The comedy of Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy resonate with a wide audience because their stereotypical humor rings true with many, many people. Unabashedly, I offer this Foxworthian parody of the IT workplace (as a continuation of my previous one). Maybe you will see some of your own day-to-day tribulations in these lines or just laugh at the misfortunes of others. It's okay. It's all in good fun.
So without further ado, here is some more of you might be suffocating in a constipated bureaucracy if...
- You access the Internet using a dial-up connection.
- Your cube has only enough room for an L-shaped desk and a chair.
- You are developing enterprise software on a 15-inch monitor.
- Management forces you to use the latest technology whether it makes sense or not.
- Your project is suspended mid-stream because the funds run out when the fiscal year ends.
- The experts are fired before the project is finished because they disagree with management.
- a) There are no experts, or b) Everyone is an expert.
- Incompetent people are fired but not the managers who hired them.
- Deadlines exist before scope is defined.
- The suggestion box hasn't been emptied since Carter was president.
- Your bonus is tied to your productivity and the company's profit, but senior management's bonus is not.
- The most respected people in your company shop at Brook's Brothers and spend all their time playing golf and watching ESPN.
- More than 10 people need your status report—all on different days and in different formats.
- Employees are "big picture" guys while consultants do the actual work.
- You are using a monochrome monitor for anything.
- The network traffic is displayed on a 42-inch plasma monitor, while your UML diagrams have to be taped together on 8B= x 11-inch paper.
- Your boss has a BlackBerry to avoid missing his tee-time. You have two paper cups connected by strings.
- Your office e-mail is two pulleys, clothespins, and string, and no one finds this odd.
- Your boss is indicted and your company's response is to film new commercials.
- Your company has a spin-off to protect "co-conspirators" against indictment.
- Managers have several computer books that they haven't read, but your budget for training is zilch.
- Your boss can't pay the $99 for your local tradeshow (DevDays, and so forth).
- Your boss has a wet bar; you have a coffee fund.
- You are required to attend meetings but no one is required to prepare an agenda.
- Instant messaging is not permitted.
- The company e-mail ends in @netzero.com, @yahoo.com, or @msn.com.
What to Do About it
If you see yourself in these scenarios, I am sorry. Thankfully, the economy is good again and you can search for a new job once more. Seek fulfillment elsewhere. Simply take your bobble head off your desk, delete any Internet porn you might have downloaded, and walk out. Companies don't give notices anymore, why should you?
There is zero company loyalty. The only people who deserve even a modicum of loyalty are those people who value your input, pay you for your time, and treat you like a person instead of part of the bottom line. Today's modus operandi is "look out for number one."
Now, I gotta go downstairs and try to fund my retirement account with a very good round of blackjack.
About the Author
Paul Kimmel has written several books on object-oriented programming and .NET. Look for his upcoming book UML DeMystified from McGraw-Hill/Osborne (Spring 2005). Paul is also the founder and chief architect for Software Conceptions, Inc., founded 1990. He is available to help design and build software worldwide. You may contact him for consulting opportunities or technology questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in joining or sponsoring a .NET Users Group, check out www.glugnet.org.
Copyright © 2005 by Paul T. Kimmel. All Rights Reserved.