Archive for the ‘work’ Category

Another Year

My contract was renewed today for another year. The new contract includes a salary increase. My existing contract expires on Sunday. I’ll have continuous employment without a break. It doesn’t always work out that way, especially in times when senior leadership changes. Income, it’s a good thing.

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Reward On Thursday

One of my peers is on medical leave for a knee replacement. She asked me to cover one of her product lines while she is out of the office for 16 weeks. She told me there is very little activity on the product. She also said there shouldn’t be any life cycle changes until 2019, and that none of the company’s pending acquisitions will affect the product line.

It’s been smooth sailing. That is, until today, when changes my peer instituted went live and caused some issues.

I know next to nothing about this product so I’ve been struggling to understand the issues and formulate a corrective action. The product manager is in India so we’ve only been communicating via email. It’s going to be a trying week.

On the other hand, there’s a Rembrandt exhibition opening at the Denver Art Museum on Thursday night that I’m looking forward too. It’s will be a nice reward for making it through this week.

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What Is Wrong With Him?

The man I work for can be called odd at best. He still works from home in the afternoon because he doesn’t want his adult children (18 and 21) to be home alone. Every month he schedules a 30 minute meeting with each of his direct reports to discuss any issues that may need to be addressed. I’ve mastered the art of discussing issues with the man. I know not to bring up certain issues as he doesn’t want to help resolve the issue, but rather, assign you an action item to find a solution. He wants to know about the roadblocks but doesn’t want to be actively involved. He will, however, take credit for the resolutions.

My monthly meeting was held on Friday. We were both working from home so the meeting was held over on his multimedia conferencing bridge. After the standard obligatory greetings, the man asked about a painting on the wall that is in view of the camera. I talked briefly about the painting detailing a little about the artist, her representation and chosen medium. The man used the artwork as a launching point to make the call about him. He left his home office to retrieve the only “original” piece of art he owned from the second floor of his house. I still had audio as he was using a headset. I had to listen to him describe his walk through his house up the stairs to the second floor and the return journey to his home office. Next, he tried to get the painting in the best possible position for the laptop camera. His brother painted the picture of his toddler daughter years ago. This launched a monologue describing his brother and his artist abilities. He went on and on and on. The whole time I’m reminded I’m on camera by seeing my image being transmitted to him vie the PIP. I had to keep an interested look on my face while I’m thinking I don’t give a damn about his brother, the mediocre artwork, or the description of his family dynamics. I reminded myself to smile and nod. I really didn’t have to comment because he talked and talked and talked.

As the call neared its scheduled end, he asked if I had any pressing issues I need to discuss. I claimed no pressing items as I was ready to put a gun to my head. He ended the call as I had no issues to discuss.

What a freak show! The man talked for 25 minutes about the painting, his brother, his family dynamics and the painting’s provenance. The purpose of the call was to be about work topics I wanted to discuss. Instead it was all about him which was typical of his behavior. What is wrong with people like this who constantly turn conversations and meetings into platforms to talk about themselves?

My team lead advised me before the call that the man wanted to discuss giving me more NPI and M&A responsibilities, which I would be happy to take on. Instead I had to listen the man talk about himself, his brother and his family. The things I do to keep that paycheck coming in every month. I think I’m more of corporate whore than a slave.

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I’m Glad I Left

The client I worked for last year was ordered to cease operations in New York State for failing to live up to the terms of its merger agreement with another cable company. The company has been given 60 days to handle over its operations to another provider. The state has rescinded the approval of merger.

I knew the company was a mess when I worked there. I was so glad to leave. Is it bad to feel happy about their misfortune?

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What A Week!

It was another tough week at work. A product was released earlier in the month that was not ready for market. The software development was not completed. The company laid off the product manager a few weeks ago. The product manager neglected to tell the launch committee or the new product manager the product was not ready. It was like a fuck you for laying me off.

My house guests left early. It was an odd visit. There has to more to life than hooking up with guys. The relentless online search of Grindr and Scruff was annoying. It would have been nice to have a conversation without them scrolling through images on their phones. They take having an open relationship to new level.

My brother accused my sister of embezzling from the family trust. It was a situation that got out of control. It concerned a bank account my mother hid from my father so that it would not be included in the trust. This was typical of my mother. She was always stashing money away in case she needed it. My sister was the beneficiary on the account. My father asked my sister to close the account. My sister closed the account and kept the money. My brother had a fit when he found out. My dad called me to tell me he was sending me a trust payment equal to amount in the bank account. He had already given a check to my brother. I told my father to keep the money as I did not need it. A few days later a check arrived for $3,600. I can understand my brother being upset if the amount was in the six figures but, to me, a four figure amount is not significant. The money is not going make a difference in my life, or my brother’s life, but it will for my sister who continues to struggle financially. My brother is still upset that my father supported my sister for four years while she was unemployed. It didn’t matter to me. It’s my father’s money and he can do what he wants with it. I just know that if I ever needed financial assistance my father would send money. That’s a good feeling because my father and I don’t have a great relationship.

On the bright side, it’s Friday and I’m headed out to the galleries tonight.

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A Tough Week

It’s been a tough week. The software delivery went out the door and fell on its face. The offshore testing team missed a plethora of outages. The software engineers worked overtime to fix the issues. My team lead volunteer me to test the fixes as there is no faith in the ability of the offshore team to recognize new issues. After several long days, the updated software was delivered last night. All is well so far today.

It’s a shame the company doesn’t invest in an onshore team who understands the product and knows how it should be tested. There is a lot of talent available locally, mostly in the form of associates who had been laid off from the company. Sadly, offshore contractors are cheaper. Is the offshore labor pool really cheaper when you factor in the time and effort to redeliver a software package, and the damage to the company’s reputation for quality products? One could argue the offshore team is really more costly in the long run.

I’m knocking off early today. I plan on hitting the gym and taking care of a few last minute preparations as my house guests are arriving tomorrow. They were to arrive today but their flight from Paris was cancelled. They were booked on a later flight but will miss their connecting flight. They will overnight on the east coast. Their delayed arrival means I can check out a few gallery openings tonight.

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It’s been hotter than hell here. Over 100 yesterday. It’s time to fry eggs on the driveway.

It’s also been an unrealistically difficult week at work. My client is less than nine days away from their first major product launch since exiting bankruptcy. Major outages have yet to be corrected. There’s a lot riding on this launch. The company is also entering its last fiscal quarter so this launch has high expectations regarding revenue projections and maintaining financial stability.

I’m headed out to the galleries tonight. There are two very promising shows at Space Gallery and Spark Gallery.

See you on the back side.

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