The beginning of the end



  • Yesterday at work we had an "all-hands" meeting and learned a really important and depressing thing.  One of our best customers who have been with us for 25 years has gone out to bid for a new system.  They got grant money for it, so they weren't allowed to "sole-source" it to us, they had to open it up to fair bidding.  Pretty standard, no biggie.

    We "lost" the $20 million dollar bid to a competitor because, according to management, our business development & proposal team has already used all of their budget for the year.  That's right, we couldn't afford the few thousand dollars to write up and put in a bid, so we're out 20mill in future revenues. 

    It's only a matter of time....



  • My condolences on the beginning of your new job search, but at least they told you about it, so you've got a running start.

    Good luck!



  • They already used up their budget for the year?  It is July! Did they think that they would do all of their proposals in the beginning of the year and work on the projects for the second half of the year?



  • We're run by idiot bean-counters, as you can see.  God knows what they were thinking.  It's so sad that nobody in the chain of command is able to reverse the decision.  It's completely breath-taking.

    And here I am stuck at a transition point in my career.  Long time Cobol programmer (which nobody wants), decades of experience with an OS that few companies even know still exists, and they pay me so well that taking an entry level job to learn current technology and re-prove myself would be very painful.  One of my favoritest project managers is teaching me how to do project financials, and I'm working on being ready to "step into place" when a project manager position opens up.  After I get management on my resume then I can bounce anywhere as a project manager.  So I'm stuck here for a year or two.   I only  hope it lasts that long.  Incompetence of that scale makes you wonder.

     



  • @WeatherGod said:

    They already used up their budget for the year?  It is July!

    One of my employers always had a huge influx of cash in July.  This was the time when everyone put in capexes and bonuses were fat.  By December we'd be told we no longer had enough money to buy a couple of $30 programming books, let alone decent bonuses.  By spring we'd be coasting off of credit until July and every expense was viewed as wasteful. 



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    After I get management on my resume then I can bounce anywhere as a project manager. 

    Easy!

    Have you ever managed ANY aspect of a project? If you have decades of experience, you have probably done more managing than you think. Here are a couple of key phrases that work wonders on your resume, and you really don't need to lie:

    • If you've ever coordinated work with one or more other developers (who hasn't?):
      • Managed development efforts of several developers ("several" is wide open, and you'd be surprised what folks assume; you can embellish by 1 or 2)
    • If you've ever coordinated any work with other teams (after decades, you have):
      • Managed multi-team development efforts and deliverables
    • If you've ever translated vague user requirements into technical specs (highly likely):
      • Gathered project requirements
      • Created project specifications
      • Created test plans (even if they were only in your head, you don't need to mention that part)
      • Managed deliverable validation efforts (did you perform testing or better, direct QA folks who did?)
    • If you've ever spec'd out how long something was going to take:
      • Project Management
        • Scoped out time lines (this will take x days/weeks/months at x% effort)
        • Balanced work loads across multiple efforts (ever had more than one project going at once?) 
      • Cost Analysis - you don't need to actually have done this as every company does it differently, but if you scoped time/effort, this is a no-brainer
        •  Based upon estimated hours/days/number-of-people, multiply by the mythical $person-hour: voila: project cost analysis!
    • If you've ever had to deal with production problems
      • Managed user relationships (after decades, you have dealt with users griping about stuff)
      • Managed production support efforts during critical outages (who hasn't?)
    • If you've ever managed up the chain (eg: tell the boss that it's not going to be ready by x, so pass it on)
      • Managed deliverable expectations of senior management
    • If you've ever coordinated setting up/enhancing/testing a DR site/scenario:
      • Managed setting up/enhancing DR support levels and readiness
    • If you've ever read stuff on the web about what your competitors are doing:
      • Managed technical team readiness in order to leverage x/y/z technologies to maintain a competitive advantage

    If you think through what you've done in your career, you've probably got many examples of this stuff in your past. Put it on your resume, and be prepared to talk about it in concrete examples in an interview. It's really easy, and you tend to get paid more.

     



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    We "lost" the $20 million dollar bid to a competitor because, according to management, our business development & proposal team has already used all of their budget for the year.

    So who's getting fired over this? 



  • Thank you Snoofle, you rock.  I do indeed have experience with all of those items, except for budgeting and calculating cost estimates or forecasts.  I'm learning that now.  I've also been doing CBT training based on the Project Management Institute guidelines.  I'm just worried that prospectives will look at my resume and not see the "management" or "supervisor" title anywhere and throw it away.  But I'll definitely update my resume with your suggestions, and it will totally rock. 

    @Zylon said:

    @jetcitywoman said:

    We "lost" the $20 million dollar bid to a competitor because, according to management, our business development & proposal team has already used all of their budget for the year.

    So who's getting fired over this? 

    In the 6 years I've been here, nobody's gotten fired for any kind of incompetence - and this is only the latest and largest and most high-up example.   It's really ironic that twice a year they award "Excellence" awards to people because as a company we're the epitome of mediocre.



  • @Zylon said:

    @jetcitywoman said:

    We "lost" the $20 million dollar bid to a competitor because, according to management, our business development & proposal team has already used all of their budget for the year.

    So who's getting fired over this? 

     

     

    I whole heartedly agree. People with good ideas can get things done on a tight budget.  Creativity, people !  Instead of putting in so many proposals, do a lot of internal reviews and turn in one good proposal. Are you telling me if they run out of money, then they just can't make themselves useful for the rest of the year? 



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    I'm just worried that prospectives will look at my resume and not see the "management" or "supervisor" title anywhere and throw it away.

    If I (as a prospective employer) call your present employer, unless they're complete idiots, they'll only verify the dates of employment. They won't discuss salary as that's considered confidential. Titles are a moot point, as they differ from firm to firm. Case in point, I've been a VP, Associate Director and now Associate (all at the same firm, over several years and mergers, and it's the exact same position). In between, I've been an Architect, Senior Architect, Programmer, Developer and titleless-schmuck (seriously).

    Depending upon what you've done in your past couple of jobs, fudge the title a bit to be more management oriented. For example, if you were a senior dev, but did the usual inter-team/qa/user managing, make yourself a team-lead, and add a line or two about the number of folks you managed. Orient what you actually did toward the management side of the task. For example, don't say: code x. Instead, say: Gathered user requirements, wrote specs, coordinated n developers, coded and tested x.

    Also, throw in words like synergy, coordinated, and managed if you can - sounds more like management, even if you were just managing the build process.

    When you're writing your resume, print it out, look at each thing you did, and imagine how your boss would describe how he managed it. Since you probably did exactly that anyway, just write it down. Bonus points if you can get your boss to describe how he manages you and then use it in your resume!

     



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    In the 6 years I've been here, nobody's gotten fired for any kind of incompetence - and this is only the latest and largest and most high-up example. 

    Actually I have to correct myself here....  it's not the most high-up example.  In another thread somewhere here, I mentioned how they changed our timecard/expense reporting system over the Christmas break which was a real fiasco.  Actually they changed our entire accounting system and procedures.  It was inconvenient for us worker-bees, but I've also heard from several bosses up that it cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Multiply that by all of the division heads....  The "team" who was in charge of that project was one of those very high up groups that included the corporate CEO.  Instead of terminations, they granted themselves an award for it.  So yeah...  great place to get a good paycheck despite crappy performance.  Unfortunately I have a much higher work ethic and this stuff makes me very sad.



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    I have a [much higher] work ethic.

    There's your problem... weasels don't care about the quality of their trash

     



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    In the 6 years I've been here, nobody's gotten fired for any kind of incompetence - and this is only the latest and largest and most high-up example.   It's really ironic that twice a year they award "Excellence" awards to people because as a company we're the epitome of mediocre.


    I don't want to name jetcitywoman's employer, but I know it and I just looked up their corporate vision and values on the company's website. Their values include quality IT products/services, customer satisfaction, integrity, and valuing employee's.

    Interestingly, hard work, competence, and making money are not mentioned in any way. More importantly, to my thinking, increasing shareholder value is not mentioned at all.



  • Dgvid is right about that.  It's something I'm going to pay more attention to when I search for companies from now on.  I've also been reading business books and one key thing that keeps popping up is that the best companies really focus on their product/market.  They identify what they can be the best at and strive to stay that way.  Where I am now is one of the results of the 1990's merger parties that many corporations were having.  The primary corporation has nothing to do with my particular market segment.  It's like I'm working for AOL who got acquired by  Time Warner...  (I don't work for AOL, but the situation is identical.)    Now that so many good companies have been ruined by mergers and acquisitions, maybe I can get into a good medium-sized company with matching ethics and it will stay that way.



  • If this whole "career" thing doesn't work out, there may still be a future for you with Morbius' Posse of Honeys.  We're always glad to have potential applicants.  Not sure if you'd be a good fit?  Take the following True/False questionnaire to know for sure!

    • I am physically attractive in good lighting or at least attractive smelling in the dark.
    • Living a life free of shame is not a high priority for me.
    • NO FAT CHICKS.
    • My understanding of Federal labor laws (including minimum wage and OSHA safety regulations) is weak at the absolute best.


    If you answered "True" to two or more of the previous questions, then I have some great news for you!

     

    If you answered "True" to all except the 1st and 3rd question, there still may be a position for you with pstorer's Gaggle of Ladyfolk.  If you're a hard worker he may even promote you to a creative position where you can spend all day composing unfunny MFD comics.  Apply today!



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Strange job offer...
    W.T.F.?!?



  • @TheRider said:

    W.T.F.?!?
     

    What do you not understand?



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Strange job offer...
    @TheRider said:
    (working for morbius) Worse Than Failure?!?
    There.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @TheRider said:

    W.T.F.?!?
     

    What do you not understand?

    The joke (if it is one) may be lost on me because I come from another culture and english is not my first language. But morbiuswilters' post appears to me to be very sexist and inappropriate.



  • @TheRider said:

    The joke (if it is one) may be lost on me because I come from another culture and english is not my first language. But morbiuswilters' post appears to me to be very sexist and inappropriate.
     

    Is this some kind of culture that has no humor or something?

    I hear the Germans lost their humor once... A lot of people died... Very tragic...



  • @TheRider said:

    The joke (if it is one) may be lost on me because I come from another culture and english is not my first language. But morbiuswilters' post appears to me to be very sexist and inappropriate.

    That's because it is sexist and inappropriate as well as infantile - and it doesn't take a great deal of English language skills to see that.



  • @OzPeter said:

    That's because it is sexist and inappropriate as well as infantile - and it doesn't take a great deal of English language skills to see that.

    Sexist?  Yes.  Inappropriate for the Internet?  Hardly.  And infants don't have sexual urges so it's obviously not infantile.  Unless you think infants do have sexual urges, in which case you are a pedophile. 



  • A little more explanation for the non-Americans here who were shocked by MW's "job offer": this is what women (when they don't hide behind a male-sounding login-name) deal with on a daily basis on the Intertubez. It's been like that since before there was a Web and the world was primarily just Usenet. I've been around since then, so I'm very used to it. And actually, MW is really on the affectionate side of sexism rather than the offensive side, so I usually chuckle at his efforts.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Sexist?  Yes.  Inappropriate for the Internet?  Hardly.  And infants don't have sexual urges so it's obviously not infantile.  Unless you think infants do have sexual urges, in which case you are a pedophile.

    Sadly the ignorance and immaturity of some of your posts never ceases to amaze me



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    A little more explanation for the non-Americans here who were shocked by MW's "job offer": this is what women (when they don't hide behind a male-sounding login-name) deal with on a daily basis on the Intertubez.

    And in real life, frequently.  Getting upset about sexism on the Internet is plain stupid, though.  It's not like my joke is resulting in any kind of real harm to women.  People like OzPeter who get their panties in a twist are actually the people I'm trying to mock, anyway.  It seems most women are smart enough, self-confident enough and have enough of a sense of humor to laugh at stuff like this.  It also has the bonus of pissing off self-righteous twats.

     

    @jetcitywoman said:

    And actually, MW is really on the affectionate side of sexism rather than the offensive side, so I usually chuckle at his efforts.

    Good to hear that I can get a laugh out of you.  I can't imagine there are many women who would take offense at what I said, it's usually just pussy-whipped men who have nothing better to do than act as morality police for the rest of us. 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    • I am physically attractive in good lighting or at least attractive smelling in the dark. TRUE

    • Living a life free of shame is not a high priority for me. TRUE
    • NO FAT CHICKS.TRUE
    • My understanding of Federal labor laws (including minimum wage and OSHA safety regulations) is weak at the absolute best. THE FEDERAL WHAT?

     

    Now, do I have to be a woman to apply? It doesn't say it anywhere...

    BTW I'm offended by your post, your inmaturity, your politically incorrectness, and your filthy smoking habits. You sir should be banned from the internet and not allowed back ever (unless you quit smoking, get married and cook dinner for your wife everynigh). May God have mercy on your soul. 

     



  • @TheRider said:

    The joke (if it is one) may be lost on me because I come from another culture and english is not my first language. But morbiuswilters' post appears to me to be very sexist and inappropriate.

    It is FUNNY.

    Repeat after me,

    FUNNY.

    It is in-your-face, richly orchestrated, over-the-top humour. It is for shits & giggles.



  • @OzPeter said:

    Sadly the ignorance and immaturity of some of your posts never ceases to amaze me
     

    That's funny, I think the same thing about most of your posting.



  •  don't you two have something to do other than be internet trolls



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    We "lost" the $20 million dollar bid to a competitor because, according to management, our business development & proposal team has already used all of their budget for the year.  That's right, we couldn't afford the few thousand dollars to write up and put in a bid, so we're out 20mill in future revenues. 

    I thought budget poo-poohs only happened in government or universities. If the company's lifeline depended on that bid, I'd expect the CEO/CFO to override the idiotic beancounters and place the bid anyway. Sadly, if your employers go down because of this, they deserved it ... well the CEO/CFO's and the beancounters, anyway.



  • (Darn browser and/or CS. I'm too lazy to try to fix it now, so...)

    MW posted: "And in real life, frequently. Getting upset about sexism on the Internet is plain stupid, though. It's not like my joke is resulting in any kind of real harm to women. People like OzPeter who get their panties in a twist are actually the people I'm trying to mock, anyway. It seems most women are smart enough, self-confident enough and have enough of a sense of humor to laugh at stuff like this. It also has the bonus of pissing off self-righteous twats."

    Hmm, actually I rarely get that in real life. Maybe I run in more mature circles, though. Or maybe since I don't look like Jessica Rabbit, men don't hit on me. It did happen occasionally back in college, but not at all at work. Probably a combination of maturity levels (for everybody) in the two stages of life, combined with men in the corporate world having been beaten to death with sexual harrassment training and policies. On the one hand, we don't have to suffer being touched by creeps at work or called pet names, on the other hand you can't compliment someone on dressing nicely either. Good and bad.

    Anyway, also I do think that MOST women are offended by this kind of thing, which is perhaps why they tend to "go underground" on the net/www or use male login names. In my experience, most women are way too easily offended by all manner of inocuous things, which makes men (IMO) much easier to get along with. I mean, who here hasn't known a woman to respond to an innocent comment with "What do you mean by that?" While at the same time, how many times do men greet their buddies with comments like "how you doing asshole?" and it's all good? Men are from Mars, Women are from... blah blah etc.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    It seems most women are smart enough, self-confident enough and have enough of a sense of humor to laugh at stuff like this. 
     

    Of course, you also have the not so smart women, like the editor of Pink magazine who just sent letters to the city council, transportation department, and mayor of Atlanta recently. She was protesting the fact that the cautionary signs for road work read "Men Working", and therefore were sexually discriminatory because women also work on the road crews. As a result, the taxpayers of Atlanta are spending thousands of dollars to have the wording on the signs changed to "Workers Ahead" or some such nonsense.

    I mean, seriously people. Who reads those signs as you're approaching road construction and thinks "Great! No women allowed on THIS roadwork! That means it'll be done right!". 

    I sure don't. I think "OK, don't run over any of the workers as you
    go by.", or "Crap! They've also got the flag sign out. That means I'm
    liable to be stuck here!".  (I also pay no attention to the fact that
    the flag sign illustration clearly resembles a male figure, while the
    person holding the "STOP" sign clearly isn't masculine. I just stop my
    vehicle until the sign gets turned around to read "SLOW", and then I go
    on my way.)

    There are valid reasons to question things as being discriminatory, and insist on them being changed if they are. This isn't one of them. This doesn't justify the expenditure of taxpayer dollars. (And no, I don't live anywhere near Atlanta and therefore it doesn't affect me - it's just ridiculous.) 

    My suggestion to this editor is that she also start contacting authors of classic literature (and of course, the people who publish them, the libraries who shelve them, and the readers who enjoy them) to get certain wording there changed as well. After all, "weather not fit for man nor beast" must obviously be sexist, as the weather would obviously (and discrimatorily, of course) be considered suitable for the lesser class of woman.

    Oh, and she should get a life, too. Maybe a good strong man to straighten her out. ;-)



  • @Kazan said:

     don't you two have something to do other than be internet trolls

     

    I have nothing to do other than reply to them. So - Hi, Kazan. How are ya?

    Seriously, STFU. Come back when you grow up and your sense of humor develops. I'd suspect we've got a few decades for that; should be enough time for us grownups to get tired of coming here. 



  • Ugh, don't encourage the "feminazi's". They've already tried to change stupid things like that. It's what got us into the whole extremely awkward "him or her" "he/she" crap that book writers now feel obligated to do. Also cuimbersome things like chairperson and peoplekind. People who are offended by pronouns need some stronger adjectives thrown at them to keep them busy. Heh. Or we should develop a gender-neutral pronoun like "pizmit" or whatever.



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    Ugh, don't encourage the "feminazi's".
     

    Now you've done it. You've actually posted something reasonable and rational. You'll definitely be on their hit list now!

    Priests can be unordained by the church for blasphemy. Can they take away your rights to your gender for this violation? 



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    Ugh, don't encourage the "feminazi's". They've already tried to change stupid things like that. It's what got us into the whole extremely awkward "him or her" "he/she" crap that book writers now feel obligated to do. Also cuimbersome things like chairperson and peoplekind. People who are offended by pronouns need some stronger adjectives thrown at them to keep them busy. Heh. Or we should develop a gender-neutral pronoun like "pizmit" or whatever.
     

    Sorry I'm not native english speaker... but do they really say peoplekind??? what happened to Humankind? is that not good enough?  



  • @KenW said:

    (I also pay no attention to the fact that the flag sign illustration clearly resembles a male figure, while the person holding the "STOP" sign clearly isn't masculine. I just stop my vehicle until the sign gets turned around to read "SLOW", and then I go on my way.)

    Heh. Maybe they'd like one of these traffic lights for street crossing?? I'm amazed how the politically-correctness camp haven't gone raging against pedestrian traffic lights, given that most use the standard "male figure" found in "men's bathroom" signalling. Oh wait, the new ones use more of a "running stick figure" now, and look more like the UML stickman running for his life, complete with a "countdown" display showing you how much time you got left to cross!



  • @KenW said:

    I also pay no attention to the fact that the flag sign illustration clearly resembles a male figure

    Would a female figure on the sign help any at all? I don't think so. Besides, with the simple graphics, you couldn't tell if it was a female or a cross dresser anyway.



  • @pitchingchris said:

    Would a female figure on the sign help any at all? I don't think so.
     

    Wow! Great job, chris, of catching the obvious!

    That was the entire point of my post. WTF difference does it make if the sign says "Men Working", or "People Working", or "Women and Men Working", or "Road Construction Crew Ahead Working That May Or May Not Contain Laboring Individuals of Male or Female Gender"?  Who cares how the sign is worded or what gender the workers are? The point of the  signs is to make you aware that a road crew is ahead and you should slow down and exercise caution. The female figure on the sign wouldn't help at all; neither does the change in wording on all the signs at taxpayer expense.

    The fact that this editor was moronic enough to even notice the wording, much less consider it discriminatory, is the real WTF. 



  • Yep, they're surely going to revoke my woman card now. Heh.

    Anyway, back to the OT, still on my mind of course. Referring to a couple of posters who've questioned rhetorically how soon before we go out of business, or that we'll deserve it when it happens... I think that when the corporate annual revenues are in the multi-billion dollars, a few million lost here and there probably aren't even noticable. If any body wayy up there notices the negative numbers in our division profit and loss statements, they'll only dump our division. So maybe that's why it's not such a huge problem (from the overal corporate perspective).

    Of course there is the very clear problem that we have no focus. The CEO only cares about the multi-billion dollar bottom line and the shareholders because there's no way he can manage 200,000 employees in 150 divisions. The division heads have their own value statements which interestingly don't include shareholders. What Dgvid posted earlier was actually the value statement from my division, not the overall corporation. So you'll notice that losing good customers doesn't technically violate any of those values. Who cares if an ex-customer is happy or not? Not to mention that there are no metrics in place to make sure the division is accomplishing those values.

    Then the bosses below the division heads only care about their department budgets, so don't really care about the division values, etc. The proposal group, like any other group, is required to adhere to their yearly budget. So nobody in the company has a common goal. I think this happens alot in huge corporations. I think that the management team expects that if everybody down the chain adhere's to their own objectives, profit will bubble up to the top and it will all be good. But they don't seem to realize that internal conflicts of interest do happen. I want to learn more about that. If I can see it, surely other people can too!



  • @KenW said:

    Who reads those signs as you're approaching road construction and thinks "Great! No women allowed on THIS roadwork! That means it'll be done right!".

    Wait, that's not what "Men Working" is supposed to indicate?

     

     



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    It seems most women are smart enough, self-confident enough and have enough of a sense of humor to laugh at stuff like this.

    Yeah, like your mom.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @KenW said:

    Who reads those signs as you're approaching road construction and thinks "Great! No women allowed on THIS roadwork! That means it'll be done right!".

    Wait, that's not what "Men Working" is supposed to indicate?

    Correct. The humor in a "Men Working" sign derives entirely from the second word.



  •  Thread locked. Can anybody tell me why we have so many senseless flamewars recently? Is it the heat?


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