Thursday, 29 November 2007

Fighting Murphy's Law

Today was, in retrospect, a fine day indeed. Quite a few things I'd planned at work had started to go wrong. I had to go and reverse a decision, thanks to a new input on a microprocessor I was working on. Then there was buggy software that almost went along with a product to the field.

The strange thing is, we managed to stop all of this just at the eleventh hour. While I would say this ain't good management, it is strange that (at least) some of these things showed up before we got products on the field. I was running around quite a bit all through morning understanding before everyone else did, what was at stake. Everyone thought I had a panic reaction and finally after addressing the situation, people were quite happy about the way I'd rushed through it.

Afternoon was much more relaxed. I was supposed to meet somebody or rather the other way around by evening. Unfortunately the person was attending TI's Developer Conference and I chose to leave a little earlier than my published 1830hrs.

There has also been speculation on the dates on which my Company is actually shifting location of operations. That's adding one more uncertain variable specifically a disproportional increase in commutation cost and time. The sooner it comes, the sooner I would be forced to consider addressing it as a risk that I'd rather not take. Perhaps, this got me a bit worried in the morning, but nothing actually got to me to snap my cool.

The one thing I could learn today was, "So long as you react quick enough you can prevent things from going wrong later." Although masked by urgency, addressing problems quickly can potentially prevent a catastrophe. The other rule was of course to take responsibility for what you've done earlier. That makes it easier no matter how everyone reacts.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

The Party, Hosts and Guests

My company is having a new building open to the employees. Its a bit further out of B'lore which means it adds hours to your commuting time. We have an inauguration party and we are the hosts. The Admin team decided to inform all of us who work at what's called Company R&D unit/BLR just during the week on which the "Grand Party" is scheduled. The cranky part was they informed the guests coming from various units of my Company around India and nearby a month earlier (which meant we had the info in our Gossip networks already.)

Finally, after almost screaming :Hell: they sent out an invitation for family (spouse and kids). Then there's a mail in "Red", acidic as it might look, saying "Note: Friends, Relatives and Parents Not Allowed." The chap who manages the Admin department, probably bad at communication didn't really catch the impact. Finally a good number of folks sent e-mails and phone calls to the Corporate HR HQ quoting this very line which in Indian cultural terms meant disrespect to Parents. The worst part was this guy actually told folk including me that it was company policy not to allow Parents to parties. That kind of cut the attendance to less than 30% of the local guys'n gals who'll actually be moving to the new facility.

Then the Admin chap who sent the original message instructs his junior to send another mail saying families and parents allowed. That line sounds hilarious as they haven't really given an engineering specification on who's family/parents are allowed. I guess we're in for a good flame war in Office.

This is just one example of how a single person messing up communication can spoil the reputation of an entire department or worse still the whole damn company. I find that devious and deceptive individuals or plainly those who simply can't write a line right, can be a massive liability even if they're hired to save $$$ by efficient "cost-cutting."

I want to make a request for pets tomorrow and see how that goes. On second thought, I'd probably keep my pet safe at home.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

A Personal Blog at Last!

After quite a bit of thinking, I thought it would be nice to jot down everyday thoughts that crept in my mind. I already have another blog that I haven't been updating in a while. This would have lighter writing and be more a personal window.