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Monday, February 8, 2010

Good Boss, Evil Boss

At work, there was a "meet the new boss" meeting. He actually seemed decent. He asked everyone to explain their background and what they're working on. He seemed genuinely interested.

After about 20 minutes, my boss' boss came to the meeting. Then, he did 95%+ of the talking for the rest of the meeting. He clearly wasn't interested in other people's viewpoint. It was an interesting contrast of style, for a parasitic boss or a good boss. A parasitic boss talks at you and says the same thing over and over again. A good boss is more interested in a real dialogue. It was somewhat sad and amusing, that my boss' boss hijacked the new boss' meeting. He'll get other chances to meet everyone.

A couple of my coworkers are scared that they are about to be fired. Interestingly, the less qualified ones are the most concerned about getting fired.

My boss' boss explained why he fired my ex-boss. He explained it in parasite language, but I was able to understand and translate. It seems that I'm making progress at understanding parasites. He had a valid reason for firing my ex-boss.

My boss' boss said over and over again (too many times), "The quant group can't communicate." and "The other departments don't trust the quant group." Actually, my coworkers have above-average competence, but I understand how that happened.

My ex-boss was from China, and didn't speak English very well. Almost all his subordinates were immigrants from China and didn't speak English well. They worked well together, usually communicating in Chinese. However, it was a problem when interacting with other groups.

I'm the only person in the group that was born in the USA. The guy I work with is from Russia and speaks English well. The other people have trouble communicating in English. The new boss is from Turkey, but speaks English without a noticeable accent. I was surprised I was hired. I feel like the token white guy.

If you're living in the USA, you should learn English. That isn't racist; it's a practical observation.

Instead of telling my ex-boss "Hey! Hire some people who speak fluent English!", he was fired. I guess that's easier than helping someone change their habits.

There was another bit signifying coming layoffs. They're planning to hire more people. My boss' boss said "Two people should know how to do every job." The hidden meaning is "So then one of them could be fired."

There was a meeting with my new boss and the people at risk for being fired. The expression on my boss' face said "What am I going to do with these f***tards?" The main problem is their inability to communicate in English. They're otherwise competent.

It was obvious by what questions were asked to whom, who was safe and who was dogfood. "A, please explain what you're working on." indicates A is safe. "B, please explain why everyone thinks the quants are a bunch of incompetent dumbf***s." indicates that B should find a new job.

The meeting was somewhat bizarre. My boss' boss spoke almost all the time. He kept saying "Lack of communication!" and "Lack of trust!", which was obviously due to the fact that nobody spoke fluent English.

I was disappointed that the new boss was shut out of his own meeting. He'll have other opportunities without his boss interfering.

It seems like they had a valid reason for firing my ex-boss. He only hired Chinese people who didn't speak fluent English. The new boss seemed decent. Several of my coworkers are scared s***less, which is disappointing. Their emotional state does affect me. Anyway, it looks like I'll be able to work with the new boss. The guy I work with is not in the doghouse; he speaks English well.

The project I'm working on correlates well with "Things we urgently need to do!" I'm writing automated daily risk reports. Previously, the risk reports were generated monthly, making them practically useless.

It looks like my job is safe for now. Given that I know that the US financial system is one big scam, it's amusing that I'm calculating financial risk reports. It's meaningless, but at least I have superficially reasonable calculations and nicely formatted hypertext reports.

It was interesting to notice the contrast in styles, between an intelligent boss and an evil boss. My boss' boss, who I don't work with, was only interested in talking. The new boss seemed genuinely interested in who's doing what. My new boss' reaction seems to be "Good, FSK speaks fluent English." rather than "FSK is too competent. I must get rid of him."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Change of management and subtle talk of firing people is nasty.

I'm always disappointed that merit in terms of what work you, pragmatism and how much you achieve isn't properly evaluated in places that fire people.

In a group I used to work in, a couple of people worked on basically worthless, easy projects. They weren't even doing real programming. Just placing 1 line of code per URL handler to count how many times it is accessed!!!! That managed to spin out that nonsense for months.

Yet these people totally flew under the radar and escaped being fired.

Maybe that was because the new management didn't really know what they did. Maybe because they did practically nothing, there was no dirt on them.

Maybe the new management didn't have the heart to fire them, because they obviously would have trouble finding new jobs given their lack of ability in certain areas. Maybe they were non-US citizens that would have to go back to scummy countries if they got fired and so they didn't have the heart.

But the end-result was that incompetent or badly utilized people kept their jobs, while the people that were competent and did lots of work got canned with no severance pay whatsoever.

It pays to be lazy and clueless. If you work hard you will be given more and more work and then fired by some clueless new manager that doesn't even know what you do!

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