[rescue] Cluesticks (was Mounting and Dumping)

Charles Shannon Hendrix shannon at widomaker.com
Mon Jan 19 12:47:23 CST 2004

Sat, 17 Jan 2004 @ 09:40 -0500, Phil Stracchino said:

> Yay for them!  Though at many companies, the senior staff could probably
> afford to take a 30% pay cut under such conditions without feeling a
> pinch in their personal entertainment budgets.  (Aside from, say, having
> to buy the new Ferrari on a 12-month payment plan instead of paying
> cash.)

(Sally Struthers voice)

Suits all around the world are in dire need.  For example, this little
account executive is 32 years old, and still has only one Ferrari.  Last
month he had to cook an entire meal himself, and still bears the scars
from where he cut himself using a dangerous paring knife.

For only $1000 a day, you too can help keep a starving executive from
having to drive the same POS that you drive.  Your small contribution
can mean the difference between caviar and filet mignon, and that $4
lunch special that is currently eating away the lining of your stomach.

Won't you give to help support the extravagant lives of the people who
are the only reason you are currently able to make $10/hour at Wal-Mart?

> > Perhaps what Dave was getting at was not that the money involved makes
> > the difference to the bottom line, but that the environment generated
> > by the disparity in salary is lethal to the company's esprit-de-corps?
> I wouldn't dispute that.  There's something wrong, IMHO, when a
> company's officers are taking home 2.5 orders of magnitude more than its
> engineers.

I *wish* it were only 2.5 times...

At Bank of America, I along with about 5 others were instrumental in
saving them over 1.5 billion dollars.  We were paid a fraction of the
salary of the manager who actually caused much of the problem, and who
got over $100K in bonus at year's end for "solving the problem".

Some of the managers that were nothing but overhead in our project were
taking home $150-250 thousand per year.  Not only did do nothing, they
caused damage whenever they tried to.

The irony of it all is that before all the brass was added, we got a lot
of work done.  But by the time we became suit-encrusted, a job that took
me 2 days in spring 1999, was taking as long as 3 months in spring 2000.

No, that's not at all an exaggeration.

In order to fix a simple problem of backdating some accounting records,
I had to endure the pain of an evening conference call.  Five people
local, another 8 suits at other locations.  I had solved the problem 2
months before, but was only just getting approval to talk about it after
3-4 months of data errors.

Finally, some clueless suit-bitch asks "How long would it take you to
implement this fix?"

I said, "In less time than we've spent on this conference call.  4
months ago when I first saw the problem, I could have done it in 15

She never even picked up the sarcasm or anything, or at least hid it
very well, and said, "Great!  Will you call me when this is finished?  I
like to keep on top of issues like this."

I got an award and everything, for fixing a problem I warned them
about, and which wasn't even my job to fix, and which took me all of 15

I got *nothing* for spending 7 months writing a piece of software
that could have automated most of the data analysis and distribution
and saved them millions, and which they rejected in favor of some
script-kiddie VisualBasic crap that took 12 people to maintain, some of
which frequently entered commands into the login prompt.

This is a real event one day:

    Welcome to EAGLS
    login: edit /data/edi/december/19991210.blah.blah.blah

    (moron dials my number on phone)

    "Hey Shannon, I can't edit that file you told me to change.  It is
     password protected, and we don't have access to it."

    (sound of head banging on desk over and over)

    "Hello?  Shannon, are you there?"

    (bang, bang, bang, bang, bang...)

I didn't have access to the production machine, but was responsible for
the software and for file edits.  The people who *did* have access could
not have found their way to the front door without help.

The head manager of the project could not properly spell the project
name, even after being on it for 2 years.

I taught double-entry accounting to a number of $100-200K/year MBAs
while I was there, after spending 15 minutes re-reading one of my old
college textbooks on accounting.

That little rant is one of several reasons I generally hate suits: I
know there are good ones, but the bad ones have been so very bad, it has
been very hard for me to notice the good ones.

> I was about to say that the problem is these days the top people
> *expect* that kind of money, and you can't get them without offering it.
> But then after a moment's thought, it occurred to me that an expectation
> of that kind of salary is in fact probably a sign of exactly the kind of
> senior officers you DON'T want.  They should be in it to make the
> company a success, not to make themselves filthy stinking obscenely
> rolling-in-it rich.

Oh, but that's what capitalism is all about!  

UNIX/Perl/C/Pizza____________________s h a n n o n at wido !SPAM maker.com

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