• joe_bruin (cs)

    And then what would Jeanine do every morning? Nothing, that's what, because she'd be out of a job. Is that what you want?

  • anonymous (unregistered)

    Oh wow, NIH to the extreme. The real WTF is corporate culture.

  • Cyrus (unregistered)

    Jeanine was likely very hot and wore very short skirts, I would like that way more too.

    Really though, manual role call? I stopped doing that once I left school...

  • bonzombiekitty (cs)

    Companies actually check to see if their employees show up for work?

    We work on an honor system here. I could take a day off of work, and nobody would notice. They'd know I wasn't around to answer questions and stuff. But they'd just assume I was off doing something else. For most of the employees here, the only way anyone would know you weren't there on a given day is to put it down on your time sheet.

  • Anony (unregistered)

    At my company, each employee tracks their own time off ... even my direct supervisor has no idea how many vacation days I have used/remaining.

  • SomeCoder (unregistered)

    Yeah, the real WTF is that companies take roll call. What is this, grade school?

  • pauluskc (cs) in reply to Cyrus
    Cyrus:
    Jeanine was likely very hot and wore very short skirts, I would like that way more too.

    Really though, manual role call? I stopped doing that once I left school...

    this was my choice answer, role call is better than buns of steel in larger corporate offices, indeed.

  • Alcari (unregistered)

    We have to clock in, but to stop everyone from whining and the prevent people form forgetting, the manager, who comes in early anyway, always clocks everyone in when he gets there.

    I love how someone at headoffice must think that we have such perfect 'attendance records'.

  • Chris Harmon (unregistered)

    I used to perform contract work at a power plant in Michigan, working for a supervisor who was really open to solving just about anyone's problems in the plant. I got to do the work, and had one from their head receptionist - she spent too much time for her liking managing conference room reservations. So I built a very nice web-based room reservations application for her. They loved it and used it for years. That supervisor once thought it would be a good idea to visit the company's other power plants and talk with them about using the room reservations application (I built it to support other plants in the first place), but all the other plants were DETERMINED that they wouldn't use it if for no other reason than because it was originally developed for that power plant. Snobbish I guess, but I believe the other plants were always unhappy because that power plant I primarily worked at always got the major funding since it was their biggest plant. Funny how things can be, isn't it?

  • yanamal (cs)

    err, I thought it was "roll call", not "role call". you don't call out peoples' roles, you call out their names from a roll(list). aren't role and roll supposed to be pronounced differently, anyway?

  • Random832 (cs)

    What he should have done was offered to set it up on Jeanine's computer, so everyone could use it and then she could look at the results and type up the list.

  • Batfink (unregistered)

    I prefer their way too -- at least they're not tethered to microsoft

  • Mike D (unregistered)

    I worked at a company where you had to reserve meeting rooms with outlook, and it drove me nuts. Not everybody uses outlook, and being a linux user at the time, if I wanted to reserve a room I had to go find somebody to do it for me.

    Not to say that getting a person to walk around is a good idea either. If it was me I would just nail a clipboard and pencil to the door of each conference room. If a higher tech solution was requested, I'd probably turn to one of the many calendar web apps out there.

  • Reg X. O'Lution (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • rjnewton (cs)

    Seems like a good idea to me, though that approach would make it rather difficult to schedule a conference room for any time before 11:00. Perhaps the prupose here is more than just raw information. In addition to the core data of attendance and room scheduling, a protocol like this may also afford the opportunity to provide a personal touch to corporate communications, and to sound out the morale and moods of employees. Not a bad idea, if the right person is doing the walkabout.

  • Fred (unregistered) in reply to yanamal

    Role and roll are pronouced the same way.

  • Mark B (unregistered)

    Oddly they have shared calandars at more than a few companies I've worked for the managers would just mark in a shared calandar when someone was sick or on holiday.

  • jtsampson (unregistered)

    Jeanine is sleeping with the corporate office manager...nuff said.

  • jkupski (unregistered) in reply to Mike D
    Mike D:
    Not everybody uses outlook, and being a linux user at the time, if I wanted to reserve a room I had to go find somebody to do it for me.

    What's wrong with Evolution? They've had an exchange connector for some time, and it's been free (as in beer) for the last five years.

  • Anon (unregistered) in reply to Mike D
    Mike D:
    I worked at a company where you had to reserve meeting rooms with outlook, and it drove me nuts.

    At least it wasn't Lotus Notes : (

  • FredSaw (cs)

    I've worked a job thats dull. I've traveled each and ev'ry hallway; And more, much more than this, I did it our way.

    I've logged each conference called; Vacation days spent on the byway; But more, much more than this, I did it our way.

    Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew It was past lunch when I got through. Attendance programs are grand, no doubt; We sucked it up and did without. We faced it all and we stood tall And did it our way.

  • ParkinT (cs) in reply to FredSaw
    FredSaw:
    I've worked a job thats dull. I've traveled each and ev'ry hallway; And more, much more than this, I did it our way.

    I've logged each conference called; Vacation days spent on the byway; But more, much more than this, I did it our way.

    Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew It was past lunch when I got through. Attendance programs are grand, no doubt; We sucked it up and did without. We faced it all and we stood tall And did it our way.

    BRAVO!!

  • homer (unregistered) in reply to FredSaw

    rhyming hallway with way? byway with way? brilliant!

  • KentuckyBoy (unregistered) in reply to jtsampson
    jtsampson:
    Jeanine is sleeping with the corporate office manager...nuff said.

    You forgot that she is highly paid, and under skilled. Plus, the manager only gets randy in the afternoon.

  • a.n other (unregistered) in reply to Anon
    Anon:
    Mike D:
    I worked at a company where you had to reserve meeting rooms with outlook, and it drove me nuts.

    At least it wasn't Lotus Notes : (

    Hear hear!

  • Schnapple (unregistered)

    I have an eerily similar story to this.

    A few years back the place I was working at instituted a "log the time you spend on a project" policy. You had to start logging the time you spent per-task, per-project. People flat refused to do it. This was one of those companies that was apparently Google-awesome to work at during the dot-com boom, then went and turned into a regular boring rule-filled workplace once the bubble burst. So most of the people there had the viewpoint of "every day this place gets a little bit worse".

    The management decided initially that it was just a time per task/project distinction and nothing more - i.e., not make-it-match-40-hours-per-week. Then they decided it needed to be a make-it-match-40-hours-per-week. Not that it mattered, people refused to do it.

    Then management decided to make people's bonuses contingent on it. Being a good little worker (who wasn't around circa 1999 when this was an awesome place to work) I did my time tracking like I was supposed to (since damned if I'm going to lose my bonus over this). I even wrote everything down and put it in the system at the end of the week. Most of my coworkers refused to do it. Especially the project managers (I was a programmer).

    I guess management didn't follow through on their threat to withhold bonuses because I know most people didn't bother with entering their time. I was friends with the guy who made the online portal to do this and he showed me how I was one of the only ones doing it.

    Then management decided to threaten to fire people over it. Not that it mattered, people refused to do it (plus now they knew management didn't follow through on their threats).

    Being a programmer and needing more C#/XML experience, I wrote an app that worked like a "punch clock" - you clicked "Start" when you started the project/task, and "Stop" when you were done. It kept time eerily well, and I found it a LOT easier to enter in time at the end of the week. I showed it to my management and they got me together with the time entry portal guy. We integrated it using a webservice so now it posted time directly to the time entry portal - so no more needing to enter in time at the end of the week.

    I gave everyone an opportunity to use it, I emailed it to everyone in our organization (like 30 people) and even gave a short training session on it in a weekly meeting to show everyone how easy it was to use. Everyone thought it was awesome, everyone told me I was awesome, the management loved me.

    Not that it mattered - no one would go on to use it. The reason? Everyone said "I like my way better".

    I left the matter alone but I wasn't sure if everyone was doing time entry wrong or if it was just that "their way" was not to do it at all.

    One complaint I heard often was that it was too much hassle to double-click the system tray, pick the project, pick the task, then click Start. "I switch projects way too often". So I made it such that right-clicking would bring up a popup menu of projects, then each project brought up a pop-up list of tasks. Click on the task for the project and boom you've started it. Do it for another project/task and it would stop the previous one and start the new one. I got the thing down to like two clicks.

    Not that it mattered - no one would go on to use it. The reason? Everyone said "I like my way better".

    Most people slowly quit over the years. Management slowly quit or was fired over the years for various reasons. No one was ever fired or penalized over lack of time entry. Eventually so few people worked for the division that the office got closed in favor of telecommuting. I got transferred to another division I liked a whole lot more for a few more years before it, too, got bad and I moved on.

    I think the original story was a case of people just having NIH syndrome. My workplace simply had a "refused to do it" attitude. Even if their bonuses or jobs hinged on it. Even if you went out of your way to make it easy. Twice. They liked their way better - just steadfastly refuse to do it and experience no consequences whatsoever.

  • Pat (unregistered) in reply to Cyrus

    I'd prefer their way, too.

  • smellystudent (unregistered) in reply to Mike D
    Mike D:
    I worked at a company where you had to reserve meeting rooms with outlook, and it drove me nuts. Not everybody uses outlook, and being a linux user at the time, if I wanted to reserve a room I had to go find somebody to do it for me.

    OWA?

    There may be a legal reason for roll-call - several buildings I've worked in keep a sign-in/out sheet at reception. If the building is evacuated, someone grabs it on the way out so the fire officers know who is still in the building

  • lamer (unregistered) in reply to Schnapple
    Schnapple:
    I have an eerily similar story to this.

    A few years back the place I was working at instituted a "log the time you spend on a project" policy. You had to start logging the time you spent per-task, per-project. People flat refused to do it. This was one of those companies that was apparently Google-awesome to work at during the dot-com boom, then went and turned into a regular boring rule-filled workplace once the bubble burst. So most of the people there had the viewpoint of "every day this place gets a little bit worse".

    The management decided initially that it was just a time per task/project distinction and nothing more - i.e., not make-it-match-40-hours-per-week. Then they decided it needed to be a make-it-match-40-hours-per-week. Not that it mattered, people refused to do it.

    Then management decided to make people's bonuses contingent on it. Being a good little worker (who wasn't around circa 1999 when this was an awesome place to work) I did my time tracking like I was supposed to (since damned if I'm going to lose my bonus over this). I even wrote everything down and put it in the system at the end of the week. Most of my coworkers refused to do it. Especially the project managers (I was a programmer).

    I guess management didn't follow through on their threat to withhold bonuses because I know most people didn't bother with entering their time. I was friends with the guy who made the online portal to do this and he showed me how I was one of the only ones doing it.

    Then management decided to threaten to fire people over it. Not that it mattered, people refused to do it (plus now they knew management didn't follow through on their threats).

    Being a programmer and needing more C#/XML experience, I wrote an app that worked like a "punch clock" - you clicked "Start" when you started the project/task, and "Stop" when you were done. It kept time eerily well, and I found it a LOT easier to enter in time at the end of the week. I showed it to my management and they got me together with the time entry portal guy. We integrated it using a webservice so now it posted time directly to the time entry portal - so no more needing to enter in time at the end of the week.

    I gave everyone an opportunity to use it, I emailed it to everyone in our organization (like 30 people) and even gave a short training session on it in a weekly meeting to show everyone how easy it was to use. Everyone thought it was awesome, everyone told me I was awesome, the management loved me.

    Not that it mattered - no one would go on to use it. The reason? Everyone said "I like my way better".

    I left the matter alone but I wasn't sure if everyone was doing time entry wrong or if it was just that "their way" was not to do it at all.

    One complaint I heard often was that it was too much hassle to double-click the system tray, pick the project, pick the task, then click Start. "I switch projects way too often". So I made it such that right-clicking would bring up a popup menu of projects, then each project brought up a pop-up list of tasks. Click on the task for the project and boom you've started it. Do it for another project/task and it would stop the previous one and start the new one. I got the thing down to like two clicks.

    Not that it mattered - no one would go on to use it. The reason? Everyone said "I like my way better".

    Most people slowly quit over the years. Management slowly quit or was fired over the years for various reasons. No one was ever fired or penalized over lack of time entry. Eventually so few people worked for the division that the office got closed in favor of telecommuting. I got transferred to another division I liked a whole lot more for a few more years before it, too, got bad and I moved on.

    I think the original story was a case of people just having NIH syndrome. My workplace simply had a "refused to do it" attitude. Even if their bonuses or jobs hinged on it. Even if you went out of your way to make it easy. Twice. They liked their way better - just steadfastly refuse to do it and experience no consequences whatsoever.

    WTF!!!! That retarded story is the REAL WTF!!! You didn't have any REAL work to do at this place?? Who would want to rewrite a timeclock?!?!?

  • Schnapple (unregistered) in reply to lamer
    lamer:
    WTF!!!! That retarded story is the REAL WTF!!! You didn't have any REAL work to do at this place?? Who would want to rewrite a timeclock?!?!?

    Thanks for sharing. I wrote the program from scratch in my own time. There was no existing timeclock in place (aside from the "type in your hours at the end of the week" portal). And yes, there was plenty of real work to do.

  • Chris (unregistered)

    Yay for Visual Basic being on the efficient side.

  • blah (unregistered)

    Funny, our dept. is trying to pull this. Last manager tried to pull this. Bottom line, keeping track of time is a waste of time.

    Although, since it was "mandatory" I just wrote up a dashboard widget that supported multiple clocks so I could track a few projects at once -- and given a connection it would be stored on a web app I wrote.

    (I get bored easily...)

  • Chris (unregistered)

    Yeah, the roll call bit is the biggest WTF of this story. That's just treating your workers like naughty children.

    At my old job (I work from home now, so my attendance is perfect :) ) the closest we had to this was that if someone was away, whoever sat nearest them would send an email to reception, and they would send out an email to the whole company each day with a list of absentees.

    But this wasn't to track people's attendance. It was so that if you were trying to contact one of the absentees, you should try someone else.

  • iw (unregistered)

    "We prefer our way, which involves me banging Jeanie because I let her keep this job."

  • Top Cod3r (unregistered)

    The last place I worked had the best solution. They had purchased these sensor things that fit on the bottom of your aeron chair, that when you sit down it detects that you are at your desk and sends a wireless notification to a SQL Server database. They had a webpart in Sharepoint that showed you who was at their desk or away.

    When I was leaving they had just purchased these new things that plug in between your keyboard and your computer to measure how much you are typing. LOC was determined not to be a very good measurement of developer productivity, so the CTO signed up to be a beta tester of this new piece of equipment that would count your keystrokes and produce a weekly productivity report. Anyways, I digress.

  • no name (unregistered) in reply to blah
    blah:
    Funny, our dept. is trying to pull this. Last manager tried to pull this. Bottom line, keeping track of time is a waste of time.

    Although, since it was "mandatory" I just wrote up a dashboard widget that supported multiple clocks so I could track a few projects at once -- and given a connection it would be stored on a web app I wrote.

    (I get bored easily...)

    You people must have too much time to waste :>).

    I just do like most people and make some numbers up at the end of the week. We all know they're pointless anyway, so who cares if your off by 10-90%.

    Especially once we started to get encouraged to fudge the numbers since too much money was going into the wrong budget hole.

  • cklam (cs) in reply to Schnapple
    Schnapple:
    I have an eerily similar story to this.

    A few years back the place I was working at instituted a "log the time you spend on a project" policy. You had to start logging the time you spent per-task, per-project. People flat refused to do it. This was one of those companies that was apparently Google-awesome to work at during the dot-com boom, then went and turned into a regular boring rule-filled workplace once the bubble burst. So most of the people there had the viewpoint of "every day this place gets a little bit worse".

    The management decided initially that it was just a time per task/project distinction and nothing more - i.e., not make-it-match-40-hours-per-week. Then they decided it needed to be a make-it-match-40-hours-per-week. Not that it mattered, people refused to do it.

    Then management decided to make people's bonuses contingent on it. Being a good little worker (who wasn't around circa 1999 when this was an awesome place to work) I did my time tracking like I was supposed to (since damned if I'm going to lose my bonus over this). I even wrote everything down and put it in the system at the end of the week. Most of my coworkers refused to do it. Especially the project managers (I was a programmer).

    I guess management didn't follow through on their threat to withhold bonuses because I know most people didn't bother with entering their time. I was friends with the guy who made the online portal to do this and he showed me how I was one of the only ones doing it.

    Then management decided to threaten to fire people over it. Not that it mattered, people refused to do it (plus now they knew management didn't follow through on their threats).

    Being a programmer and needing more C#/XML experience, I wrote an app that worked like a "punch clock" - you clicked "Start" when you started the project/task, and "Stop" when you were done. It kept time eerily well, and I found it a LOT easier to enter in time at the end of the week. I showed it to my management and they got me together with the time entry portal guy. We integrated it using a webservice so now it posted time directly to the time entry portal - so no more needing to enter in time at the end of the week.

    I gave everyone an opportunity to use it, I emailed it to everyone in our organization (like 30 people) and even gave a short training session on it in a weekly meeting to show everyone how easy it was to use. Everyone thought it was awesome, everyone told me I was awesome, the management loved me.

    Not that it mattered - no one would go on to use it. The reason? Everyone said "I like my way better".

    I left the matter alone but I wasn't sure if everyone was doing time entry wrong or if it was just that "their way" was not to do it at all.

    One complaint I heard often was that it was too much hassle to double-click the system tray, pick the project, pick the task, then click Start. "I switch projects way too often". So I made it such that right-clicking would bring up a popup menu of projects, then each project brought up a pop-up list of tasks. Click on the task for the project and boom you've started it. Do it for another project/task and it would stop the previous one and start the new one. I got the thing down to like two clicks.

    Not that it mattered - no one would go on to use it. The reason? Everyone said "I like my way better".

    Most people slowly quit over the years. Management slowly quit or was fired over the years for various reasons. No one was ever fired or penalized over lack of time entry. Eventually so few people worked for the division that the office got closed in favor of telecommuting. I got transferred to another division I liked a whole lot more for a few more years before it, too, got bad and I moved on.

    I think the original story was a case of people just having NIH syndrome. My workplace simply had a "refused to do it" attitude. Even if their bonuses or jobs hinged on it. Even if you went out of your way to make it easy. Twice. They liked their way better - just steadfastly refuse to do it and experience no consequences whatsoever.

    I got to work in a place where the same thing happened. They got it to stick though because you had to account for every minute you between clocking in and clocking out and it was linked with the processing of your expenses: no complete time accounting - no expenses. The trick was to have a customer project where you either had some slack or which was billed by the actual amount of time spent .... do I need to say more ?

  • cklam (cs) in reply to no name
    no name:
    blah:
    Funny, our dept. is trying to pull this. Last manager tried to pull this. Bottom line, keeping track of time is a waste of time.

    Although, since it was "mandatory" I just wrote up a dashboard widget that supported multiple clocks so I could track a few projects at once -- and given a connection it would be stored on a web app I wrote.

    (I get bored easily...)

    You people must have too much time to waste :>).

    I just do like most people and make some numbers up at the end of the week. We all know they're pointless anyway, so who cares if your off by 10-90%.

    Especially once we started to get encouraged to fudge the numbers since too much money was going into the wrong budget hole.

    Yeah, project- and task-coded time sheets really are works of fiction - and it takes a lot of time to "make them up". It is really remarkable that no project- and taskcoded time tracking environment (automated or manual) ever has a task code for "time spent for dealing with time tracking requirements" ....

  • anonymous workaholic (unregistered) in reply to cklam

    Ok, I know that in practice project-coded time sheets are only an approximation of real time spent, and that you need to count non-productive time (like entering time sheets) into the totals of actual projects... but just where do you guys think your paycheck is coming from?

    Most of us here are working in a capitalist economy where projects need a budget and a client has to pay for it, or in the case of internal projects the money has to come out of company coffers. You can't run a company if you don't follow the costs of your projects, especially in the IT business where wages are the primary source of costs. You either count an approximately correct number of hours as project costs and keep an eye on total costs vs milestones reached, or you send out bills with random numbers and hope really hard that you get every project done before you run out of the client's money.

    Maybe a more lax system can work if clients are competing to pay whatever you ask whenever you ask, but at the place I work clients expect us to get the job done within an agreed budget.

  • Mitchell T (unregistered) in reply to Anon

    You know, after I used a Tivoli product I wondered if IBM could make crappier software. Let's just say I used to think Outlook was a bad email client.

    Whoever programs Notes: Tell your supervisors that it sucks and you don't want to bring any more evil into the world. Leave. Produce something that doesn't suck more than a black hole.

    Really, for the good of humanity.

  • Spacecoyote (cs) in reply to Cyrus

    Jeanine is a man.

    #include <standard_anonymization_routine>

  • iMalc (unregistered)

    To all those saying "At least it wasn't Lotus Notes", that's exactly what we use at work for meeting room reservations etc! Hey, it "works".

  • Alan (unregistered) in reply to cklam
    cklam:

    Yeah, project- and task-coded time sheets really are works of fiction - and it takes a lot of time to "make them up". It is really remarkable that no project- and taskcoded time tracking environment (automated or manual) ever has a task code for "time spent for dealing with time tracking requirements" ....

    My last company had one, ADMIN001. Incidentaly ADMIN003 was for toilet breaks.

  • TheRider (cs) in reply to cklam
    cklam:
    Yeah, project- and task-coded time sheets really are works of fiction - and it takes a lot of time to "make them up". It is really remarkable that no project- and taskcoded time tracking environment (automated or manual) ever has a task code for "time spent for dealing with time tracking requirements" ....
    Actually, I put one hour every week on "Project administration" for that purpose.
  • DOA (unregistered) in reply to yanamal
    yanamal:
    err, I thought it was "roll call", not "role call". you don't call out peoples' roles, you call out their names from a roll(list). aren't role and roll supposed to be pronounced differently, anyway?
    if(user.getAttribute("nitpick")==true) user.kill(); else user.postComment();
  • DOA (unregistered) in reply to Alan
    Alan:
    cklam:

    Yeah, project- and task-coded time sheets really are works of fiction - and it takes a lot of time to "make them up". It is really remarkable that no project- and taskcoded time tracking environment (automated or manual) ever has a task code for "time spent for dealing with time tracking requirements" ....

    My last company had one, ADMIN001. Incidentaly ADMIN003 was for toilet breaks.

    If your company makes you track your toilet breaks, you have my condolences

  • valerion (cs)

    I have basically unlimited holiday (if I wanted to abuse the system, that is). The process works like this:

    -Ask my boss to have such and such a day off. He says yes. -Fax a holiday form to him (he is in a different office 3 hours away. My previous boss was a 10-hour flight away in a different hemisphere, so it's an improvement) -Get the fax back and give it to the office manager here where it gets logged.

    See the flaw in the plan? If I don't give it to the office manager, it doesn't get recorded. I then book my time in my timesheet to the project I'm working on and nobody would know, because my boss only comes down once every 2-3 weeks.

  • Leopard (unregistered)

    We use Lotus Notes for room/resource reservations. Works fine.

    Invite the people, room(s) & resources, check the schedules so you know if it's free. When you send the invite, the room & resources are auto booked and you get a confirmation e-mail from them advising you so.

    Regarding 'time taken to do timesheets', where I work we have to get down to the nearest 5 mins... and yes it's more Notes DB (more kludgy here though tbh). Still, takes only a few minutes to do each day. Tracks flex time, sick leave etc. There's a specific section for 'Administration Overheads', I normally put anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hours a day into this. Going to the loo, grabbing coffee's checking e-mail, random personal time, and - of course - doing your timesheeting.
    At times I'll add the time spent in what I consider pointless meetings. Never had a problem with how much time I've chucked in there either.

  • dkf (unregistered) in reply to Alan
    Alan:
    Incidentaly ADMIN003 was for toilet breaks.
    Ah, project administration.
  • felix (cs) in reply to anonymous workaholic
    anonymous workaholic:
    Maybe a more lax system can work if clients are competing to pay whatever you ask whenever you ask, but at the place I work clients expect us to get the job done within an agreed budget.

    You're lucky. At the place I work, clients expect us to get the job done as cheap as possible (and twice as fast as initially agreed). And they are utterly unable to do even the roughest prioritization. In other words, they always want everything and the kitchen sink, whatever their budget. Why should I show respect for said budget, again?

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