Comment On Quitters Never Win

Lawrence’s interview started with Mark, the new MIS manager. A recruiter had hooked them up. The company was a medium sized organization, with four large locations and a few thousand employees. There was an AS/400 serving as their main back-end, and a small collection of other servers pitched in to provide extra ecommerce applications. [expand full text]
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Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 08:06 • by ubersoldat
Here's my FIRST CV!

And Lawrence didn't even get the chance to check the code.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 08:09 • by Nappy (unregistered)
Just 60 hours? Where's the WTF?

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 08:10 • by Cbuttius
I think the staff were all blown away by the hurricane Sandy..

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 08:14 • by Seul (unregistered)
Anybody getting <a href="http://imgur.com/h7x90">unicorns</a> selecting »CFO«?

Taht's the WTF.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 08:16 • by Job (unregistered)
“Here, let me show you down to Sandy,” Mark said, “she’ll be
blowing you like a hurricane."

(TRWTF is living where they have air. That moves. Really fast. I mean, WTF?)

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 08:21 • by Rick (unregistered)
the new MIS manager... Just promoted up from the sales floor
Four alarm WTF! This spacetime anomaly must be fully explained before we even consider working for this W-T-Factory.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 08:23 • by Auction_God
393655 in reply to 393652
Yes! Lots of sparkly unicorns!! Each one you click breeds more of them. I've got a full stable now.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 08:27 • by Ken (unregistered)
We’re team players.
Yeah. And your "team" just sent you a message. As a team. You might want to consider it.

Lesson: Platitudes don't change reality.

Reminds me of a place where they saw nothing odd about a 7AM meeting after working you to 2AM the night before.

I turned in my notice after working 17 days straight. My boss seemed puzzled when I gave that as one of my reasons for leaving.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 08:32 • by Y_F
Is Frank expecting to find more Sandys, that face such WTF and supposedly shrug?
Too bad she's not as loyal (or stupid) as he think.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 08:57 • by Mike (unregistered)
I'm in the same boat at the moment unfortunately.

Boss: "Any concerns?"

Me: "Yeah this schedule change that keeps me here till 9pm every night really sucks."

Boss: "We're all professionals here though so we all got to do what needs to be done to get the job done."

Me: "Yeah until something better comes along that doesn't require me working till stupid o'clock every night."

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 09:17 • by justsomedudette (unregistered)
Shouldn't this be under 'tales from the interview' rather than a feature article?

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 09:19 • by TGV
If it's professional, they must accept that you only work the hours they contracted you for. Otherwise it's amateurism.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 09:21 • by Poo 'Stache (unregistered)
Well the real WTF, of course, is continuing to live in a country with no workers' rights whatsoever. If my boss tries to make me work over 37,5 hours a week I can just tell them "no"; I don't have to quit over it.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 09:26 • by Ex-Death-Marcher (unregistered)
Yes. Death marches are ok if they're extraordinary measures. If they become SOP, then you start loosing people to attrition. Heck, I'm betting that everyone except Sue went as a bulk unit to annother company

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 09:31 • by MrBEster (unregistered)
Eight people walked off the job at the same time. Why did they do that, Larry?”

“I… I couldn’t tell you. Did you ask them?”


I would have answered: "Lawrence. Did you ask them?" instead. If this dick of a CFO can't get your name right after two corrections then it's time to get insulting in return.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 09:32 • by lanmind
393666 in reply to 393654
the new MIS manager... Just promoted up from the sales floor


Right there. That's the WTF.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 09:33 • by JimLahey
393667 in reply to 393664
Death Marches are not OK in any situation. If there's a Death March going on then somebody messed up and that somebody needs chopping into smaller pieces and burying in the woods before the next click or key press takes place.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 09:35 • by Hughlander (unregistered)
393668 in reply to 393667
Marches imply a destination. This is more of a death treadmill.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 09:36 • by Bitter Like Quinine (unregistered)
I was recently handed a company laptop and told to provide out-of-hours cover to the current death march. When I pointed out that I had my own (better) machines at home, I was told that the company doesn't allow "foreign" hardware to connect to their network.

My answer was, "Neither do I."

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 09:39 • by Recursive Reclusive (unregistered)
393670 in reply to 393668
Hughlander:
Marches imply a destination. This is more of a death treadmill.

I could do with an upvote/like button right now.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 09:39 • by ubersoldat
393671 in reply to 393669
Bitter Like Quinine:
I was recently handed a company laptop and told to provide out-of-hours cover to the current death march. When I pointed out that I had my own (better) machines at home, I was told that the company doesn't allow "foreign" hardware to connect to their network.

My answer was, "Neither do I."


How did turned out? It's pretty funny

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 09:44 • by Lockwood
And if you come in from Google and scroll down past all of the-

Oh, we've moved on from that now.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 09:50 • by KattMan
393673 in reply to 393672
Lockwood:
And if you come in from Google and scroll down past all of the-

Oh, we've moved on from that now.


Yeah ain't it great, I got WTFville with unicorns running all over the place to obscure any answers.

As for the crew leaving, I say bravo to them, but this manager obviously will never learn.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 09:52 • by golddog (unregistered)
393674 in reply to 393660
Mike:
I'm in the same boat at the moment unfortunately.

Boss: "Any concerns?"

Me: "Yeah this schedule change that keeps me here till 9pm every night really sucks."

Boss: "We're all professionals here though so we all got to do what needs to be done to get the job done."

Me: "Yeah until something better comes along that doesn't require me working till stupid o'clock every night."


I really don't understand this mentality. It's all about setting expectations.

Make it clear to the boss that they get about 40 hours of you each week. (In truth, it ends up being a bit more, because you're always finishing something up at the end of the day).

If there truly is an extraordinary circumstance (production errors, servers down, etc), then yes, you're there for them. If the company's idea of a crisis needing those kinds of extra hours is "Frank in sales told somebody this would be ready," well, that's Frank's problem, not the technical staff's.

There are other jobs out there, some of which don't suck. Find one.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 09:53 • by RichP
393675 in reply to 393669
Bitter Like Quinine:
I was recently handed a company laptop and told to provide out-of-hours cover to the current death march. When I pointed out that I had my own (better) machines at home, I was told that the company doesn't allow "foreign" hardware to connect to their network.

My answer was, "Neither do I."


Funny. I did something similar a while back. Was visiting a customer and they needed to give me some documentation to bring back to the office. I handed over my USB keyfob. The customer jokingly asked "are you sure you trust my machine with your USB stick?" My answer was a (too quick) are you sure you trust plugging my USB stick into your computer?"

He looked a bit worried for a second, then must have decided that trying to negotiate an alternative solution just wasn't worth it.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 09:57 • by Maurits
> Eight people walked off the job at the same time

at the same time

Not many workplaces can handle that and still maintain decent workload. Why assume that the previous-to-everybody-leaving workload problems were due to this manager? He's new, and new to IT; he might just be cleaning up someone else's mess (maybe the previous manager was part of the mass exodus; maybe the previous manager even caused the mass exodus by recruiting his staff away.)

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 10:09 • by ubersoldat
393677 in reply to 393676
Maurits:
> Eight people walked off the job at the same time

at the same time

Not many workplaces can handle that and still maintain decent workload. Why assume that the previous-to-everybody-leaving workload problems were due to this manager? He's new, and new to IT; he might just be cleaning up someone else's mess (maybe the previous manager was part of the mass exodus; maybe the previous manager even caused the mass exodus by recruiting his staff away.)


I think the article made it very clear that it was the CFO's fault.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 10:13 • by Joshua (unregistered)
393678 in reply to 393650
60 hours in the office, plus fielding calls and tickets from home. Would be my guess, anyway.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 10:16 • by ObiWayneKenobi
Any time there is a "mass exodus" it's a red flag, no ifs ands or buts. The reason being that except in very unusual circumstances a mass exodus is a last resort. It means that concerns have been brought to the immediate supervisor and, often, escalated up to executive management, and nothing has been done.

You don't have EIGHT people walk off a job simultaneously for no reason at all except possibly in a startup that's on the verge of bankruptcy and everyone bails to form their own company. Even without the scumbag CFO, even if the new MIS Manager was actually competent and really sincerely wanted to fix things up, the sheer fact they're in that position to begin with means that things have gotten to the point where they can't be fixed.

Also, a death march is never acceptable. Mandatory overtime is never acceptable. Once in a blue moon when there's a legit crisis (i.e. NOT "but we told the customer it'd be ready in a week!") or you're doing a bit extra to wrap up a project is fine, and if your company has any sense whatsoever they'll give you comp time or something as thanks. When you're required to work 60+ hours a week without anything extra in return, it's exploitation.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 10:19 • by Smug Unix User (unregistered)
Overworking your developers reduces code quality. As a result you spend more time cleaning up the code that was poorly written by a weary developer. If the job requires more people it is best to hire them before you need them. It will take time getting them up to speed. You initially see a reduction in work when you hire on. Trying to work people beyond their normal limits is a good way to have a walkout, or a disgruntled staff churning worthless code. A regular 45+ work week is symptom of a bigger problem.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 10:44 • by Calli Arcale (unregistered)
Not only does he overwork his staff, not only is he okay with that, but he doesn't even know how many hours they're putting in. Even if everybody is on salary rather than hourly pay, there's no excuse for management not having the slightest idea how many hours people are working. If you don't know how long it takes them to get a job done, you have no way of planning. Even ignoring the fact that this is obviously a horrible workplace where you're guaranteed to be underpaid, it's also obviously completely disorganized. And the manager doesn't realize that's a very stupid thing to reveal in an interview when you're short-staffed. This interview has so many red flags it could start selling them to construction workers for marking utility lines.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 10:48 • by Mark (unregistered)
"He’s new. Just promoted up from the sales floor, actually."

“How do you reboot a server?” and “How do you check if a server is still connected to the network?”

Those weren't interview questions. He was asking sincerely.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 10:59 • by Publius (unregistered)
Lawrence ignored way Frank’s expression said ‘ramming speed’, and concluded “That’s probably why they quit. Anyway, thank you for your time, today.”

Zing! I didn't understand the article until this part, then I realized everyone has really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 10:59 • by Kingsnake (unregistered)
We have six IT people supporting about 200 employees over three offices across the US, and they overspread. Eight people supporting thousands spread over four locations is a recipe for disaster.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 11:06 • by Coyne
I sense outsourcing in that company's future.

And I bet the owner of the outsourcing company has a close personal relationship with Frank.

And I'll bet Frank strangely fails to notice that the outsourcing company is costing 690% of what it would have cost to hire enough developers to do it properly, in-house.

And I bet that Frank has a new zillion dollar house in his future.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 11:19 • by David (unregistered)
393687 in reply to 393665
Eight people walked off the job at the same time. Why did they do that, Larry?”

“I… I couldn’t tell you. Did you ask them?”


Well, if you would have just scrolled all the way to the bottom of their letters of resignation, the answer is right there.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 11:32 • by JS (unregistered)
393688 in reply to 393670
As Taggart would say - "DITTO!"

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 11:41 • by PedanticCurmudgeon
393689 in reply to 393676
Maurits:
> Eight people walked off the job at the same time

at the same time

Not many workplaces can handle that and still maintain decent workload. Why assume that the previous-to-everybody-leaving workload problems were due to this manager? He's new, and new to IT; he might just be cleaning up someone else's mess (maybe the previous manager was part of the mass exodus; maybe the previous manager even caused the mass exodus by recruiting his staff away.)
3/10 would not flame

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 12:13 • by cellocgw
393692 in reply to 393660
Mike:


Boss: "We're all professionals here though so we all got to do what needs to be done to get the job done."


I learned long ago that "[be a ] professional" is code for "do it my way because any other way is unacceptable," often heard from psychopath PHBs.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 12:20 • by Zylon
Lawrence ignored way Frank’s expression said ‘ramming speed’

I have absolutely no idea what facial expression is being described here. Does "ramming speed" denote fear? Anger? Desperation? Uncertainty? Resignation? Could be any of those things.

But hey, it's Remy-- more important to cram an article full of some arbitrary theme (apparently nautical, in today's case) and easter eggs, than to make sure it's properly proofread and makes sense.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 12:23 • by zelmak
393695 in reply to 393669
Bitter Like Quinine:
I was recently handed a company laptop and told to provide out-of-hours cover to the current death march. When I pointed out that I had my own (better) machines at home, I was told that the company doesn't allow "foreign" hardware to connect to their network.

My answer was, "Neither do I."


+1 must remember

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 12:36 • by n_slash_a (unregistered)
393697 in reply to 393689
Article:
All the rest of our developers, operators, service-desk and management. Eight people walked off the job at the same time.

TRWTF is that all developers, operators, service-desk, and managers were really only 8 people.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 12:39 • by Larry (not Lawrence) (unregistered)
393699 in reply to 393675
RichP:
She jokingly asked "are you sure you trust my port with your stick?" My answer was a (too quick) are you sure you trust plugging my stick into your port"
FTFY. BTW, this is a problem that has plagued civilization since its inception. But still somehow we muddle on.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 12:41 • by Nagesh
Looks like Sandy was not smart to get a new job.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 12:45 • by Joe (unregistered)
393702 in reply to 393684
Kingsnake:
We have six IT people supporting about 200 employees over three offices across the US, and they overspread. Eight people supporting thousands spread over four locations is a recipe for disaster.
I was one of three supporting 750 computers -- all different, mostly clunky old hardware a decade past warranty. They told me during the interview they had "about 125" computers.

BTW that half hour interview was the longest span of face time I ever got with my boss -- until I quit, at which point I suddenly had his undivided attention! "You can't do that! We have to get this done by $deadline!" etc. etc.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 12:49 • by jay (unregistered)
393703 in reply to 393663
Poo 'Stache:
Well the real WTF, of course, is continuing to live in a country with no workers' rights whatsoever. If my boss tries to make me work over 37,5 hours a week I can just tell them "no"; I don't have to quit over it.


Why do I need the government to tell me whether or not I like my job? If my boss makes unreasonable demands, I just quit. I don't have to run to some nanny government agency crying like a child.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 12:49 • by Bill Me (unregistered)
393704 in reply to 393697
n_slash_a:
Article:
All the rest of our developers, operators, service-desk and management. Eight people walked off the job at the same time.

TRWTF is that all developers, operators, service-desk, and managers were really only 8 people.
I don't know that it is so far off. One developer, one operator, one service desk, 5 managers. Sounds about right.

You don't want the developer, operator etc. wasting time writing reports do you? Let the managers do it.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 12:53 • by jay (unregistered)
393705 in reply to 393667
JimLahey:
Death Marches are not OK in any situation. If there's a Death March going on then somebody messed up and that somebody needs chopping into smaller pieces and burying in the woods before the next click or key press takes place.


Well, sure this is a sign or a problem. But when the company has a problem, my first response is not to say, "Sorry, not my fault, I refuse to help fix it." I would hope that when I screw up, others will bail me out, and I do the same for them.

If all the employees have this "not my fault" attitude, I would think the company isn't going to stay in business very long.

And sure, if management or sales or whomever has the idea that it doesn't matter how much they screw up because they can just demand that IT (or production or whomever) put in a month of 16-hour days to fix it and, voila, problem solved, then that's a different issue.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 12:56 • by jay (unregistered)
393706 in reply to 393697
n_slash_a:
Article:
All the rest of our developers, operators, service-desk and management. Eight people walked off the job at the same time.

TRWTF is that all developers, operators, service-desk, and managers were really only 8 people.


Yeah, that is bizarre. The only explanation I can think of -- and I know this is pretty far out -- is that maybe this was a small company.

I've heard rumors that there are companies out there of many different sizes, from tens of thousands of employees down to just one.

Re: Quitters Never Win

2012-10-30 12:59 • by Tom (unregistered)
393707 in reply to 393705
jay:
when the company has a problem, my first response is not to say, "Sorry, not my fault, I refuse to help fix it." I would hope that when I screw up, others will bail me out, and I do the same for them.

If all the employees have this "not my fault" attitude, I would think the company isn't going to stay in business very long.
First emergency, I'm there to do anything I can.

Second "emergency" (within a few weeks / months) I realize this is Standard Operating Procedure because nobody cares. So I don't care either. Outfit needs to die, I'm not going to heroic measures to keep it on artificial life support.
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