Sunday, July 27, 2008

Prisoners of Our Own Device

I knew in my gut that there was something wrong with a system that couldn't fire its incompetents. - Luke Ford

A dark cloud hovered over our heads today. A man disliked by many becomes the head of our project. That seat was empty for several months since the “old man” retired and went home to Germany. His replacement, a man who takes pride of his Canadian passport, who speaks the local language, mastery of sucking up to the higher ups and other “ka-├ęclat-an”. He has no experience what so ever to manage a project or handle personnel. But it doesn’t really matter as long as our company gets its percentage of the salary allocated for that position. We were hired by the Ministry to maintain and operate this project. Our over-all performance must have been satisfactory or they won't renew our contract every 3 years for the past 15 years.

The guy came here 5 years ago. Sent by his company to “maintain” a system we sub-contracted to them. The problem is they short-change us by sending a Visual Basic programmer when the system was done in C++. He became unpopular when he refused other department’s request for modifications or add-ons in the system. Citing alteration of software is not within the scoop of his contract. The real reason is his afraid to modify a language that is way beyond his understanding. He joined us when he convinced our bosses it’s much cheaper to hire him than paying "retainer's fee" to his former company. That’s the problem with “profit-oriented” companies. They’ll readily sacrifice quality if it increases return by a few thousand riyals. Even if its detremental to the project's health in the long run.

Staying in one place and doing the same thing for so many years can make a man jaded. I don’t know yet if a change of environment or transfering to another “sandbox” is a good idea. I still have a year and a half left on my personal contract. If things get bad or I’m no longer happy, I have plenty of time to gather and balance my options.

10 comments:

  1. The last paragraph sounds big. God bless you in your decisions. =)

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  2. At least with a year and a half left on your contract, there's light at the end of your tunnel.

    I just can't understand why persons with poor interpersonal skills get appointed to leadership positions. The last thing we all need in our jobs is a person who disrupts the atmosphere of the work environment.

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  3. witsandnuts, thank you, I hope thinks would be alright or I have to say "masalahmah".

    panaderos, there is a saying "Those who can, do. Those who can't, kisses the boss butt."

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  4. I think many big companies doesn't care If their employees are dedicated and well experience to do the task,if they can use others to do the job cheaper and will fatten their coffer to the hell with them.In Korea once you reach the of 45 the company will offer you an early retirement regardless of your experience,and hire much younger and less exprience employees since this is much cheaper and easier for them to manage or is it?

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  5. ed v., except for their citizens, all expats here are in a contractual basis.

    Talagang malakas lang sumipsip sa arabo. Imagine from an maintaining a system kuno to project manager in 5 years. When project people knew his medeocre ability, yet still get promoted, "theories" are formed on what he did to get to the top.

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  6. naranasan at naramdadaman ko rin ang ganyang pakiramdam,madalas mangyari talaga ang ganyang bagay lalo na sa lugar buhangin,pero mahaba pa ang panahon mo at sure ako na anumang desisyon ang mangyari,mapapabuti ka,...may taglay kang talino!

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  7. competencies is very important but dedication is more important. nakakalungkot naman at dami pa ring ganyan.

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  8. ever, masyado mo namang pinalalakas ang loob ko. Salamat kaibigan.

    donG, talo ang "competency" at "dedication" dito nang "whom you know".

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  9. Blogusvox,any place you go if you have ability and skills you can survive. Baka naman sa Europe o Alaska ka pumunta hindi na sandbox itong blog mo baka maging icebox na... ha ha ha.. its just a corny joke to lighten up your mood.

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  10. ed v., hehehe, dito lang pag winter nangangatog na ang tuhod ko sa Europe o Alaska pa kaya. Kung may opening, I'd rather prefer jobs around the arabian peninsula. But why bother, matagal pa naman yun.

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