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going to work for your dad December 4, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Experiences, Lessons Learned.

cc-licensed photo by Larry Page

My father had exactly one post-college job in his entire life: he worked for his dad — my grandfather. It was a good job, though a hard one — he left for work at 5:30 every morning and got home at 5:30 every night, and had to work every other Saturday. He was tired a lot, and dirty, and he’s got some lingering injuries that are probably work-related, but we lived in the lower tier of upper-middle-class and we were, overall, pretty happy. Later, after my grandfather and his business partner retired, my dad became one-third owner of the business along with the partner’s two sons. And, finally, he retired as well. All in all, a normal life for a person born in the 1950s.

Things are a little different now. Kids are still working for their parents, but parents are in different types of jobs. Manufacturing and delivery are often done by bigger companies and corporations where nepotism only works when you’re the CEO. And in small companies, you can certainly hire your kids, but there’s a recession on. What happens when you have to cut staff? Do you fire your son or your daughter? Do you keep your family on staff even though you clearly have more talented employees not related to you?

Family restaurants, laundromats, and so forth are a different animal, so let’s leave those out for a minute and think about a couple of case-studies.

That Guy. Now, obviously I didn’t go to work for my dad, though I did sit in a couple of times at the office when one of the receptionists had to miss a Saturday. I never wanted to go into a physical-labor field (his company delivered and serviced restaurant equipment and supplies, and had been doing so since the early 1900s), but it was made clear to me that, if I needed to, I could go work for him.

I didn’t. I got a job at an office supply chain in high school, then went off to college and never went back home for anything more than a summer.

Because of the nature of the business, and because my dad retired and as part of that his partners bought out his third at a set price, contractually, I don’t know how the business is doing. I hear from time to time that they’re still making money, so that’s good. But what if they weren’t? What if I’d gotten hired and the business went south? Would I have lost my job because I was a newer employee, or would I have kept it because my dad was the boss? Would my dad have worked longer to make sure I had the dad-as-boss protection?

Plus, from a purely physical standpoint, my dad is a pretty strong guy. I’m not — I’m about average. I’m sure that lugging around equipment and making deliveries would’ve remedied that, but my dad is also very mechanically-savvy; he would often leave the management duties to his partners and go repair stuff in the shop out back. I think his employees liked him better than the other guys, but then, when the hammer needed to be brought down, it was my dad who did it. Could I have succeeded him? Probably not. Would I have been happy in the position? Definitely not.

And what about the money?

That brings us to case two.

cc-licensed photo by blmurch

Kyle. Kyle is a friend of mine who works for a small, family-owned jewelry shop. And when I say small, I mean small — they have four employees. There’s Henry (the owner), Beatrice (the owner’s wife), Lewis (another employee), and Kyle. Oh, and also me — I freelance for the store, doing their web development and keeping their catalog updated. Now, also important to note is that Henry and Beatrice have two children, Ramona and Robert. And that Ramona is married to Kyle.

You can see where I’m going with this.

Kyle got a job working for Henry some years back, when he and Ramona were just friends. But they recently got married. Now Kyle works for his father-in-law, in an industry that was fairly hard-hit by the recession — who’s going to buy jewelry, especially from a small, family-owned shop, when they can get something less expensive in the mall or at the jewelry exchange*? Now, before the wedding, Kyle faced a few pay cuts, but he’s still making good enough money to support himself and his wife, who currently works part-time while finishing her Master’s Degree.

What happens, though, if the jewelry industry takes a turn for the worse? What happens if Henry has to lay someone off? Sure, Kyle’s good at his job, but Lewis is a better salesman — do they fire Lewis (because Kyle supports their daughter) or do they fire Kyle (because Lewis will bring in more money and gets paid less anyway)? Can Henry in good conscience fire Kyle, knowing how it will impact his daughter? What if Kyle can’t find another job, and Ramona can’t find a full-time job? Will Henry just end up supporting them by letting them live in their house? (I’ve been there; Henry and Beatrice have a nice house with plenty of room now that Robert has moved into his own place.)

Quite a dilemma for Henry. Quite a dilemma for Kyle, who knows his job is secure as long as the company makes enough to pay his salary. And quite a situation for Lewis if Henry ends up having to make that decision.

So… knowing what you know, would you hire your son or daughter? His or her spouse? What about other relations — nieces, nephews, sisters, brothers, cousins, and so on? Most big companies have rules that relatives cannot supervise each other, and it’s a whole different issue as to what happens around promotion time. But in this economy, if you have no job and your parents get you one at their company, sometimes you (and they) just have to deal with the consequences.

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* I remember, as a kid, going to the jewelry exchange and being bored to tears. I wonder if people still go to those, or if they’re all out of business.

Note: My dad did not own or work at Doug’s Repair Shop. It’s just an example of what is likely to be a family-owned and keep-it-in-the-family kind of place.


quit unexpectedly December 2, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Experiences, Getting Fired.
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So what do you do when you’re treated poorly, not given enough incentive to hang around, and not appreciated by management?

You quit.

Years ago, I quit a job because I was harassed and, while my regional manager was willing to back me to the hilt, the RM’s boss said no way. I found another job, I called the RM, I explained my reasons, and he totally understood. He wasn’t happy, but he understood.

I didn’t do this, though:

This guy has totally burnt his bridges. He will never work for this company again. He will never get a reference from any managers at that company. And because of that, he can’t use any work he did at that company for future job applications because they might call said company and try to find out what kind of designer they’re hiring.

It goes both ways, though. My boss is very vocal with his praise, and the culture of positive recognition is so ingrained in my department that we actually have a segment during our weekly meetings where we publicly recognize our co-workers for doing good work or being helpful. In my old job, my immediate boss was always appreciative, but beyond him there was very little praise or pleasantness unless you did something really amazing — which I did every now and then. Which is why, when the reorg happened, I went upstairs and most of my coworkers went to another office.

I’ve got a post about burning bridges coming at some point. This is just a tease, if you will. And a funny one at that.

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entire office unsure what to do November 23, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Experiences.
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Though this Onion article is clearly written in jest, it raises an interesting point:

The entire office staff of Altman & Hanson Accounting remained utterly baffled as to what, if anything, should be done in response to the prominent sobbing coming from the cubicle of 36-year-old clerk Jack Underwood, sources reported today.

Leaving aside the usual jokes about pay cuts and furloughs and loss of benefits, it’s entirely possible that one of your coworkers may indeed be crying at his or her desk at some point.

What do you do?

Well, for starters, if you’re the person who needs to cry, the professional thing to do is find somewhere private to break down and then compose yourself. Bathrooms are good — especially if your floor has a semiprivate one hidden somewhere — as are conference rooms not being used at the moment or, if you can make it in time, your car.

If you are the observer of the tears, you have three options:

  1. Ask what’s wrong.
  2. Ignore it completely.
  3. Poll your coworkers to see if anyone has an answer.

The most likely of these, of course, is item 3, which not only saves you from having to deal directly with the person in tears while satisfying your inner need to gossip and making sure that the crying coworker’s plight is communicated to as many people as possible.

Next-most-likely is item 2, ignoring it — it’s likely that the person crying can’t control himself or herself, which is why s/he is sitting at his/her desk instead of escaping to somewhere else. Depending upon how well you know the person, you probably already know if you should ask what’s wrong or just keep moving on.

And then there’s item 1, which is getting involved. For those looking to form an extracurricular relationship, this can be a great door-opener — sit down, talk, and squirrel away those brownie points. It’s a definite in. Just remember that you could be getting yourself into a huge mess — what if the problem involves your mutual boss? What if that person got fired but you didn’t? Or, worst of all, what if it’s something you don’t think is worth the tears? Can you trust yourself not to say “man up, Nancy!” and instead respond kindly?

Of course, there are times when you can’t help it. Once, a co-worker of mine got a call that his brother had suffered a stroke and it took him some time to recover. At that time, we were part of a tightly-knit department and we all offered to help out. He was fine after an hour or so and declined our offers to cover his shift. His brother is now on the road to recovery, and most of us met him on his last visit to the office.

Personally, the best option in my opinion is to ignore it. As I said, if the person can’t get out of there in time, there’s a good reason for it, and unless that person is your work-wife or work-husband, you probably shouldn’t get involved.

The same, by the way, goes for angry coworkers who can’t stop expressing how they feel. Just remember to duck.

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CIE time: another myth November 10, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Experiences, Seen Elsewhere.
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LEAN suggests that you schedule “CIE” time — calls, interruptions, and e-mails. From their blog:

* Plan 1/2 hour (morning, lunchtime, late afternoon) 3x’s a day to deal with CIE’s.
* When you have to get into a “work flow zone” (working on presentation, in an interview, etc.), drive your calls to voice mail and shut down email.
* Publish your schedule with your teammates (post outside your cube/office – with a sign over it – – STOP – READ MY SCHEDULE BEFORE ENTERING) so people know when you are in a “work flow zone”.
* Make sure your peers know that just because you’re not on the phone and/or in an interview, it doesn’t mean you are not working and CAN be interrupted. Posting your schedule + discussing this with your peers can help eliminate 80% of the interruptions that you actually can avoid (versus client calls, etc.)

cs_ptiWow. Talk about workplace utopia. If anyone at my company — or any other company I’ve ever worked for — tried that, they’d be roasted alive. (Except for item 2, but I’ll get to that in a minute.) So you want to basically tell people “you can’t bother me except at these specific times”? Yeah, good luck.

First of all, we live in a “now” culture. If you don’t do the job right now — or at least acknowledge it right away — you’re not doing your job and you’ll be subject to someone showing up to ask you if you got their message. Which brings us to item 3, posting your schedule; what about that sales guy, or that annoying guy who always says “I know you posted that this is your work flow zone but I really need your help”, or the secretary who keeps sending you phone calls from the one annoying customer because everyone else has screamed at her that they have real work to do but you’re too nice? What do you think the likelihood is of your work flow zone ever being uninterrupted? That is, unless you work after business hours.

Yep. Scheduling calls, interruptions, and e-mails is a joke, and in this economic situation, if you try to do anything other than everything right this very second you’ll find yourself out of a job.

I do want to mention item 2, however — route away calls and e-mails when you’re in your work flow zone. People by and large are lazy; if they e-mail or call and you don’t answer, they’re not that likely to walk over unless you’re really needed for something. That’s probably the only useful takeaway from the article.

Really want to get into a work flow zone? Work from home.

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did you get me anything? October 30, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Experiences.
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from PostSecret

from PostSecret

Everyone wants to go on vacation, and when they come back from a particularly good one, their desks become a nexus of activity: what did you see? Do you have photos? Did you get me anything?

The first two, fortunately, are fairly easy to get around what with the prevalence of Facebook and its heavy use among corporate employees; you’d be hard-pressed to find a computer in your office without Facebook somewhere in its browser history over the past three business days. When I was in San Diego for a wedding last spring, I posted a ton of stuff on my Facebook, and I uploaded occasional mobile pictures to both Facebook and Twitter. Then, when I came back (and recovered from the jetlag), I posted all the photos to my Flickr and Facebook accounts. Everyone who cared to see the pictures could go see the pictures.

And as for gifts? My wife got a shirt, and my daughter got a stuffed toy and some clothes, all of which she likes very much.

But that’s just a trip across the country. What about if a co-worker goes somewhere truly special, such as Donnie, who — for work, mind you — got to take a three-week trip to China. Sure, he sent back photos, and sure, he e-mailed his accounts of what was going on, but no one asked him to bring anything back (as far as I know). I certainly didn’t. So I was quite surprised when he stopped by my desk to say hello and gave me a 1-Yen (yuan?) note. It cost him about 15 cents (according to Google), was light and easy to carry, and is something I think I would never have gotten my hands on on my own. It was, in short, the perfect souvenir, and I displayed it on my desk.

I personally have never asked for anything expensive from a co-worker going overseas; I’m a bit of a mass-transit version of a roadgeek, so I ask people to bring back subway maps if they can. From Ari, who went to Siberia, I got one of Moscow; from my friend Loco (referenced here), I got a postcard from Germany that incorporated a mass-transit station because he couldn’t find a map (or, probably forgot, but whatever). Neither one cost more than $1 — the map from Moscow was free — and they weren’t things I was particularly attached to the idea of receiving.

On the other hand, in 2003 I went to a convention as a guest broadcaster. I was pretty much in charge of the music for the entire event, and I had a deejay station set up in the dealers’ room. It was pretty cool; I got to meet a lot of people. And, on the last day, I walked around to the various booths and picked up souvenirs — good stuff for me, my wife, and a couple of friends who made specific requests — and a ton of little keychains and tchotchkes for my coworkers. They were all very appreciative.

So what do you do when you’re going to go on vacation? Do you offer to bring back gifts? Do you say “does anyone want anything”? Do you bring back surprises like I did in 2003? Do you bring back nothing but photos and memories? And if you’re the recipient of a vacation gift, what do you do with it? Especially if it sucks, or if it’s clear there was no thought put into it?

The people you work with are like your family, except that odds are you enjoy their company more because an artificial set of social rules is being imposed on your interactions so by rule you actually have to be nice to each other. At least you can tell your brother that the t-shirt he got you is stupid.

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bored through no fault of your own October 16, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Experiences, Wasting Time.
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cc-licensed photo by Jason Scragz

cc-licensed photo by Jason Scragz

In the past I’ve talked about how, when you’re bored at work, you need to find something to do to make it look like you’re working. Well, for the past… oh, week or so… I haven’t really had much to do.

And it sucks.

I haven’t been blogging the entire time; I do most of my writing for CorporateSpeak on break or at home these days. But at least writing in a Notepad window on my computer screen looks like I’m doing something useful.

(Now that I think about it… if I was writing this in Dreamweaver, would it look even more like work? Probably not, because the text wouldn’t change colors often enough. But it was a good idea, right?)

I’ve moved past jobs that are full of boredom and drudgery. I spent my time in retail and in data management. As a web developer and ostensible programmer, I should be able to do more interesting things to further the cause of my company. And when it’s busy, I certainly do — and I get noticed for it these days, which is really nice. But we’re in a slow period right now for my department.

And slow periods mean little or nothing to do.

I swear I’ve done everything I can to look like I’m working: I’ve done some coding for coding’s sake; I’ve read my instructional manuals; I’ve done “research” via RSS feeds; I’ve even gone so far as to over-document things in our system just to give myself something to do and to make me feel like I’m working.

But there’s nothing happening. In the past 48 hours, I’ve received five requests, and none of them were the kind that took me more than an hour to complete. Two of them were the kind where I could immediately send back an e-mail to answer a question and then mark them as done.

I guess what I’m getting at here is this: what do you do if you’re caught out doing nothing when there’s nothing to do? How do you explain to your boss that all the requests are fulfilled, that there’s nothing new to be added to any projects, that everything’s running smoothly, and that it only looks like you’re sitting here doing nothing?

You really don’t.

Look, it’s getting so bad that I’m dragging my heels on a project with a time budget of one month (I’m one week in). I could easily finish it in two weeks if I sent enough e-mails to the clients involved, but if I get it done too fast, then where will I be?

Bored again.

My old boss cautioned me against showing that I was quick and efficient in my work. I could show him, but I should manage expectations both inside and outside the company so I wouldn’t be asked to do things at a pace that would burn me out. I guess I understand that, but at this point I think I’d actually enjoy having too much work to do.

Of course, everything around here happens in the last hour of the work week — 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Last Friday afternoon, five requests all came in at the same time and two of them were the ones that I needed to set processes for and then wait for the next quarter-hour so they’d run. It was an awful lot of hurry-up-and-wait but at least it was work.

I’m not going to my boss to say I need more work. That’s just stupid, and it makes me look bad. But between you, me, and the internet… someone please sell something complicated to a big client. I need something to do for the rest of the day.

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expanding on the idea killer: the creative client October 1, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Experiences, Observations.
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This is the second post that expands upon a series of idea killer images I posted on September 28.

I’ve had a lot of so-called creative clients in my time. Unfortunately, they are rarely creative, which poses a huge problem for me and my co-workers.


The best of all possible worlds is when the client retains an advertising agency to bother with every little detail, and then the agency provides the creative to the web developer or the ad trafficker. Unfortunately, a lot of agencies make their money by building really awesome projects.

So you deal with the creative clients. All of them.

  • The Wise Client. This is the one who comes to the meeting, brings you everything you ask for, sits with you for an hour, and at the end you know what he wants. Then you give it to him and, except for some minor tweaks, he’s happy.
  • The Wicked Client. These are pretty bad, but they’re not the worst, unfortunately. First they tell you what they want, and you either don’t offer it or aren’t capable of doing it. Then they change their minds halfway through, and again halfway through the next four or five iterations. They’re never fully happy, so no matter what you do, you’re going to be frustrated because you can’t give the client what he wants, and it’s going to be reflected upon you the next time you have a review.
  • The Simple Client. Y’know all that awesome stuff you guys can do? He doesn’t want it. He just wants you to do exactly what he’s laid out in the simplest, cheapest way possible. You’ll do the job right, but you’ll be completely unsatisfied.
  • The Client Who Doesn’t Know What He Wants. I hate these so much. Usually these are people whose bosses retained your agency because it’s the best, or because they saw something you did and want the exact same thing, except in a slightly different way. So you give them what you can, to the best of your abilities, and it’s never quite right. It sounds like the wicked client, but it’s really not because these guys keep apologizing and being so nice about everything. In the end, no one is happy, but on the bright side if you give these guys your best they’ll be your clients for life.

Unfortunately, we need clients of all stripes to pay our bills. I just wish more of them were of the wise variety.

And yes, I totally ripped the four clients off the Four Sons in the story of Passover.

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expanding on the idea killer: the legal department September 30, 2009

Posted by That Guy in A Stunning Example of Synergy, Experiences.
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This is the first of three posts on idea killers, based on pictures I posted on September 28.

Y’know what the best part is about the legal department killing your idea? That they usually get to it before you do too much work, so you have less to scrap.


I’m not going to say that legal departments are all bad, because they’re not. In fact, they’re more like unions — they defend you (and your company) from all things bad: clients that think you’ve reneged on contracts or people who accuse you of slander and libel because your company has money. Unfortunately, they’re more likely to shoot down your awesome ideas because you want to do groundbreaking things that involve untested technologies or collaboration with the competition, and we can’t have that.

Legal’s job is also to make sure no one steals your ideas. That is, they put such tight locks on everything you do that not only can you not talk about them to other people in your network of fellow experts, but if anyone else comes up with the same idea, they will instantly shoot yours down so your own company isn’t accused of theft.

It’s tough to be in the legal department. It’s even tougher to be their victim.

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elevator etiquette September 29, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Experiences.
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As part of the big reorg, I’m now on a floor that requires* me to take an elevator to get to my cube. Fortunately, there are three elevators to choose from, but once you get on, what do you do?

CC-licensed photo by Ambrose Little.

CC-licensed photo by Ambrose Little.

Now, I’m not talking about simple courtesies like avoiding the passage of gas or squeezing in when there’s clearly no room for you. I’m talking about the situations no one writes about.

Which is why I’m writing about them.

Proper Stacking Of People. This is a bigger issue in bigger buildings, but even here, where there are ten floors (not all of which we use; some we rent out), if everyone starts work at 9 a.m. it can get a little busy in the elevators. Generally when you get in you move to the back or the sides. The first person in gets the choice of pressing all the buttons or selecting a floor, stepping aside, and letting others choose their own floors. Yesterday morning, though, I was the last person on (there ended up being seven of us), and the buttons for 4, 5, 7, and 8 were all pressed.

First we stopped at 3, because someone on 3 had called for an up-elevator. Unfortunately he had a large cart, so we couldn’t fit him in. Then, up to 4, where I stepped out of the elevator to let people past. Then I got back on, but because everyone else shifted to the back, I was stuck in front again. So I had to repeat the whole thing on 5 before finally getting off at 7 and letting the last person ride up to 8.

Did I do the right thing? Should I have spoken up, said “I’m getting off at 7; does anyone want to step ahead of me?” I don’t really know, and no one complained, so I guess it was okay, but I still felt a little weird. Plus, because I was carrying my backpack, I couldn’t turn to face the doors; I had to stare at the woman pressing the buttons. Which brings me to the next point.

Face Front When Possible. I’ve read “how to disrupt office drones” forwards for more than ten years about facing the back of the elevator, just to throw other people in the office out of whack. But I have to work with these people every day. I don’t know everyone yet; what if I unnerve an executive?

Still, I say “when possible” because sometimes it’s not. Sometimes — as with yesterday — I couldn’t face front because of the size of my bag and the relative tetris of other people in the elevator. The woman at the buttons didn’t look too unnerved, which was nice.

Your Head Should Do What It Does At The Urinal. Okay, this one might be a little foreign to women who haven’t invaded men’s rooms at concerts or sporting events, but guys know that, no matter what, you never turn your head while peeing standing up. You look up, you look straight ahead, or you look down. That’s it. The same should be done on elevators: look up (at the floor indicator), look straight ahead (at other people’s heads or your reflection in the doors), or look down (at your phone or the floor). As a confirmed appreciator of female beauty, that last one can be very enjoyable depending upon which direction you’re facing.

Greet Your Co-Workers. Or even if they’re not your co-workers; even if you work in a 30-story building and have no idea who these people are, you need to be polite and friendly. You’re going to spend 30 to 300 seconds in close proximity; say good morning, and if someone offers polite conversation, take part. But don’t just step in and assume the position. If you really want to avoid conversation, have your phone out and when you’re in place and have said good morning, look at your phone and do something, even if it’s pretending to read e-mail.

Assess The Button Situation Quickly. You’re likely to only have about a second to decide what to do if someone else is standing near the buttons. My personal preference is this: if someone else is standing near the buttons, ask him or her to press the button for your floor. It avoids inadvertent brushes against body parts that you may not want to touch — or that you may want very much to touch but don’t want to get fired for touching. Better safe.

Don’t Press If Your Hands Are Busy. If your hands are full or you’re using your phone, don’t monopolize the buttons. Don’t even stand near them. Let someone who’s not busy handle it and save everyone on the elevator a little trouble.

No Farting. Seriously. Just don’t. Not even if you’re alone.

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* Okay, not requires, but I can’t see myself walking up and down seven flights a day, not with my back and leg issues. One or two, sure, but not seven. My old office was on the first floor.

The Great CorporateSpeak Reorg of 2009 September 25, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Experiences.
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Well, my friends, it’s finally happened: CorporateSpeak’s corporate office has seen the way things are running here and have decided to reorganize.

cc-licensed photo by Zeetz Jones

cc-licensed photo by Zeetz Jones


Okay, first things first: it actually happened a few weeks ago, and I queued up a few posts because I knew I’d be busy getting into the swing of things. Here’s what’s changed:

  1. No More Two-Year-Old. Corporate has decided to move her to another office that needs help. She’s in a completely different branch of the business now. I now no longer see her, except maybe if we pass each other in an airport or something.
  2. Some Employees Transferred. In fact, most of the production people I worked with have been offered the option to move to a different location. Most of them accepted.
  3. Departmental Changes. I’ve been transferred to a different department in a different part of the building. Instead of being a general catch-all web guy for our advertising products, I’ve been shifted to a position that I thought I was taking years ago when I joined the company. That’s right: I’m a full-time developer now, working for our national advertising department.
  4. Teamwork. My new department consists of an overall manager, three managers under her (one of whom is my boss), and then me and the other person in the web development arm of the advertising department. That means I’m part of a team of three developers, all of whom have skills and strengths that actually complement each other. I also have a new boss who, so far, is very capable and very supportive.
  5. Peace and Quiet. I always worked in a cubicle farm. The difference is that now I’m on the advertising/agency team, which means I have a cubicle in a different part of the building, in a pod with five other people, and no one shouts. Everyone wears headphones. The most disruptive anyone’s gotten so far is to curse when something goes wrong, and that’s the head of the art department, so you kind of expect that from him.
  6. Small Raise. It’s not an actual raise, but I’m making a little more money because I’m technically in a new role, and that new role pays more. Yet I find myself working less. Explain that one to me.
  7. Actual Web Development. In addition to my duties for the advertising department, our sub-group is also in charge of building the actual web apps we use, both internally and externally (advertising client-facing). This means more coding, which means more learning. Awesomeness.

There are, however, a few downsides:

  1. Stricter IT Policy. I now no longer have free reign of my PC. It has everything I could possibly need — browsers, developer tools, Adobe CS/4, you name it. I miss having administrator access, but it’s okay.
  2. More Accountability. I actually have to keep track of what I do each day and submit it to my boss. A lot harder to goof off.
  3. New Programming Languages. While I’m capable in both JavaScript and PHP, my real strength is .NET. Well, we don’t use .NET on this side. I spent some time this week reviewing JavaScript, and next week I’m going to take a chunk out of each day to review and/or expand my PHP skills. I guess this isn’t really a downside, except that sometimes I look at the code and I’m like “SCUSE ME WTF IS DIS?”
  4. Hours. My workday starts later, which means I get home later. Also, I can’t work out, because when they reorganized, the gym equipment got moved to a facility in a different state. I’m not quite sure why that happened, but what it means is that I get to sit on the couch in the morning until 7:30 before I have to start getting ready. I can’t afford a gym membership, but maybe the local YMCA has a pool I can use… I’ll have to check into that.
  5. People. Despite their general pain-in-the-ass-itude, I really actually liked the people I was working with. I’m glad none of them were laid off — that was never in the plan, I learned — but I’m going to miss working with them. Still, I work one metropolitan area away; it’s not as if we can’t all still hit a bar or something. And we all have instant messengers.

Overall, though, I can’t complain. (Well, all right, I can always find something to complain about, but you get the idea.) Everything I hated about working at CorporateSpeak has been eliminated or changed, and I’m working with a much better group of people who deal with national clients — and that means everyone has to be better at their jobs and accept much less bullshit.

And believe me, much less bullshit is accepted. Except where appropriate, and I’ll discuss that next week sometime.

Meanwhile, I’m going to go do this for a little while:


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