    --
    al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
    [ Parent ]

    re:I think you lose your humanity with that route (none / 1) (#235)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 01:30:44 PM EST

    As I mentioned earlier it depends on what your goals are. A wholesale change of the system is impossible without utilizing legislative (or in states like California using the initiative process) means. My goals are generally met by the tactic of keeping my job while making my boss look like an ass. Works for me. Generally I do that while gathering whatever data I have to in order to do the undermining I intend to do. Just as the original poster had a mole there's always someone in management that knows everything is fucked up and will help you to some extent. The end result doesn't have to be a lawsuit, in fact if you show that's not what you want to do unless absolutely pushed a lot of times they'll work with you to change things the way you want or at least remove the problem (generally meaning reprimanding said boss and then transferring to a different area. paperwork will follow that boss and then it's up to the folks in that dept. to follow through).

    I channel my anger not just that way but by a deliberate means of punishment and reward. Act stupid - get punished. I'm just saying it's more constructive to find ways of handling it than expressing anger in a self-destructive way that gets you fired. I want paper in my boss's jacket, not in mine. The problem is that people just don't own their jobs. It's your job to keep or quit and these motherfuckers don't own you, if anything you own them. Why people don't realize this is beyond me.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]

    you are probably right (none / 0) (#236)
    by speek on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 07:00:08 PM EST

    I just know I'd go crazy playing such games.

    --
    al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
    [ Parent ]

    Different strokes I suppose (none / 1) (#238)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:29:31 PM EST

    Actually that's what keeps me sane. It becomes fun after awhile. You go to work for a reason, and that reason is fucking your boss (and maximizing your personal enjoyment of said job - in my case by visiting with the people I liked at it)and you take enjoyment out of doing it.Channel the creativity into what you write and how you deal with the clowns that exist to keep their desks from flying into outer space.I enjoy the dance with management because I know that they can never win. That isn't to say that there isn't a toll - but once you've let them make you mad enough to do irrational things they've already won. Keeping your sense of humor while screwing them is of absolute importance.

    I used to be exactly like you and the poster in my attitudes and methods. Took me years to formulate these methods. One of those things that makes me glad I'm in my 40s than my 20s. I don't get mad, I just fuck them.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]

    Listen... (1.33 / 3) (#266)
    by The Voice of Reason on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 12:27:59 PM EST

    You're not management. You're not important. You're there to do the menial grunt-work. Therefore, your opinion counts for less than nothing. No-one wants to hire someone when they're just going to complain and fuck about. If you don't like the way the company's being run, then you're free to go down the road.

    Can you tell me your real name please, so if I ever run a company I know not to employ you? It seems like I'd end up spending half my time arguing with you.

    [ Parent ]

    Gruntwork. (2.33 / 3) (#272)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 01:18:29 PM EST

    Is how people plod along, when they can't think of any clever solutions. In my own experience, only stupid people use gruntwork to get work done, and only retards praise it as the optimal way of doing things.

    You wouldn't happen to have any congenital brain deformities, would you?

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    No... (1.33 / 3) (#279)
    by The Voice of Reason on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 03:49:30 PM EST

    Gruntwork isn't a way of doing your work, gruntwork describes the sort of work you do. Your work doesn't matter. You're not there to innovate, you're not there to create, you're there to work a shift. You don't need clever solutions, no more than a burger flipper needs clever solutions to flipping burgers. You have clearly lost the plot, no wonder they got rid of you.

    [ Parent ]
    Actually... (2.50 / 2) (#280)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 04:01:22 PM EST

    Burger flipping does require clever solutions, though we may not see them for another few decades.

    Anyone that doesn't see room for improvement, even up to and including 100% automation, is a fool.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    Yeah... (1.00 / 3) (#291)
    by The Voice of Reason on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 05:09:40 PM EST

    ...And you lost your job, now who's the fool?

    Yet again you miss the fucking point completely. It's irrelevent if the job requires clever solutions. If you think of a clever solution, it doesn't fucking matter, you're a low-level grunt, a cog in the machine, your opinion counts for nothing, you're just a trouble-making whiny bitch.

    You wouldn't even qualify for flipping burgers, because you'd spend 4 hours a day arguing with the supervisor over which way to flip the burgers. Then when they sacked you for being a whiny bitch you'd come on this forum and complain about how they don't respect you.

    If there's one thing worse than a loser, it's a loser who thinks he's important.

    [ Parent ]

    Actually, I quit. (none / 1) (#292)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 06:03:49 PM EST

    My second job, right as all my debt was paid off (still a little left, so I've got another month or two).

    Why would I argue about how to flip burgers? There's alot of human wisdom built up over generations of workers who've all done it, if you just listen. It's a fairly simple mechanical skill, one would think.

    Oh, and it wouldn't make much of a story even if it did go down the way you say. It's you that miss the point, you have a set of about 2 dozen personality stereotypes that you have to work with, and by god you're bound and determined to hammer me into one of them even if it doesn't fit.

    It took months for me to even have a clue what I might change to make things better, and there are no doubt jobs out there that would take even longer. I'm not the sort of whiny bitch that walks in day 1 and tries to run the place. Though, I have been known to bait trolls from time to time.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    Your nick... (none / 1) (#313)
    by BJH on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 12:41:10 PM EST

    ...is rather ironic, since you sound more like the Voice of Screaming Mania.
    --
    Roses are red, violets are blue.
    I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
    -- Oscar Levant

    [ Parent ]
    Listen yourself troll. (none / 0) (#290)
    by artis on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 02:39:57 PM EST

    Management isn't important or rather the managers aren't important. A bad manager should go before a medicore grunt-worker.
    --
    Can you know that you are omniscient?
    [ Parent ]
    Bingo (none / 0) (#294)
    by destroy all monsters on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 11:48:57 PM EST

    Managers don't work and are therefore unnecessary. It's an artificial institution that puts the most worthless members of the workforce at the top.

    Not only that, but any management training worth its salt tells you upfront "there are no bad employees only bad managers" which while simplistic does put the shoe on the correct foot.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]

    Not unnecessary... (none / 0) (#296)
    by artis on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 08:28:52 AM EST

    They have a useful function, but you need good managers to fulfil it...
    --
    Can you know that you are omniscient?
    [ Parent ]
    The only good managers (none / 0) (#297)
    by destroy all monsters on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 08:39:54 AM EST

    are ones with vision or who actively work to help everyone do the best job they can. The percentage of managers like this are hideously low. What managers are primarily are administrative positions (i.e. pushing paperwork much like secretaries do) which could be handled in a different fashion. Top down management is largely due in the U.S. to companies adopting the military model post WW 2. It's a crude and unnecessary way to run things.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    One thing you're overlooking (none / 1) (#125)
    by RubberRetropack on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 05:10:09 PM EST

    Siebel won't run in Firefox.

    I've tried.

    (and rest assured, there is a very large American wireless company using Siebel to handle their GSM accounts, and it has been one huge and unmitigated disaster from Day 1).

    [ Parent ]

    Greasemonkey is the most awesome thing ever. (none / 0) (#129)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 05:45:53 PM EST

    I don't know if I can recommend spending your time making it work, seeing as to how much trouble it caused me. Assuming it's something embedded, java or whatnot, do not forget you do have to install JVM on firefox... you may be able to install firefox (no registry keys needed), but the JVM will require a single key for firefox, even if it's installed.

    For me, 1.4.2something was already installed, so copying the java netscape dll's to the plugins directory was enough, except for that reg key, which I couldn't install. A friend transferred to IT actualy got around to doing the reg key for me... and boom, the java webapp (mostly) worked.

    Seems it interfaced some javascript to the plugin, which I made quick work of in greasemonkey. Was an online chat thing, that we used to augment the phone support, I had to do it once a week. Their version had the javascript querying the java object for ph#, account number, and displaying it when that person came into chat. Mine with greasemonkey turned both of those into clickable links. Seems the IE version updates those 4 times a second, making them almost impossible to copy/paste. You'd have to rearrange windows, so you could type those numbers in manually. Bwahaha.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    Too late for me. (3.00 / 2) (#134)
    by RubberRetropack on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 07:02:16 PM EST

    Thankfully I gave up the Siebel job over a year ago. It was way before I'd ever heard of greasemonkey at any rate (before greasemonkey even existed? I'm not sure).

    Anyway, when I quit I was doing the same thing you are now, I was freaking out and I wrote a huge rant about how crappy the company and it's policies are. In my case, however, I didn't publish it anywhere.

    Long story short, this company was in the process of phasing in Siebel. Siebel was replacing a custom in-house developed thing that was only mildly annoying.

    On the computers we were using, we had a Citrix "thinclient" (though the clients themselves were very fat with Win2k), and in the citrix thinclient, you'd have access to the custom accounts management program (the old one that Siebel was replacing), and a bunch of webapps accessible from IE only. The thinclient was locked down very hard and it was impossible to install anything on it or do anything special, basically. But to roll out Siebel, they needed WinXP because that's how closely tied it is to the OS, it's not just tied to one specific browser, it's tied to one specific version of one specific OS. So there was a huge deal to upgrade all the computers to WinXP so that we could access Siebel.

    Then we were in a really special position where you could only access Siebel from outside of the Citrix thin client, but you could only access the other webapps from inside the Citrix thin client. It was fun trying to remember which could be accessed from where, that screwed a lot of people up.

    Siebel itself was very horrible. There were 3 "levels" to any account, I forget what they were named, but the highest level was something like the "FLP", Financially Liable Party, that was tied to the customer's SSN. Under that level, you had billing accounts, which basically meant "where are we sending the bill to?", and any FLP could have multiple billing addresses. Underneath the billing accounts were services, which represented each specific cell phone that the person owned.

    Ok, none of that is particularly horrible, but the part that really bugged me about it was that certain bits of information were only available in certain levels, and there was very little to visually distinguish which level you were at. So you'd get a call and you'd want to verify the person's address to make sure they have access to the account, you'd click "billing" tab, and ooops! it's empty because you're looking at the service level and not the billing level. But now that you're on the billing tab of the service level, the navigation to get to the billing level is gone, so you have to go back to the other tab and then go to the billing level and then go to the billing tab from there in order to get to that information. This is just a specific example. Siebel was full of "gotchas" where you'd be looking for some information, so you'd click on the obvious tab, and that tab would either be empty or all the widgets would be disabled becuase you can't change that information from the level you're on. And yeah, it was sloooowww.

    There were things that were easy in the old custom thing that Siebel couldn't even do, that we had to file reports to have to ask the techies to fix in the database manually (or at least I assume that's what they were doing). Basic things like the account activity log were just missing -- in the custom thing you could leave notes on the persons account to help explain whatever's going on to the next rep who would get a call from this person, and you could see what offers they'd been given and etc. In Siebel you simply didn't have this information, you were flying blind so to speak.

    On top of all of this, Siebel was plagued by using tables to display a lot of it's data. "What's wrong with that?" I can hear you saying. Well you're right, a table is a logical way to display tabular data. However, these tables typically would have 100 columns, 3 of which we'd actually use, causing it to have a very nice horizontal scrollbar in order to be able to access any of this information. It was rare to see two useful columns on the screen at the same time. And these tables would typically only have 10 or less rows in them, making it a shockingly inefficient way of displaying this data.

    And somebody else mentioned how Siebel was all crashy in the training, and how they were told that it wouldn't be crashy when you were using the real thing, but it still was crashy anyway. Yeah, I had that too. My trainer even told us that the people who had introduced Siebel to the company had been fired. I laughed at that, then I cried because they kept on using Siebel anyway. If I was running a business, and one of my employees introduced some software that was so terrible that I felt the need to fire those employees, I would be trying to replace that software with something better, not migrate all of my business on to it, which is what this company was doing.

    Aside from all this stupid Siebel crap, the company itself was very slimy and spineless. I remember one month when they'd made revisions to their service plans... every aspect of the service plans was either staying the same or getting worse (eg, price going up, removing some features that used to be free). I still remember the trainer describing the new service plan: "... and it has a robust calling area, which, to my knowledge, remains unchanged."

    I didn't work there for more than 3 months.

    Wow, can you believe I prefixed this huge rant with "to make a long story short"? And this is still significantly shorter than my original rant that I wrote in anger and deleted without publishing nearly a year ago. Kinda went off on a tangent, too, one thing I forgot to mention is that with the change to WinXP, it wasn't locked down so much and you could install stuff. Miraculously, the corporate proxy just somehow forgot to block .org domains, so it was no problem going to mozilla.org to download and install firefox, but it was a fruitless effort because it couldn't run any of the webapps I'd wanted it for (it just plain couldn't run Siebel, and all the other webapps were only accessible through citrix, inside of which I couldn't install firefox).

    Oh, one last thing ;) During my training, a lot of it was web-based slideshows. The slideshow explaining how billing works had an absolutely appalling graphic in it that I saved on my hard disk and emailed to myself on the day that I quit. I still have it ;) This graphic has only two possible explanations. "We send a bill to our customer, they don't understand it, then they send us money.", or, "We send a bill to... somebody! We don't know who! Then they send us money." It just depends on how you interpret the question marks. Either way it describes the corporate culture there fairly well.

    [ Parent ]

    Dammit Rusty. (none / 0) (#136)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 07:40:06 PM EST

    Inline that image for christ's sake. We can't let people accidentally miss the link....

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]
    That is an awesome pic [n/t] (none / 0) (#222)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 10:41:24 AM EST



    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    hahaha! (none / 0) (#228)
    by Harvey Anderson on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 11:38:56 AM EST

    hahahahahahahaha!@!!#!!!

    [ Parent ]
    AT&T Wireless, eh? (none / 0) (#202)
    by The Amazing Idiot on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 02:29:51 AM EST

    Well, they're all prettty bad, arent they?

    Im not very surprised, now....

    [ Parent ]

    Testify! (none / 0) (#221)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 10:40:16 AM EST

    "Anyway, when I quit I was doing the same thing you are now, I was freaking out and I wrote a huge rant about how crappy the company and it's policies are. In my case, however, I didn't publish it anywhere."

    You should.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]

    No I don't buy it (2.71 / 7) (#128)
    by rodentboy on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 05:23:32 PM EST

    Always try and see both sides of an issue.

    He did see their side of the issue. When he showed them his vastly improved client software they dismissed it with a snort. Their side of the issue then is based on FUD. Their side of the issue is that fun in the workplace must be quashed.

    What you don't seem to understand is that some people don't want to behave like toadies and play along.

    I personally have provoked two firings, and not to disparage the author but those contracts I pissed away were worth six figures a year each. Those people I worked for made my life hell nad I chose to leave in as disorderly a manner as possible.

    And if you want I can reduce it to economic terms for you. Obviously he is incurring a lost opportunity cost by being fired: he is losing the opportunity to make money till he finds another job. So the question is then what is he buying with that? It's called dignity.



    [ Parent ]
    teh Thunderbird does not delete email! (none / 0) (#143)
    by kpaul on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 09:30:59 PM EST

    it's a rumor, a rumor i tell ya! ;)


    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    Objection to subjection (2.75 / 4) (#155)
    by Cornelius on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 06:56:40 AM EST

    You are not the glue holding things together. They have and can in the future, survive without you.
    How very true. I have met with many people who believe that they were so important to their organization that it wouldnt function without them. In some rare cases I admit them quitting or getting fired had negative effects for the company. But more often than not the companies just hired some new guy/girl and in six months everything worked sort of like it always had.
    Firing you, or better yet, getting you to resign, may actually be an overall benefit to the company at this point. --- Even if the original problems were because of a bad supervisor or environment, your reactions in this matter would make me question your value to the company.
    Well, I disagree. If conflicts arise between a manager and an employee and the problem originated with the manager I believe that you should go to the source when trying to remedy the problem.

    Most likely a manager that has trouble with someone that noone else has problems with will prove to be a liability. There are managers that lack basic people skills and that should not deal with people. It might be the case that your dealing with one of those here.

    Another aspect to this is also the overall environment of a company. If a company is run with little regard for the people who work in it, it is a bad company. Hopefully it will not compete well, but ruthless leaders can often get results, although often (in my experience) shortlived. I do believe, though, that companies that (ab)use people, rather than work with them, are a blight; and we as employees should never accept it.

    Personally I'd rather starve than live under tyranny.


    Cornelius

    "Your suffering will be legendary, even in Hell", Hellraiser
    [ Parent ]
    Horror story... (2.00 / 2) (#200)
    by The Amazing Idiot on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 02:18:23 AM EST

    I worked at a 2-bit crap "it company" that did a marketing job over almost every one of their clients..

    Long story short, they needed cheap routers (linux based) but wanted to sell computers to inflate costs. I used junk P1-66MHz machines we had in a back room to do the super-low-traffic routing. Ok..

    Came a point that they found someone who'd work cheaper and more unethical than I, and then had them to replace the software (from my rats nest Debian stable installs to some cd-based linux router software).

    We had only a few working floppy drives and cd-roms that I took them out of each machine and used 1 set to do the installs. I, of course, gave over login/passwd for root (as required) but I set up tripwire scripts and such disable scripts that if something wasnt right, a whole bunch of nasty exceptions happened... Right down to a forced rmmod of ipv4 module ;P

    When I still was working there, he took a month to "fix" what I did, and still wasnt done right.

    This same company also had the "vice president" get charged with arson (but hasnt sticked yet). Real ethical company.

    [ Parent ]

    If I ever start a company, (2.70 / 10) (#100)
    by enthalpyX on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 12:09:28 PM EST

    remind me never to hire you. We have a disagreement, and all of a sudden the whole intraweb knows about it.

    Run your company with integrity . . . (2.77 / 9) (#103)
    by acceleriter on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 12:20:31 PM EST

    . . . and you don't have to worry about it.

    [ Parent ]
    Not necessarily (2.33 / 3) (#265)
    by The Voice of Reason on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 12:22:58 PM EST

    This person who wrote the article sounds like a right shithead, one of those geeks who thinks the world revolves around him. Even though he's just a grunt doing a menial job, he thinks the management should care about his opinions. Not a very useful worker, he can't even get on with his supervisor. The company should have sacked him a lot sooner.

    [ Parent ]
    Nice nick for a troll! (2.00 / 2) (#271)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 01:16:40 PM EST

    Maybe you read a different story than the one I did, where I got along with my first supervisor just fine. It's hardly a sample that we can draw any definitive conclusions from (only 3 supervisors there, the dayshift supervisor, old nightshift supervisor, or the new nightshift supe), but it would still seem that it's nowhere bad as the picture you paint of me. Should they have sacked me back when I was working with the supervisor I did get along with? What logic leads you to that conclusion?

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]
    I suggest (none / 0) (#295)
    by destroy all monsters on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 11:51:23 PM EST

    that is the need to make things into easy black and white answers that a child can understand. You know, the same methodolgy Republicans use on those easily led.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    Ah yes, call centers (3.00 / 13) (#108)
    by JahToasted on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 01:41:18 PM EST

    What a great experience that is. They demand a 7 minute call time but it takes at least 10 minutes to get the computer system to save the record of the call. They take away every tool you come up with that makes your job easier just because they can.

    Ok, I'll tell you a little bit about my call center experience. It was support for a company that was a big manufacturer of modems but are trying to move into networking products.

    We had no downtime at this place. There were always calls holding. They really needed at least 10 more people working there, but because of the way the contract was (this was outsourced, of course) they wouldn't hire anyone.

    This place was so bad it was surreal. This was a new contract for the call center so things weren't set up when we started. We got to try out the software we would use to for notes on the call the week before we started taking calls. This software was called Siebel, some kind of IE Java Webbased POS. It was slow, it crashed all the time. But we were told that was only the test server that was like that, by the time we would be taking calls it would be better. It wasn't.

    So you'd take a call ask the person's name and then wait 15 seconds for the next page to load up so you can enter their phone number. then another 15 seconds before you could get their address, which you wouldn't need unless you did an RMA, and if you did an RMA you'd have to enter it again anyway.

    But whatever. The first week was crazy, no one knew anything, but eventually we got things figured out. We knew that certain products just sucked. We knew which problems were unfixable and so you just do an RMA without bothering trying to fix it, because the product just sucked.

    Oh and we were told that customers would within a couple of weeks be able to do advanced RMAs. ie We would immediately send out a replacement before they get back the customer's defective product. So you'd tell the customer that system would be up in a couple of weeks. I finished working there after 4 months and the still didn't have that system up.

    Of course then the company decides to change their drop point for their RMAs. twice. And they don't arrange for the RMAs to be forwarded from their previous addresses. So the RMAs get returned to sender. So customers who were waiting for a month for their RMA got their original defective router back.

    The calls just keep pouring in. So they make a policy that we should escalate the calls to tier 2 support if we couldn't solve the problem quickly. Who was tier 2? Nobody. That's right the customer was told that someone from tier 2 support would call them back... well sometime (we couldn't give a time estimate, because there wasn't anyone actually calling these people back). Then their file was put into the escalated list and just sat there.

    But still, we couldn't keep up with the calls. there just weren't enough people. So this is where the management gets creative. First they take certain people off the phones and put them on emails in the morning before anyone gets in. But that means those people leave at 5:00 when the queue was the busiest. Great.

    But they finnally decided to put together a tier 2 team. And guess what, I got chosen to be on that team. They said it was because I knew linux and for some reason the company wanted to support linux. But I suspect it was because I didn't give a shit about talk times and I was screwing up their stats.

    So all those calls that were escalated for months? well me and another guy (well there were 3 people on tier 2 but the third guy didn't do any work) had to call all of those people back. After they were told the would be called the next day then had to wait a month. There were about 2 hundred cases escalated.

    So we roll up our sleeves and call every one of them back. A lot of people cursed me out. Some just laughed. A few still wanted their problems solved. Many should have been solved on their original call in, but they were escalated because it was taking too much time. Customers had to wait a month to get problems solved, when they should have been solved in 20 minutes. but management had the policy to escalate after 15 minutes.

    Now that they had a tier 2 team the changed the policy to escalate in under 10 minutes. Since the system was slow you could barely get the customers contact info into the system in that time. So we'd get cases that simply said "router don't work". Then it would be a simple releas and renew ip to fix it.

    Now one of the routers we had would constantly reset for some people. we were told it was due to some kind of wireless interference. I smelled bullshit (if interference was causing it to reset it was still the router's fault), but that was the line we were told to give. Later we found out the router was the exact same model that was sold by D-Link and that if you flashed our router with the D-Link firmware, the problem would go away. This of course voided the warranty. But the problem was definitely a firmware issue. But you could never admit that. And there were other products with shitty firmware, but I could go on all day about how much their products suck.

    Anyway to do our work we needed certain tools. A calendar to schedule calls (a lot of people would say they were busy, could you call me back later?), and email (people would want to email in logs or screenshots or whatever). Of course the company said they would get back to us on setting this up. Given previous experience, we knew it would never happen. We found yahoo offered both, and would allow us to share calendars so we's know what the other guy was doing. even the company knew we had them because they sent stuff to those addresses. they asked us to send out firmware to beta testers.

    Of course management saw us being productive, so then we were forbidden from using yahoo. We started using outlook for the calendar, but still had no email address. We said we needed some kind of email, we were ignored.

    But whatever, we were almost caught up. all of the cases that were in the queue, we were just waiting to get a hold of the customers. I figured that the next week I'd actually have a little time to do things like documenting the various undocumented problems and features of our products, document how to make the modems work under linux (I think i had to to just a couple of commands, bless wvdial). And of course waste some time trying to get some kind of email account that was acceptable to management. and of course escalated cases would be called back within an hour, not days or weeks.

    Then the bombshell. Well since tier 2 worked their asses off and got caught up, we had time to take calls again. When? 5pm to 7pm. Starting today. Oh you have been scheduled to call back people at that time? well call them back and tell them you can't. Oh and by the way we are making a policy that we don't want you to schedule times for call backs with busy customers, they should just wait by the phone all day for waiting for you to call. Oh 5 to 7pm is when you are able to reach most of the customers tough for them. They will get two messages on their voice mail then they have to call us back and wait on hold for 30 minutes and then be escalated again.

    After that I told them to take me off the tier 2 team, since they effectively made that job impossible. Yeah, I'm asking to be demoted.

    Of course the number of escalated cases ballooned back up to 150 within a week. But I never escalated any, I would stay with a customer for an hour if I had to. I would wait on hold while the customer called their ISP to see if that was the problem.

    But the best calls were when someone told me what they needed and asked me to recommend a product. I would recommend the competitions' products. I was never QA'd on those calls though.

    They would have fire me, I'm sure but they were already short handed. Eventually I found a better job elsewhere. But I made sure I burned that bridge thoroughly before I left.

    My last day was a friday. I was told I would be interviewed so I would have to opportunity to make recommendations or whatever. That never happened. I was on a call and one of the managers was anxious to talk to me. It was a couple of hours before the shift ended, but he wanted to get my ID and for me to sign my papers or whatever then so he could leave then. So I do it and all of the management leaves to start the weekend early. 7pm comes around the shift is done. but the rule is, if there's calls in the queue no one leaves until the queue is empty. There are 21 calls waiting. It was my last day so it wasn't my problem, I could just leave, who cares. But it pissed me off that the management gets to leave early friday night, while everyone else would be there til 8 or 9. So I take a call, press release, take the next call, press release, repeat 20 times. Dumped every call then left the place. Seriously fucked the stats and everyone got to go home early.
    ______
    "I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison

    I'm so sorry. (none / 1) (#111)
    by Wally Fenderson on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 01:48:14 PM EST

    You had me at Seibel.
    LOAD "SIG",8,1
    [ Parent ]
    I've always wondered (none / 1) (#118)
    by JahToasted on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 02:31:03 PM EST

    can siebel ever work ok? or was it just that the idiots where I work didn't know how to set it up properly? I suspect that both siebel and the admins being shitty were there problems there.
    ______
    "I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
    [ Parent ]
    Siebel (none / 1) (#124)
    by Wally Fenderson on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 04:46:30 PM EST

    I've used it in two jobs now. The first was at a Gateway retail store. Sucked there. The other is the job I work at now. Better, but still not good. Its the litte things that drive me nouts about the system. Like how buttons will move on different screens. You click what was the "back" button on one screen, only to find out it's now the "forward" button. Oh, that and it's slow as death.
    LOAD "SIG",8,1
    [ Parent ]
    Siebel is a total POS. (none / 1) (#126)
    by b0r0din on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 05:15:44 PM EST

    Seriously, it's fucking awful. I worked with it at my old job. We had an in-house app that it replaced, which didn't always work, but worked better than Siebel. The program is horribly designed. Horrible application environment. As it stands, the company dumped Siebel, of which I was on a pilot project, to use VM, the old system it had used forever. Guess what? Still using VM. Siebel is a piece of shit.

    [ Parent ]
    Also loses records (none / 1) (#145)
    by JahToasted on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 09:47:49 PM EST

    records in the system mysteriously disappear. By the end of it I was typing everything into .txt files and copying and pasting it into siebel and keeping the txt files so if it lost it, I'd still have my copy.
    ______
    "I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
    [ Parent ]
    Money (2.00 / 3) (#120)
    by Xptic on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 03:42:04 PM EST

    It never ceases to amaze me what people will go through to save $100.

    If I buy a shitty router, I'm gonna try and take it back to the store.  If they don't take it back, I'll get really loud and tell everyone around me how the store doesn't offer refunds or credit for shitty products.

    If the store does accept the return, I try and get them to committ to not buying that companie's products.  Mom&pops are best at this.  BB and WM don't give a fuck.

    I never buy a product from that company agian.  Ever.  I had exactly one Asus mobo fail.  I never buy or reccommend Asus to anyone.

    If there isn't really any competition in that market, I just suck it up.  If I actually need that device, I'll suffer with it and it's quirks.  I'll never spend an hour on the phone with the call center.

    Life is too short to stress over a broken $100 router.

    [ Parent ]

    Good for you (3.00 / 2) (#147)
    by JahToasted on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 10:00:13 PM EST

    That reminds me, a lot of times I'd ask the customer where he got the router and if it wasn't an online purchase I'd just tell them to take it back to the store. I got in shit because I was supposed to do an RMA since the stores wouldn't want to carry them if they got a lot of returns. Given that our RMAs would take anywhere from 2 months to end of the universe before the customer evre got anything, I just kept on telling them to take it back to the store.
    ______
    "I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
    [ Parent ]
    Funny how experiences vary... (none / 1) (#154)
    by Ranieri on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 06:23:09 AM EST

    I never buy a product from that company agian. Ever. I had exactly one Asus mobo fail. I never buy or reccommend Asus to anyone.

    Funny, that. I've had pretty much everything fail except Asus. Not only mobos, but also video adapters.
    Aopen and MSI? Meh, no thanks ...
    --
    Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
    [ Parent ]

    Completely missing the point. (3.00 / 2) (#260)
    by daveybaby on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 10:42:28 AM EST

    Every company ships the occasional duff item and makes cockups every now and again. To expect otherwise is totally unrealistic. To vow never to buy a companies products EVER AGAIN because you hit a statistical anomaly and got a faulty item is ridiculous, and, frankly, kind of childish.

    Of course, if a company has a reputation for consistantly delivering bad products, then thats another matter - but if thats the case you really shouldnt have gone with them in the first place.

    The difference between a good company and a bad one is how they deal with problems when they occur. If i have a faulty product/service from company X, and they fix the problem promptly, then i will in future favour them over company Y (that i havent even had any problems with yet), because now i know that company X has good customer service, and thats a rare thing, and much more inportant than that whether i was randomly unlucky enough to get a duff board.

    [ Parent ]

    Do I rate this 0 because it belongs (3.00 / 2) (#132)
    by shinnin on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 06:52:15 PM EST

    in an article?

    Good stuff.

    [ Parent ]

    Thanks (none / 1) (#146)
    by JahToasted on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 09:50:05 PM EST

    well its just a bunch of bitching, so I'm not posting as an article.

    I just hope I left enough clues so people who read it know not to buy from that company.
    ______
    "I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
    [ Parent ]

    I've never worked at a helpdesk... (3.00 / 2) (#156)
    by gzur on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 07:46:08 AM EST

    But I love helpdesk stories. They're bizarre and extreme in ways that show that Dogbert really IS art imitating life.

    _________________________________________
    "I'm not looking for work, but I wouldn't say no to a Pacific rim job."
    [ Parent ]
    You must master the ancient art (3.00 / 7) (#109)
    by LilDebbie on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 01:42:07 PM EST

    of hearing without listening.

    Your manager's words have no meaning. His threats, empty. It is you who give them substance when you take them seriously.

    At your next job, when your manager bitches at you, hear him, but do not listen. If you are unsure of what I mean by this, go talk to Mormon missionaries about their beliefs and you will quickly master the skill.

    My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
    - hugin -

    Yup (3.00 / 5) (#114)
    by JahToasted on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 01:58:52 PM EST

    They only bitch at you if they know you give a shit. When I worked at a call center they never put written warnings on my file or even bother to talk to me at all. I made it perfectly clear that I didn't give a shit. At that point their only option is: fire him / not fire him. And since I was doing work, they did not fire me. Though in hind sight they probably should have.
    ______
    "I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
    [ Parent ]
    What the??? (2.50 / 6) (#112)
    by Drog on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 01:50:37 PM EST

    How did this get to the front page??? This belongs in the diaries. I need to visit the moderation queue more regularly...

    Looking for political forums? Check out "The World Forum". News feed available here on K5.
    because K5 is alive, kind sir... (3.00 / 2) (#141)
    by kpaul on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 09:24:48 PM EST

    number K5 is alive ;)


    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    Let me share something (1.12 / 8) (#122)
    by skim123 on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 04:08:37 PM EST

    I was going to post this in a diary, but why the hell not, this made the front page, so now I have a front page comment that should be in a diary... wee!

    Was at the courts yesterday afternoon and we had ten to run on the second court. Rather than just divying up the guys according to height/size, we shoot for two captains. Long story short, I get picked last. No don't get me wrong, I wasn't in the top 50% of the 10 on the court, but there were three guys who I knew I was better than (having played with them before) and just comparing physical attributes, any ol' person off the street would have put me closer to the middle of the pack (rather than at the absolute end). And what got me going was that one of the captains had played with me before a couple of times and knew I wasn't all sucky, yet when it came down to me and a guy who must have weighed about 130 pounds and looked as much a baller as Angelina Jolie looks like an unattractive heffer, he looked at us both and took the other guy.

    Ok, fair's fair, captains can choose whomever they want in whatever order. But I decided I'd show this captain who passed me over what a mistake he made. I jumped out to guard him for the game and proceeded to make the first two buckets of the game, and ended up with six total (out of the 15 our team amassed for the win). And this "captain" who passed me over? Held him to zero points, stuffed him once, and stole the ball from him twice. Biatch.


    Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
    PT Barnum


    Grow up. (2.00 / 5) (#133)
    by cribcage on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 06:54:22 PM EST

    I'm one of those vaguely self-destructive personality types you make acquaintence with throughout your life.
    That's an understatement that misses the point. Your problem isn't that you're self-destructive. Your problem is that you're an underachiever.

    Someone below pointed out that you're 30 and working in a call center. It was cruelly stated, but there's a valid point. It's fine to be 30 and working in a call center, or 40 and washing dishes, or 50 and serving hamburgers. It only becomes shameful when those people lack perspective -- when they exhibit resentment from an unfulfilled sense of entitlement, or when they behave as if trivial matters carried real weight.

    You haven't been assaulted. You haven't been sexually harassed. You don't claim to have been wrongfully denied health benefits, raises, or promotions. You don't even allege that your company has ignored your availability in scheduling, which is often the first step in disciplining disruptive employees. Your complaints are minor and petty, even by call center standards. Your 2,000-word diatribe? A dozen strangers below have all agreed: You're whining.

    This comment neatly demonstrates your maturity and temperament:

    I take what jobs I can find. I'm not ever going to be able to "go back to school", and I doubt that I want to even if the opportunity presents it.

    ...

    I don't whine. Sounds like you do though, and your magical asshat ears translate your own faggoty words to shakespearean rhetoric for that little peabrain of yours.

    The second half speaks for itself, so let's address the first part. Obviously you don't think much of your qualifications. The odd part is your assertion that education is impossible. (I dismiss your professed disinterest as passive resentment toward a resource you feel is beyond your reach.) Between state schools, night classes, and distance learning, there are options available for almost any budget or schedule. Surely you know this.

    But you tell yourself that it's impossible. I sympathize: It's less shameful than acknowledging that you're lazy. It's easier to simply accept your lot than it would be to improve it. I'd suggest, however, that when you attempt to pawn off that nonsense on strangers, you've moved beyond self-pity into something more extreme: denial.

    In any case: Grow up. Whether or not you earn a degree is your business. And there's nothing shameful about working in a call center, or a gas station, or a Burger King. But you should be embarrassed by how you handled this situation, both at work and online. The fact that you're not only proves your immaturity. So grow up.

    Please don't read my journal.

    Yes, you're 190% right. (2.33 / 3) (#139)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 07:48:39 PM EST

    Comments like that are never appropriate, and good hard-working people who make comments like that, even once when they're pissed off, become evil little chancres on the ass of humanity forever.

    Taking things out of context though, that's perfectly legit. Why don't you link to the comment I replied to?

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    I think you meant... (1.66 / 3) (#148)
    by BJH on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 10:19:29 PM EST

    ..."good ex-hard-working people".
    --
    Roses are red, violets are blue.
    I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
    -- Oscar Levant

    [ Parent ]
    Touche. (none / 0) (#149)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 10:58:29 PM EST



    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]
    I know I've already replied once... (2.28 / 7) (#161)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 08:49:56 AM EST

    But people would have to dig through the comments to get the full story.

    Someone below pointed out that you're 30 and working in a call center. It was cruelly stated, but there's a valid point. It's fine to be 30 and working in a call center, or 40 and washing dishes, or 50 and serving hamburgers. It only becomes shameful when those people lack perspective -- when they exhibit resentment from an unfulfilled sense of entitlement, or when they behave as if trivial matters carried real weight.

    My second, lesser paying fulltime job. That's right, 80 hours a week. And not flipping hamburgers either, if you were a business customer and your T1 was down, I was the first guy you talked to. This is only slightly higher than "Please reboot your computer/Reinstall windows" Dell phone support, but it was.

    My underachiever ass tried to improve things, spending free time on fixing things others didn't bother to do. Writing documentation and software. But even that's attackable isn't it? If I didn't do such things, well then I have no initiative, no creativity. If I do, well, I'm doing things they never told me to do anyway. Strangely, I'm lazy either way.

    But let's get right to the heart of it. You're pissed that I told a troll to fuck off, and the troll got zeroed for it, and I didn't. So please folks, go zero my comment too, so that cribcage can feel that there is a little justice left in the universe.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    <Yawn...> (2.80 / 5) (#169)
    by cribcage on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 10:57:12 AM EST

    I was content to let you have the last word, but people like you just don't know when to quit. You've got a few dozen threads telling you, politely and otherwise, that you're a screw-up lacking perspective and social skills who is inflating a mountain out of a teensy-weensy molehill -- and still you keep pounding your head against the wall.

    If you were a friend, I'd have been more careful. There's terrible danger in telling a friend something about himself that he's not ready to hear. But you're not my friend, and you voluntarily dumped your purse onto the table. So again: I have some sympathy for how you must feel, being mocked by legions of respondents -- but ultimately, it's what you asked for. If you were more mature and less bitter, you'd have the sense to walk away. If you don't understand the issue, at least you might grasp how foolish you look.

    If you behave this way at 30, there's little reason to expect you'll mature farther. But just in case you do, and you choose to revisit this thread, have a second look at this comment. You owe this fellow a word of thanks. It's as insightful a comment as you'll get online, and he's absolutely right. Unsurprisingly, you steamrolled right over it -- but if you collect your marbles and give it another chance, you'll be better off for listening to him.

    Or don't. Spent the rest of your life as a telephone jockey who insists that everyone else has problems. Torture your friends with tales of petty injustices you face at work. "People like myself, we're always in the wrong though." That's right. Hang onto that martyr complex and keep right on whining.

    Please don't read my journal.
    [ Parent ]

    You're correct (none / 0) (#263)
    by ylikone on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 12:03:22 PM EST

    Cribbage, I whole-heartedly agree. I am a lazy underachiever myself... at least at my "real" job. Yet I spend countless hours of my own time working on basically the same stuff I do at work, except for myself. Anyway, what I'm saying is that this guy certainly sounds like a lazy underachiever and he is whining and doesn't like to listen to authority or do things the way management has set them up. I have no pity for him, he is an immature jerk. I could come up with the same lame whining about my "real" work, but why bother? I admit I suck but you know what... I don't care and I don't write diatribes about it trying to make myself the innocent one.

    [ Parent ]
    "I would prefer not to..." (none / 0) (#142)
    by kpaul on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 09:27:36 PM EST

    Good flick...and book...


    2014 Halloween Costumes

    Bosses and Jobs Suck (3.00 / 2) (#150)
    by dogeye on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 01:00:58 AM EST

    After 5 years in the business world, I've seen customers do some amazing and downright appalling things.

    Driving 450 miles and harassing a companies CEO because they couldn't get DSL working is up there, but I'm impressed with the effectiveness of his actions.

    There is something about a long drive that has people willing to do just about anything. Once, a customer drove across the entire state of New Mexico to pick up a $500 product that I didn't even have in stock. I never told him to come, but I felt so guilty I shipped it to him for free.

    I think the moral of the article is that if you want to get something out of someone, make up a story about driving hundreds of miles. When you think about it, it's more likely that the DSL customer was in this city for another reason and just decided to stop by the office.

    A bit of advice for next time (1.50 / 2) (#151)
    by Legion303 on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 04:40:55 AM EST

    I see from your comments that you've already quit, but if you have a stressful call center job in the future and want to get fired in style, I suggest something with a high firing rate and a large caliber.

    The one and only call center I had the misfortune to work at had a "no cell phone" policy on the "floor" (raised central area where all the phones/half-cubes/workstations were located). One of my co-workers said "on my last day, I'm going to bring my cell phone onto the floor and walk around making calls." My response: "On my last day, I'm bringing in a 30-06." He looked like he didn't quite know whether I was joking.

    I was. But just barely. :)

    omg you are soooo cool! (3.00 / 7) (#162)
    by Harvey Anderson on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:02:02 AM EST

    Can I be you!?

    [ Parent ]
    Greasemonkey (none / 0) (#152)
    by ffrinch on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 05:11:56 AM EST

    Have you tried your userscripts with Turnabout? (Or Trixie, or GreasemonkIE, though I think both are defunct now.) If they work, and you're not fired, it might be easier to just cave in and use IE.

    -◊-
    "I learned the hard way that rock music ... is a powerful demonic force controlled by Satan." — Jack Chick
    Wouldn't work. (none / 0) (#158)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 08:11:03 AM EST

    Not that I'd consider going back to IE, but any of it's plugins would require adminstrative rights that I'd not have.

    All moot now though.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    Some advice. Shut up and like it. (2.40 / 10) (#153)
    by it certainly is on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 06:15:19 AM EST

    Firstly, you've been an idiot about this. It can't be helped. Many intelligent people have an natural aversion to ignorance and stupidity they see in others, but they're also very good at screening out their own failures.

    You're great with computers. You're great with customers. Why aren't you great with management? Even stupid management? Do you have the interpersonal skills to convince them to use your software instead?

    I mean, look at this from a business perspective. The purpose of the the business is to answer all customer queries to the customers' satisfaction, with the minimum number of staff and other costs. The main expense outside wages is turnover, because it costs the company money to get new recruits in and train them so that they can answer calls quickly, efficiently and accurately.

    What they want is nice flow-charts that idiots could go through to troubleshoot all customer problems, plus at least one higher-tier guy who really understands all this stuff, to handle the minority of cases that can't be fixed easily by standard investigation procedures, and to write and improve the operating procedures. This guy needs to be in constant liason with management, because it's management that's agreeing the levels of service with the ISP's management, producing stats and reports and so on and keeping the ISP happy, thus keeping the contract going.

    You could have been that person, if you didn't widely announce to all and sundry that you're a technological primadonna with a burning hatred and contempt for "in-duh-viduals" and your current management.

    However, we have another problem. You're not really suited to the job - rewriting your ticketing system is not in the job description - and you're determined to spend as much time doing things that interest you, when you don't actually have to do your job. Thus, the coding, the bug-fixing, the huge kudos and ego boosting you get from your fellow employees running your code to do their jobs, and coming back to you for fixes and advice. You really want to be the tools guy at that place? You should have made the case convincingly to management that that should officially be one of your responsibilities! Really, management would NOT complain that they've got someone on their side who has put months of effort into analysing the tools used in the business and improving them. Their main fear is, naturally, "what if these custom tools stop working?". They probably pay for phone support on their current toolset for just this reason. Likewise, they don't want to see your tools in use when you leave, unless you'd filed full user and maintenance documentation with them. They need that - you know they need that. You could have worked with them for the betterment of the business overall, but instead you chose to fall out over petty matters.

    Good luck finding your next job, let's hope you're a lot more receptive to your fellow business partners in future.

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.

    Translation. (2.00 / 6) (#164)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:17:25 AM EST

    You should have made the case convincingly to management that that should officially be one of your responsibilities!

    You should have been a marketing weasel and sold yourself better.

    Corollary: If you had been able to do that, it would have meant you were a different kind of person, and almost certainly the kind least able to actually do it officially.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    Re: Translation (3.00 / 2) (#173)
    by screwdriver on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 12:57:19 PM EST

    I don't mean to gang up on you (like a lot of people seem to be doing) but I just wanted to point out that being a succesfull marketing person and being a competent technician/coder/etc are not mutually exclusive.

    I've met with engineers that were very good at their job and yet seemed to have a natural knack for marketing and customer relations.  I guess they were naturally "people persons".

    Likewise, there are "marketing droids" with a very good grasp on technology, and not just enough knowledge to memorize keywords to throw back at the customer.

    When you interview for a job, you are essesntially selling yourself, or rather, your skills, expertise and potential.

    Call center work can be a pretty thankless job.  I worked phone support for nearly six months.  This was a long time ago (I used to help people set up their dialup networking on Windows 3.11!!)  I jumped out at the first oportunity for a more technical oriented job.

    Job market is a lot different right now, of couse. The only advise I can give you is:  don't let your frustration (at management, coworker, customer, whatever) eat you up.  If you do get fired (I never really found out if you did), forgive and forget and move on.  No use in keeping old grudges against people you will probably never deal with again.

    [ Parent ]

    Revenge (none / 1) (#175)
    by Cornelius on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 02:29:58 PM EST

    No use in keeping old grudges against people you will probably never deal with again.
    But hey, one day down that road you might get the opportunity for revenge.

    An important and often forgotten aspect to life is that: what goes around comes around... so if you treat people bad that might come back and bite you. You never know where you will run into that incompetent call-center guy again. Next thing you know he is the boss of a major company or in a position to not recommend you for a promotion.


    Cornelius

    "Your suffering will be legendary, even in Hell", Hellraiser
    [ Parent ]
    Fuck the toads and snakes bullshit. (2.50 / 2) (#188)
    by it certainly is on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 06:03:44 PM EST

    We are all chameleons, there are a small minority who are 100% snake or toad.

    If you saw me coding, you'd assume that I'm just like you and thus completely incapable of being a "marketing weasel". If you saw me convincing a group of managers to back me, my tools and my processes, you'd assume I couldn't possible have written them. The idea that you can be both at the same time is just beyond you.

    Only you are stopping yourself from improving your people skills. If you can learn a new coding language in 5 minutes, why can't you spend time learning organisational and presentation skills?

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
    [ Parent ]

    If I said... (1.50 / 2) (#192)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 08:02:11 PM EST

    That no one can be both, then I misspoke. I meant that I can't be.

    But let's talk about my deficiencies in this area. I already had something worth showing, and I wait til my supervisor isn't busy (not that that's particularly difficult with him). I say something like "Hey Roger, can I show you something?". He hadn't been a supervisor more than 6 weeks at this point, prior to that he was doing the same job as I.

    It should have been obvious to him how it could have saved time, especially when they are constantly pissing and moaning about minute this and second that. I don't think I even heard a single sentence from him, if I did then it was about how I wasn't even supposed to be using that browser. My theory is that even having done the same job as I, the extra information it was presenting was stuff he never bothered to look up himself. Its true that it was only presenting information that would be useful if the problem did turn out to be our fault, which DSLAM, which vlan they were on, and so forth. What if he always treated it as a customer equipment problem, and got rid of them after 6 minutes regardless?

    Or maybe he did understand how it made things quicker and easier, but didn't give a flying fuck. I don't know.

    He hadn't written me up at that point, and I had no bad attitude towards him at that point.

    So tell me, what did I do wrong? Was I supposed to bring in the overhead projector and hand out copies of 8 color pie charts? Maybe a round of golf after, and then out to the bars to buy him a hooker?

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    Just be to the point. (3.00 / 2) (#193)
    by it certainly is on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 08:28:20 PM EST

    • Tell your supervisor that you have software that'll pull up everything necessary for a call in one simple page. Don't go into the details of how it works.
    • Don't go on and on about you having spent time between calls writing it. He doesn't like hearing that.
    • Tell him that it can save several minutes on each call, and that you're interested in improving the SOPs for quicker and better customer service.
    • Tell him that you have (or will) write up full user and maintenance documentation for it, so it's not a liability.
    • Recommend that he bring it up with management.
    • Tell him that you're willing to come in on one of your off days to discuss it with him and management.
    • Leave the ball in his court. Make it his responsibility to either reject you there, or to take responsibility in bringing your tool to management's attention.
    • If he ignores you, remind him a few times. Not too keenly, and not with hostility or any sort of expectancy.
    • If need be, either go to (or ask to go to, if that's needed) the management above him, saying that you raised this tool to your supervisor's attention some time ago and you don't feel he's representing your concerns properly (which it's very likely he's meant to be doing).
    That's just for starters.

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
    [ Parent ]

    You forgot one piece (none / 1) (#227)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 11:27:03 AM EST

    - Know your managers (or management chain). There's almost always one that isn't an asshat. Cultivate that relationship.Make it a symbiotic one so that when you bring these improvements to the table the manager *you* want to get credit for it (and who will give you credit for it) gets the credit. It gets a little momentum for reform going.  

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    Better yet (none / 1) (#248)
    by pyro9 on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 01:19:01 PM EST

    If need be, either go to (or ask to go to, if that's needed) the management above him, saying that you raised this tool to your supervisor's attention some time ago and you don't feel he's representing your concerns properly (which it's very likely he's meant to be doing).

    If at all doable, be friendly enough with the boss'es boss that it wouldn't be out of place to casually mention the new app as if you're certain he will know what you're talking about (because OF COURSE your steaming pile of a boss kept his word and presented it).

    He will either give you feedback letting you know where it stands, or get pissed with your boss for trying to keep him out of the loop. If your boss IS a steaming pile, he'll try to find some other excuse to give you grief, (since he can't officially repremand you for giving him the benefit of the doubt) but HIS boss will already b e looking sideways at him, and will know he's out for revenge.


    The future isn't what it used to be
    [ Parent ]
    You've never had a job, have you? (none / 1) (#168)
    by codejack on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 10:43:15 AM EST

    Why aren't you great with management? Even stupid management? Do you have the interpersonal skills to convince them to use your software instead?

    How, exactly, is this possible? "Stupid management" can represent a broad range of incompetence, varying from merely annoying to catastrophically impairing, and the latter end of the spectrum seems to be the more common as well as making it impossible to effectively do your job. Convincing such a person that anything outside of S.O.P., or even not mentioned, could even happen is an exercise in frustration, all the interpersonal skills in the world not withstanding.

    Bribes do occasionally work, though.


    Please read before posting.

    [ Parent ]
    The bail out. (3.00 / 3) (#178)
    by it certainly is on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 03:55:23 PM EST

    Management has a purpose, and if you show them an improved way to achieve that purpose, they'll love you. Management is usually layered, if the peons don't like it, keep going up. Be the person to "initiate change". If the organisation's really against change, all the way to the top, leave it and form your own. Compete directly against it and you'll win, because you've got the more efficient strategy.

    What I'm saying is that if you think you're so goddamn right, then take it all the way. Don't back down at the first hurdle, then slink back to your cubicle and harbour passive-aggressive thoughts.

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
    [ Parent ]

    Yeh. (none / 1) (#181)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 04:06:05 PM EST

    Because I can compete with a billion dollar telephone company in any meaningful way.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]
    Yes, you can. (none / 1) (#186)
    by it certainly is on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 05:49:24 PM EST

    Especially when you don't need to do manufacturing. Small, directed companies are far more capable of innovation and change than corporate behemoths. That's why big companies keep on buying smaller ones. Aquisition is an admission of defeat on the part of the aquirer.

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
    [ Parent ]

    Yes. (none / 1) (#190)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 07:47:25 PM EST

    I'll start digging trenches tomorrow, and lay fiber from here to Maine. The government doesn't ever get in the way of this. Then, I'll call up the FCC chairman, hey, we're good friends, and say "Hey Mike, I'm starting up a telephone company.".

    Not to mention, I never claimed I had a single _clue_ about the telephone business. After working in it for 3 months, I had some ideas about fixing some specific phone support software deficiencies, maybe some procedures. That's not a business, that's a third of a department.

    It may not be beyond me to start some small business, but it won't be in that industry.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    You're kidding, right? (none / 1) (#194)
    by it certainly is on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 08:35:37 PM EST

    You're not selling phones or phonelines to consumers. You're selling customer support to phone and DSL companies. You're selling your support people's brains and voices, efficient case and queue handling, etc. There are thousands of companies that do that, and with your problem-domain-specific approach, you can offer better services than the company who you just left, apparently. Go for it.

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
    [ Parent ]

    Wait, I don't think I'm on drugs (none / 1) (#199)
    by codejack on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 10:55:41 PM EST

    But I could have sworn you just said that management has a purpose; So, are you on drugs, or did I misunderstand?


    Please read before posting.

    [ Parent ]
    Two comments (3.00 / 14) (#160)
    by SocratesGhost on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 08:42:12 AM EST

    I have two comments: a kind comment and a harsh comment.

    The kind comment: I began running my own business when I was your age and I'm only 3 years older than you now. Even so, I found some mental roadblocks that held me back for a long time. I'm a perfectionist at heart but that's a luxury of a person who doesn't have to look at the bottom line. My dad is the same way and 2 years after retiring and opening his own woodworking shop, he has yet to show a profit because he thinks that an excellent job shouldn't have to be expensive which is convenient since the community he services can't afford the expensive costs anyway. So he works late, charges little, and loses money. That's not good business.

    Still, my point is that we all have tools and tactics that help us to excel but that may hold us back. For my dad and I, striving for excellence is sometimes beneficial but shows itself also as sometimes destructive. We must recognize these tools for what they are and apply them only when appropriate. I'd encourage you to use this experience and find as much from this as you can learn in order to improve your work and life ethics.

    The harsh comment: There's two types of problem employees: those who do too little and those who do too much. The world suffers no shortage of the first category. The second category is the worst, though. It seems like a blessing, but really they hold a company back. It is these people who find about a billion ways to complicate the simplest processes. You can imagine the chaos that would exist if the entire call center were filled with people like you, each with their own way of doing things, each person supporting himself until the machines go so far from the supported version that ghosting an infected machine will cause more lost productivity than just letting it stay infected (and I guess we're still going to lose those months in trying to set up the passwords again). And who will train the new hires and can we be sure that they're covering all of the essentials?

    In my experience anytime someone creates a time savings method, it may actually force a person to lose time but no one will ever be able to dissuade the inventor of this. Ever.

    Let me repeat this: Ever.

    And then, when their tools are taken away and the company standardizes back on their original platform that everyone elsewhere in the company uses anyway, they go around their bosses, complain that it will take months (months!) for them to update their passwords and demand, plead, and bargain to please oh please let me have my precious tools back.

    And when management says, "No, we don't want the liability of supporting multiple tools and no, we don't trust your browser, no matter what the popular nerd-boards say," they call management ignorant, they lose morale, and they spread their lost morale around the company like poison in the air ducts.

    How much should a company suffer for your bruised ego when they have to fight with you just so you follow company policy?

    No, I'd rather have a department full of idiots who do exactly what I tell them to do than a department full of busybodies who naively and happily create more work for their managers and software technicians whose time is more expensive than their own.

    This is why for menial jobs it's better to hire someone with no experience so you can train them in your way of doing things rather than having them come in with their own preconceived ideas. You may have illusions about working in other call centers for the rest of your life but do this enough and I think the call centers won't have any illusions about not working without you.

    -Soc
    I drank what?


    Complicating the simplest things. (2.20 / 5) (#163)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:04:37 AM EST

    <em>It is these people who find about a billion ways to complicate the simplest processes. You can imagine the chaos that would exist if the entire call center were filled with people like you, each with their own way of doing things, each person supporting himself until the machines go so far from the supported version that ghosting an infected machine will cause more lost productivity than just letting it stay infected (and I guess we're still going to lose those months in trying to set up the passwords again). And who will train the new hires and can we be sure that they're covering all of the essentials?</em>
    <p>
    If my machine were ever to become infected, it would be through no fault of my own. Before I ditched windows at home entirely, I'd had a single virus problem, 1994, and a boot floppy virus problem at that.
    <p>
    I had backups of the firefox passwords, I don't leave that to chance. Ghost it, give me 15 minutes, and I'm back to normal.
    <p>
    But let's talk about me doing too much. I always tried to help people in such a way, that they'd be able to do it without my help, if not the next time, then after that. I took 7 webapps, making them one. It really did make things quicker, simpler. It wasn't a burden on helpdesk or any other dept. It wasn't more vulnerable to virus problems, arguably even less vulnerable. If there was some problem it did cause, then no one in this article has yet to suggest what that real problem might be. Are you sure you just haven't already picked your side already, and are justifying the actions taken?
    <p>
    In the end, you really have to decide that either nothing better is possible, and that management has evolved the perfect, most efficient way to do things. What happens if I did somehow discover a slightly better way? If you have to think I'm stupid, that's fine too, chalk it up to dumb luck. Any long drawn out bureaucratic process to vet such discoveries *will cost* money. So those are out the window. And anything like I did, just start using it from the ground up, well, it cost them no more than they were already paying me, but apparently that's the wrong way to do it too.
    <p>
    People like myself, we're always in the wrong though. If I were right, I'd be rich, eh?

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]
    Let me repeat: Ever (2.60 / 5) (#176)
    by SocratesGhost on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 02:47:57 PM EST

    and the road to hell is paved ... yadda yadda yadda. I'll spare you the spiel. ;)

    Let me start with your last comment, money has nothing to do with being right. In this topy-turvy world, the smartest man could possibly work for the dumbest (and this often seems to be the case). So, in that regard, I have sympathy. Don't you think you should sympathize for your managers and try to see things from their point of view as you demand of them?

    Also, I don't think the rest of us are familiar enough with your company and what you did to really judge what the correct approach is to your tools. We only have your necessarily incomplete details and I doubt we could see first hand your tools and how they are used in operation. This is why we can't really comment on the efficacy of your tools. We have to take your word that they are as good as you say they are. I'll assume that they are since it sounds like you did some worthwhile things to me.

    But the problem lies in the rest of your comment. I think you could learn from my case from my original post. It's not a matter that there may be a better way. There always is a better way. The question is if you have a "good enough" way. I cringe as I type that because I'm a perfectionist too but like I said we cannot afford to let our desire for improvement get in the way of doing the job that has to be done otherwise you'll go in the impoverished direction my father is heading. R&D is expensive because you have to pay for the misses as well as the hits and that's what you do when you engage in tool making. So, does your company reward and possibly encourage you for your rogue behavior or do they now need to handle you differently because you're deviating (probably increasingly) from the norm? They can't afford to leave you alone and they can't afford to be ignorant of how you do things.

    After all, you tell us that it did break once and that break probably reverberated all the way up the management chain, each person a little afraid if their job could be compromised by their ignorance of what some low level phone jockey was doing in his off hours, whether he was really helping or hurting through these tools, and whether each immediately needed to become an expert in the "NoMoreNicks" style of doing a job that they already spent tireless hours trying to commoditize. All of these options are sort of daunting if you're just trying to manage a company. Most managers will opt to bring you back into line simply because handling you is now more expensive than handling anyone else.

    Personally, I'd like to think that they'd embrace the progress you've allowed for them, but as a manager myself, I've learned that you need to simply respect that each manager has different ideas about what is best and that it's better to let the manager's style play out and then evaluate afterward. If there were one right way to manage, there wouldn't be an entire wall at Barnes and Noble dedicated to the subject.

    There was a time when I worked at Hewlett-Packard and that's an environment where a personality like yours could possibly thrive since people were encouraged to develop tools that would help them do their jobs. Frequently, tools were developed by the people at the bottom and then were adopted by managers and rolled out to a larger and larger group. Some applications were rolled out from the top down (but these were always viewed with some suspicion and misgivings) and there was a sentimental bias for the home grown tools. But then again, this is HP and the people there were among the brightest people with whom I've ever had the pleasure to work. But as a business owner now, I look at the energy spent on developing all of those tools and seeing an enormous wasteland of lost time and productivity developing tools that eventually were abandoned as either unworkable or unadoptable. It's tough for me to gauge whether this encouragement for bottom-up solutions is really cost effective. It might work in a place like HP simply because of the calibre of the people there means they'll already work aggressively to complete their deliverables and besides, most of those people are salaried so it matters little if they spend the extra hours fixing the minutia of their tools. I also doubt that the "Invent!" attitude included the custodial staff and groundskeepers, so this approach probably did have a floor below which it couldn't be applied. Also, I'm not sure if the call center was encouraged to embrace this part of the HP way.

    The best metaphor is that management is like herding kittens. In the end, you have to get the kittens from point A to point B. While some will go wildly to the left and some won't move, some kittens are going to want to go straight there (charitably, I'll assume this is you) but once there they'll be beyond oversight and probably will get restless and shred the couch with their newly discovered claws. It's better to slow those kittens down and get them all to arrive at point B in one group rather than piecemeal at their own pace. You're going to hate hearing this, but the best kitten is simply one that follows the herd. While this implies that management crushes original thought, well, we wouldn't have to herd those kittens if we could trust that original thought would get them all to their goal.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts and I really do hope things work out for you. And by "works out" I mean that I hope you either have or develop the approaches you need to do a good job at whatever it is you end up doing.

    -Soc
    I drank what?


    [ Parent ]
    Do you tell your employees when to pee too? (2.20 / 5) (#189)
    by kero on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 06:24:19 PM EST

    Good lord are all managers as condescending and superior as you sound? You make the point that you have never seen initiative by an employee improve work flow, ever. EVER. Then, in your reply you say, "Oh, I don't know your particular situation or what you actually did." A wise man might, at this point, stop to think that since you don't know what the hell was going on perhaps a blanket condemnation isn't in order. But you just get right back on the EVER bandwagon. Then you compare your employees to the IMMATURE version of the dumbest animal on earth. I imagine that working for you is a dream, every morning you come in remind your employees to breath and blink every now and again and tell them how to open a document or put a can on a shelf comfortable in the knowledge that you are superior to them in every way because you manage them. You realize that everyone who works for you hates you.

    [ Parent ]
    point of view (none / 0) (#237)
    by uberwear on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 09:16:54 PM EST

    socrates offered a point of view i hadn't considered. while the "herding" phisolophy seems cold, and i want to hate it with all my guts, it makes a lot of sense and i can see how he and this dsl business would follow that model.

    that said, human ingenuity should be encouraged. only a fool would take a better idea and say "we'll stick with the crummy system." it sounds to me that while this firefox system increased one individual's productivity, it's the kind of thing not easily assimilated by any nongeek demographic of employees. for this reason, it is not a "better" plan, and it is perfectly reasonable to expect the company to squash it--because at the call center level, homogeneity is essential.

    the company didn't have to do anything--if it's not a problem, it's not a problem. but it's understandable.

    of course, perhaps this system works just fine and is simple enough to be adopted by the company. in this case, any employee should have faith that it would. without at least the hope that the best system will be adopted, any employee will lose faith that the company's policy is best (for good reason).

    as long as a business and an employee follow the above system, businesses will be able to easily "herd" their sheep (ie keep their employees following the procedure) while employees will be sure their shepherd is leading them along the shortest (and most productive) route.

    [ Parent ]

    Haha. (none / 1) (#246)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 12:36:45 PM EST

    While we weren't a team of DSL gurus or anything like that, there was a minimal level at which everyone needed to be, or it was completely pointless. To say that there was a non-geek demographic in the department ignores common sense.

    Though, about the same time all this started happening, they were changing that too. They started "screening" all incoming calls. So, you'd call up, someone would answer, and transfer you to the correct queue. At first they had people like myself doing this on a rotating basis, which was somewhat dumb, but then they started hiring people with zero technical bakground (even A+ bootcamp papermills would have been better than nothing) to do it. Only, these people weren't even able to do that correctly. I don't think any  of the last 30 calls transferred to the "Business T1/DSL" queue were anything other than residential dsl/dialup customers.

    That's another thing, the names and numbers of these queues kept changing. Supposedly, they were keeping statistics, but if so, they must have not  had a clue on just what statistics they actually wanted to collect. And as inaccurate as they were, they couldn't have been useful. But it does show you that I was wrong earlier when I hinted that managers don't do anything, this is clearly contrary to that. They sit around all day dreaming up ways to manipulate numbers! (Please, don't flame me, you math geeks and statistical methodologists, it's a joke).

    Back to the point I wanted to make, though. There was a queue named "30 day customer" or some such. It was intended for customers with new service only. It's not easy to discern how long they've been a customer, DSL orders can sit around for 6 weeks and not be filled, and the due/complete date is often bogus. One feature I was still working on, was a big bold headline across the top of the ticket webapp, that said whether this was the case or not.

    Oh, and don't forget, it also made it pretty clear what service they had with us too. So, if non-geeks can't use a feature that says "hey, this person belongs in this queue" after they've already typed in the phone number they were supposed to be typing in anyway... maybe they shouldn't even be a call screener?

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    subject (none / 0) (#256)
    by uberwear on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 11:13:30 PM EST

    "While we weren't a team of DSL gurus or anything like that, there was a minimal level at which everyone needed to be, or it was completely pointless. To say that there was a non-geek demographic in the department ignores common sense.

    Though, about the same time all this started happening, they were changing that too."

    well, yeah... my experience with call centers doesnt invoke images of a bunch of geeks hanging around in a room, but rather more like some people who need money and can read a script. come to think of it, my mental image of it is more like the hundred monkeys/typewriters thing. well, not really.

    as for the rest of your post, it sounds more and more like your changes were good and effective. my initial post sums up my thoughts on the subject.

    [ Parent ]

    Reading Skills (none / 1) (#243)
    by pocopoco on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 10:07:43 AM EST

    [kero]
    >You make the point that you have never seen initiative
    >by an employee improve work flow, ever. EVER.

    You need to work on your reading skills, kero.  The original post said:

    [SocratesGhost]
    >it may actually force a person to lose time but no one
    >will ever be able to dissuade the inventor of this. Ever.

    That means the method may improve work flow or not.  Only in the case where it does not, you won't convince the person who created it that it doesn't.  Very true in my experience, and I'm just a web monkey/grunt myself.  Much of your post's thrust is against the OP changing his stance, but he didn't at all.

    This is completely ignoring stylistic hyperbole as well, which you use yourself.  Or do you actually consider a cat dumber than the various brainless animal kingdom species that can be found in pond scum?

    [ Parent ]

    And if I did change my stance? (none / 0) (#245)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 12:23:05 PM EST

    I either invalidate his stupid rant, or I prove that I'm wishy-washy and willing to admit that my stuff didn't improve anything even though it did.

    The small satisfaction I might get out of proving him wrong wouldn't outweigh the discredit I'd be doing myself and others like me.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    Perhaps (none / 1) (#274)
    by kero on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 01:19:36 PM EST

    Looking back at the original I still think he is implying that the only good employee is one who follows the established procedure to the letter and never mind trying to improve it. Employee as replacable widget. Management as infallible dictator.

    I would rather have a manager who thinks managing people is like managing people instead of cats. By referring to his employees as IMMATURE cats he is showing his lack of repsect for them.

    [ Parent ]
    Actually. (none / 0) (#278)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 01:31:41 PM EST

    I don't talk much about the other employees, because there wasn't much of a story there. The only bad employees I met there happened to be bosses. The rest were clever, or were trying to learn.

    After we were told that we were allowed to adjust speed settings on a dslam port, because "We tell the customers that we offer 10mps service, and if you set that at anything else, we're not doing that." (that's right, marketing gets to make technical decisions), the one guy discovered that setting a port down in speed, flipping it over to G.LITE and letting it sync up, would often bring the port back up even after you had put the speed back where it was supposed to be. Wasn't long there long enough at that point, to see whether it turned out to be true or not, but certainly did seem to be the case. Lots of little things like that, that I didn't discover. Lots of people asking questions.

    One break there early on, I was bragging about finally get X10 to work at home. Everyone was captivated. It was one of those good conversations I rarely have, 4 or 5 people piping in about what they'd do with it, joking about it and such. If they were faking being interested in it, they fooled me. Only person there that wasn't, was the same supervisor I complain about in the story. Our first meeting, that's one of the things he brings up "maybe you'd just like to sit at home and turn lamps off with your computer", remember more of the tone than the exact words. He thought he was being cruel, in my opinion.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    actually no (none / 0) (#299)
    by SocratesGhost on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 01:39:03 PM EST

    I'm not talking about people as cats. In fact, I'm talking about more than just people.

    Look at what's on my plate: marketing (a not-insignifcant portion of my time is spent trying to acquire future business), operations, accounting (while I use an accountant, I still need to do billing and payroll on my own so I'm very familiar with my own books), human resources, IT, purchasing, janitorial, occasional lunch server, provider of bagels/fruit/beer and quite a few other things. In my spare time, I'm involved in ASBA and a few other organizations geared toward helping small businesses. The kittens aren't people. The kittens are these occasionally divergent interests that must be focused on a particular goal: growth and stability. Sometimes, these interests are at odds with each other, such as a desire to provide better health coverage against my company's ability to afford it. A single individual has many interests I have to manage in order to keep on target. When things work out (like say a piece of marketing works to land a new client within our area of expertise) then everything is in line. If, however, I start negotiating about an area outside of our expertise, I have to wonder if what I'm doing is really in line with the best interest of my company. In that case, it's not me who is a kitten but my interests and actions that need to be managed. I, the person, am just a vessel for many kittens.

    Herding kittens is about managing different interests, not all of which are human although each requires relatively equal attention. We could elevate these non-human concerns to a human level of importance but it still has the same dehumanizing effect that I think is probably your greater concern such as if I said that the process of marketing must be managed like a person. It isn't a comment about treating Nick as though he's stupid, it's just a recognition that some of Nick's interests are different than the company's. Plus, kittens are assertive, willful creatures much like our motivations and emotions.

    Nick didn't say he signed on board because he wanted to help the company succeed. He might believe in their product, but that's still something different than belief in the company's way of doing business and a desire to see it grow. He did say that he joined because he wanted the extra pay to reduce his debt. He also hints that he enjoys technical challenges (at the end of paragraph 12). Because his interest in the company is different than what the company necessarily wants from him, isn't it natural that his interests must be managed against those of how he spends his time? After all, they didn't hire him as a tools developer and this may be the reason why he didn't wait to be fired but quit instead.

    Frankly, I think Nick completely misread his situation. They weren't going to fire him, but they were concerned at his dissatisfaction with the job and, it appears, his ability to work with others including his own manager. The fact that his meeting to be "fired" wasn't a collaboration and it wasn't with his boss, but with his boss's boss tells me that management was in agreement about the Nick situation and that this isn't a manager misbehaving under the radar at Nick's expense. I hate to suggest it, but I really suspect that Nick isn't telling us everything. People are often not the best judges of their own situation and when it's something tied to ego, they never are. Ever.

    Incidentally, you are aware that cat herding was the subject of a superbowl commercial? It's not an original or unpopular analogy by any stretch.

    -Soc
    I drank what?


    [ Parent ]
    Interests vs. "interesting things". (none / 0) (#301)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 02:14:58 PM EST

    There, my own interests were served by doing the best job I could do. The best job I could do, was solving the problems they put in front of me, answering calls and a) keeping call times low, b) trying to end the call with the customer as satisifed as was possible.

    I wasn't given all the tools necessary to do this job as well as it could be done, but there were a few minutes here and there, and I was able to design my own tools towards the end stated above. They never hinted that they would provide me with better tools soon, they never hinted that I would be cut slack for the sad state that their tools were in. I joined a construction company that hammers nails in with a rock, and someone got pissy when I forged a iron hammer.

    You might like someone like me working for you, you know. All those interests you were talking about, I'm actually pretty good at identifying and working towards them without you having to micromanage me. Then again, you might decide I have an attitude, and you wouldn't. Hard to say.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    Yes, I would (none / 0) (#303)
    by SocratesGhost on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 07:53:42 PM EST

    We're a small company and have had relatively low turnover; we have 5 people beside me and 4 of them have been with me ever since their positions were offered. That 5th chair, for some reason, we can't seem to find or keep the help we have and it has consequently had 3 people sitting there. I'm starting to develop a prejudice against graphics designers as a result--but it possibly has something to do with the idea that artistic folk can't be managed in the same way as programmers.

    Anyway, we're a small enough operation with so much work on our plate, that I particularly welcome the relief of someone else coming up with with novel solutions. But I also recognized this when I initially hired them. Is this person a simple clock puncher? If so, that would be a liability for a company of our size. My preference is to find people who are investing in my company because they believe in its long term prospects and they want to be in on the ground floor.

    Larger organizations probably shouldn't look at things this way. In fact, I know that I'm taking some risks by investing so heavily in some of the guys here because, if they leave, I'll be more crippled than simply missing a body-- no single person can satisfy all of the demands that some of my people have learned to fill in their own unique way. If I come to rely on one of my guys, it's because I trust that they won't leave. So, for example, our server administrator also helps with accounting. If he leaves, where's the section in the newspaper's classifieds that lists server ops/accountants? There isn't and I probably won't be able to fill it. As a result, my hope is that if he leaves, I'll be in a position where I'll feel comfortable hiring a full time accountant and a full time administrator. But, in the meantime, there's a risk there.

    Look at it this way: he has the luxury of leaving this company if he wants to. I don't. So, I should plan accordingly and commoditize his position so that if he leaves replacing him won't be as much of a hardship. For the sake of the others working at the company, I probably should address it before he gets hit by a bus or decides that I'm too overbearing. My concern here isn't that he's not being helpful, but his desire to be too helpful might very well cost me a lot more than simply biting the bullet and doing the accounting alone or some other solution.

    Special cases become risks for each company. In another example, I used to be an accountant at a company of about 600 people and with a buddy of mine, we developed a ton of tools to help us do our job. Good, right? Well, sort of. I obviously went on to do other things. My buddy stayed in the group, supported these applications and has since risen through the ranks to the level of VP where he still supports them because IT won't. Meanwhile, whenever the company upgrades their OS or makes changes to some of the back-end details, my buddy--whose plate is pretty full--works weekends to fix it. IT should support them, obviously, but IT took a firm stance when we embarked on tools creation: they don't support user made tools. It would be too expensive for them to support every tool that everyone made within the company, especially with the thin budget that IT already has. As a result, my friend who no longer even works in anything related to the accounting group, still must support the applications we created so long ago.

    Anyway, applied to your situation, it would make sense then that they might say, "We hate to inhibit your productivity, but we can't make a special case for you." Correct me if I'm wrong on any of this, but not only are you developing tools without management's oversight but you even are doing it in a platform that IT already doesn't want to support. And even though you know what you are doing, when something goes wrong are you going to spend time fixing it or are you going to abandon it? Mind you, the company is required to pay you for this type of stuff, so let me ask you how much money the company budgeted for you to repair any of your broken ad hoc solutions? If you don't know, or if the answer is nothing, then I'd suggest that maybe you weren't really compassionate to your company's needs.

    Like I said, though, I really do wish you the best of luck. I've had bad managers (and maybe sometimes I am one) and I know how much of a toll it takes on your joie de vivre. I just wanted to point out that this could very easily be a case of divergent expectations.

    -Soc
    I drank what?


    [ Parent ]
    2 things. (none / 0) (#305)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 09:25:14 PM EST

    I suck at anything artistic. So no worry that you'd want to hire me.

    I'd abandoned it a dozen times, reverting back to IE, when it wouldn't save a ticket correctly. Added 20-30 seconds to the calltime each time, and I only went back to firefox when I could find time to fix it. That's why it took months. I'm no idiot, if it couldn't do what it was supposed to do, I fell back to what worked.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    vs. corporations' [short sighted]? interests (none / 0) (#304)
    by K4w0ru on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 08:21:18 PM EST

    vs. corporations' [short sighted]? interests I too work in tech support. Most corporations' interests are to make a profit. Providing support for their customers is seen as a necessary cost to keep enough customers happy enough to continue keeping them as customers. Exaclty how much caring is enough is relative.

    I'm sure we have the cheapest "tools" for our job out of all the departments. Other departments have better computers and monitors (even though they don't really need them, not as much as we would) we have been told the reason behind this is that tech support is a cost center and not a revenue generator; so the people that make the company money get the better stuff.

    I beleive that because of these reasons we have to deal with call centers that are so messed up.


    The corporation, management, their greed, the importance of stock price, profit, promotions, corporate culture etc.
    Management always seems to make unreasonable decisions. Once you accept this, things become easier. One of my supervisors summed it up like this: "If it makes sense, it don't belong", this was during a little crisis that had all the techs upset and wondering what management was thinking when making the decisions it made. It's good to have a sense of humor about things, it keeps you from going insane.

    It's good to provide good support to people to actually help them out, it gives you that warm fuzzy feeling and a sense of accomplishment, it's what we're paid for right? it's our job, right?

    Wrong!, that unfortunately is not our job,... they say it is, to make things look all good, but our actual job is to produce good looking tickets, get good stats, for your reviews good stats for your team and good stats for your supervisor. It's how your job performance is measured, it's what determines wether you continue to get a paycheck or not.

    You seem like you're a good tech, from what you wrote, you seem to be among the best there at actually helping people,,... but the fact remains that you're still getting all this flak while there are countless others there less talented/skilled than you who will continue to work there for a long while and don't get all this crap that you're getting.

    Maybe you just care too much about doing what you think should be done,... you're good at providing great support the others are good at being good employees good at keeping their job, it is unfortunate that the two are not synonymous, but that is how large heartless greedy corporations are. oh and yeah life's not fair.


    It's easier when you don't care as much,.. or when you find a comfortable balance between being good at what you do and being a good employeee.

    [ Parent ]
    hp is dead (3.00 / 3) (#242)
    by solarsail on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 06:10:08 AM EST

    I think you both miss the point to some extent. The poster is creative an smart (i'm guessing) and you have experience managing adult children.

    The problem is not him and its not the job. He is just not suited for this type of work. The solution is not for him to try and "improve" himself by becoming another drone. What he needs to do is find a job where what he does is appreciated.

    I took a bunch of shit jobs after graduating and quickly saw that I could never succeed at them. I followed my own interests in my spare time, felt like a worthless loser. Finally I joined a startup as the first employee, and found it was the perfect place for someone like me. Creating something from nothing, fixing things that annoy you, and doing something totally new are all things that are welcomed in this type of environment.

    HP is no longer one of these types of places, It was killed by the types of people who do not understand where todays bread and butter came from. Doing something new is a crapshoot but for those who are smart and determined its worth the gamble.

    [ Parent ]

    That's nice if you have the option. (3.00 / 2) (#249)
    by Shajenko on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 04:04:33 PM EST

    Some people don't have the luxury of finding a job that fits them perfectly. Some of us have rent to pay. We've gotta take a job that'll let us survive, whether it's pleasant or pure hell.

    [ Parent ]
    Startups?!?! (none / 1) (#250)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 04:38:46 PM EST

    The company I describe in this story was one, according to the HR person who gave us all an orientation. She kept going on and on about it, and how we should all try to work for one someday (meaning, I suppose, that even she didn't describe it as a startup anymore). Think she said that was like 6 years ago.

    So do startups lose their startupiness that quickly, or did this one burn out in a hurry?

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    Retention (none / 0) (#244)
    by blkros on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 11:00:17 AM EST

    Do you keep employees for very long? I probably wouldn't work for you for more than a day.

    [ Parent ]
    My... (none / 1) (#312)
    by BJH on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 12:26:54 PM EST

    ...you're one supercilious asshole, aren't you?

    --
    Roses are red, violets are blue.
    I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
    -- Oscar Levant

    [ Parent ]
    I've been thinking. (1.33 / 3) (#167)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 10:13:43 AM EST

    How badly could someone like myself hurt their long distance revenue? I have both a cellphone and a landline, and if the landline is tied up 24 hours a day, I could not care less. My landline can make quite a few calls that are considered local, and therefor part of the flat rate plan common for US telephone companies.

    I've already got the hardware to be able to set up an Asterisk server. I'd need help, but supposing I find someone in another LATA willing to participate you a) had a landline they didn't mind being tied up, b) broadband and c) a machine they could dedicate to this purpose...

    Well, then I'd be able to offer free calls from that city to my own, and vice versa. Suppose someone local to me calls up asterisk, dials the LD number, gets bounced to the second asterisk server, which then makes an outgoing local (local for that server) call. Other people are already doing this, but they often require that you set up a machine yourself, to be able to reap the benefits. My intention being, that you could use this even if you don't have a computer, as long as you know the local access number. Maybe I'd post the access number on bulletin boards around town.

    The math says the impact would be insignificant. At 5 cents a minute (a common LD rate heard on TV commercials), this works out to $72 per day, assuming you keep it busy 100% of the time. This generally requires 2 participants. So every 2 people who signed on for this, we could maybe nail them for $60 per day or so. Wonder how big it would be before they'd even notice.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.

    Probably depends on the plan (none / 0) (#171)
    by kero on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 11:37:59 AM EST

    One of the last things I did on the MCI account was to add excessive length calls to the report. We had run across calls that were longer than the reporting buckets we used so they were invisible to our system. There weren't many but it probably doesn't take many 3 week phone calls to add up to real money. Also, I know when I avoided phone solicitors by staying dialed in that I only averaged 3 or 4 days without being disconnected, but I don't know if that was the ISP or the switch resetting or something.

    [ Parent ]
    What happened? (none / 0) (#170)
    by maynard on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 11:06:15 AM EST

    I've been poking around the threads trying to determine if you posted the outcome of this meeting yesterday. Maybe I missed it in some obvious place. If so, a link please? If not, an update please? Just curious. --M

    Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
    Link. (none / 1) (#172)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 12:46:10 PM EST

    Here.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]
    Where did you work? (none / 0) (#195)
    by GreenYoda on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 08:59:48 PM EST

    Now that you've quit, could you tell us what company you worked at? The description you gave of the DSL tech support operation sounds a whole lot like Verizon's. As a customer of theirs, I'd be sad that someone like you had left.

    Anyway, great article, and sorry you had to work for such idiots.

    One of their competitors. (none / 0) (#196)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:20:17 PM EST



    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]
    zzzz TLDR (1.50 / 2) (#197)
    by flaw on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 10:18:42 PM EST

    i managed a couple of paragraphs then it got whiny and boring improve

    --
    ピニス, ピニス, everyone loves ピニス!
    lolz sif preview [n/t] (none / 1) (#198)
    by flaw on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 10:19:34 PM EST



    --
    ピニス, ピニス, everyone loves ピニス!
    [ Parent ]
    FYI (none / 1) (#230)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 11:54:02 AM EST

    "I call the customer as he asks, but I only get voicemail."

    This is a clue to tell your boss "I forgot." Do this often and always. The corollary piece to this is "Did you put it in writing? You know I can't remember with all the things I'm juggling including training the new recruits." In which you point out to him that you're doing his job - and know it.

    "It ends up being 52 minutes of my lunch hour."

    Not getting lunch is against federal law. As soon as ranting begins checking out and leaving is your best course of action.Preferably as the jackass is still trying to talk at you. Alternatively you could just leave an hour earlier and tell him you'll call it even (thereby maintaining the upper hand you must always have in dealing with management).

    "He starts off about how he has a lot of responsibilities now that he's a supervisor, despite the fact that a) he never helps us solve any issues, b) there are reports that show that he never makes any outgoing calls to customers, c) his little kingdom is too small for all his time to be taken up by mundane paperwork that is taken care of by Human Resources anyway. It gets fuzzy here, but I do remember one or two jabs at the former supervisor, who "didn't want to be here anyway". Who would want to be a manager? "

    My way of handling that is to do one of two things - pretend I didn't hear a word he was saying as I was thinking about other things, am not feeling well etc. ; or to write down what he said in memo form - possibly cc'ing it to his superiors - and asking if that's what he meant. Make sure you mention that he denigrated his predecessor to you (not in those terms of course).

    "I got lectured on how I had better shape up, and start pulling my own weight, even though I had fewer complaints and took twice as many calls as anyone else."

    This is a clue to do nothing and say nothing. Always only do the parts of the job you want to do, not the ones they say they want you to do but make sure it is all in the job description.

    "So, a week later, he comes back from a long lunchbreak, and sees me surfing the web. The records show this was as long as thirteen minutes or so, not suprising since company policy allows non-offensive web usage during breaks and deadtime, and that there were no calls holding."

    It sounds like you're feeling on the defensive here. I personally would have handled it by making his lunch periods an issue already but in a joking fashion by saying stuff *every lunch time* like "hey man, when do I get a 3 hour lunch!" Invariably someone over his head will hear it eventually.It also pays to use the "oh, okay" strategy whenever they say something and then completely ignore it. This keys into the previously mentioned "I forgot" strategy and can be used as an infinite loop when needed.

    I hope these tips help.

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice

    Something my friend and (none / 0) (#232)
    by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 12:11:32 PM EST

    frequent co-conspirator in all things work related would have said to your boss where he's basically explaning that he can't do his job is "so what you're telling me is that you can't do your job."

    "My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
    [ Parent ]
    Having also worked for a DSL ISP..... (none / 1) (#270)
    by Yaroslav The Wise on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 01:11:04 PM EST

    I have to say that I can directly sympathize with you and your experiences. In my own case, it was a start-up DSL ISP and there were no processes or defined procedures. Granted, from a business perspective this is obviously not a good thing nor scalable. We relied upon people like you to help us make things better by coming up with creative solutions which could then be standardized and taught to all phone support people.

    Our CTO, who was also a founder and President, was the worst because he would promise things to customers that we had no solution for, requiring us to come up with one.

    At the time, I was sort of a team lead for a small group of quite talented network engineers building DSL networks for multiple sites (sort of a precursor to VPNs). I was sort of a tech / supervisor for lack of a better term. My immediate boss trusted me and left me alone. My team and I, together, proceeded to define what our own procedures were, how we solved issues, how far would we go to help a given customer beyond what we were contractually obligated to, train each other and generally just aim to get the work done. I was very hands off and let my guys do what they wanted as long as we got the work done. You could come in when you wanted (within reason) and leave when you wanted. Our company was not so organized as to be able to support a timecard system. I found that by trusting my guys to self-manage, they actually worked more hours on their own in order to meet the team's goals. Needless to say, IMHO, we were the most efficient, most profitable group in the company with the least number of employees.

    As the bubble inflated our stock and we had more investor money to spend (read: waste) the CTO got a bug up his ass to hire a guy from Xerox to come in as COO and make us "ISO 9000" compliant. I agree that, as a company, we needed to get more organized, standardized, etc, but to go from zero to ISO 9000 in matter of months was just a recipe for disaster.

    By this time, our Level 1 support was holding their own but needed a structure to grow into. The COO pretty much set up the equivalent of a prison camp for them, complete with a long, complex set of rules such as "You can only go to the bathroom during your break" and "Call hold times must be under a certain, ridiculous number or the whole group would suffer". Personally, I didn't care as my group was small, efficient and not part of standard support. How naive I was to think that he wouldn't soon be gunning for me? I had the only happy employees left in the entire company!

    To make a long story short, I got yanked from my group, my guys were placed into the general support queue and I left the company shortly thereafter (as did most of my team).

    Although I agree in some part with the need for standards, and rules in order for a company to effectively operate and grow, I think it can be done in such a way as to identify the creative problem solvers and put them into jobs that the whole company can benefit from. In your case, they could have made you some sort of solutions developer who could spend the time to make your scripts and applications ready for all to use.

    My 2 cents.

    Email from said supervisor. (none / 0) (#288)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 10:17:38 AM EST

    Rec: 06/13/2005 04:01 PM
    Subject: LOL

    body of one my posts here

    Boy, you love to talk don't you?

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.

    some thoughts for mr. redbeard (none / 1) (#289)
    by CAIMLAS on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 02:31:12 PM EST

    Well, my friend. Judging by what I read here, there are a number of things you should've done (and can still probably do) to get your ass out of hot water.
    • Talk to your boss's supervisor about his behavior, your erronous writeups, and explain to them how your supervisor isn't intellectually or emotionally fit enough to pass psychiatric ward entrance exams.
    • Failing that, find their boss's number, and enumerate the accusations - including the one that involved the dropping of their own name. They might not like being falsely represented.
    Who knows, if it's a big company, you might actually get promoted to a better position - either a higher-paying manager position, or (after they see you're competent and have actual skills), might give you a job more fitting to your abilities.

    Failing that, get a real job. I know you've got the knowledge for it. (But hey, I'm pretty much in the exact same damn situation you're in (except you undoubtedly are making more than I), so I know how it goes. Waiting for the shitcanning myself...)

    And if you do get fired, be sure to try and bring the son of a bitch down with you. Seriously.
    --

    Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.

    These things reflect badly on your boss's boss (none / 0) (#306)
    by cgenman on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 11:41:42 PM EST

    Always remember that when your boss is behaving poorly, childishly, immaturely, or incompetently, it reflects poorly upon your boss's boss.  It is, of course, your job to explain this to your Boss's boss, and to do so in the types of language that your boss's boss understands.  If possible do it in the morning BEFORE you're fired, as otherwise it will look like sour grapes.  

    If you had more time, I'd say fuel the fire of distrust between the two of them before coming forward, so that they are more inclined to believe you.  However, in your present situation, I'd just come forward Thursday morning and present your case.  Again, this must be done BEFORE you're fired.  If necessary, schedule an appointment with your boss's boss, and stay home sick until that time.
    - This Sig is a mnemonic device designed to allow you to recognize this author in the future. This is only a device.
    [ Parent ]

    Workplace harassment and bad management (none / 0) (#311)
    by 1318 on Sat Jun 18, 2005 at 10:09:01 PM EST

    In the "olden days" this is why people formed unions because as a non-union employee you have no power. I've worked in a call center and your story is a flash back on when the company I worked for, Sirius, merged with First World and the benevolent-ish management of Sirius was intermixed with the assinine FW and Slip.net management. In the IT world unions were sneered at during the dot com boom because pay raises where everywhere. Now IT jobs are scarce, pay is low and the old bad management is plentiful. Perhaps it is time to unionize. A union, for one, could provide you with collective bargaining. When management harasses you, you have a contract negotiated grievance procedure and the support of your fellow employees if they don't honor it. Bad management is hellish and no one deserves to live with it.

    "So then, why don't you die?"-Antisthenes

    Waiting To Be Fired. | 314 comments (276 topical, 38 editorial, 0 hidden)
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