august
the best of times

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the season of my discontent
may you live in less interesting times

970821






    This year my workplace has gone from great to sucky. In January my no-superlative-is-adequate management team left Alliance to startup a new company.
    I had recognised these two were the best chain of command in the company, but as William Blake said,"You never know how much is enough until you know how much is too much." Until they were gone, I didn't really know how superior my now-departed managers had been at getting the job done without getting mired in petty ego politics.
    Recently, I was explicitly ordered to drive MarComm responsibility for the corporate web site, only to have orders to "delegate no resources to the web," three months later, by the same man, but only _after_ we had put a high-profile MarComm web proposal on the CEO's desk bearing only my name.
    In parallel to all this I'm negotiating a staffing request for another technical writer. We're getting silicon on two new VGA chips this week and I've got no books on them yet. Each 350 page book is historically a 4-6 month project.
    Let's do the math.
    My department is two people. We have two other books of similar nature to publish before the end of the year. (4) books times (6) months equals (24) months, or 2 person-years of work and I have only 0.66 person-years of labor to allocate.
    It doesn't add up.
    So after I produce metrics on the proposed project load for the rest of 1997, and after management demands and receives itemized workload for the last two quarters, then management decides that maybe they only want maybe two books in the next four months and forget about two. So maybe my department can use our 0.66 person-years to get 1.0 person-years of work done?
    And oh yeah, management asked, why do I want to hire another writer on one hand and increase our workload with the web on the other? They apparently ignored observing that my team has already been maintaining the web since November. To wit: the workload wouldn't change--it was the creative control I was requesting.
    Funny, people ignore observing that no one wants to defend Mark in front of the CEO because it's the CEO's son who is currently stifling any and all website activity beyond maintenance. It is the CEO's son who is refusing to act on any of my team's six (6!) proposals for redoing the site design. Our creative web development efforts have been vetoed in whimsy of one non-qualified technician, who no-one gainsays because he's the CEO's son.
    For all my background in language, it took me over a week to recall the word "nepotism."
    I've made it clear to my VP of HR that I feel my career path is on the web. She smiled sadly.
    So Mark's looking for work again. You can see my online résumé in html, Acrobat, or ASCII text formats.














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