Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Update: Still Here

Light Blogging and Job Induced Insanity

Dear friends, acquaintances and occasional innocent by standers who wonder into this blog,

I am still here. I apologize for the short, unexpected hiatus from posting. I was away for the holiday weekend on short notice and did not have a sufficient connection to post to the blog. Then, of course, Monday was the beginning of the new fiscal year for our company which has miraculously emerged from Chapter 11 wholly intact, but now privately owned instead of a plublic company traded on the stock markeet. Which means, of course, that we must all run around like chickens with our heads cut off to insure all possible problems, accounting errors, etc are discovered and thrown back into 2004 general ledger to be attributed to that "other" company so we can start out 2005, not only as a new, privately owned company, but spic and span clean in accounting, hopefully to avoid making the same mistakes that led to committing chapter 11 bankruptcy in the first place.

This means that yours truly, the leading (dare I say "only"?) expert in our division's accounting processes was extra busy trying to insure all of those other problems were resolved as well as attempting to put all of my said expertise of understanding the accounting process in a written format so the new board of directors can see that the numbers we are reporting are real and, yes Virginia, we are actually a viable, profit making division of the company.

Of course, in so proving, hoping like hell that the "new" company does not decide to streamline or "get back to basics" (one of the most over used phrases in business today) and sell off our division for a quick profit to one of our competitors, leaving yours truly unemployed and trying to decide how I will be making that next mortgage payment.

Not that I've heard any rumors to that effect, but I've seen it happen before. "Cannibalized" is a term anyone working for a multi-division company that get's bought out should be familiar with. It's where they keep what they want and get rid of the rest.

Anyway, before I go off on a tangent about my job, I just wanted to let you know that the blog is still active and that I will try to get back to regular posting in the next few days. Possibly even have the next "Why Am I Single" post "High Crimes and Misdemeanors", where we will concentrate on "stupid human couple tricks" and the effects of infidelity, up by this evening.

You may see intermittent posts the rest of this week as I continue down the joyous road of educating people on general ledger practices and the effects of "stupid human employee tricks" on accounting for the 30th time to the same people whose eyes glaze over by the time I have said, "This first line indicates gross revenue" even though they have asked me on 30 previous occasions why that number never lives up to the number they wished for in their minds, created out of thin air or possibly by gazing overly long at the upc bar code label on the bottle of Jack Daniels they keep in their desk drawer. I have wondered many times if the number on the UPC label on the JD bottle has a subliminal message like: "57396232 is the amount of revenue you will expect this month; 57396232 is the amount of revenue you will expect this month; 57396232 is the amount of revenue you will expect this month".

Then I get a phone call at the end of the month, "Kat, I think something is wrong with the revenue report. My projections indicated we should have had 5730623.20 in revenue. Can you research this and get back to me why the booked revenue did not match my projection?"

My answer, "First of all, put down that bottle of Jack and stop staring at the UPC label..." followed by me calling every facility in our division and asking them why they did their latest "stupid human employee trick" and why they did not call me when it occurred so I could be prepared for the 900 questions I was going to get when it appeared out of the blue on the profit and loss statement. And, why, when I send out an email every damned month that says, "please send me a list of all of your abnormal adjustments to revenue, purchases, out of the blue vehicle repairs, etc, etc, etc", did they not include this adjustment so I wouldn't have to call them and make them run around like a chicken with their heads cut off looking up the information after the fact so I could have an answer to this question "yesterday" as that is when all information regarding this subject was needed.

Add to that last part, "Please don't tell me that you told my boss that it was going to happen because, even though you officially report to him, it is me that must review, interpret and report whatever it is you did. When you try to explain it to him personally, it apparently sounds like "blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda" and he is going to make me ask you anyway and prepare a report. So, read my mind and start sending it to me the minute it happens so that you may avoid me flying to your facility one day for the sole purpose of giving you instructions on the difference between Jack Daniel upc labels and your profit and loss statements."

Okay, sorry folks. Went off on a little rant there. For those of you who are not in management or are in a "low level" management position and you think that someone above you is a complete pain in the ass, believe me when I tell you that they are made that way by the people above them and, quite possibly, you.

No offense to any of my readers who are sane and capable of understanding how to operate a business and maintain profitability. All the important things that make sure that you and everyone below or above you stays employed and receives the all mighty paycheck.

Well, I feel better now. If you feel the need to complain about your job, the people at work or the lack of a job, please feel free to leave it in the comment section here.

In the meantime, stay tuned for our next update on the continuing saga of relationships with possible intermittent tales from "My Job In The Twilight Zone".


gecko said...

It's not my current job I'm worried about; hell, I'm a U.S. Marine! It's this retirement-have-to-find-a-civilian-job thingy that has me riled! Keep plugging at those books and keep blogging!

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

My favorite Stupid Business Trick is the "unfunded mandate". It goes like this:

Idiot Business Monkey (IBM): We need to get X done.

[X being the most preposterous sort of Rube Goldberg-like automation to get some IBM an item of information he doesn't really need, out of a proprietary system that only a handful of career techie wonks have access to or should really care about anyway, but the case was made to the Division Chief as if it were life-or-death and the survival of the Company as we Know It depended on it...]

Me: Uhm, with what resources?

IBM: Well, see, we have no budget for this, but it still needs to be done.

Me: So, I should assign the non-budgeted, non-resource to do the most important thing ever which is vital for the survival of the comapny?

IBM: Well yeah, and we need this by the end of the month. Well no, ASAP actually. Could you do it during lunch?

Me: I don't eat lunch as it is. I sit at my desk and do other top-priority, unbudgeted projects to get lazy-ass IBMs to a level where computers do their jobs for them and they can just drink coffee all day and take a lot of credit for it.

IBM: So... you've got the bandwidth?

Me: Of course I have the bandwidth, because I'm GOOD, I get my shit done lightning-fast, and I do it right the first time, which opens up lots of luxury time to save the day for shit-brains like you who, if there were any justice in the corporate world, would be reporting to a mailroom monkey with control issues instead of sucking up a corner office and $300K for literal and physical incompetence artfully disguised as business brilliance. It also gives me time to blog, so don't give me any shit about that, if you know what's good for your division.

IBM: right.

Me: Email me specs, monkey boy, and I'll get your show on the road.

IBM: Kewl.

Me: Tell the Div Chief whom you hoodwinked into thinking this is important, to tell my boss to give me a raise.

IBM: Will do.

Robert said...

More interesting stuff Kat. Just showing my vital signs, and checking in.

Oh, and, the title bar has a "<*p>" in it, you might want to fix that.

Tom said...


You don't sound too worried about the possibility of layoffs, which is good news if you've got that part figured right. I went through the Internet ride in th3e '90s with some of those companies. I survived all of the layoffs but one. Not a bad record I figure, but it got worrysome at times. Anyway sounds like you've got your hands full. Best wishes,

Anonymous said...

Concrete example to my whiney rant above:

There is a job scheduler we use called Tivoli Workload Scheduler (TVS), which basically controls all the automated tasks of the bank in the Unix environment (instead of Unix' native Cron, which our Unix admin hates for some reason). Anyway, if a TVS job fails, the business wants to know why it failed, what the dependancies are, whom to contact, etc. RATHER than pick up the phone (which must weight a ton) and actually engage vocal chords with the TVS administrator, who would gladly tell them all they need to know in a few short minutes, they want to be able to click to a web page and see it all with their own eyes.

TVS uses proprietary data files, so ordinary ODBC cracking into them is out of the question, so we have to have the TVS administrator write reports out of the software, dump them into text files, have me write SQL*Loader scripts to get them into Oracle (and create the Oracle database to house the information), write Shell scripts to manage all of it, and write a quick and dirty CGI web page to query the Oracle info to get it all to the business' incompetent fingertips, JUST so they won't have to really deal with the TVS administrator, who admittedly has a slightly gruff demeanor, but really... he won't bite their heads off. I bite heads off, but it's in subtle enough language to where they don't know I'm biting them off. The only real difference between what I say to them and what I wrote in the comment above, was that I don't explicitly call them incompetent monkeys or shit-for-brains. The language is more like "the business, in its infinite wisdom, just like such-and-such project which was a disaster..." And I have a scolding look on my face while lecturing them on their idiocy.

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Now how did that flip the radio button to Anonymous? D'OH! It be me.

~Jen~ said...

Loved your comments on Lefty's top five list!!!!

Just popping by to say Happy New Year!