Friday, March 31, 2006

All Hands, No Content

Sorry for the length, skip it if you like as it won't be on the test.

I came in late today and saw a 9:00 email for a 9:20 "all hands" meeting (I'm glad our execs know how to plan ahead). Since it was 9:30 I took it as an opportunity to skip a useless meeting. Around 9:45 someone tried to round up any stragglers that were skipping the meeting. Reluctantly, I attended.

Fortunately, I missed most of the early rah rah and came in during the "let's go around the room and say what we're working on" portion. Whether or not I deserve to be, I am confident that I do what I do well. I don't feel the need to use a status report to artificially inflate my importance or justify my job. If you want details, ask and I'll give them. If you decide my job isn't worth keeping around I don't particularly give a shit. The same can't be said of the other people in there.

When I first got to this company we had a daily scrum (targeted at 10 minutes) that was taking 45 minutes to get through. Almost everyone else in that meeting had to tell you everything they worked on yesterday and had to go down on everyone that made it possible. "Oh, and Ted, thanks for all your help yesterday. It really helped me for you to help me out like that and I just wanted to say 'thanks.' So, thank you." I'm all for giving credit but the 15 minute "you're special" monologues make my wiener hurt.

Given my poor attitude, in today's meeting I just said something like, "I'm still working on the such and such. It's going well." This elicited a few muttered, semi-sarcastic remarks that my summary was too brief.

Look, pissant, when the conquistadors came to this continent, they didn't try to explain the chemical composition of gunpowder, exactly how a musket works, or its military significance. No, it's enough that you cower before my boomstick!!! That or taste the rainbow when I drop my particular brand of terror upon you. So cower, jizz-bitch. I'm supposed to explain what I'm doing to people that can't code their way out of a wet paper bag? Compared to them I look like the kind of developer you drop out of plane in the middle of nowhere with nothing but a dry erase board and expect to see shippable, revenue generating software in 3 months. Suck it.

There I go again. I'm not like this with competent people. I'm the epitome of humility when given the opportunity. These people have got my ego on steroids. Their goody goody attitudes and need to feel like someone valuable could turn any normal person into rage filled monkey swinging a bag of hammers. Someone actually used the word "synergize" in the meeting. Come on!

One of the other developers filled me in on the early goings on that I missed. It boiled down to 1) there's a lot of opportunity to sell a lot of our stuff, 2) given the amount of opportunity we're going to go ahead and overestimate our future success, thus ensuring we fall short again, 3) this means a lot of money for the execs and the sales guys, and 4) this means a heavier workload for the developers.

It's comforting to see that other people here are annoyed by these meetings. Oddly there is a direct correlation between my view of their competency, their disdain for these meetings, and whether or not I like working with them. Go figure. As for the other people, I just want to throw hot coffee in their faces.

Estimated total runtime for the meeting 1 1/2 hours.


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