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There's a dilbert comic where the PHB says something like "Welcome... TO THE FOUR HOUR MEETING FROM HELL! HAHAHAHAH!"
I've just spent 6 and a half hours in a hot and stuffy hotel room hearing other people talk about our project and business direction. I didn't even need to be in the room! All the discussions were about technical and engineering issues that I really did not need to know about. Reading the minutes would have been fine, but no, we all had to be there. I had to listen half a dozen times to how our company is cutting off it's nose to spite it's face. Inter departmental politics killing off great ideas, bad management decisions losing the company tens of millions of pounds and project plans that have no basis in reality. All the dilbert-isms were there, so many that it ceased to be funny.
As most of the discussions were either over my head or not relevant to me, I could sit back and observe how different people took their stances:
- The Bored New Guy. Has just realised that this isn't the perfect job.
- The Project Leader who is so far up the arse of his General Manager that all his decisions are based on what this general manager would think.
- The Frustrated Product Marketing Guy, who thinks that we should be everything to everyone. After all, it's only software, how hard can it be?
- The Enthusiastic Junior (me). Wants to contribute but is fast realising that whatever idea he has will be dismissed because there is another department with that responsibility.
- The Genius Unix Guru who cannot make a presentation.
- The Contractor who knows it all.
- The Senior Manager who has already made his decisions and just wants everyone to reinforce them in his mind.
- The Director who knows nothing about the project, but really likes the food at this hotel.
Well, at least I got a free lunch out of it.
1 Anonymous phonecall today. Welcome back! I've missed you. What? Not saying anything... Ah well.