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Friday, December 18, 2009

Scumbag Update

Via Google, I keep track of what my ex-employers are doing. At the Rails Advocate job, their website hasn't been updated in more than a year. The owner is probably keeping the website live while trying to raise more money. It was a good business plan. The problem was poor execution. They trusted the software side of their business to incompetent parasites. As usual, people with the "abused productive" personality type get scammed by parasites.

Ironically, in that job, the "marketing wizards" had the "abused productive" personality type and the software engineers were the parasites! That's the reverse of the usual formula. Normally, the "marketing wizard" is a parasite, and the software engineer is "abused productive". That way, you get a website that actually runs.

I was unfairly fired from my wage slave job at a startup this summer. This was the one where a parasitic co-founder used to be a program manager at Microsoft.

They fired 1/3 of their employees at the end of November. That was surprising. They just raised a couple million dollars more VC a few months ago. I was fired at the beginning of October.

In mid-October, they terminated the "employer paid lunches" perk. That's a red flag. Employer paid lunches are a nice perk that actually has negative cost to the employer. You save the time people waste getting their lunch, which is worth more than the lunch.

According to the articles I read, they handled the layoff in a really classy fashion. They E-Mailed employees over Thanksgiving break and told them to not come into work on Monday. That shows their lousy ethics. They didn't even fire people to their face.

They are on the failure path, but they're still in business. At this point, the VCs would be better off shutting down the company and paying out the remaining money as a dividend, but that's not the way they think and is probably a legally questionable move. The founders will probably keep the website active, in a desperate attempt to try to raise more VC and keep it going. According to Alexa, their site traffic has been flat over the past few months. Their rosy predictions of "We'll make $40 eCPM selling ads! We'll get lots of traffic!" probably stopped fooling their VCs.

The founders will probably find another VC dumb enough to fund their next stupid business idea. One founder will milk his "I used to be a program manager at Microsoft!" angle and the other founder will milk "I once was part of a successful startup!" The VCs will judge them on their history, and not their current ability. That's the fallacy of judging someone by their resume, rather than their actual current ability. The VC is himself a parasitic fool, so they will get more funding for their next business.

My current wage slave employer has an explicit State-backed monopoly. They won't go broke until the financial system completely collapses.

My direct coworkers are happy with my output so far. I set up a simple webserver in PHP/Apache/UNIX and wrote some test scripts that show how it works. I'd never done a PHP/Apache/UNIX install before. It was easier than I thought it would be. I didn't have the root password, but I installed it in a user directory and fortunately port 8080 wasn't blocked. My direct boss has enough computer literacy to understand and make small changes to my scripts.

They want me to convert financial reports they currently make by hand into auto-generated web-based output. As an added bonus, since it's hypertext, I'm putting in features that let them click on things to show the details of a calculation.

Of course, it's all a joke, but at least my jokes are implemented via nice-looking software. I'll do my part in providing them with the illusion that it isn't one big scam. Surprisingly, my coworkers also know it's a scam. One said "The USA reminds me of the Soviet Union before it collapsed." It's pretty funny. The risk managers at this large financial institution are partially in charge of making sure it doesn't all collapse. They're all making plans to leave the country!

Surprisingly, none of my current coworkers are thinking "FSK is too competent! I must get rid of him!" They're too far down on the management food chain to have high parasite skills.

I realized that someone like Bernard Madoff would *NOT* work for my current employer. The high level of bureaucracy and audits would make it practically impossible for him to steal.

The long-term plan is still to start my own agorist businesses. I still need a wage slave job in the meantime. This is good enough for now.


Anonymous said...

Dear Author !
You are not right. I can prove it. Write to me in PM.

Anonymous said...

As usual, you take less than all of the facts and draw inaccurate conclusions. I did work with you at one of your jobs and I can tell you that the site has been updated several times since you left. Yes, the changes were not important, but our website was never a big deal (we don’t sell products using the website).

As for the company update – we’ve moved from the office you worked in (notice the change in the contact us page) and now have 4 offices (yes, we need to update that page again) spread out over NY/NJ. Our revenue this year is projected to be north of 6 Million (based on signed contracts and current payments) and will be in the black in 24 months. Obviously we weren’t successful as quickly as we’d hoped (the economy didn’t help), but using the product that you deemed inferior did the trick.

To clear the air I’d like to reiterate why we had to let you go – I don’t think you were in the correct state of mind when it went down (judging by the yelling, screaming, and near fist fight). We liked your work, but you spent too much time on your blog and we couldn’t allow that to continue. Lunch break – 10 minutes here or there is fine – but we know you spent the majority of your day working on it, and even if we’re only paying $1 (we weren’t), that’s money wasted. If you were unhappy with the offer, nobody forced you to accept it, but when you take on a job, you need to honor your part.

My advice to you is to look at things from all sides, not just yours. Again and again I see your arguments are one-sided or you dismiss the opposing side quickly without much supporting arguments. In this case you couldn’t fathom a system that would work unless you had it your way (similar to two of your bosses who are no longer with the company {guess who?}).
All things being even, I was the one that pushed for you to be hired – I don’t think it was a mistake to hire you. In case you’re interested, a new component of our system will be written in .NET (C#). Good luck with your new job.

Anonymous said...

>Our revenue this year is projected >to be north of 6 Million

Is this revenue from real paying customers using your software or from venture capital and investments? Any friends in those companies?

I find it a bit scary that FSK's past employer was monitoring his/her Internet habits. Still I guess that is common. But I think FSK said he/she didn't update his/her blog from work.

It is also a bit scary that a previous employer is checking FSK's blog after he/she has left his job. People need to move on.

I myself have worked in quite a few different software companies. Some had sensible software developers and high quality code. Some were hot air and a lot of time-wasting work went on.

You can also have idiot managers in a company that runs for years. The company survives due to the work of a few decent people. Or the company simply survives because they are a lot of other inefficient companies around.

I wonder if the last post is real or a spoof.

By the way I have seen my share of stupid managers and FSK's description of the manger's code review marks the manager out as an idiot. I commented a couple of times on why I thought the code review was the ramblings on an idiot that didn't understand technical things (see part about local variables).

>(similar to two of your bosses >who are no longer with the >company {guess who?}).

So basically three people (FSK and two bosses) have left this company. That is a lot for a small company. It seems to me FSK left a rotten company.

I know your sort. You are into software because you think it makes you clever. You probably have never written anything that works and is appreciated in its own right.

I'm a real person. I write software. The software works. People use the software and say they like it.

Who are you? What have you done that makes you so great? How many people tell you they love software you have written?

FSK said...

I wasn't going to respond to that, but the prior Anonymous comment by an alleged ex-coworker was probably a troll. Perhaps I fell for that one before, when someone Anonymously pretended to be the Rails Advocate.

The details don't match any of the places I actually worked. For example, "We have 4 offices in NY and NJ" doesn't match any of the places I worked. I can easily verify that by looking at the "contact us" section of the website. Presumably, if that comment was sincere, they would have updated the "contact us" page with correct information. At the Rails Advocate's job, they seem to be operating out of one of the owners' apartment, although a bit of deeper googling indicates they do still have a customer or two.

If a former coworker really wants to keep in touch with me, they can send me an E-Mail to my address with my real name. You really are a pathetic loser if you're only keeping in touch with me via Anonymous comments on my blog.

I really shouldn't respect Anonymous commenters. I do post the comments, but sometimes I wonder if that's a good idea. A consistent made-up name is better than Anonymous, because then I know it's the same person.

Anonymous said...

I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
And you et an account on Twitter?

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