We don't need to plan



  • Another team is starting a new project. Since our teams' system will be used as part of it, my boss got dragged into the integration effort.

    Since my boss is on vacation for a couple of weeks, I was asked to attend in his place (you know, take a list of questions and get back to them later).

    The meeting has since been rescheduled 4 times, with the final meeting cancellation notice reading: I am cancelling the kickoff meeting because we don't need to plan out this project; it should be obvious to everyone what they need to do, so just get on it!

    I envision a multitude of WTFery coming in the next few months.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    ... Print that email and pass it up the chain. The business is about to waste a lot of money and as the only sane person involved, you might be able to save it.



  • @Weng said:

    ... Print that email and pass it up the chain. The business is about to waste a lot of money and as the only sane person involved, you might be able to save it.
    Correct me if I'm wrong snoof, but you're a contractor, right?  And from my personal experience, contractors (vs. FT employees) carry about as much weight as the guy working at the hotdog stand...

    Honestly, good luck and remember just to CYA, as that's likely the only thing you can really do at this point.



  • The guy working at the hotdog stand frequently carries a lot of weight.  Especially if he routinely eats his own dog food.



  • @C-Octothorpe said:

    @Weng said:

    ... Print that email and pass it up the chain. The business is about to waste a lot of money and as the only sane person involved, you might be able to save it.
    Correct me if I'm wrong snoof, but you're a contractor, right?  And from my personal experience, contractors (vs. FT employees) carry about as much weight as the guy working at the hotdog stand...

    Honestly, good luck and remember just to CYA, as that's likely the only thing you can really do at this point.

    From my personal experience as a contractor, if you put the right words in front of the right person, you [b]can[/b] get things done that need to be done - but you have to be careful and make sure you hit the right people with it.



  • @Matt Westwood said:

    @C-Octothorpe said:

    @Weng said:

    ... Print that email and pass it up the chain. The business is about to waste a lot of money and as the only sane person involved, you might be able to save it.
    Correct me if I'm wrong snoof, but you're a contractor, right?  And from my personal experience, contractors (vs. FT employees) carry about as much weight as the guy working at the hotdog stand...

    Honestly, good luck and remember just to CYA, as that's likely the only thing you can really do at this point.

    From my personal experience as a contractor, if you put the right words in front of the right person, you can get things done that need to be done - but you have to be careful and make sure you hit the right people with it.
    Oh, I totally agree, it's just that if that person is your bosses boss (which tends to piss off narrow minded people), or someone else who shares your vision but has about as much sway as you do, then your SOL.  I, fortunately, have been in this situation only once, maybe twice.  For some odd reason, people believe me when I tell them things!  Whodathunkit?  :)


  • @C-Octothorpe said:

    For some odd reason, people believe me when I tell them things!
    I'm not sure I believe that.



  • @Sutherlands said:

    @C-Octothorpe said:

    For some odd reason, people believe me when I tell them things!
    I'm not sure I believe that.

    I can't believe half the crap that comes out of my mouth either!



  • @Weng said:

    Print that email and
    ... frame it and put it on your cube wall.



  • @stationary said:

    The guy working at the hotdog stand frequently carries a lot of weight.  Especially if he routinely eats his own dog cat food.

     

    FTFY

    i can haz

     



  • No, no, you have it mixed up. Hotdogs aren't cat food, they're food made from cats.



  • @C-Octothorpe said:

    Oh, I totally agree, it's just that if that person is your bosses boss (which tends to piss off narrow minded people), or someone else who shares your vision but has about as much sway as you do, then your SOL.  I, fortunately, have been in this situation only once, maybe twice.  For some odd reason, people believe me when I tell them things!  Whodathunkit?  :)

    Well if you are a contractor, then the person at the client company is not your boss. If you are working with a contracting firm, then you have a boss there, and if you are an independent...well that is obvious.

    Most of the problems I have witnessed is when a contractor either wants to be treated like an employee or when a person at the client company wants to treat the contractor as an employee. The best bet is to avoid getting into this situation in the first place by keeping the relationship on a client/contractor basis.



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    @C-Octothorpe said:

    Oh, I totally agree, it's just that if that person is your bosses boss (which tends to piss off narrow minded people), or someone else who shares your vision but has about as much sway as you do, then your SOL.  I, fortunately, have been in this situation only once, maybe twice.  For some odd reason, people believe me when I tell them things!  Whodathunkit?  :)

    Well if you are a contractor, then the person at the client company is *not* your boss. If you are working with a contracting firm, then you have a boss there, and if you are an independent...well that is obvious.

    Most of the problems I have witnessed is when a contractor either wants to be treated like an employee or when a person at the client company wants to treat the contractor as an employee. The best bet is to avoid getting into this situation in the first place by keeping the relationship on a client/contractor basis.

    That's an interesting take...  I'm independant and I report to a FT manager.  No, he's not my boss "technically", but if I show up to their site only to watch porn on their network, then he's going to be the one firing my ass (but then again, I'm sure you'll quickly point out that "technically" I can't get fired, instead I can only have my contract suddenly cut short).

    I'm not sure what your point actually is, but to clarify mine: in a client/contractor relationship the client should trust the contractor.  Maybe not quite as much as a FT employee (that's another WTF for another day), but they pay you (or your company, or whatever) because you'll do the best you can for them while you're on the clock, and that doesn't include being a passive twat and letting them bury themselves when you could have done something about it.

    Come to think of it, there is a name for what you're describing: a Junior Developer.  Some mindless idiot (or new grad) who is too inexperienced or too stupid to do anything other than smash the keyboard according to spec.

    It always grinds me whenever I meet (or worse, work with) devs with your attitude.



  • @C-Octothorpe said:

    I'm not sure what your point actually is, but to clarify mine: in a client/contractor relationship the client should trust the contractor.  Maybe not quite as much as a FT employee (that's another WTF for another day)

    But doesn't a lot of the differential in trust stem from the length of the relationship? If you've been contracting with the company for a long time, you're more likely to be trusted than last month's new hire. There may be other reasons to believe that the FT employee's incentives are more likely to be aligned with the company, of course.



  • @C-Octothorpe said:

    That's an interesting take...  I'm independant and I report to a FT manager.  No, he's not my boss "technically", but if I show up to their site only to watch porn on their network, then he's going to be the one firing my ass (but then again, I'm sure you'll quickly point out that "technically" I can't get fired, instead I can only have my contract suddenly cut short).

    I'm not sure what your point actually is, but to clarify mine: in a client/contractor relationship the client should trust the contractor.  Maybe not quite as much as a FT employee (that's another WTF for another day), but they pay you (or your company, or whatever) because you'll do the best you can for them while you're on the clock, and that doesn't include being a passive twat and letting them bury themselves when you could have done something about it.

    Come to think of it, there is a name for what you're describing: a Junior Developer.  Some mindless idiot (or new grad) who is too inexperienced or too stupid to do anything other than smash the keyboard according to spec.

    It always grinds me whenever I meet (or worse, work with) devs with your attitude.

     Speaking specifically for the USA, lets look at what is required to be considered an independant....

    http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=99921,00.html

    1. Behavioral: Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and how the worker does his or her job?
    2. Financial: Are the business aspects of the worker’s job controlled by the payer? (these include things like how worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, who provides tools/supplies, etc.)
    3. Type of Relationship: Are there written contracts or employee type benefits (i.e. pension plan, insurance, vacation pay, etc.)? Will the relationship continue and is the work performed a key aspect of the business?

    Of these, #1 is the most relevant to my original point. From the same document...

    • When and where to do the work.
    • What tools or equipment to use.
    • What workers to hire or to assist with the work.
    • Where to purchase supplies and services.
    • What work must be performed by a specified individual.
    • What order or sequence to follow when performing the work.

    Each of the above bullets are indicative that the relationship is that of an employee and not an independent contractor.

    I 100% agree that trust is a critical issue. IF the trust is not there, then the relationship should probably be severed. And "do the best you can for them while you're on the clock, and that doesn't include being  passive and letting them bury themselves when you could have done something about it." is completely inappropriate.

       


  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    @C-Octothorpe said:
    That's an interesting take...  I'm independant and I report to a FT manager.  No, he's not my boss "technically", but if I show up to their site only to watch porn on their network, then he's going to be the one firing my ass (but then again, I'm sure you'll quickly point out that "technically" I can't get fired, instead I can only have my contract suddenly cut short).

    I'm not sure what your point actually is, but to clarify mine: in a client/contractor relationship the client should trust the contractor.  Maybe not quite as much as a FT employee (that's another WTF for another day), but they pay you (or your company, or whatever) because you'll do the best you can for them while you're on the clock, and that doesn't include being a passive twat and letting them bury themselves when you could have done something about it.

    Come to think of it, there is a name for what you're describing: a Junior Developer.  Some mindless idiot (or new grad) who is too inexperienced or too stupid to do anything other than smash the keyboard according to spec.

    It always grinds me whenever I meet (or worse, work with) devs with your attitude.

     Speaking specifically for the USA, lets look at what is required to be considered an independant....

    http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=99921,00.html

    1. Behavioral: Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and how the worker does his or her job?
    2. Financial: Are the business aspects of the worker’s job controlled by the payer? (these include things like how worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, who provides tools/supplies, etc.)
    3. Type of Relationship: Are there written contracts or employee type benefits (i.e. pension plan, insurance, vacation pay, etc.)? Will the relationship continue and is the work performed a key aspect of the business?

    Of these, #1 is the most relevant to my original point. From the same document...

    • When and where to do the work.
    • What tools or equipment to use.
    • What workers to hire or to assist with the work.
    • Where to purchase supplies and services.
    • What work must be performed by a specified individual.
    • What order or sequence to follow when performing the work.

    Each of the above bullets are indicative that the relationship is that of an employee and not an independent contractor.

    I 100% agree that trust is a critical issue. IF the trust is not there, then the relationship should probably be severed. And "do the best you can for them while you're on the clock, and that doesn't include being  passive and letting them bury themselves when you could have done something about it." is completely inappropriate.

       

    Not sure about "when and where to do the work" - if you're a plumber fixing my pipes, "when" is when it's convenient for me to be home, and "where" is under the kitchen sink. So I believe that one may not strictly apply.



  • Those rules are only for federal tax purposes, and they aren't binary. The IRS -considers- each of those factors when determining whether a relationship is contractual, and they give different weights to different criteria.

     Each state has its own rules for state tax and civil purposes, and many state and federal agencies have yet more rules. It's quite possible, for example, to pay federal taxes as a contractor while paying state taxes as an employee, claim unpaid wages as an employee, but be denied unemployment due to the contractual relationship.



  • @Matt Westwood said:

    Not sure about "when and where to do the work" - if you're a plumber fixing my pipes, "when" is when it's convenient for me to be home, and "where" is under the kitchen sink. So I believe that one may not strictly apply.

     Obviously there are constraints on possible work locations, and reuqirements for coodrination between involved people. When I had a plumber install a fairly complex heating system a few years ago, it was him (not I) who made the decision to pre-assembly and test all of the components at his location, then bring the completed sub-assemblies on-site. My neighbor had a similar system put in a few months later, and that plumber decided to have all of the materials shipped to my neighbors house, and did all of the assembly there.

    @alm said:

    Those rules are only for federal tax purposes, and they aren't binary. The IRS -considers- each of those factors when determining whether a relationship is contractual, and they give different weights to different criteria. Each state has its own rules for state tax and civil purposes, and many state and federal agencies have yet more rules. It's quite possible, for example, to pay federal taxes as a contractor while paying state taxes as an employee, claim unpaid wages as an employee, but be denied unemployment due to the contractual relationship.

    You are 100% correct. However, I personnaly know three people whohere in New York City who have been doing contract work for many years who were recently challenged, and two of them lost at both state and federal level.

     My intended point, is that as a consultant, I believe there should be a different mindset than that of an employee. The employee is (largely) there to "do the job he is told to do" while a consultant should (IMPO) be there to "provide the best service he/she can". In this respect the guidelines (although they are for tax purposes) have been very helpful in my career. When I focus with the client on what they want to accomplish, and then present my case for the means to that end, the entire experience is radically different than if the client is approached with "what do you want me to do"



  • @C-Octothorpe said:

    @Weng said:

    ... Print that email and pass it up the chain. The business is about to waste a lot of money and as the only sane person involved, you might be able to save it.
    Correct me if I'm wrong snoof, but you're a contractor, right?  And from my personal experience, contractors (vs. FT employees) carry about as much weight as the guy working at the hotdog stand...

    Honestly, good luck and remember just to CYA, as that's likely the only thing you can really do at this point.

     

    Yes, but then his ass is covered, and he can I-told-you-so safely.

     


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