Thursday, December 10, 2015

It Is Going To Be A Nightmare

I didn't plan to have a long post, but I have a feeling this is going to be a long one. So, bear with me please :)

Christmas is coming. Most people are excited about it. But of course not everyone. I remember when I was working in retail, Christmas was a very very busy period. It's cool of course having all Christmas decorations, lollies, songs etc. But what if those Christmas songs are blaring in your ears from morning to night everyday? By the end of day 2 I wanted to vomit when it's on.

Plus, you would think people are nicer because of Christmas. Not really. They are stressed and crankier than normal because the things they wanted to buy have been sold out! True though, most of our Christmas tree decorations were sold out within first week of December. Don't even forget about the long list of people they need to buy presents for. In Australia, people take Christmas presents quite seriously and buy presents for each of their family and friends. And also for people who take care of their kids I.e. my sister :P every Christmas, the bottom of our Christmas tree is always full of presents. Her presents from the children parents :P but no worries, I can always borrow them of her ;-)

Now back to topic. Christmas in our company is a NIGHTMARE. Ridiculously big projects all due for first working day in January. We had an awful Christmas 'break' last year. We worked overtime the whole Christmas to New Year period including Xmas eve and New Year's eve. I shouldn't have used overtime. We weren't paid for overtime. We involuntarily gave them our time as Christmas present. While the directors were on real Christmas break.

This year unfortunately and unsurprisingly is no difference. We have 2 big projects due first day back in January. One is a 100++ hours project and the other one is a complete new website. We knew we were getting it since months before, but only last week or the week before everything was settled to go ahead. I say "settled to go ahead", the other department was still having requirements and layout meetings yesterday. What date is today? 10 December. How many working days we have until Xmas and New Year??

Our team is the smallest it's ever been since I joined the company. IT team is half of what it used to be and the other department is half the size too. At the beginning of December, Superexcited said this line, "We are very busy. That's why we are asking Slitherin to come and help us. He is available and is willing to help. We just need to decide what parts we are going to give to him. It is of course an additional costs for us, but it is a cost that we're willing to incur in order to deliver the projects on time and relieve us off the extra pressure."

The truth? Slitherin only said he might be available. He hasn't even discussed about his hourly rate and stuffs with you know who. He was surprised when I cheerfully messaged him once I heard the news. Nothing was really arranged. And guess what? 2 days ago, Lao Er asked Little Missy to come to work at 7:30am-7:30pm in order to finish the project. "A cost we are willing to incur" MY ASS! A cost you are willing to incur or a cost you are making your employees to incur??? Don't bother asking me if Little Missy got any overwork pay. I doubt he got even dinner paid last night. No, make that I'm sure he didn't get dinner last night.

I told Little Miss Nice about it the other day. Here's the convo:

Little Miss Nice: I wish Superexcited would man up and tell them they briefed us late and that we can't meet the deadline they want.
No overtime pay ay?

Me: No overtime pay. I did ask Little Missy just to confirm, I kinda knew, but well I shouldn't assume :p

Little Miss Nice: Hahah true we shouldn't assume but our assumption are almost 100% right lol
Is Little Missy angry that Little Missy needs to come in early?

Me: Nah, still happy. Unlike us :p

Little Miss Nice: Hahahah ohh I'm glad him for that Little Missy is happy. I'm sure eventually will end up being like us and hating it

See that assumption part of it? It's true. Most of our assumptions are proven true.

About man up and tell client... That's something that our company lacks of. I usually blame the other department for it, but this week I realised it's not them. It's the directors.

1. The 100 hours project timeline says it's due next Friday. Yesterday they were still discussing about the layout. We are in no position to deliver next Friday at all. In meeting with the client, neither the director nor creamer said anything about it. Little Miss Nice who's not a manager at all had to bring it up herself that we are most likely not going to deliver!

2. On Monday a director of a big company we have a website for logged in to the site to do an assessment. He clicked on the link to go to the page, and waited. The page took forever to load and he gave up. Shot an email to us saying it doesn't work. Poker Face went panic and got me and water tap to look at it. We did do something prior week that made it slower, but that was expected. So we took it off, put it back to how it was before and told Poker Face. He logged in, load the page. It took 15 seconds to load and said, "It's not acceptable. You have to fix it". WTF??? That page has always been like that for the past 2 years and now you say it's not acceptable?????? Why didn't you say a year ago when there wasn't urgency to have everyone finish the assessment that day?? I'm sorry to say, but this is a typical behaviour of a store managers when they hear that area manager is going to visit tomorrow. What a joke! Water tap and me took 4 HOURS to try and fix it, and it the end we had to give up the whole reporting page to just have that page loading in 1 second. Originally they wanted all fixed. Which I replied, you have 2 choices: have all working, but that page loads in 15 seconds, or sacrifice the reporting and have the page loads in 1 second. Fixing it will take days. So they sacrificed the reporting page and said to revert the code back the next day. If I didn't say that, I think they are going to force us to fix it.

3. There's an issue within the site. It's only affecting 2 stores, and it's been like that since the beginning of that project. It's going to take 4 hours at least to fix. I don't have time and no one in IT is free, so I said no. Talk to the manager. He went to the manager and guess what? I got an email for that task due in 2 days time. Kill.Me.Now.

There are SOOOO Many of these examples happening. The funny thing is, they always say, don't say yes to the client all the time, manage their expectations, rah rah rah. All the nice talk and little quizzes to test our understanding. In reality? Of course we can do it!!! We have enough people to do it!! Again, my ass.

Apples NEVER EVER fall far from the tree.

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