July 28, 2004

I Think I Work with These People

At least now I know I'm not the only person who works with a bunch of miscreants.

Trey Givens gives us How to Earn an Ass Whuppin’ in 14 Easy Steps


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:54 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2004

How I Was Subjected to Hate Speech

A client recently sent me the following notes regarding a website they wanted me to build for them:

HOMEPAGE: “click here for Hispanic Version”
• This could simply mirror our homepage with options to key products, services and benefits.
• Print out applications, newsletters, rates & fees in Hispanic.
• Email our Hispanic Representative for personal help.

Granted the client is a small business from a relatively small town, but I really don't think it's too much to expect that they should know that "Hispanic" isn't a language. I think they should also know that there are other people who may benefit from a section on the site in another language, like Spanish, other than just Hispanics.

I'm still trying to decide whether or not I should lend them some gentle advice on the matter, or just see what happens if I do things the way they ask...


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:58 AM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2004

Running three blogs is hard

As mentioned, you may know me from somewhere else. But I actually run this blog and that other blog AND a journal for one of my classes.

In fact, just as I typed that last sentence I realized that I was writing on the wrong one!

hmmm... this is something of a problem.

Ah well, I'll work it out somehow.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 05:21 PM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2004

Why Aren't They Fired?

I was talking to some of my classmates the other night and I was recounting some of the stories from work about people who should have been fired. They were astonished. Since this is my first job out of college, I thought it was normal for people to be able to threaten their managers with bodily harm and still retain their jobs. Silly me!

Here's a quick list of people who are either still employed with Mediocre Corp. or were able to retain their jobs for a long time before leaving on their own or someone found a loophole (as if one was needed) to fire them.

1) Larry the Lusshbossh
It was six months into my employment with Mediocre Corp before I needed to figure out how to use the fax machine. Larry, my boss' boss at the time, saw me puzzling over the contraption and came to my aide. He wasn't a lot of help really, but I did eventually get the machine to send the fax. My eyes were watering by the end of it from the vodka fumes, though, so when I got back to my desk I wrote an email to a friend that said, "Dude. My boss' boss is stinking drunk right now." It was 9AM.

Later, Kerry Coworker told me the story of how he fondled her breast. She was very happy to report him to Human Resources.

Larry wasn't fired for several months later for reasons none-too-clear.

2) Perry Pervert
Perry considers himself something of an artist. He always has some opinion about the design of this or that. It's always based on his mystical intuition of what is and is not effective.

Somehow, Perry always breaks his computer, too.

Well, once he broke his computer and the MIS guy came to clean it up before sending it back to the main office. Upon inspection he found lots of really freaky porn. Freaky like, "Most people don't think staples and labias mix, but boy are they wrong!"

Do you know the porn guy at work? I'll bet Perry has him beat because the MIS guy recognized his manager's office clock radio in the photo. You guessed it! Perry was making his own porn AT THE OFFICE!

Perry once described to Alex Traterrestrial that he was turned on when he would rub his dog's stomach and the dog would get an erection. I almost threw up right then.

3) Alex Traterrestrial
Alex is a very special person. He's the kind of person you expect to come in one day and start speaking in clicks and whistles. He very well might wear an aluminum foil hat at home. Alex also has something of a temper which makes me suspect that he might come in one day and make a collection of our eyelids if we make a false move.

Well, one day Alex got into it with a manager. He was screaming at the top of his lungs. He even got out of his chair and got toe-to-toe with the guy. Now, I'll admit that the manager was also yelling back, but the shouting match crossed a line when Alex invited the guy to step outside. When his invitation was declined he said, "I'd better not see you in the parking lot because I'm going to kick your ass when I see you outside next."

Why wasn't he fired then? I think he was put on an "action plan."

Just a few months later, he got into another shouting argument, this time with a female employee... in front of an executive vice president, who did his best to pretend like nothing was going on.

It's particularly frustrating because Alex's best work is mediocre. He doesn't follow directions and he's rude. And wierd.

Those things happened over two years ago and Alex is still with us.

4) Polly Pervert
So, you know the guy with porn at your office, do you? Do you know the woman?

Yep! It's Polly Pervert!

She would come to work with her Betty Paige lunchbox and photo album of pornography. Yep. She made her own porn, too, but fortunately not at work. She only displayed the porn at work.

Polly also worked on freelance projects all day at work and made fliers for orgies.

It was particularly amusing when her boyfriend would come in because he was always wearing some new, fish net shirt and leather pants. Sadly, her girlfriend was much more conservative in her attire.

Yep. And they all lived under the same roof.

Polly wasn't fired until she made the unfortunate mistake of sending a purchased font to someone outside the company.

5) Omar Oddball
Omar was a twin and an ugly one at that. My favorite memory of Omar was the day he came to me at the copier and said, "You should meet my brother."

"How come?"

"Because he likes to wear nice clothes and smell good."

"Oh. Um. Well. Those are two very good characteristics in a person, I guess. I have to go now."

Omar should have been fired, though, when he sent and email to a client saying that if the client didn't cooperate Omar would "swim down there and strangle him."

But he wasn't. Omar quit of his own accord six months later.

Those are the highlights for now. I still work with a gaggle of stinkers, liars, cheats, thieves, and basic idiots. I'm never sure how they manage to survive life outside of work, let alone maintain their jobs with Mediocre Corp. Then again, it's called Mediocre Corp. for a reason.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:25 AM | Comments (0)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

I promise this blog is not going to be one continual rant-fest about my job.

I just have a lot of pent-up anger about it and I feel like I need to share.

Lucky you!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:54 AM | Comments (0)

When Is a Manager Not a Manager

Well, Director Dan did it to me again. He reminded me 1) I should be the boss of him and 2) I need a new job where I don't have to put up with him at all.

I like to think I'm a good manager and leader. Sure, I can be a bit hot-headed, stubborn, and insensitive from time to time, but on the whole I love my team, I respect them and their work, and I consider it my primary objective to help them do their jobs better.

Anyway, as a leader, I'm not big on the command-and-control thing. People already call me "Evil Warlord" in the office, I don't need to be a bossy big britches to encourage the image of being Mediocre Corp's own little Napoleon, although it wouldn't be very hard for me to be that way. So, instead I like to encourage my team to find the right answers themselves. (Answers I already have, of course.)

By my thinking, when a person sets their own "stretch goals" they're more likely to see them as possible than if they are handed down in edict from on high.

So, every month, my team and I sit down and look at our performance stats and set goals for the next month. The conversation usually goes:

Me: We made three widgets last month. How many do you think we can make this month?

Team: Four!

Me: Oh come on! Four? Last month the widgets you made were super-sparkle widgets and you still had plenty of time left over!

Team: That's true.

Me: So, I know you can do way better than three.

Team: What if we make 5 regular widgets and 1 super-sparkle widgets?

Me: Now we're talking. Are you sure you couldn't make 2 super-sparkle widgets?

Team: Well... if we try real hard...

And so we come to a conclusion together and they always make it. I've seen a 77% improvement in performance over the last three months alone.

So, I went to Director Dan and I said, "Hey! My team has improved by 77% over the last three months and last month they made 3 super-sparkle widgets! That's a record! Can I take them out to lunch on the company?"

Director Dan was aghast, "I don't think that 3 widgets is anything to be proud of. I'm curious to know why you think that's acceptable at all."

So, I said, "Well, 3 doesn't sound like a lot, sure, but if you look at this chart you'll see that this is actually better performance than they've ever done. Besides, we set this goal for ourselves and they made it. I think it's appropriate to reward them for meeting their goals."

Director Dan, "I'm not sure I understand why you let the team set their own goals. Buy-in is important, sure, but goals are a management decision. You tell them and they have to meet it."

At this point I'm looking for ways to bail from this conversation, "Ha! Ha! Well, I guess all those leadership classes are just getting to me!"

Then I took my team to lunch on my own dime.

Good thing I'm not trying to be Mediocre Corp's little Napoleon. Then we'd have two.

P.S. Director Dan missed two days of work this week, came in at 11 one day and at 2 another. He did make it in on time one day because our HR lady came to visit... but he left at 3.

How come I don't have this guy's job already?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:52 AM | Comments (1)

July 14, 2004

Business as Usual

Today at Mediocre Corp. was the embodiment of the expression Same Stuff Different Day. Notable characteristic in Department X include:

- Director Dan opted to "work from home." Whatever his excuse for deciding to do so, he's the only person who has this option and he has exercised this option three times in the last five work days. Speculation is that he gets away with it because HIS boss works in a different office.

- In our staff meeting today, Director Dan referred to something he assigned to me as my "little project." We joked about it, but the adjective was particularly telling if you ask me.

- Nameless Account Rep refused to correct a problem that s/he created because it would be too embarrassing to tell the client that they messed up.

- Rollie Regulator handed down a mandate to cease and desist for a practice that could potentially be the most profitable change in Department X's product line since the company was founded. The reason? "Security." Specifically? "Security." Technically speaking? "Security." That's right. For no reason or explanation a decision was made. The topic is not open for debate. The topic is not open to reason. The topic, my friends, is closed for discussion.

- Inger Insipidemployee complained again about his performance measurements. Though everyone else meets their goals and the measurement does correllate closely with what we know about team performance Inger thinks that it's just not fair that he is expected to complete his work on time. Clearly that he is always late is a reflection of a failure in the statistics and a problem with his work load. (Inspection reveals that his workload is less than everyone else's on the team.)


I hate this stupid job. Perhaps sometime soon I will tell you about how I came to that conclusion.

What am I doing about it? I'm looking for a new one, but for the time being this is the pile of steaming poo I have to work with.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:59 AM | Comments (1)

What's This About?

I've had this blog set up for a while, but I really haven't done much with it because I wanted to make sure I had a cool design and theme established for it. Alas, things simply aren't progressing as I had hoped.

I suppose I could attribute the lack of progress to being busy with classes or work or my love life or my house, but the truth is really simply that I've been lazy about it.

So, like I've done so many other things, I've decided that it's best to just get started and see how things turn out.

You may be asking, "What's going on? Do I know you?" And the answer isn't a simple one.

Last things first: You might just know me from somewhere else on the internet. If you do, I would ask you to please restrain yourself to a knowing wink. This is an anonymous blog because I intend to talk about things about which I prefer to keep some privacy.

It's not that I'm not proud of these things like I am the rest of my life it's just that specificity plus publicity is not always a good thing. Specifically: I intend to talk about my job. I may talk about other topics, but the job thing is an area where publicity could have severe consequences and I'm not talking about "Fired then getting a book deal." I'm talking about "just fired."

And that kind of gets to the first question above. This blog is about my personal life. Sure, I have lots of thoughts on lots of things that go on in the world, but this blog is more about things personal and particular to me.

Don't worry, those who know me will attest, this won't be an adult blog or a place where lurid details and curse words are splashed about like so much personal lubricant.

So, anyway, Hello!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:43 AM | Comments (0)