Sales, as everyone knows, is the mortal enemy of Development.

Their goals are opposite, their people are opposite, their tactics are opposite. Even their credos - developers "Make a good product" but sales will "Do anything to get that money" - are at complete odds.

The company Jordan worked for made a pseudo-enterprise product responsible for everything e-commerce: contacts, inventory, website, shipping, payment...everything. His responsibility included the inventory package, overseeing the development team, designing APIs, integration testing, and coordination with the DBAs and sysadmins...you know, everything. One of his team members implemented a website CMS into the product, letting the website design team ignore the content and focus on making it look good.

Care to guess who was responsible for the site content? If you guessed the VP of Sales, congratulations! You win a noprize.

A couple months passed by without incident. Everything's peachy in fact...that is, until one fateful day when the forty-person stock-and-shipping department are clustered in the parking lot when Jordan shows up.

Jordan parked, crossed the asphalt, and asked one of the less threatening looking warehouse guys, "What's the problem?"

The reply was swift as the entire group unanimously shouted "YOUR F***ING WEBSITE!" Another worker added, "You guys in EYE TEE are so far removed from real life out here. We do REAL WORK, what you guys do from behind your desks?"

Jordan was dumbfounded. What brought this on? For a moment he considered defending his and his team's honor but decided it wouldn't accomplish much besides get his face rearranged and instead replied with a meek "Sure, just let me check into this..." before quickly diving into the nearest entry door.

It didn't take much long after for Jordan to ascertain that the issue wasn't that the website was down, but that the content of one page in particular , the "About Us" page, had upset the hardworking staff who accomplished what the company actually promised: stock and ship the products that they sold on their clients' websites.

After an hour of mediation, it was discovered that the VP of Sales, in a strikingly-insensitive-even-for-him moment, had referred to the warehouse staff as "meatbots." The lively folk who staffed the shipping and stocking departments naturally felt disrespected by being reduced to some stupid sci-fi cloning trope nomenclature. The VP's excuse was simply that he had drunk a couple of beers while he wrote the page text for the website. Oops!

Remarkably, the company (which Jordan left some time later for unrelated reasons) eventually caught up to the backlog of orders to go out. It took a complete warehouse staff replacement, but they did catch up. Naturally, the VP of Sales is still there, with an even more impressive title.


photo credit: RTD Photography via photopin cc