Catch-22 is NOT a Guide Book!!!! (long)

Okay, I’ve found the job from Hell. Every other horrific job I’ve ever had pales in comparison to this one. I’ve already posted one rant about a shit-head of a supervisor there, but today has brought it all to a head like nothing else.

Let me describe what the place is like. We’re a third party manufacturer (in other words, we build it, and slap someone else’s name on it) in the electronics industry. We make some fairly sophisticated stuff, not necessarily in the plant I work in, but in several of the plants, they make stuff that’s on the cutting-edge. Our computer system, however, makes the Timex/Sinclair T1000 I had as a kid look like a friggin’ Cray supercomputer!

There’s two main software programs that we use. One’s unix based and the other, I swear, is nothing more than a reskinned copy of Microsoft Excel with some macros added to it and a new name slapped on it. Neither program can “talk” to the other program, so when you do something in one program, you have to do the same thing in the other. The various parts of the programs can’t even talk to themselves! So, if I transfer the merchandise on screen one of program “A,” I have to then go to screen two of that same program and tell it that I’ve done this! Add another couple of screens and you’ll have an idea of what it’s like for me to do one step of my job.

When I asked one of the supervisors about the programs he said, “Everybody knows it sucks, but they’ve spent so much money trying to get it to work that they don’t feel they can justify spending more money on something else.” WTF??? That’s like driving a Yugo, getting into an accident and when the insurance company wants to total the car, you tell them, “No, I’ve spent too much money on the thing to give up on it now.” :rolleyes:

It get’s better. Three days after I start, I go to the supervisor with one of the forms I have to fill out constantly, throughout the night. I show him how if we added a few lines to the form, it would save me time and lessen the repetition of the job. To change the form would take five minutes in MS Word, and another five minutes to run off a hundred copies (which would last about half a day before I had to run some more). “Can’t do it.” he says. Why, I ask. “Because it would violate our ISO9000 status to change it. As you can see they just revised the form last month and we can’t revise it again so soon.”

IOW, if I were to come up with an idea that saved the company $10K a year, and they implemented it (like hell they would, but anyway), and the next day I improved the idea so that it would save the company an additional $20K a year, they couldn’t do it! Why? Because not enough time had elapsed for them to make the change! Any guesses as to why they’re struggling to become profitable (and the company has revenues of $12 billion a year!)?

Still more happiness. Both the programs I use have the annoying habit of crashing or displaying error messages. There’s absolutely nothing that can be done about it, and no one has any idea of what causes it! Even better, when I point out that there might be a problem with something, their answer? “Don’t worry about it. There’s nothing we can do to find out what’s going on.” So if the computer says that there’s no merchandise in this location, even though you can plainly see that there is, we’ve got no way to reconcile it. Or even tell anyone who might be looking for the merchandise where it really is!

Remember how I said that the company’s struggling to make a profit? One could blame the lousy economy on that, but that’s because you don’t know about the mark-up we have. Our Mexico plant builds a video game console for a certain software company in Washington state. Do you know what it costs us to build that console? Our final cost, parts labor, everything to get it all in the plant in Mexico and on to the shipping dock is $30!!! I don’t know what we sell 'em to cough Microsoft cough for, but if they can’t make a profit with that kind of cost, they probably never will. (And if that plant’s a booby hatchery on the same level as the one I work in, they could cut that cost by at least another fifty percent!)

Another brilliant move: One department will lay-off a hundred people as another department is simultainously hiring people off the street! ::Knock, knock. Hello? McFly?::

Today, I get a call telling me that they’re moving me out of the department I was working in and putting me in another. No surprise there, “God” (i.e. the head boob in charge of the department) took an instant disliking to me and I’m surprised that it’s taken him this long to dispose of me. This job is ordering merchandise from our warehouse next-door. Not only do I have to do the same kind of shit with the two programs in this job that I had to do in my last job, but I have to duplicate those steps in a friggin’ e-mail that I send to the folks in the other warehouse! (Oh, and ya can’t cut 'n paste in any of the programs, so it’s all typed in.)

Never in my life have I encountered such criminal incompentence! Ninety percent of the employees are temps like myself who have no fucking idea what they’re doing, because no one’s been there long enough to figure it out! The fucks who run the place aren’t even qualified to lick the sand from a mummy’s nutsack, IMHO!

Looks like it’s time to update the ol’ resume and start sending it out again!

It’s OK.

These are normal symptoms when you arrive. Everyone goes through these feelings at first.

Don’t fight it.

Here, have another dose of soma, and wait for assimilation.

It’s good to know that there are private-sector companies whose practices make those of my employer - the Federal government - look intelligent by comparison. But theoretically, the Darwinian environment of the competitive marketplace is supposed to keep this sorta shit from happening in the private sector. So what I’m wondering is, how the Sam Hill did they manage to get to $12B of annual revenues to begin with?

(I realize I can’t expect you to know, Tuckerfan, since you haven’t been there long. I’m just wondering aloud.)

Tuckerfan – With the benefit of 35 years experience, I now realize that companies which appear to be managed stupidly generally are managed stupidly. Given that your company is “struggling to become profitable,” it ain’t gonna happen.

Bad consequences happen to employees when companies do badly. My advice: Keep your resume up to date and keep your eyes open.

Is the company you work for a subsidiary? If so, pass a note to the board of the parent company letting them know exactly what the fuck is going on where you are. If not, you could try contacting your CEO and hopefully that person gives a enough of a shit about the company to listen to you.

Geez! I thought the place I used to work for was bad! Keep looking, man, you’ll come across something good eventually. Hell, I did! I get paid to read The Straight Dope Message Board and play Hearts all day now! :smiley:

May the mediocrity of several greeting-card salesman inhabit your soul like unmatched buttons in a empty mayonaise jar.

Jeff, the last time I tried something like that, I got fired! Ya wanno know what I learned tonight? Remember how I said that to order something from the other warehouse (which is probably less than 100 ft. away) that we had to key it all into the computer and then send them an e-mail to let 'em know we’d ordered it? Do you know what happens after they get the e-mail? They send us one back saying they’re going to ship the stuff over to us, and then we re-enter the information into the computer that it’s being transferred from their warehouse to ours! And if we’re lucky, it’ll show up in two hours or less! :smack:
jjimm, if I accept the soma, does that mean I have to give up my Victory Gin and cigarettes?

Maybe you get a raft and float to Sweeden.

Lit geek humor, I love this place.

bella–who’s not sure what to say as to the OP except I hope they’re paying you very well

You could have a case for wrongful termination there. You might also fall under whistleblower protection.

Yes, but sadly, I have no documentation to back up my case, and it would be an absolute pain in the ass to go through everything needed to have a chance at winning the case.

Oh, and bella, they’re not. :frowning:

But it sounded like such a good company in this Wired article!

ROTFLMAO!!! (They’ve lost the HP account, BTW.)

Smackfu, I e-mailed the author of the article with my OP and this is what he sent back (Please note that this is a cut-n-paste on my part.):

So it seems as if he realizes that things aren’t all smiles and sunshine as well.