Corporate Avenue

Start at the corner of Hope and Innocence,
Follow Hope South until it becomes Despair.
Your career progresses as you go,
Nothing vodka or Prozac won’t repair.

Keeping going down Despair,
You’ll know when you are through.
It dead ends at Retirement.
Alongside Corporate Avenue.

Corporate Avenue is a long, hard road.
There are twists and turns and merges,
You have to find a decent driver,
Then hope he survives the purges.

I’ve been driven off a cliff.
I’ve been driven into walls.

I remember drivers drinking,
While they suffered through the drive.

I remember changing drivers,
While we were doing sixty-five.

The only thing that bothers me,
It often shakes me to my core.
Is how many times along the way,
I know I’ve seen that house before.

Technology

 

I’m getting the feeling that
We have a generation that can’t read.
You have to show them graphics – not text,
And it’s really best to have a movie.

I love technology,
But not for it’s own sake.
Let’s not use it just because
The CEO overpaid for it.

If you have something to say,
Just email or call me.
I’ll respond if required.
Don’t send a link to your blog.

If you have an announcement,
Just make it.
Don’t make me watch a video
A week from Tuesday.

Worst of all now days,
Is the video blog,
Where some minor exec
Reads you his email.

The issue with video blogs,
At least for me,
Is that you see how poorly
Some of these people present.

Please send your foils out first.
(I’m old. They’re not slides. They’re foils.)
I will happily read your foils.
Then, I will think to myself,
“How can this take an hour to present?”

When I read someone’s foils,
My usual thought is,
“Wow. That’s an hour I would have wasted.”
Then, I hang up and go back to work.

Here’s the thing people miss these days.
Work is not an action movie.
There is little action at all sometimes.
So why pretend it’s exciting?

If you’re going to pretend it’s exciting,
Let’s have a video game presentation.
Everyone could watch from home,
And interact with the presenter.

Hit the CEO in the nose,
She has to go on to the next slide.
Blow the CEO up,
That’s lunch, everybody!

That could actually be fun.
She couldn’t just stand and read.
Just send me the foils first,
So I know what was supposed to be said.

Meetings

Here’s what you will often hear,
When you are trapped in a meeting.
The worst are the ones where everybody
Has to go around and update status.

Many people are very gifted at status updates.
They can make their project seem very important.
Golly! That project requires a lot of people.
I wish I had a project like that!

Most of those reports
Do not make me wish for that project.
They make me wish I had a vodka tonic.
Maybe three.

Here’s an example, which is close to real-life:

“At this point, we are waiting for the brand team,
Who are currently in their quarterly update meetings,
The results of which are due at the end of the month.
After those updates are validated and certified,
Our team will negotiate the use of their results,
Which will save us approximately three weeks.
If we do not get to use their results,
We will spend two weeks producing our own.
The hardware is still on back-order at this time,
But we’re expecting updates from the Singapore team,
Perhaps as early as next week,
Depending on whether the local holiday slows production.
Those delivery updates will help us revise the final schedule,
Which will be then communicated at that time.
Once the hardware is in place in the lab,
We will be able to estimate the time required
To install and patch the base-level software,
Although we are considering just
Moving development to the cloud,
Which might require a retro-fit and design update.
We are on hold for the marketing team,
Who is completing the new brand marketing plan.
This will require us to update our labeling.
We may also have to update our documentation.
We have been in close contact with the other developers,
To make sure that all of our APIs are consistent.
We are also mapping to the original specifications,
Rather than the updates from the previous manager.”

This means:

“There’s been no change since last week.”

Responsorial Psalm

Today’s psalm is from Meetings, 9am – 10am.

Our response is: “Hey! Great idea, boss!”

“I see that our standing committee has not provided any input for efficiencies. I have decided to terminate the committee.”

R: “Hey! Great idea, boss!”

“Since the committee failed, we will split the members into three working groups, who can each meet twice a week.”

R: “Hey! Great idea, boss!”

“With six times as many meetings, we are bound to find ways to be more efficient even more quickly than before.”

R: “Hey! Great idea, boss!”

Let us pray.

Time Passing

I have a seven am meeting.
I have a meeting at nine.
I have another at ten,
At least that one is mine.

I have a meeting at one.
I have a meeting at two.
Last one at nine in the evening.
I wish it weren’t true.

Web conferences bring us closer,
Of this I make no bones,
It’s just they don’t solve the issue
Of our pesky time zones.

Organization

I keep my email in folders.
It helps organize my day.
There are some I need forever.
There are some I throw away.

Some folders are very full.
Some only have a few.
It depends on the workload.
It depends on what I do.

So, if you have your own folder,
Beyond a project or a task.
A folder dedicated to just you,
You’re probably a pain in the ass.

Sleep

If I could sleep at night,
As well as I sleep through
These stupid, endless meetings.
I would be well-rested, indeed.

Maybe that’s why meetings are recorded.
You can listen to the playback at bedtime.
Then, you can gently nod off to sleep.

I’m getting sleepy just thinking about it.

Committees

I was getting work done.
It was difficult, but doable.
Then, I got a co-worker.
Now, work was a bit easier.

We split the task in two.
He did half and I did half.
We just had to compare notes.
Making sure the halves fit together.

Then, we got a couple more people.
Now, work would go really fast!
We each only did a quarter.
It just took longer to make the pieces fit.

So, we got a manager to watch over us.
His job was to make sure the pieces fit.
He would talk to each of us every day.
This started taking up valuable time.

So, we started having team meetings.
We had weekly meetings at first.
This was a place to discuss progress.
We would talk about how the pieces all fit.

Progress seemed slower than at first.
So, we started having daily meetings.
Now, we were talking about why pieces didn’t fit.
This did not seem as positive as before.

Apparently, the daily meetings didn’t work.
So, we got a project manager.
He worked for the manager.
His job was to make sure the meetings fit.

When the meetings took even more time,
Since we had to explain everything to the project manager,
We got a technical consultant to help us.
He was going to make the pieces fit like they did at other places.

He said we needed to stand up at the meetings.
Successful companies can’t afford chairs, I guess.
Now, the meetings would go slightly faster,
But we still seemed to be working more slowly.

We sure are in a lot of meetings.

I miss working by myself.

Retirement

I don’t have to go to the office.
I don’t have to read email.
I don’t have any meetings.
No projects today will fail.

I can spend time with my honey.
I can spend time with my dogs.
I would spend time with them,
But they’re all snoring like logs.

I’ve had four cups of coffee.
I had a piece of cake.
I’m trying to keep busy,
But it’s hard to stay awake.

Years of changing bosses,
Always fearing getting fired.
Six hours into retirement,
Do you think I can get rehired?