• ray10k (unregistered)

    Wonder if that company is still up and running. Then again, with that many missed contracts, plus all the costs of that cancelled contract...

  • Oliver Jones (google)

    Heh heh. I once worked for a company that might have competed with the one described. This was a while ago, when stuff like "direct deposit" was still a dream.

    They did this thing where the east coast employees were paid with checks drawn on a west coast bank. And the west coast employees were paid with checks on an east coast bank.

    The real WTF? The day we east-coasters showed up at the local bank to cash our checks, and were told "no, we won't cash them. send them to the west coast bank."

    I believe the generic term for companies like this is "beltway bandit."

  • Volker (unregistered)

    Oh well - the difference between people and cattle. Some never get it.

  • Bitter Like Quinine (unregistered)

    I once told a manager that I'd be happy to work with the off-shore team in their offices for a fortnight. But as I had a pathological fear of flying he'd have to send there me by cruise ship.

    He sent someone else, but it might have worked!

  • David Hemming (google)

    I was once asked to cost up some options for a weeks Oracle Training. I included flying from the UK to Goa and taking the course there. I was reprimanded, despite it actually working out £200 cheaper than taking the course in Reading.

  • Peter (unregistered)

    When I was first out of school, I thought that the people running the company were bright and logical, and that they carefully planned headcount and projects so that they always had experienced staff to man the projects.

    Now that I'm getting ready to retire, after having extracted a good amount of money from these corporate bigwigs, I realise that, like our President-elect, they are, in most cases, good only at collecting a large paycheck and spinning a fanciful web of hopes and dreams, while leaving the details to lower level employees to actually implement.

    Oh, and one more thing these high-flyers do: inject random noise (due to the fact that they have no understanding at all concerning the company's product or what is involved in producing it) into a system which would otherwise produce acceptable products. This is important, because this noise is what keeps the products from being produced on time, under budget and with high quality.

    It's all smoke and mirrors at the top. The folks at the bottom are those who make it work, and they probably need only one level of management to coordinate things. Everyone else is extraneous.

  • Old'n'Grumpy (unregistered)

    As a retired Army officer turned programming contractor, this is why I run screaming in terror from anything that looks like a government contract. Of course, since they left the job early, they weren't introduced to the retired Army officers in mid and upper level management who were to manage the IT project, although none could spell IT.

    Comment from one of my fellow retirees as we were going out the door. "I'm looking for a mid level position in human relations because I relate well to humans."

  • him (unregistered)

    Sigh... another potentially great article made unnecessarily boring by bland writing (snoofling?)

  • Jim Cook (unregistered)

    The definition of an elephant is a mouse built to milspec. No sane person was anything to do with a government contract. The pyschopaths that are left can charge utterly ridiculous prices and their main talent to procrastinate and delay collect as much money as they can while failing to deliver. Eventually they lost the contract, fire all the employees, then open a "new" company and start the process over again.

  • Jim Cook (unregistered)

    The definition of an elephant is a mouse built to milspec. No sane person was anything to do with a government contract. The pyschopaths that are left can charge utterly ridiculous prices and their main talent to procrastinate and delay collect as much money as they can while failing to deliver. Eventually they lost the contract, fire all the employees, then open a "new" company and start the process over again.

  • Brian Boorman (google) in reply to Jim Cook

    I take exception to that. I work for a company where government is our bread and butter. We do everything on firm-fixed-price, and churn out products that our customers love and rely on for their lives. It's the companies that operate on the cost-plus model that are the problem.

  • SysKoll (unregistered) in reply to him

    I disagree with whoever dissed Snoofle's writing. This story is precise and to the point with no unnecessary embellishments and fake drama.

    If you like style more than substance, you should work in marketing instead of pretending to be a software guy.

  • DocMonster (nodebb) in reply to him

    Better than an Erik Gern Hanzo/Sergio/Mercy level of 90% embellishment and 10% of the actual story. Snoofle's writing it how this site should be. Minimal anonymization and highlights the WTF.

    Also the WTF is military projects.

  • That one guy (unregistered)

    Sounds like a place one of my coworkers worked for. She signed a 5-year contract with a non-compete clause that guaranteed annual pay raises at a well-established business. After 1 year, the company moved operations to a different state after giving their group of 50 employees (most with kids in school) 1 week to think it over. In the middle of the school year. Since she was under contract, she could stay in the original state without working in her field for 4 years or move to a different state and receive annual pay raises. After a few months of being away from her kids except every other weekend, she decided to move back and work for their main competitor. She was sued for breech of contract (they wanted her to pay them to train a new employee) but won because, in addition to employers in that state being barred from interfering with employment by another entity after 30 days of unemployment, somehow by both her and the company moving out of state the contract became invalid. Oh, and she had proof of sexual harassment and misconduct by her former employer.

  • Folk (unregistered)

    The word "folks" was used too many times. What an irritating word.

  • DocMonster (nodebb) in reply to That one guy

    Wouldn't a clause like that be illegal since it basically would stop you from working for that amount of time? Most states would throw it out.

  • Klimax (unregistered)

    There are two WTFs. Management and American schools. Their graduates were unprepared for their future jobs.

  • Bitter Like Quinine (unregistered) in reply to David Hemming

    Last time I ever went to Oracle Reading for a course, I had to trudge to their campus through a blizzard, alongside a frozen river that creaked and cracked unnervingly the whole time. It was like something out of the Shackleton expedition.

    I'll definitely choose Goa next time (though of course I'd have to travel there by cruise ship).

  • Rhesus (unregistered)

    As long as the contract was awarded to the lowest bidder, what's the problem?

  • Greg (unregistered) in reply to Peter

    it's called "strategy" :-)

  • RandomStranger (unregistered) in reply to Bitter Like Quinine

    Did you also have to walk uphill both ways?

  • BadMemories (unregistered)

    I read this with a cold chill creeping up my spine. While I don't recall this exact debacle I do recognized many parts of the story, too many. I used to do security testing on software and systems before they were approved for use at the place in NJ where this story is most likely set. Many times I ran into similar situations where the vendor's management was trying to cut corners to improve the margin, and their own personal pay. More than a few times I had the pleasure of calling them out on at least a part of their BS and the vendor was forced to fix problems and deliver what was promised.

  • That one guy (unregistered) in reply to DocMonster

    Most states, yes. Depends on the state and the wording of the contract. The particular state she was in allowed up to 30 days of unemployment in her field (just enough time not to be worth the hassle of applying for gov't assistance). However, she was sued for working for a competitor, even though her field is sales and she was working on their janitorial staff.

  • Ulysses (unregistered)

    That just figures. The one political potshot on this page gets promoted to a featured comment. Sore much, Remy?

  • eric bloedow (unregistered)

    one of the comments reminded me of an expression by Scott Adams (who writes Dilbert): a good company should remove anyone who is "more than one level removed" from the customers. so by his definition, anyone in the company who has NEVER ACTUALLY SPOKEN TO A SINGLE CUSTOMER is useless...STARTING with 90% of management.

  • komalvarshney (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • priyavarshney (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • priya (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.

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