The one week WTF.



  • Couple of months ago I was contacted by my superior about a short but very critical task that needed to be done for another department.

    "A client", he said, "had send as some C source that does some calculations about the climate control in a room based on some sensors data and the user preferences. We need you to clean up the source and make a JNI so we can use it in our application We need it ASAP in at most a week."

    My first thoughts were "Well the worst case scenario is that they've send as a single large function that does it all reads the sensors and tuns on and of the heating".
    I've couldn't be more wrong!
    The next day they've handed my a single 150 Kb C file that was developed for some never-heard-of embedded OS. It contained about 170 functions, all of them with the same signature int function(char*, char*, int, int, int). (And non of the functions really received char* with the char* arguments)
    And on top of that all the comments, function names and variable names were in German.

    So, couple of hours into the task I went to the project manager and told him that I'll need a week to make a full assessment of the source and eventually then I'll be able to say how much time will I need to finish the task. And that's excluding the time needed for the translation of the comments. He answered that it had to be done in a week and I have to make it happen.
    When I left, I went straight to the technical director and said the I WILL NOT DO THIS TASK NO MATTER WHAT!

    Well they are still searching for a sucker



  • Let me guess... The char* points to an XML string with the arguments? 



  • So I expect you'll be needing a new job, then?

     



  • @Critter said:

    So I expect you'll be needing a new job, then?

     

    He would be if I was his boss...



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @Critter said:

    So I expect you'll be needing a new job, then?

     

    He would be if I was his boss...

     

    Yeah, because every employee should lie to their bosses about the complexity of tasks given to them and unrealistic expectations shouldn't be addressed. It's much better to have people promise you the world and not be able to deliver.

    I sincerely hope you have never been, are not, and will never be anyone's boss.



  • @drinkingbird said:

    Yeah, because every employee should lie to their bosses about the complexity of tasks given to them and unrealistic expectations shouldn't be addressed.
     

    That isn't the issue here at all. The issue is that he refused to do it. Just because you don't agree with the schedule or think it is not possible doesn't mean you should expect to not have to perform the work.



  • <obligatory> 

    I speak German, so I'm really getting a kick out of these replies.

    </obligatory>

    I can understand the difficulty here.  I have no doubt that they will not have someone to perform this task in a week, not to mention having the project completed.  I wish I could feel your pain, but it's really warm in my office (I hope they get that software fixed soon).



  • If you expect your people to work on something without being able to do any analysis in an environment they are not familiar with in a language they dont' know.  I would gladly be looking for another job, you wouldn't have the time to fire me.  Your workers are not there simply to do things because you tell them.  They are there to do a task in the best way possible.  Your job is to provide them with the necessary resources and that includes time.

     Last time this happened, I actually got the manager fired.  Of course I had to produce tons of documented evidence on various infractions.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @drinkingbird said:

    Yeah, because every employee should lie to their bosses about the complexity of tasks given to them and unrealistic expectations shouldn't be addressed.
     

    That isn't the issue here at all. The issue is that he refused to do it. Just because you don't agree with the schedule or think it is not possible doesn't mean you should expect to not have to perform the work.

     

    That is the issue here.  He explained what it would take to do the job and was denied.  At that point, if management won't give you proper resources, your only options are to refuse or accept and know you will fail regardless.



  • Deck the SOB - OutSiders vs InSiders

    I was involved in an unrealistic timeline. My supervisor and me were cornered into doing a similar task. He had a nervous breakdown. If that had happened today with my years of experience. I would have walked over and punched the AssHole that gave my friend a BreakDown. Deck the sob (unless it's a Girl) There isn't enough of that in the office. It's all back biting. I worked on a pipeline for a few years. That is how PipeLiners (OutSiders) handle those situations. It works. People show more respect on the pipeline than in the office (Insiders). My Friend had a Nervous BreakDown. That was the bottom line. Don't let it happen to a friend of yours. You'll regret it.



  • @SpectateSwamp said:

    I was involved in an unrealistic timeline. My supervisor and me were cornered into doing a similar task. He had a nervous breakdown. If that had happened today with my years of experience. I would have walked over and punched the AssHole that gave my friend a BreakDown. Deck the sob (unless it's a Girl) There isn't enough of that in the office. It's all back biting. I worked on a pipeline for a few years. That is how OutSiders handle those situations. It works. People show more respect on the pipeline than in the office. My Friend had a Nervous BreakDown. That was the bottom line. Don't let it happen to a friend of yours. You'll regret it.

     

    Of course you would be punching some Random Asshole. 



  • @KattMan said:

    That is the issue here.  He explained what it would take to do the job and was denied.  At that point, if management won't give you proper resources, your only options are to refuse or accept and know you will fail regardless.
     

    Right. And refusing to perform your job is usually not well accepted. No one was asking him to lie about or deny the truth as drinkingbird suggested. Rather, he complained he needed more time, and he was told he needed to do it in a week. Sorry, but this is life. You do your best to make it happen in the time allotted. I would suggest getting the request/denial in an email so it can be presented if this is blamed on the dev.



  •  Did you film it?

     



  • Deck the SOB - OutSiders vs InSiders

    @KattMan said:

    Of course you would be punching some Random Asshole.

    Randomly or sequentially it's got to be done sometimes.


  • @KattMan said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @drinkingbird said:

    Yeah, because every employee should lie to their bosses about the complexity of tasks given to them and unrealistic expectations shouldn't be addressed.
     

    That isn't the issue here at all. The issue is that he refused to do it. Just because you don't agree with the schedule or think it is not possible doesn't mean you should expect to not have to perform the work.

     

    That is the issue here.  He explained what it would take to do the job and was denied.  At that point, if management won't give you proper resources, your only options are to refuse or accept and know you will fail regardless.

    Exactly. If you're anything but the most pathetic and small minded of managers, you'll prefer employees who refuse impossible tasks.

    What if the code he wanted would be useless if it was late? If that's the case then wouldn't it be better to accept that it can't be done in the time given and have the employee working on something useful rather than pushing ahead with work that will ultimately be worthless?

    MasterPlanSoftware: Good managers also know how to read things properly.



  • @SpectateSwamp said:

    My supervisor and me were cornered into doing a similar task. He had a nervous breakdown.
     

    Who WOULDN'T have a nervous breakdown after working with you?



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @KattMan said:

    That is the issue here.  He explained what it would take to do the job and was denied.  At that point, if management won't give you proper resources, your only options are to refuse or accept and know you will fail regardless.
     

    Right. And refusing to perform your job is usually not well accepted. No one was asking him to lie about or deny the truth as drinkingbird suggested. Rather, he complained he needed more time, and he was told he needed to do it in a week. Sorry, but this is life. You do your best to make it happen in the time allotted. I would suggest getting the request/denial in an email so it can be presented if this is blamed on the dev.

     

    And on that note I would agree.  This is one reason why I never answer a phone at work.  Want to discuss a change, make a request, do it in email so I have some form of paper trail.  If we do talk face to face or on the phone and agree on something I always send a confirmation email under the guise of "please review this to make sure I truely understand what we discussed"  Sometimes I was wrong and need corrected, either way I have the paper trail for everything. 



  • Deck the SOB - OutSiders vs InSiders

    @Jonathan Holland said:

     Did you film it?

     

    I could recreate it. It's stayed in my mind since 72. I never came across Dr S. since. He was an agressive asshole that browbeat everybody. He would go to utility rate hearings and make people look stupid. Then he came back to the office and carried on the same way. He is too old to be punching now. Back then Ok.

     



  • @drinkingbird said:

    What if the code he wanted would be useless if it was late?
     

    What if the OP has no idea what he is talking about, and the manager is right to expect it done in a week?



  • @SpectateSwamp said:

    @KattMan said:

    Of course you would be punching some Random Asshole.

    Randomly or sequentially it's got to be done sometimes.

     

    In a workplace, never.

    I was in a physical altercation in a professional setting once.  I didn't hit him, he hit me, because he was standing to close behind me and I stepped on his foot.  I could have swung back and would have if he went to hit a second time, instead the witnesses around aided in my complaint and he was fired. 



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @drinkingbird said:

    What if the code he wanted would be useless if it was late?
     

    What if the OP has no idea what he is talking about, and the manager is right to expect it done in a week?

     

    Then the manager should have addressed that misunderstanding.

    Besides, you're just trying to sidestep the argument here with baseless conjecture. 

    By the way, your Einstein quote in your sig is fucked up. "mediocrities" is not a word. 



  • @drinkingbird said:

    Then the manager should have addressed that misunderstanding.

    Sounds to me like he did. He told him to do it in a week.

    @drinkingbird said:

    Besides, you're just trying to sidestep the argument here with baseless conjecture. 

    Your post is the one full of baseless assumptions actually.

    @drinkingbird said:

    By the way, your Einstein quote in your sig is fucked up. "mediocrities" is not a word. 

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=mediocrities&x=0&y=0

    I guess the dictionary is wrong and you are right?

     



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @drinkingbird said:

    Then the manager should have addressed that misunderstanding.

    Sounds to me like he did. He told him to do it in a week.

    That's not addressing the problem, that's just repeating the same demand.

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

     

    @drinkingbird said:

    Besides, you're just trying to sidestep the argument here with baseless conjecture. 

    Your post is the one full of baseless assumptions actually.

    Care to properly point those out? If you're referring to my original argument then you've a lot of explaining to do.

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

     

    @drinkingbird said:

    By the way, your Einstein quote in your sig is fucked up. "mediocrities" is not a word. 

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=mediocrities&x=0&y=0

    I guess the dictionary is wrong and you are right?

    Ok, I'll concede that, it's an odd usage, and a consequence of a living language. It seems to be an entirely US American term, however, and a poorly contrived one at that.

    The original quote, however, is "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds"



  • @drinkingbird said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @drinkingbird said:

    Then the manager should have addressed that misunderstanding.

    Sounds to me like he did. He told him to do it in a week.

    That's not addressing the problem, that's just repeating the same demand.

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

     

    @drinkingbird said:

    Besides, you're just trying to sidestep the argument here with baseless conjecture. 

    Your post is the one full of baseless assumptions actually.

    Care to properly point those out? If you're referring to my original argument then you've a lot of explaining to do.

     

    My argument is done. I have made my point. I dont feel the need to carry this on for 100 posts.

    @drinkingbird said:

    The original quote, however, is "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds"

    I can immediately find two sites that disagree with you that this is, in fact, a quote.

    http://rescomp.stanford.edu/~cheshire/EinsteinQuotes.html

    http://www.humboldt1.com/~gralsto/einstein/quotes.html



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @drinkingbird said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @drinkingbird said:

    Then the manager should have addressed that misunderstanding.

    Sounds to me like he did. He told him to do it in a week.

    That's not addressing the problem, that's just repeating the same demand.

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

     

    @drinkingbird said:

    Besides, you're just trying to sidestep the argument here with baseless conjecture. 

    Your post is the one full of baseless assumptions actually.

    Care to properly point those out? If you're referring to my original argument then you've a lot of explaining to do.

     

    My argument is done. I have made my point. I dont feel the need to carry this on for 100 posts.

    Your argument never existed. You've made no point unless your aim was to demonstrate your own complete ignorance of decent management technique.

    All you've managed to say in your so called argument is that you'd fire someone for refusing an impossible task, that you think belligerence is the only way to manage, and that employees should accept treatment as slaves. 

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

     

    @drinkingbird said:

    The original quote, however, is "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds"

    I can immediately find two sites that disagree with you that this is, in fact, a quote.

    http://rescomp.stanford.edu/~cheshire/EinsteinQuotes.html

    http://www.humboldt1.com/~gralsto/einstein/quotes.html

    Ah well, I still disagree, but it's hardly important. 



  • Instead of being insubordinate, I would have sent my warnings and recommendations to the director in an email, then started on the project in the exact manner you described.  Seems better than flat out refusing. If you're correct, others of comparable skill will agree.



  • @operagost said:

    Instead of being insubordinate, I would have sent my warnings and recommendations to the director in an email, then started on the project in the exact manner you described.  Seems better than flat out refusing. If you're correct, others of comparable skill will agree.

     

    I agree. This is what I would have done as well.



  • @Critter said:

    So I expect you'll be needing a new job, then?

     

     

     

    Nope. And actually they were unable to find a single developer that is willing do the task. The one week ASAP task has turned into 2 mounts of really doing nothing. The real WTF is that If they have gave me the time I need at the beginning I've probably would have done it by now.

    And I think that the client will be providing a specification.



  • @blackd said:

    The real WTF is that If they have gave me the time I need at the beginning I've probably would have done it by now.
     

     

    TRWTF is that they didn't fire the whole lot 

    We got one of those one week ASAP things no one wants to do either and really isn't possible in a week. But we got five top people on it and we're talking end of the month. Best part is we're still all being paid even if sometimes we don't enjoy the task at hand quite as much as beer and darts after work...



  • @medialint said:

    TRWTF is that they didn't fire the whole lot 

    We got one of those one week ASAP things no one wants to do either and really isn't possible in a week. But we got five top people on it and we're talking end of the month. Best part is we're still all being paid even if sometimes we don't enjoy the task at hand quite as much as beer and darts after work...

     

    Sounds normal to me.

    Sadly, a lot of people these days have this mentality that they are 'slaves' at work. The way I see it, if you are being paid by an employer, and you are asked/told to do something you have two choices: do it or quit/risk being fired. 

    I guess I don't understand the mentality of people who call this slavery and think they can be subordinate whenever they feel they are right and their boss is wrong.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    He would be if I was his boss...

     And when other employees notice what happened, no longer report to you when project expectations are unrealistic.  Your projects start running over time, over budget, your staff are getting 4-5 weeks paid leave for stress related illness, and the government is fining the company for having an unhealthy work environment.   Then, thats when your boss, learns that he should have fired you instead.

     



  • @belialNZ said:

     And when other employees notice what happened, no longer report to you when project expectations are unrealistic.  Your projects start running over time, over budget, your staff are getting 4-5 weeks paid leave for stress related illness, and the government is fining the company for having an unhealthy work environment.   Then, thats when your boss, learns that he should have fired you instead.
     

    If you had read the context, you would know I was referring to firing him for refusing to complete the project, not protesting the deadline.

    Learn to read the whole thread, not just the one little passage you choose to take offence to.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    If you had read the context,
    you would know I was referring to firing him for refusing to complete
    the project, not protesting the deadline.

    Learn to read the whole thread, not just the one little passage you choose to take offence to.

    People never have time to read the whole thread, but they always have time to jump to conclusions and type up a reply anyway.

    Hey, remember when we were arguing about... whatever... and people kept
    coming in late, reading 3 words, and assuming we were talking about
    "vector processing" or "Java"?. Haha! Those were the days...



  • @SpectateSwamp said:

    @KattMan said:

    Of course you would be punching some Random Asshole.

    Randomly or sequentially it's got to be done sometimes.

    Punching random assholes.  First true thing that SpectateSwamp has said in his life. 



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @drinkingbird said:

    The original quote, however, is "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds"

    I can immediately find two sites that disagree with you that this is, in fact, a quote.

    http://rescomp.stanford.edu/~cheshire/EinsteinQuotes.html

    http://www.humboldt1.com/~gralsto/einstein/quotes.html

    I can find one that agrees, citing as a variant the version with "mediocrities."

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein

    But if we can't trust Wikipedia, how can we trust Wikiquote? 



  • @FraGag said:

    I can find one that agrees, citing as a variant the version with "mediocrities."
     

    The existence of one quote doesn't disprove the existence of another quote.



  • If I ever get famous, I'm going to repeat some phrase a thousand times with slight variations just to bother people on the Internet.



  • @blackd said:



    The next day they've handed my a single 150 Kb C file that was developed for some never-heard-of embedded OS. It contained about 170 functions, all of them with the same signature int function(char*, char*, int, int, int). (And non of the functions really received char* with the char* arguments)

     

    Actually, recieving something other than char* with a char* arguement isn't that much of a WTF if the code is old (or compiled with an old/obscure compiler). void* was an invention of ANSI C, before that char* was used.



  • @drinkingbird said:

    The original quote, however, is "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds"

    I suggest that the original quote was in German, and that there are two different translations for it, the one older and more American, and the other one newer. Agreed?



  • @Cap'n Steve said:

    If I ever get famous, I'm going to repeat some phrase a million times with slight variations just to be bothersome to people on the Internet.

    Let's start right now.



  • @Cap'n Steve said:

    If I ever get famous, I'm going to repeat some phrase a thousand times with slight variations just to bother people on the Internet.
     

    If you take 100 phrases and keep mangling them up randomly with slight variations and post them all over the internet.... you will be SpectateSwamp. And you will definitely bother people.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @Critter said:

    So I expect you'll be needing a new job, then?

     

    He would be if I was his boss...

     

     

    Good thing the only thing you're in control of is the lubricant for your palms then. 



  • @Lysis said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @Critter said:

    So I expect you'll be needing a new job, then?

     

    He would be if I was his boss...

     

    Good thing the only thing you're in control of is the lubricant for your palms then.

     

    Thank you for another sterling addition to the conversation, Lysis. 



  • @bstorer said:

    @Lysis said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @Critter said:

    So I expect you'll be needing a new job, then?

     

    He would be if I was his boss...

     

    Good thing the only thing you're in control of is the lubricant for your palms then.

     

    Thank you for another sterling addition to the conversation, Lysis. 

     

     

    You're welcome.  My witticisms are a gift. 



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @Cap'n Steve said:

    If I ever get famous, I'm going to repeat some phrase a million times with slight variations just to be bothersome to people on the Internet.

    Let's start right now.

    It's late, but I'm still a little embarrased by how long that took me to get. "Bothersome" doesn't sound like something I'd type...



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @Cap'n Steve said:

    If I ever get famous, I'm going to repeat some phrase a million times with slight variations just to be bothersome to people on the Internet.

    Let's start right now.

    This quote was clearly taken out of context:

    My sister was telling me something and I knew it wasn't true.  When I asked her to repeat it she said "I want to go watch alligators down in the bayou.  Maybe I'll meet Milhouse down there - he's really sad about not being president anymore.  When I document the discovery of that rodent living in the culvert, I'll be famous and everything I say will be repeated endlessly on the Internet.  That'll show 'em."

    Wow, this is good stuff...



  • @GalacticCowboy said:

     

    This quote was clearly taken out of context:

    My sister was telling me something and I knew it wasn't true.  When I asked her to repeat it she said "I want to go watch alligators down in the bayou.  Maybe I'll meet Milhouse down there - he's really sad about not being president anymore.  When I document the discovery of that rodent living in the culvert, I'll be famous and everything I say will be repeated endlessly on the Internet.  That'll show 'em."

    Wow, this is good stuff...

    My brain surrenders.  Is that one of those "non-spam" spam messages?



  • Ok let's play the game, I'll split it up and give the first answer.  Our favorite trolls are listed... 

    My sister was telling me something and I knew it wasn't true.

    Lysis 

    When I asked her to repeat it she said "I want to go watch alligators down in the bayou.

    Maybe I'll meet Milhouse down there - he's really sad about not being president anymore.
     

    When I document the discovery of that rodent living in the culvert, I'll be famous and everything I say will be repeated endlessly on the Internet.  That'll show 'em."



  • @KattMan said:

    Ok let's play the game, I'll split it up and give the first answer.  Our favorite trolls are listed... 

    My sister was telling me something and I knew it wasn't true.

    Lysis 

    When I asked her to repeat it she said "I want to go watch alligators down in the bayou.

    Maybe I'll meet Milhouse down there - he's really sad about not being president anymore.
     

    When I document the discovery of that rodent living in the culvert, I'll be famous and everything I say will be repeated endlessly on the Internet.  That'll show 'em."

     

     

    I'm confused.

    Knowing that they monitor internet traffic here, I'm probably gonna get fired for reading these forums too much.  But just this one mention makes it all worth while.



  • @KattMan said:

    When I document the discovery of that rodent living in the culvert

    TR
    @KattMan said:
    That'll show 'em."

    SS


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