Comment On The Budget is Through the Roof

Bridget worked in a large R&D department for a software company. The main offices had long ago filled up, and R&D moved to a distant office building well away from the main campus. The building was less than ideal, especially if you listened to the network guys talk about pulling cable. It was old, it was dreary and the roof leaked, the furnace was wonky, and the kitchen had never actually gotten a hot-water line. Still, it was a place to work. [expand full text]
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Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:03 • by Frist? (unregistered)
My roof collapsed frist.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:04 • by TGV
Why do I get the nagging feeling that this is a US-based operation?

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:10 • by Geoff (unregistered)
Penny wise pound foolish. I wonder how much money they saved delaying apparently pretty obviously needed repairs to the building. Once you factor in the cost of the water damage, cleanup, and unscheduled loss of use of the facility from the collapse of a snow loaded roof; one of those record bonus earning executives ought to get walked out of the other building.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:20 • by CodeBeater
And on the next day another wave of e-mails arrived

"We would like to apologize for not being able to pay healthcare for those with neck and head injuries, please contact your supervisor for emotional support"

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:22 • by Smug Unix User (unregistered)
Developers could work from home. Offices are kind of last century.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:22 • by dtm (unregistered)
I don't get it - where-tf is the wtf?

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:22 • by Cbuttius
395945 in reply to 395941
Geoff:
Penny wise pound foolish. I wonder how much money they saved delaying apparently pretty obviously needed repairs to the building. Once you factor in the cost of the water damage, cleanup, and unscheduled loss of use of the facility from the collapse of a snow loaded roof; one of those record bonus earning executives ought to get walked out of the other building.


The correct idiom here is "a stitch in time saves nine"

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:24 • by lanmind
395946 in reply to 395944
dtm:
I don't get it - where-tf is the wtf?


Said an executive while cashing a record setting bonus.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:26 • by MrBester (unregistered)
if your work area was impacted by this condition, let your supervisor know immediately

Presuming you haven't been crushed by the impact and somehow still have a working system after tons of snow has dumped on it...

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:31 • by lanmind
I once working in a poultry slaughter house as network admin. I don't recall why, but for some reason the place had been (thankfully, only for a few weeks) overrun by flies. It sucked ass royally. I made noises about getting it fixed - maybe I'm weird, but I didn't want to have to deal with that crap - which only got commiserative non commitments from management. So I did what any rational person would do - I went down to maintenance, got a bug zapper, and hung it in my office. Actually, I figured that doing so would be so absurd that someone would do something about the frakkin flies, but it backfired on me. It solved my problem, so I quit complaining, and no one else dared complain, so management was happy. The flies eventually went away, but it took weeks. I left the bug zapper hanging as a memorial to common sense, and it hung there for years....

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:35 • by Nappy (unregistered)
Please vacate these comments now!

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:38 • by Bill Coleman (unregistered)
395950 in reply to 395944
Indeed. This is the state of our business today, where common sense is thrown out the window in the hope of lowering the budget (and kicking in the bonus incentives for the executives).

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:39 • by VB_adict (unregistered)
395951 in reply to 395944
dtm:
I don't get it - where-tf is the wtf?


And where is the tech angle?

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:40 • by Gary (unregistered)
An elaborate mechanism to lay the whole R&D team off. The new average R&D expense for the industry is now 4.5%.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:40 • by Xing (unregistered)
395953 in reply to 395941
As long as the repair is pushed to the next fiscal year, the executives can collect their bonus for hitting cost cutting targets.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:41 • by svenM (unregistered)
395954 in reply to 395943
Sure they could, now to find a workplace that allows it

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:46 • by T.R. (unregistered)
395955 in reply to 395950
Bill Coleman:
where common sense is thrown out the window


It is actually thrown out of the hole in the wall.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:47 • by Gaza Rullz (unregistered)
Executive job : You're doing it right !

Captcha : iusto (latin of iustus = right) :D

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 08:48 • by Remy Porter
395957 in reply to 395955
Common sense, like hot air, rises. It goes straight out the roof.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 09:22 • by biziclop
395958 in reply to 395940
TGV:
Why do I get the nagging feeling that this is a US-based operation?


Because in the UK we have health and safety.

As soon as the roofs started leaking, the office would've been filled with "Slippery when wet" signs. Then it would've been closed down because the signs were obstructing fire evacuation routes.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 09:25 • by Kushan
395959 in reply to 395958
biziclop:
TGV:
Why do I get the nagging feeling that this is a US-based operation?


Because in the UK we have health and safety.

As soon as the roofs started leaking, the office would've been filled with "Slippery when wet" signs. Then it would've been closed down because the signs were obstructing fire evacuation routes.


I work in an office in the UK that has a leaky roof. I can confirm at least half of this.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 09:35 • by Andrew (unregistered)
A building has been structurally compromised and Greg thinks along the lines that people can keep working if they don't have rubble on their desks.

Flee! Flee from this wretched organization!

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 09:36 • by Ben Jammin (unregistered)
Such a shame. Had she just delayed getting her coffee for a minute, she could have made a killing from workman's comp.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 09:40 • by Ben Jammin (unregistered)
Call me picky, but I generally will only work for companies that have hot water available.

(As I write this, I remember that one of the sinks in the bathroom has a broken faucet that won't run hot water.)

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 09:41 • by Steve The Cynic
One weekend back in '94, a building I worked in had its roof fall in. The building had only a single floor, and the roof came down and thoroughly crushed someone's desk. Usefully, it was Sunday, and only one person (the development manager) was in the office, although it wasn't his desk that got crushed.

The building was, however, shitcanned, because of all the asbestos in the roof. A specialist hazmat cleanup firm was brought in to recover all the salvageable equipment, and the developers were dispatched to a corner of what amounted to a warehouse.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 09:42 • by ObiWayneKenobi
I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

And to the guy who said about developers working from home; good luck finding a place smart enough to allow that. Most places seem to be stuck in the factory mentality. I've noticed that this epidemic is primarily in companies established and owned/operated by the older generation; the ones who remember a time before the advent of the internet and the virtual office. A company started by a younger person ingrained in the digital world is much more likely to allow, if not support entirely, remote work, while your typical 10+ year old established business owned by a 40-something (or older) person is going to treat workers like this was still the 80s, because the last time that person worked at a job (as opposed to being the owner) there was no (or very limited) internet, and nobody even thought of working remotely; that mentality gets carried over by the owner and infects everyone. You get some exceptions of course, but usually middle aged owner of an established company = 1980s worker mentality.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 10:00 • by ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL (unregistered)
395966 in reply to 395940
TGV:
Why do I get the nagging feeling that this is a US-based operation?

It isn't my experience that a (white collar, at least) company occupying a building is responsible for building maintenance in the US. At least not in Texas. Leasing office space is the norm.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 10:01 • by Remy Porter
395967 in reply to 395966
It's highly variable. I worked for a company that owned all its own buildings, and then eventually sold them to a management company and leased them back.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 10:06 • by Anon (unregistered)
395968 in reply to 395961
Ben Jammin:
Such a shame. Had she just delayed getting her coffee for a minute, she could have made a killing from workman's comp.


Perhaps literally.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 10:10 • by trtrwtf (unregistered)
395969 in reply to 395948
lanmind:
I once working in a poultry slaughter house as network admin. I don't recall why, but for some reason the place had been (thankfully, only for a few weeks) overrun by flies. It sucked ass royally. I made noises about getting it fixed - maybe I'm weird, but I didn't want to have to deal with that crap - which only got commiserative non commitments from management. So I did what any rational person would do - I went down to maintenance, got a bug zapper, and hung it in my office. Actually, I figured that doing so would be so absurd that someone would do something about the frakkin flies, but it backfired on me. It solved my problem, so I quit complaining, and no one else dared complain, so management was happy. The flies eventually went away, but it took weeks. I left the bug zapper hanging as a memorial to common sense, and it hung there for years....


I like it. Work it up a little and you've got a good development practices blog post.

CAPTCHA: pecus, as in "Pecus Bill"
Did they get a new word for the captchas while I've been away?

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 10:13 • by Gary (unregistered)
395970 in reply to 395958
biziclop:
TGV:
Why do I get the nagging feeling that this is a US-based operation?


Because in the UK we have health and safety.

As soon as the roofs started leaking, the office would've been filled with "Slippery when wet" signs. Then it would've been closed down because the signs were obstructing fire evacuation routes.


In my experience, it's always toilets that leak in the UK, not roofs.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 10:13 • by NotHere
395971 in reply to 395964
ObiWayneKenobi:

And to the guy who said about developers working from home; good luck finding a place smart enough to allow that. Most places seem to be stuck in the factory mentality. I've noticed that this epidemic is primarily in companies established and owned/operated by the older generation; the ones who remember a time before the advent of the internet and the virtual office. A company started by a younger person ingrained in the digital world is much more likely to allow, if not support entirely, remote work, while your typical 10+ year old established business owned by a 40-something (or older) person is going to treat workers like this was still the 80s, because the last time that person worked at a job (as opposed to being the owner) there was no (or very limited) internet, and nobody even thought of working remotely; that mentality gets carried over by the owner and infects everyone. You get some exceptions of course, but usually middle aged owner of an established company = 1980s worker mentality.


We have a relatively young company, less than 3 years. The owners are less than 40. And we require devs to be at the provided desk during normal working hours.

There are several reasons for this. Some people will happily put in the requisite hours to get the job done; while others will just as happily stretch out a project while no one is looking. I'd like to say it was only contractors that I've had this experience with but sadly that's not true.

With them in the office, it's actually pretty easy to tell who is making progress and who is blowing smoke. With them off site, I have no idea if that data load of 100 records is really taking them 8 hours or if they spent 7 hours with their kids at the Zoo and 30 minutes on the job.

In the past year, I've contracted 4 offsite devs to take care of 4 different tasks. 2 completely disappeared; 1 took a month before coming back with no idea how to compile / deploy the project and another 2 months to turn in absolute crap that had to be thrown out. The 4th? Well, it took 2 weeks before I got an email saying that he was going to do the task the way I asked for it...

And before you say I need to be on top of them with daily status reports, guess what, when they are in the office I can walk by and see what's happening. When they are out of the office I can call or send an email and easily be put off for a couple hours.

So, with those results I'll happily require devs to be onsite. At least when they are struggling it's a 30 second conversation instead of waiting for someone to pull their head out of their ass and ask a question via phone/email.


Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 10:17 • by ObiWayneKenobi
Or, you know, you could not care if they spend 8 hours or 30 minutes so long as it gets done. That's what salary is supposed to be: a flat rate of pay regardless of the hours you work, even if nobody seems to realize that (see the whole concept of "unpaid time off" for salaried employees)

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 10:18 • by lanmind
395973 in reply to 395969
trtrwtf:
lanmind:
I once working in a poultry slaughter house as network admin. I don't recall why, but for some reason the place had been (thankfully, only for a few weeks) overrun by flies. It sucked ass royally. I made noises about getting it fixed - maybe I'm weird, but I didn't want to have to deal with that crap - which only got commiserative non commitments from management. So I did what any rational person would do - I went down to maintenance, got a bug zapper, and hung it in my office. Actually, I figured that doing so would be so absurd that someone would do something about the frakkin flies, but it backfired on me. It solved my problem, so I quit complaining, and no one else dared complain, so management was happy. The flies eventually went away, but it took weeks. I left the bug zapper hanging as a memorial to common sense, and it hung there for years....


I like it. Work it up a little and you've got a good development practices blog post.


The sad thing is it's true story. As for working it up, I'm no Remy or Alex :)

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 10:31 • by trtrwtf (unregistered)
395974 in reply to 395973
lanmind:
trtrwtf:
lanmind:
...The flies eventually went away, but it took weeks. I left the bug zapper hanging as a memorial to common sense, and it hung there for years....


I like it. Work it up a little and you've got a good development practices blog post.


The sad thing is it's true story. As for working it up, I'm no Remy or Alex :)

'Course it's a true story. Now just make a theory of software development out of it - do it right and before you know it you'll have a line of writers turning out books on "bugzapper development" under your imprint.

The nice thing is, it's a methodology, so it doesn't matter what you say, nobody will do it anyway. They'll just hire you to come in and tell them they're doing it right - everyone's a winner!

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 10:35 • by dkf
Average for a company in our industry is 12%.
Ah yes, industry standard mediocrity care of management straight from central casti... err... business school.

Do the world a favor. Remind any manager who thinks like this that they are turning themselves into a part of the machine that is easily replaceable by a cheaper one.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 10:37 • by Brian Bobley (unregistered)
395976 in reply to 395971
That sounds more like an argument of how you are better suited to managing individuals whom you can watch in person, rather than a critique of working from home.
People can slack off just as easily in the office or at home, but in most offices the employee is more aware of when, and crucially when they are not, being spied on.
Where I work, the policy for working at home is that you must be available on Lync for the majority of the time you are supposed to be working. It ensures that people can be consulted on things in the same time frame as in the office. Beyond this, providing they log time and accomplish goals the same, it should not matter.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 10:41 • by lanmind
395977 in reply to 395974
trtrwtf:
lanmind:
trtrwtf:
lanmind:
...The flies eventually went away, but it took weeks. I left the bug zapper hanging as a memorial to common sense, and it hung there for years....


I like it. Work it up a little and you've got a good development practices blog post.


The sad thing is it's true story. As for working it up, I'm no Remy or Alex :)

'Course it's a true story. Now just make a theory of software development out of it - do it right and before you know it you'll have a line of writers turning out books on "bugzapper development" under your imprint.

The nice thing is, it's a methodology, so it doesn't matter what you say, nobody will do it anyway. They'll just hire you to come in and tell them they're doing it right - everyone's a winner!


+1 For the love of God, you're right.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 10:41 • by CodeNinja
395978 in reply to 395944
dtm:
I don't get it - where-tf is the wtf?

Dunno, this seems like pretty standard business practice, at least in the States. Cut back on everything and give big bonuses to the executives for making piss poor business decisions so that they don't leave. Of course, who authorizes those bonuses? The execs.

Really should have gotten a business degree instead, now that I think of it. I mean, really, I've only ever seen one get fired and that was because our main customer called the owner and said, "He goes or we go".

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 10:44 • by operagost
395979 in reply to 395940
TGV:
Why do I get the nagging feeling that this is a US-based operation?
I don't know-- why? I'm simply dying to know.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 10:46 • by Mr X (unregistered)
395980 in reply to 395944
dtm:
I don't get it - where-tf is the wtf?


Staying somewhere where you're working 60 hour weeks? I wouldn't put up with that shit unless the job was very good.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 10:47 • by operagost
395981 in reply to 395964
ObiWayneKenobi:
I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

Stalin and Mao killed millions with their policies. Go communism!

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 10:47 • by Peter (unregistered)
My last job was at a crappy, US company with a lot of deadweight management and a hostile HR department. (Though, for me, it was a great place to work until my supervisor quit and all the crap he dealt with rolled down to me.) Nonetheless, when we had a heavy snowfall and heard the slightest creaking, we were all sent out of the building until it could be inspected.

So, that puts my complaints about that place in perspective.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 11:07 • by anon (unregistered)
395983 in reply to 395967
Remy Porter:
It's highly variable. I worked for a company that owned all its own buildings, and then eventually sold them to a management company and leased them back.
Sounds like a large Canadian bank I once worked for. It makes sense, because having to worry about chaning light bulbs and unclogging toilets is just a (costly) distraction from your core business.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 11:09 • by ObiWayneKenobi
395984 in reply to 395980
Mr X:
dtm:
I don't get it - where-tf is the wtf?


Staying somewhere where you're working 60 hour weeks? I wouldn't put up with that shit unless I was a partner or the owner.


Fixed that for you. The ONLY reason to ever put in more than 40 hours is if you are either the principal owner of the company or a partner (as in you own some real percentage of it, not "sweat equity" either). Any other time is being a sucker.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 11:20 • by pkmnfrk
395985 in reply to 395972
ObiWayneKenobi:
Or, you know, you could not care if they spend 8 hours or 30 minutes so long as it gets done. That's what salary is supposed to be: a flat rate of pay regardless of the hours you work, even if nobody seems to realize that (see the whole concept of "unpaid time off" for salaried employees)


I don't know about you, but if I give someone a task that takes them 30 minutes, I don't send them home afterwards. I give them another task!

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 11:25 • by Dave Insurgent (unregistered)
395986 in reply to 395981
operagost:
ObiWayneKenobi:
I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

Stalin and Mao killed millions with their policies. Go communism!


False comparison is false.

Capitalism inherently promotes the above. There is no "okay, we've accumulated enough wealth, let's focus on something else now." phase. That's what makes it capitalism you dolt. You're not a capitalist just because you go to work and earn money and spend it. You don't own the means of production just because you're the one who does the work. It's more complicated than that. Can you start a war? I mean, honestly put the pieces in motion that could result in some type of conflict between nations? No? You're a nobody, then. You don't gain anything from this system despite what they tell you.

The "policies" of Stalin and Mao are orthogonal to how wealth and prosperity can be thought of - I'm a voting socialist democrat. You're falsely attributing the behaviors of a tyrant, a dictator. If Socialism is an interface, you're only referring to the DictatorshipSocialism implementation, with a ConstantInterferenceByCapitalistsDecorator.

If your point was that attributing those behaviors to capitalism was "as wrong as" your comparison, you're still off, because again, those behaviors are the very spirit of capitalism. Take as much as you can, from anyone, from everyone.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 11:28 • by C-Derb (unregistered)
395987 in reply to 395981
operagost:
ObiWayneKenobi:
I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

Stalin and Mao killed millions with their policies. Go communism!
Oh boy, here we go. Look, Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, etc....they've all got the exact same Achilles heel: Greed. It's just that with Capitalism it takes greed a little bit longer to destroy society. But greed will eventually win. It always does.

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 11:33 • by Anon (unregistered)
395988 in reply to 395987
C-Derb:
operagost:
ObiWayneKenobi:
I love how to cut costs they remove things like taking time to refactor code and fix leaky roofs, but presumably leave in "important" things which are 99% of the time useless crap (pretty new feature for Clueless Client X that doesn't need to be done)

Sadly yes this is "business as usual" in the USA. As long as the executives get hefty bonuses, that's all that matters. Go capitalism!

Stalin and Mao killed millions with their policies. Go communism!
Oh boy, here we go. Look, Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, etc....they've all got the exact same Achilles heel: Greed. It's just that with Capitalism it takes greed a little bit longer to destroy society. But greed will eventually win. It always does.

"Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite."

Re: The Budget is Through the Roof

2012-12-03 11:34 • by Nexzus
395989 in reply to 395964
ObiWayneKenobi:
And to the guy who said about developers working from home; good luck finding a place smart enough to allow that. Most places seem to be stuck in the factory mentality. I've noticed that this epidemic is primarily in companies established and owned/operated by the older generation; the ones who remember a time before the advent of the internet and the virtual office. A company started by a younger person ingrained in the digital world is much more likely to allow, if not support entirely, remote work, while your typical 10+ year old established business owned by a 40-something (or older) person is going to treat workers like this was still the 80s, because the last time that person worked at a job (as opposed to being the owner) there was no (or very limited) internet, and nobody even thought of working remotely; that mentality gets carried over by the owner and infects everyone. You get some exceptions of course, but usually middle aged owner of an established company = 1980s worker mentality.


I can confirm that here, a regional government in Western Canada (analgeous to county or district). Management is filled with people who are just counting down the clock till their full pension kicks in, so they're stuck in this "must be here" mentality. No telecommunting except in rare cases. The thing is, we're supposed to set the example for air quality, as that's one of our mandates - improving air quality.
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