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.

PhD Nazi at your service – Stresser of the Day

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Photo credit: rwoan)

PhD holders be on the look out for a down-to-earth thinker called the “PhD Nazi“.

PhD’s, ah the Doctors of Philosophy. Those whom study hard and pay through the keester for an over-priced education, just so they can wave it around and believe in their own philosophical warped-fantasy world that they are above all us commoners by simply the power of having more knowledge. Mind you, not by acquisitions of vast knowledge of many things, but a vast knowledge of one minute particle of existence that is a small part of everyday existence. Medical and Psychological PhD’s need not to heed this warning as your services are greatly appreciated and have been found many times over useful.

No, the “PhD Nazi” is after those PhD’s that signify knowledge of quirks, space and numbers. The Scientific and Mathematical PhD’s that is. These living under a rock-bound hermits have no clue of common sense nor do they contain the skills to correspond with any other human outside of their own “clique.” Their reading and comprehension skills are putrid and lacking any type of useful English understanding. Their arrogance, unkept and bizarre existence amongst normal civilization seems to be upheld by some strange law that the piece of paper with the words PhD means that they should be served by those with less possessions. Yet, with such a vast knowledge of one minute atom of civilized existence, they do hold in their possession the incompetence and social distortion of a bully.

If the “PhD Nazi” should run into one of these neurotic self-proclaimed deities, you will hear a loud “No PhD for you!”

It’s not a square trying to fit into a circle.

image

Company urinal not serving its purpose

PhD Mathematicians and Scientists, their minds are brilliant. With theory, probability and complexing enigmatic solutions to conundrums of the ages, they work diligently to solve mankind’s greatest questions. With the grey matter that they hold so dear and have evolved to a much deeper grey they are able to find solutions and answers for life’s most demanding questions.

SO! How damn hard is it to find a solution for the emptying of ones bladder into the urinal it is intended?

Here is one of those enigmatic conundrums that are still unsolved. Coming into work at 6:00 am everyday, it is peaceful, quiet and serene even. The halls have an eerie dark peacefulness lurking in the air, rooms still without light rest peacefully till the morning sun rise and the bathrooms sparkle fragrently ready to serve all of its patrons. As usual, the honor goes to the early worker who enjoys the cleanliness and serenity of the comfortable bathroom. Visitors begin to arrive before the rest of the building personnel does and they too get the gratification of using a still uncontaminated bathroom. One last trip before the rest of the colleagues arrive, the serenity, the sparkle the sweet aroma of Pine Sol has dissipated and been replaced with the aromas of laziness and thoughtless acts. The serenity has been replaced with a sense of stress and uneasiness. The sweet aromas of cleaning solutions have been replaced with a smell of testosterone laden dogs marking their territories. The clean sparkle, replaced with puddles of sparkling yellow liquid on the blue tiles reaching up to invite the iron stomached guests.

Between the time after the first patron visited and the second return, individuals, who should have the mental capacity to fit a needle in a hula hoop, have found a way to desecrate a hard nights work by those that scrub and toil away on the grime of society.

Scientists, your minds are able to solve the theory and wonders of the world, therefore solve the mysterious hypothesis that is about to be presented to you:

Hypothesis: A stream of water, with a maximum diameter of 1/8 of an inch, being forced out of a cylinder at the rate of 25 miles an hour should be capable of hitting its target with a maximum diameter of 1 1/2 feet wide by 1 1/2 feet high, one hundred percent of the time.

Mathematicians, your minds see numbers, formulas and complexities abound, solving the means of accomplishment by numbers you should be able to answer this probability:

What is the probability of a small stream of water, being projected at a 40 degree arching angle at high velocity, hitting a circular target 2 inches wide with a 1 foot margin of error in diameter?

If either of your brilliant minds can solve the questions presented to you, please next time, put it into practice and hit your targets.

Interview with an Idiot

Reasons Not to Be an Idiot

There comes a time in every managers tenure, that one must consider the questions and procedures of an interview must change. With a plethora of pondering and possibilities of skills that one possesses, why does it seem to fit to still ask those dreaded redundant questions of old? These are the questions not of which focus on what the achievements and accomplishments of the interviewed or the possibilities of future such instances but the questions that have the highest potential to be a look into an imaginary world of self-assurance and ass kissing.

With the deep sedated pool of available talent looking for employment, one desires to find the best individual for the position. Therefore it is only logical to ask questions that will isolate the distinct individual just right for the job. These questions are micro specific and focuses on the field and position, not questions of the macro general field of desires, aspirations and dreams.

I am bringing this up because in the second round of interviews for a position at my company, our idiotic and lazy (to say the least) Finance Director must have not had enough energy to think of logical questions to ask and instead scour the internet for the top 10 basic interview questions and decided that was good enough. God forbid he actually for once uses his own words to ask or explain anything. His questions were the exact questions you would hear in an interview for a fast-food chain or basic job.

The following will show the questions asked with a proud grin and the answers I would have loved to hear:

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

A: I see myself alive and wondering why you were even invited to this interview.

Q: Why are you looking for a new place to work? (no joke, it was actually asked this way)

A: Because it was too boring. When I get bored with something I move on to something more exciting.

Q: What are your greatest strengths?

A: Putting up with redundant and useless questions. Oh and I can bench 325.

Q: What are you weaknesses?

A: My traveling joint pain, which causes me to take time off to work without notice.

Q: What is your work ethic like, you know in terms of working? (again not a joke, actually per datum)

A: Well I like to wake up around 8 or 9 and eventually make it into work, then I require at least a 45 minute nap either before or after lunch and I do not like working over time. Also I will not do anything outside the scope of my job description.

Q: In your mind why should we hire you? (seriously? I didn’t expect the interviewed to answer that question with someone elses thoughts)

A: Because you need someone to fill the position and I want a posh secure job that doesn’t require a lot of effort.