the danish outpost
updated when time and inspiration allow. latest and greatest always in the blog.
deadlines mean nothing to me these days.

2001-06-18

feeling kinda how a girl feels

so we shipped a new product today. with the job i do, packaging the product, i'm the final gate before we ship. you may have noted recently that there's been some job stress, and this is where it came from. we had to get this product out the door. you would think i would have a sense of satisfaction about meeting the deadline (granted, i was 9 minutes late, but still).

big freakin' whoopdy doo. no satisfaction today.

don't get me wrong. i like my job. it's a good thing to be able to pull all the pieces of a project together and get it out the door, meet the deadlines, and be able to send that note where you thank everyone for all their efforts, because you were able to do something good for them. with past projects, the sense of relief and satisfaction has been palpable. today? i just wanted to get the hell out of Dodge. i'm much happier to be home now with Duke Robillard blasting on the stereo. and that makes me sad.

it makes me sad because i look at the team (what's left of it), the company we used to be, and i compare it to where we are now. i look at how we used to pull together, how we had all these in jokes and the sense of working as a unit with a common goal. i look at what's happened to us since we've been bought out. i look at how our work process has been cannibalized, how frustrated we all are every single day, how hard it is to know where we are in a project because we're trying to meet 16 different agendas, and it makes me sad.

part of it comes from management, or lack thereof. i couldn't tell you who i work for these days. yes, i can tell you who my immediate boss is, and who his boss is, and who her boss is. but if you asked me who directs our work? couldn't tell you.

oh, wait. yes, i can. we're slaves to the stock market. we used to be a privately held S corporation. S corps are smaller scale companies who answer to, at most, 25 stock holders. when we worked on that scale, we were beholden to the whims of the primary owners. and it had its drawbacks, to be sure. but if you could narrow the agenda down to 3 or 4 people whom you worked with fairly closely, it all made more sense. now that we work for a multinational as one of the many local labs, it's all different. we're just very small cogs in the larger corporate machine.

and of course, we have new management on many scales. the local changes, by the way, are bad. the woman in charge of our lab? complete poster child for the Peter Principle. oh. my. God. how this woman ever got promoted is beyond me. call me cynical, but i think they had to meet a quota somewhere. yes, that sounds horribly bitter. and it is. because i honestly believe that people should be promoted for their skills. if you prove that you can do the job, then you *earn* the promotion. i don't believe in quotas. i believe in fair opportunities. this wasn't one of them.

also - we used to have projects that ran a year or two, and then we'd get a few months down time before the next one started up. it was *intense* during the project. you spent insane hours trying to get things to work. i remember nights where there were 6 or 8 of us packed in my cube, trying to debug some critical issue. and then we'd go out. and then we'd do it all over again the next day. when the project finished? big fuck off party, and a month or two of coasting. now? we shipped today, and the next project should have started ramping up last week. there's just no break these days.

it just rots to walk in every day and think 'how little can i do to meet my goals?' i want more from my job than that.

oh, my. i just wrote out an essay explaining why i need to get off my ass, pull my resume together, and find a better job, didn't i?

yeah, i think i did. when the most satisfaction you get out of a project is having the leverage to make your boss buy you a few drinks, and that's the best thing you get, you know you need to get out. and soon.

the fact that we've gotten screwed on the financial front doesn't help either. mind you, my salary is more than generous. but the 'perks', and i use the term loosely, are much chintzier now than they ever were. i've lost all kinds of paid time off, no more bonus (don't care what you promise, until i see the cash in my bank account and it stays there, i don't trust it), and paltry insurance coverage. bleargh.

but the flip side of it is that i've learned and am still learning so much, every damn day, on this job, out of the kindness of my fellow trench workers. i would never have had the chance to get this far if i didn't work with really cool people. and while part of me recognizes the need to move on, part of me acknowledges the coolness of my compatriots, and i don't want to abandon them. it's not that i think my presence is that critical. i fully acknowledge that they could do just fine without me. but there is an emotional bond there.

it gets weaker every day, tho, that emotional connection. :sigh: oh, man. there's gonna be a lot of change coming up for me, real soon now. hopefully a new place to live, probably a new job, and who knows what else.

man. all i really want right now is someone to come by and rub my feet. that's all. it's a small request. any volunteers? drop me a line if you're interested. ;)

yesterday :: tomorrow

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