Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Better You Than Me

As I mentioned previously the management here has been trying to convince the other programmer and I that we should be a part of project B--another Java project based out of our Massachusetts office. The other project here, we'll call it project A (it's Perl based), is sort of being replaced by project B. Of course, they tell all of project A's developers that that is not the case. Project A is still very important and will continue to shape our direction as a company, project A will exist for the foreseeable future, etc. This is what they tell people on dying projects when they can't afford for all of them to quit at the same time.

Next week, a bunch of the programmers from project A are heading up to MA to swap spit with their new Java overlords. I was informed that this would be a great opportunity for me to get familiar with project B. After the demo meeting debacle I was informed that I had made my position clear and that I didn't need to go to MA. However, they still wanted someone on this team to go and since there are exactly two of us that means the other guy was strongly encouraged to make the trip.

The funny part is that he used to be on project A and can't stand most of those people. Now he'll be spending a week with them. They've even got a team night planned so they can bring everyone closer together AND a van rented for ground transportation. They may even be sharing hotel rooms, though I cannot completely confirm this. As you can imagine, he's dreading the impending trip. Rather than dread it, I suggested he do the exact opposite. For one week, he should be the complete absurd hard-core team player. Then the entire thing becomes a game and you get to witness people participating whole-heartedly while you're making fun of them to their faces.

I imagine him showing up to the departing flight with a coach's whistle and a collection of team building exercises. Start off the pre-flight entertainment by asking everyone to gather around and "grab a knee."

"You know in the last few months I really do think we've become a family. And that guy over there, our manager, you know who I'm talking about...he's like our dad. He's the leader, our provider. I'd just like to say, 'Thanks, dad.' Everyone? Let's hear it for dad. Okay, it looks like we're about to take off in a bit, so if I could get everyone to put one of their hands in the middle here. Let's have a big 'team Perl' on three: 1, 2, 3 TEAM PERL!!!!"

During the flight he should move from seat to seat for some one on one time with each of the team members, making sure to touch them on the hand while talking to them. Then, once off the plane and in the rented van, he should stand up and blow the whistle to get everyone's attention.

"We've got a few minutes before we get to the hotel, so I thought it would bring us closer together if we went down the line and had each member list one fear and one hope for this new project. The little me inside is afraid that I won't be able to live up to these new expectations. That I'm going to let you guys down. My hope is that we'll show these guys up here in Massachusetts just what we're made of!!! Dad, why don't you go next?"

Now if it winds up that they do in fact have to share hotel rooms, I think he should insist that he only sleeps in the nude. Another bold move might be to drop a deuce with the door open. Of course I know none of this will happen, but I can dream, can't I?

As for the good news I mentioned last post: I won't be going on this trip and the office will be almost entirely empty. That means I can "work from home." You know what those quotes mean, don't you?


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