Don’t let your mouth write checks your ass can’t cash
I had better make a note of this while the memory is still fresh in my head.
I was brought into a meeting by my boss today, to explain why it is that it is so difficult to deliver the system that we needed to deliver by a set deadline. On one side, my boss has been making promises of delivery without checking to see if the thing can be done. On the other side, I just cannot deliver the thing that they need within the time-frame that they want it by. So, I said this during the meeting with my CTO present. He asked me why and so I gave him the reasons.
Firstly, I said that I will not be around for a couple of weeks next month because I need to go back to Cambridge (some other people would also be going for their Umrah next month). My CTO threatened to cancel my leave application and that I have my priorities wrong. He asked if I agreed with him that my priorities were the wrong way around and I totally agreed with him that my personal priorities should be myself first.
Secondly, I said that the machines that we got arrived very late. In fact, we ordered the machines in Oct 2009 but due to various fiascos we only got the machine in Mar 2010. He said that this was not his problem and I told him that it was not my problem either. The problem started because our vendor refused to process our purchase due to substantial outstanding payments that our organisation had with them.
Thirdly, I said that I needed time to make things work because I do not have expertise in this area, which is true. My area of interests and expertise is in computer architecture and chip design. I am not interested at all with writing web applications or doing systems administration work. I am most certainly not an expert in these areas as I only do these things in a limited way for my own purposes at home.
It was right after I mentioned the first point that he advised me to leave. He said that I had my priorities the wrong way around and that he did not need people like me around. I totally agreed with him on that too – I am most certainly not needed by the organisation, which is the reason why I was put to work in a totally alien field to me.
What my boss needs to do is to hire more people, which was what I told my boss last week. If he gave me six people to do the work, I might be able to deliver it on time. I am single-handedly doing the work that another department has more than twenty people doing. While it is not that difficult, there is only so much that ten fingers on a keyboard can do at a time.
Furthermore, my colleague helping me out with this work is already leaving at the end of this month. So far, she has been handling the Windows portions and documentation work. I do not know anything about Windows and the documentation is all written in Word. I would not touch any MS stuff after she leaves.
Anyway, at least I finally got some face time with my CTO and got to put a few words across. Goodness knows that I have been trying for months to schedule an appointment to see him, months ago, to no avail and I have already given up. He probably did not think that I was his problem to handle either.
On another note, another manager said that I am an easy person to manage – which is true. I am honest, rational and logical. If something can be done, and I can do it, I will say that I can do it. If something cannot be done or I cannot do it, I will say that I cannot do it. I won’t weasel around and promise to deliver a system that I cannot. That’s all.
PS: Today, I turned down the invitation to have breakfast with my CEO tomorrow. He likes to touch base with the staff to get some ‘honest’ feedback. Unfortunately, since I did not think that I would have anything positive to say, I decided that it was best for me to stay away. However, I like this idea and I think that I will adopt it in the future – but less formally. If I had been invited a year ago, I would probably have gone but now, I kind of doubt that it would be a good idea to go.