Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.
Re: Too many editors
Author: Jacob Savin Posted: 2/17/2000; 3:11:02 PM Topic: SalonHerringWiredFool.Com Msg #: 15081 (In response to 12505) Prev/Next: 15080 / 15082
BTW, watch out for the "nice" ones. I've seen this over and over. It's a personality trait, just like every other personality trait, developed as a strategy, to fit into whatever family you were born into. Often nice people end up rising to the top, but what do they contribute? Often they do nothing. I've seen this often enough to factor it out and look at what people actually say and do, and how much they contribute, and how many risks they take. I hate people who take shots at people who take risks and never take any themselves.
I so agree with you. I've worked with a few people who seem to be the "nice ones", who kiss up to people they want to get something from, and then turn around and stick the dagger in their backs, and use the handle to hoist themselves up.
An example from my former job:
For some time, I was in charge of making all the installers and gold-masters for our software releases. On more than a few occasions, I would be waiting for read-me PDFs to be done, before I could finish the installers and burn the disks. More often than not, the readme files would show up in my in-box after 10:00PM (and once at 1:30AM), when I'd had the rest of the installer finished since 4:00 in the afternoon.
The person responsible would email them to me, and then immediately leave the office, with no way to be reached at home or otherwise. There were always mistakes, and I never ever was given information I needed to post installers to the web/ftp sites (what servers, directories, passwords, etc).
The same person was responsible for getting me splash screens (which stupidly I'd have to res-edit into the apps, because they never got their act together enough to have one splash screen, and write code to draw the version numbers on it at runtime). Invariably, I'd get five correct splash screens, and one out-of-date one, which I'd have to pull out by hand, edit in Photoshop, save as a PICT, and res back into the app.
Then I'd be the one commuting an hour home after midnight, when this person was sound asleep at home with their family... Unreachable...
And the installers still wouldn't be downloadable because I couldn't log onto the %($#'ing FTP server.
The worst thing was that because I was "responsible" for the installers and master disks, I'd be the one this person would complain about when their boss called angrily at 9:00 the next morning, freaking out about how the press release had gone out, but nobody was able to get any of the software. I'd get to work, and there would be a flurry of angry emails to and about me sitting in my in-box, from various (and some sundry) VPs, executives, and marketing folk, who believed that I was the one screwing up. It would take half the day to explain to them that the circumstance was beyond my control.
I managed to get out from under this whole mess by becoming a full-on developer, whose time was too valuable to be wasting on making installers. (Tongue firmly in cheek.)
At the time I left, a couple of years later, these problems still hadn't been addressed, even though they'd been brought to the attention of at least one VP, two upper managers and the employee in question, on multiple occasions.
Once, I actually saw this person literally run around a corner to avoid his boss, who'd called to him over cubicle-top. (He got caught a few moments later pretending to be on the phone, after having ducked into one of the test-labs. I laughed.)
In his every action was the "nice person" facade, along with a whopping dose of risk avoidance, which always meant someone else would take the brunt of the blame for his mistakes.
Sorry for being long-winded, but as you may be able to tell, I'm still a bit bitter about the whole situation.
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