Archive for the ‘work’ Category

Once again…

Ultimately, I’m hoping that someone in SUN’s executive management reads this and takes something good out of it.

I’ll summarize in one statement. I was talking today to manager A. She had been responsible for the day to day tasks of employee C. She was not the direct report manager, however. That was manager B. Manager B was just asked to do a widespread layoff. Employee C was part of that cut. Manager A (who lost the resource), was not consulted. Additionally, as part of a sidebar discussion today, manager B asked manager A what it was that their employee did.

If that was too confusing, pardon me. The bottom line is that layoff decisions are being made, on a fairly widespread level, that DID NOT ASSESS THE BUSINESS IMPACT of the layoff. WTF, over.

Ok, I’m not so naive that I don’t understand that in some cases, you have to make difficult decisions about your staffing, and in some cases, you need to cut people who are critical. THAT HAPPENS. But you should never, ever do that unless you understand the business impact of those decisions and have some kind of (albeit perhaps only preliminary) plan in place for how to recover from the loss of that resource.

THAT’S JUST DUMB. In this latest RIF (Sun’s term for layoffs: reduction in force), I can count at least 3 people in my immediate vicinity that are (in my view) completely critical to the business. In none of those cases was any real assessment made to determine what sort of impact having that person be gone would have, nor how to recover from that person’s absence.

What a week.

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I’m completely shocked

I pull up The Reg today, and its completely blue and SUN branded, with their ads all over it. If I wasn’t so cynical, I’d suspect that we were actually spending some money on advertising.

That kind of thinking might get me to being hopeful for the future of the company again. God, wouldn’t that be a thing. Stock up 22 cents in 2 days. Hmm. Sounds like the hot mouth project is in full swing in upper management’s attempts to court the media and/or Wall Street.

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Wow! That lasted a long time

And there you have it! Another miracle in corporate efficiency. I mentioned in this post that I had just switched managers, and now I’ve been switched again. Just over two months. Brilliant. Now I get to train yet another manager, and convince yet another person that I’m worth my salt. I love this fucking process.

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Astonishing

It is amazing to me that in larger companies, the various arms and departments can’t play together nice. C’mon folks, its the same damn sandbox we’re all playing in. We’re all trying to drive revenues and make the bottom line for the whole organization look good. Why does it need to be so fiercely competitive between the different groups? Are you so worried that I’ll make you look bad that your job is in jeopardy? Hmm … if thats the case, maybe you SHOULD be worried.

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Another switch

Let’s see….

Karen
Kathy Jo
Clarence
Karen
Terry
Karen
Dave
Pat
and now Rory. 8 manager switches in less than 4 years. Not too bad. The one positive thing to come from this, I think, is that Rory will be the first technical manager I’ve had at SUN. While not required while I was an instructor, everything after that really required one. On the one hand, its nice not having your decisions questioned …. on the other hand, its nice to have validation for those same decisions.

Ah well, time will tell.

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SUN + blogs

I currently work for SUN Microsystems as a Data Center Architect. Or a Systems Administrator. Or as a generalist of one sort or another. It seems to vary depending on what day of the week it is and how many conference calls are scheduled.

I expect I’m going to probably have quite a bit to say about my employer in the near future, but for now, I just wanted to comment on one trend going on internally. There is a current push trying to get the employees to blog, and if/when they do, to adhere to certain guidelines about what they say about SUN and so on. I’m not precisely sure what started that idea, or why they felt the need to respond to it, but they’ve provided a portal for SUN employees who wish to blog on SUN’s dime (hardware and bandwidth) . For the record, this is not one of those.

Immediately after making this resource available, there was another flurry of notices about what they felt folks should and should not say about the company in these blogs. Hmm… I’m still formulating my thoughts on that. There seems to be a conflicting principle present in those statements.

Blogs seem to be, at their very core nature, sort of free-flowing streams of consciousness expressing the feelings of a particular individual (or perhaps a group) on a loosely defined set of topics. It seems reasonable to me that if one of those topics might be employment, or someone’s relationship to their employer, that those streams of consciousness may very well, at times, express some elements of discontent. This is a nice, flowery pleasant way of saying that if someone isn’t HAPPY with their job, their blog is going to reflect those feelings. So, enter SUN and its desire to have the public opinion of the company be a good one.

They want people who work for them, who also happen to blog, to not disparage the company in their remarks and comments. Suddenly, this mechanism for expression has a filter, or watchdog. That seems to defeat the very purpose.

That having been said… I’ll go a bit further on the topic. If I, as a loyal employee of said company, want to do my best to have the public (and oh … say … the financial analyst community) view of the company be a favorable one, since it also benefits me personally when that is true, isn’t it in my best interest to not disparage them as well? I’d think so.

Finally, my own stance I think… I do want SUN to succeed. I want to see the analyst view of the company improve, their stock prices go up, my own vested interest in the company to benefit from those events. So no… I won’t say bad things about the company that might influence those elements in a negative way. What I will go on to talk about, though, is how some of the internal machinations of the company impact my life, and how the changes they go through internally impact me. Issues of morale, RIFs (reductions in force), management movement, company strategy, product placement, marketing and publicly issued statements all seem to be fair game and topics for discussion.

If you also happen to work for SUN, and find something I say in here objectionable, please feel free to let me know so we can discuss it further, and assess the impact of those statements.

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