Tuesday, June 15, 2004

A manager's lament

Editor's note: What follows is a bitter rant that I will no doubt regret in the morning.

I feel like all of my interactions with senior management go something like this:

Me: Here's what I need to do what you're asking.
Them: No, what we need is the absolute bare bones estimate. No frills.
Me: That's what this is.
Them: So you're saying that this is the absolute minimum your department can get by on.
Me: Yes.
Them: Ok, here's half of that. And from now on can you also have your staff wash the windows and empty the trash?

I am really freakin' tired of this. I work for a Fortune 200 company that pays regular dividends to its shareholders, yet to hear folks around here talk you'd think we're subsisting on government cheese. I mean, we ration Post-It! notes, for crying out loud. And our mileage is reimbursed at a whopping $0.24 (bumped up from $0.22 due to the gas price increases.)

At the moment I'm supposed to feel grateful because this year they only cut my laptop budget by 50%, instead of last year's 100%. Even if the budget were fully funded, we would still have 6+ year old machines in our fleet.

And I also found out today that some of my staff had simply been ignoring a public-facing voice mail box for the last three months. I can't blame them, because I've been pressuring them to do other things, and they simply don't have enough time. But I'm utterly frustrated that the company doesn't provide us with sufficient human and financial resources to do what is expected.

At some level, I know things could be worse. I mean, there are companies in our industry that are laying people off. But at the same time, I can't help wondering if things could also be better.

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