Hitting pause on Mr. Replay

Major Facepalm

Major Facepalm

So after three long luxurious weeks of blissful peacefulness and relaxation, It was time to set the 2:15 AM ear piercing squeals of the alarms to ensure a timely wake-up and preparation for the long commute to work. Being a workaholic, one tends to miss the hustle and bustle of a career environment, the chatter of incompetence and progress of persuasive talk from intellects and the effects ones completed projects have on the company. During the long one hour forty-five minute drive to work (with no traffic) one has time to recollect the years closing and what is expected and planned for the new year as well as all of the familiarities of the office.There was something missing though…

Arriving in the wee early morning hours, with no one else around, work began and timelines projected. The sound of squeaky doors, held shut and steady during the long holiday break, gave indication that colleagues and others were slowly dredging their way into a new year and a new set of hurdles and projects. Swinging the cold door to the office and looking across, the door to a top executive was ajar, yeah it may be early but he is always up for a quick software jab. Laughter and techie talk ensued and came to an end and yet still something was missing…

A quick half flew through the window and in came the immediate supervisor, grunting and conversing to who no one is quite sure still. After the dust and food crumbs settled in his office, a question was asked and an ensuing two hour one sided conversation was had and that is when it hit like a ton of bricks and the feeling of the invisible palm of the hand slapping the forehead with a “Doh!” following. That is what was missing, the conversations with this particular individual and hearing the same thing repeated over and over again. It is like having a vinyl record get stuck on the same groove and go around and around forever until someone bumps the arm to get it moving again. Oh the joys of these conversations, Mental note after he is done repeating, do not ask another question.

It’s almost over? But… no it can’t be

Desert_backyardThree glorious weeks of exclusive self-absorption and personal relaxation, oh the joys of the holiday season. Each year yours truly is forced to take off 2 weeks for the holidays, at my own expense mind you, and I add a third just for good measure. Prior to hunkering the shop for the closing year and preparing for the onslaught of the next, visions and plans raced through my head of what I had planned at home.

A new home I settled into at the first of the year, a whole acre of beautiful luscious… sand. Alright there is more to the land then just the dreary tan of the gritty earth, but looking out it’s perfect, it’s virgin and it’s just waiting to be molded into a perfect landscape of vegetables and fruits and a picture perfect desert oasis. There is trimming, raking, weeding and theading abound, mulching and dozing the earth for it to be fertility sound, revamping with repairs, replacements, whosits and whatits with thatches and catches… oops sorry was thinking about “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” My home, a place I rent but one day will own, needs some love and care and I had plans to conquer some of those on my glorious break from the stress and conundrum of intellects at work.

Looking back as those quiet days come to a close, as I glance out my back window chugging my hot coffee, damn I haven’t done a single thing. As I shake my head, I realize… this place isn’t going anywhere and neither am I.

Above and beyond, Just Go!

pg6Another year past, another year ahead… of the same whining, complaining and dead end revolutions of the corporate world… Not this time!

You have read my banter of incompetence and the blind leading the blind and either found them quite amusing and tolerable or could even relate. Not surprisingly to say even to fathom, but those idiosyncrasies of the employment world exist and will never go away. So my fellow readers and daily stressers, what does one do about dealing with the inevitable? If you are anything like me, you will step up, shut people up, show and scold the higher-ups that you are one of the power houses in your company. You see I am like a well-versed travel agent. I tell people where to go and where to go to get the best bang for their buck.

Every year, your life should have those defining moments that make up who you are and what you believe in, no matter regardless of how insignificant or grandiose those moments may be. Whether it be a small email to the head honcho saying how excited it is for a new project at work to commence, or extreme measures of getting into someones personal space and showing them reality. Your actions and words at work define who you are as a person and as an employee, dedicated and indispensable or gabby and a disposable asset. Which one are you, or will you be this year?

A short description of my basic characteristics while I am at work, I am known as “The Bear,” yes that is my nickname at the office. That alone should give you some idea of how I am at work. I hunker down and get things done, focused and determined to get what I need done. I utilize and take advantages of the things and people around me that I know can gain me knowledge and a clearer path to my destination. When things aren’t quite right around me, I let it be known and loudly. And, if I don’t like you and find you useless to the cause or organization I let it be known.

Two instances this past year solidified my position and identity as an indispensable individual at my place of employment and why I am where I am in my career.

The first instance, and many of you have read in the past about this situation, was of constant complaining, whining and the sever lack of efforts or knowledge some of my “colleagues” posses. Granted I do my fair share of complaining, as well as the entire IT staff, but it is of due cause and is a right. This individual cross the proverbial line of idle ridicule to down right challenging and degrading my integrity and performance. Crossing that line is like entering my den during the winter and smacking my ass to wake me up, bad very bad choice. Now this particular individual is your typical office gossip and complainer, you know the type. This is the type that sits around all day talking about how hard they have it at work (yet do only the bare minimum to get by), how they only perform up to their position description (because it is above their pay-grade) and yet complain about being under paid and unappreciated. On a side-note but on the same tangent, you only get paid for as much as you are willing to put forth the effort into doing, sitting on your ass is going to get you to shit… literally. Now back to the program… Sometime in October, this individual in-front of my immediate supervisor, all of his fellow department colleagues as well as the head director of our company, proceeded to say, with his feet on his desk and a Google Search screen up for type of doll or something, “Let Matt do it, I have tested it the first time and it didn’t work so obviously he has no idea what he is doing and he has tons of time to do user testing. Also I need him to do some data entry because that is above my pay-grade.” Oh boy, in front of everyone I let this shit-lazy worker know where I stood and where he stood (beneath me) and told him two things. “First of all, I am a developer, and unlike common users I think logically not emotionally, therefore I cannot perform user tests to test out the stupid things that you common users do to software applications, and all software applications go through testing stages, A bug in the software is not a warrant for judging someones capabilities, however, feet on a desk while surfing the internet while work is needed to be done and at the same time complaining about not being paid enough is a warrant to judge the dedication and mental capacity of an office worker. And second you lazy ass, maybe instead of complaining about being underpaid, show some initiative and do work duties that are not in your description and go above and beyond.” With mouths dropped and eyes bugging out by everyone in the office I turned and walked away saying “I have to get back to my office and continue with my job of making your lives easier.” What I am trying to say hear is, don’t let those less productive push you around and make an unintelligible attack on your character or your skills.

The second instance, and this one was even bigger than the first one, was one that had me walking a fine line on professionalism and personally attacking a higher up for their inaccuracies and mistakes in a project. A short history lesson of last year in regards to this project, my company took on a gigantic undertaking of hiring an outside company to completely redo our website, not to mention allowing an individual with a high ranking power to prepare and deliver the project contract. The entire year this project was underway, my fellow IT colleague and myself kept pushing our immediate supervisor for a “reclass,” basically a promotion, due to an overwhelmingly alteration and increase in our job duties but with his lack of commitment to getting things done at the office nothing came to light with that request, just stay with me, this last statement is an important factor in this instance and promotes the integrity of the first. Ok, back to the project. I was able to get my hands on the contract as well as the financials of how much the company was paying to complete this project. Two things, the first being the contract was missing many key aspects of a website contract not to mention a severe misstep that could have cost my company more than just the money, and second we were way over-paying for what was to be done and what was done. Fast-forward to the end of the year. The CFO approached me to discuss some issues people were having with my immediate supervisor and the conversation got around to the major project of the year. He asked my opinion about the overall aspect of it, and well laughing and head shaking aside, I let him know, professionally, what was done wrong and who did wrong. knowing all to well that he was the one that created the project contract and negotiated the overall cost. I let him know that with my previously contract work, I was involved and personally have created multiple project contracts, most of which could protect a single person against a large corporation like ours, with proof of concept of copies of previous contracts to back up my claims.  After a long talk with him about many other things, it was exposed that the throughout the company more importantly within the management there is a “list and ranking” of all the personnel in which they rank each employee based on how they spend their time during the day. This list is their way of seeing who is reliable, who works the most and who gabs and waste time the most, ranked best personnel to least favorable. Yours truly is #2 on the list, and the only reason I am not on top is because as I was told “You don’t have good PR skills with the other personnel.” And I was told that I need to work on that skill, for which I responded by telling the CFO that my desire is to only have good PR skills and meaningful conversations with those that can get the company ahead, meaning the management. Fast foward a little more, the CFO approached me and said that he spoke with the head director about everything I mentioned and said. With that feeling of overwhelming stress when you are stopped by a police officer, he informed me that the head director and himself are going to push forward with my reclass and basically skip over dealing with it through my direct supervisor. As well, they are going to be requiring me to be included in all software and website projects from now on with my words being put at the forefront. In this I am trying to show you that it is not what you say but how and to whom you say it to, and to show and open the eyes of your higher powered colleagues that you are a force to be dealt with and someone that they want with them in the long run. Show them that you have the skills and knowledge to make yourself indispensable and you will go through the roof, and leave all of those “It’s above my pay-grade.” co-workers in the dust.

I am sure there are going to be stresses throughout the new year, but as long as we all stay strong with our heads held up high and our convictions staying true, we all will persevere.

Arrogance over Advice

arroganceOh the arrogance and entitlements one becomes accustomed to based on the salary and position one holds.  To chuckle under ones breath, to mildly scoff at the round-about indecisive and blindly leading  ways of those with power, is to the reaction of someone falling over a crack in the sidewalk.

To think that a redesign project could be completed by those that are incompetent and unskilled in the technical world, let alone the project set forth of rehabbing a failed yester years design, would be anything but forgiving and chaotic, let alone as funny as a SMART car packed with clowns. One would think, a journey not oft traveled, nor chartered, the travelers would seek the wisdom and experience of one who has set out on that journey and is familiar with the territory that lays ahead.

This journey I speak of, the redesign of my company’s website. Leading the journey of this redesign are a few of the most non-technical and self-absorbed suits in our company. To start this journey, they recklessly tossed away the need to have the one person in the company sit in on meetings, or consult in regards to the current state of the website. With this misconception of them believing they could walk this path alone, they have succumbed to perils, adversity and hours of head scratching. When they were offered advice from myself or any other IT personnel, it was discarded.

The last straw, which basically told me, that my experience and any and all advice I give at work or in my own personal life is basically useless and unwanted. I was told by the Assistant Director of my company that my advice sucked and that what I suggested was unprofessional in regards to a company website. Mind you, I have over 20 years experience in the web industry. Then in the same breath, she criticized the fact that they were not made aware of certain things within the website that is now causing issues. HAHA, just shaking my head and exit stage left.

Safer sufferings – Thought of the Day


THIS IS AMERICA… WHERE THE FOUR FREEDOMS LIVE – NARA – 515767 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As the great American days of yesteryear diminishes in the perspective views of my generation and past, most must wonder what has happened to those great American days.

The glory days of America where our freedoms were plentiful and our options of enjoyment were bountiful, do not seem, but are being taken away and controlled because they have been deemed “unsafe.” Dont you miss the days of yore, the days of pure fun and when America seemed to be an awesome and productive place to live.

When you were able to pile the family in the minivan or faux-wooden panel station wagon and head to the beach, stake your claims next to a cement ring and spent the entire day enjoying the sun, the wave and the salty sea air destroying your hair. Then the fires begin to roar as the horizon turns a reddish-orange hue, and the metal coat hangers get bent into makeshift cooking utensils for roasting marshmallows and weenies.

Or how about when the street would be closed down on the 4th of July because the entire neighborhood decided to hold a party to enjoy the day dedicated to our freedoms. Barbeques would be roaring with steaks, hotdogs and burgers, mothers sitting in circles enjoying the gab of whatever mothers talked about, and fathers in their tank tops holding a spatula in one hand, a beer in the other yelling at little Johnny to be careful when running around with those magical pieces of metal that shoot hot sparks out at a rapid rate. And in the dark of night, a five gallon bucket of water sat conspicuously close to burnt out spots on the street where the brave souls of the fire would light the fireworks as the kids and others oohed and aahed.

And when basically anything harvested or grown was safe to consume regardless of how it was made or what was injected into it. When sugar was pure cane and used in everything to make it sweeter and potentially trick kids into thinking that it was good for them. When a fast-food join was just that, a place to get low-cost, fast food that necessarily wasn’t the best food to be eating but it was so damn good, and the menu didn’t contain labels warning of MSG’s or fish cooked here signs or salads or only white meat in the nuggets or no pink goo in the meat. And when someone spoke about soy, they meant the dark spicey liquid used in chinese food.

Or how about when children were actually held responsible for their own actions and own failings in school, not the teachers or school districts or society, video games or music.

Or when professional sports athletes participated in sports knowing the risks to their health, mind and lives, and yet knowing that there could be no recourse or monetary gains if they got injured from the sports. Basically, when football was a mans sports, where blood, sweat and tears were the core foundation of showing a great game, and if a concussion occurred then that was the fault of the player and the risks were known and accepted.

Or when our words were made public and people were allowed to listen to them without jurisdiction on if it will offend someone, when our freedoms of speech were allowed to flow free.

Reminisce of these yore are due to an ever-growing issue with our local, state and country governments. If it is not or has not been obvious to you, the yesteryear of America were more free, and more enjoyable. The citizens were productive, families were large as well as bonds between neighbors. Life was more enjoyable back then. Then came the micro managing of our governments and elected officials who think in their own twisted and diluted worlds society will be safer by what they feel is safe for them. Our governments are slowly taking away the American feeling we all knew and loved, claiming those enjoyments as unsafe. Yet with them making everyone “safer” in their own eyes, American society seems to be sad and ailing.

Isn’t it strike someone odd that when the government kept their greedy ignorant self-righteous noses out of everyday lives of the American families, we were all much happier. But since the turn of health conscious, politically correct years have come upon us and governments have stepped in to control foods and enjoyments of yesteryear, American society doesn’t feel so… American anymore.