Friday, February 25, 2011

New experiences

So I had to "let someone go" a few weeks ago. It ammounted to me letting their vendor company know that their contract was going to expire on a certain date. I felt like I sort of cheated the system a little bit, because I didn't actually haveto do the entire "can I see you in my office?" bit, with the long hard talk about how their services were no longer needed. I just told the vendor company, and that was that. I felt relieved. :) I gave this guy a few weeks to ease his transition, find a new position, so on.

Enter today. This guy swung by my office about 30 minutes ago and asked if he could talk. Fortunately, I was a tad busy, and told him I'd come collect him in a few minutes (secretly hoping he had a work related question, and not seeking a question about why his employment was nearing it's end).

He swung by a few minutes later, and there was a lul in my work, so I invited him in. This guy is a diminuitive 4 foot 11 indian guy, maybe 90-100 pounds. When he got back from india a few weeks ago, he told me he had just secured enrollment for his children into the most prestigous school in all his city. So, he nervously asks me "My vendor company has come to inform me that my contract is ending soon. May I come to know why, what the reasoning is behind the contract being removed?"

Pretty articulate, for him, actually- one of the reasons we decided to let him go, was that no one really understood him very well. I want to hire someone to really strengthen and bolster my team's abilities and help me achieve some of my goals for my team.

So after he asked the question, I had to explain. Well, the application you work on doesn't have enough hours of work to justify a full headcount. My other two vendors are currently working on in-flight high profile projects with a full workload. I made a mistake here, and I told him that there were also budgetary issues, too, which isn't true. I regret saying it, but I was sort of stammering to provide him with answers that didn't make him feel bad. I don't want to lie like that, and I will try not to do it again. Just sort of slipped out when I was thinking of how else to let him down easy :( One of the issues was his vendor company only told him a week ago, which is unfortunate, because I wanted him to have several weeks of time to look for new positions and get ready for the change. I apologized to him about that, and told him his vendor company was responsible for helping him find a new position and place him correctly, and that his resume is strong enough that he shouldn't have too much of a tough time finding new work. I sort of believe it, but I honestly can't recommend him to any team asking me for info on him. He's just not strong enough technically and personally, and I haveto be a good steward of Microsoft's money.

Business is hard sometimes. It's these sorts of decisions, where I need to do the right thing for the company and my team, that cause all sorts of "companies are evil" type crap talking. I'm not an evil person, and I'm doing my best to have a great build team that does great work. I'm sure situations like this all over the world cause people to get angry and hate companies and not understand intentions. Such is life, I guess. The anti-business rhetoric is extremely high right now, and I guess I'm part of that big business machine now.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The story below was about a zombie. I'm thinking about changing it a little bit to reveal the fact that he was a zombie at the end, so it sort of "pops" in your mind and makes more sense. I'll haveto try it...

I'm sitting here in all day training about a really terrible application we all haveto use quite a lot at work but that everyone hates. So I'm not paying too much attention, since I know most of it.

Lately, it's been a bit of an emotional rolloercoaster at my house. We have a new person staying at the house, a friend of mine, who we decided to try and help out by offering him a room for relatively cheap so he can get back on his financial feet, and get some accountability to help him out. Well, he's a nice guy, but he hates the idea of accountability, and he values his freedom a lot, so it's quite the strain. He's never home, which isn't an issue in my opinion, but he's not a man of his word so it's very difficult to nail him down on anything, and he feels guilt tripped all the time whenever we ask him *anything*. So it's a tough situation, and maybe the best is just for him to move back out, I'm not sure. It's a strain on all of us, and maybe he doesn't understand that living with people is a sacrifice and hard work, not all roses. Before he moved in, he was excited about what God was doing in his life, and we were meeting weekly to read the word and talk about repentence and other Kingdom principles. After he moved in, every time we talk about these things he feels like I'm judging him or measuring him against a list of things he needs to meet to live with us. It's partially true, as well- he drinks too much for my liking in my house. He feels like it's an acceptable level, and I do not. He gets offended when I talk to him about it, in any manner.

It's exasperating. I love him to death and would help him in any way possible, but man, it's not real effective if he's running scared from me. He's got the same complaints luke did... "you guys are constantly judging me and looking down on me" which is so exasperating to hear. First off, Luke was off being a druggie while living in our house, and earned all the "talks" he got, which wasn't even that many. Second off, our new house mate is extremely sensitive. I can also be sensitive, which makes it harder, because when he gets so easily offended it sort of hurts me, too, when he obviously doesn't trust me or my intentions, when the whole goal of this entire arrangement was to help him and give him a home.

He doesn't feel comfortable in our home... so, ok, if the heat gets turned up and you are being sharpened by iron, it hurts. Get over it, humble yourself, and do what you can to stop being offended and work together to fix issues. That message goes for me, and everyone else.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

He awoke with a groan, feeling throbbing pain throughout his body. Slowly, he pulled himself up off of the floor and glanced around. Nothing unusual, but the abandoned library was usually pretty quiet. He decided to go off to the city center and see if anything interesting was going on. He noted the rumble in his belly, and decided it was probably best to keep an eye out for anything to satiate the insane desire to eat.
As he arrived at the commons near city center, he noticed a commotion already starting. There were several other people crowding around something he couldn’t quite see. He tried to peer through the bodies into the middle of the commotion, but all he saw was flesh and clothes. As he neared the situation, he saw what it was. Someone had found a wild animal and, as expected, the throng of people were all attempting to rip it from his grasp. The animal was clearly dead, even half torn apart, but that didn’t stop anyone. He sauntered off, knowing that he really didn’t have any chance at any of the meat.
As he slowly made his way around in the morning light, he studied the buildings around him. They always felt so familiar, yet he couldn’t quite place it. Sometimes, he’d have quick moments of remembrance from a particular bench, street, or field, but they always seemed to flee before he could wrap his consciousness around it. He found one such park bench and decided to sit and see if anything interesting would come along. He repressed the urge of hunger, knowing that he probably wouldn’t have much luck anyway.
As he sat there watching the trees sway, he felt the inexorable draw towards a certain building. Just like most everything, he couldn’t identify the reasoning behind the draw, but he picked himself up and made his way over to the structure. There were glass doors at the front of the building, and it looked like lots of small colorful objects inside on shelves. He made his way to the front, and started hammering at the doors, not quite sure how to enter. Eventually, one of the doors wiggled a little bit and he pushed at the edge and it swung wide open. He made his way down one of the many aisles, keeping his eyes darting about for any potential danger.
He heard a scream and a large boom from outside. He quickly turned around and narrowed his gaze out the front doors, near the bench he had previously occupied. There- someone was being murdered! He saw a diminutive woman with a piece of wood with some metal sticking out of the end, standing over the body of some unfortunate person. She glanced around and quickly moved away, not wanting to draw more attention to herself than necessary. There seemed to be a few other people with her, but they were far more stealthy, not wanting to attract attention either. But it was too late.
As he got near the front doors, he saw a growing group of people forming as they made their way down the street, towards the body that was still leaking fluids, and ultimately, the girl and her companions. One of them shouted, and fire spouted from the wood and metal stick he carried, towards the oncoming group of people. He saw some of them fall, but that only enraged the survivors even more, as they picked up speed. Slipping out of the front doors, he decided he might be able to stop some of these people from being senselessly murdered- and he also noticed the rumble in his stomach growing louder. He eyed the wood stick with trepidation, knowing that it had felled many a fine person.
Instead of rushing straight on towards the group of stick-wielding murderers, he loped in behind them. It was almost too easy, with the throng of folks rushing at them taking most of their attention. He neared the first girl that he saw, the one that committed the first murder. As he got closer, he picked up speed and started roaring as the adrenaline and hunger for vengeance stirred within him. She turned around just as he arrived at her- only to take a fist to the stomach and have a bite taken out of her shoulder. She screamed to try and alert her companions, but it was too late for her- the blood gushing from her shoulder was too much. Several of the others looked back and saw the situation. As they reoriented their sticks of fire, they were overtaken by the large group of people from behind. But not before one of them got a shot off.
As he lay there in a steadily growing pool of blood, he remembered his name. Joe.