Terry Zink: Security Talk

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Behind the scenes (part 2) - Now I know how Homer felt

Behind the scenes (part 2) - Now I know how Homer felt

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Following on from my previous post about who shot Mr. Burns, don't worry, I'm building to something. 

Mr. Burns begins to do a lot of evil things, including blocking out the sun.  The Simpson family is in their house discussing this turn of events.  Lisa asks Homer how he can work for such an evil man and Homer replies "He's not so bad.  He sent me this thank-you letter for the chocolates I sent him."  Lisa takes the note, reads it and tells Homer "Dad, this doesn't have your name on it."

Homer snatches the letter back from Lisa and reads it.  This next part is classic, my brother and I have been quoting this scene for twelve years.  Homer reads the letter to confirm the point and lowers the letter, eyes narrowed.  The close-up moves to wide-angle and Homer takes a deep breath and shouts "F--" Just as he finishes the four-letter word, the scene cuts away to a pair of church bells ringing loudly to cover up the curse, as birds flutter away.  Ned Flanders, the neighbor next door, leans his head out the window and says "Good Lord, that was the loudest profanity that I ever heard!"

I bring up this story because I think I know how Homer felt, the sheer rage he experienced.  This other department, that I referred to in my other post, has done a lot of things to aggravate me.  I have, for the longest time, shrugged it off as part of the business.  They're stretched for time exactly like everyone else.  Two weeks ago, they did something else that really aggravated me (which I won't go into here).  Again, I laughed it off but I don't think I actually brushed it aside, I merely buried it.

This all came to a head in the meeting I had in my first post.  When the thought of slipping our feature came to me, I knew that it would all come back to me and reflect badly on me (again).  We're effectively delivering this feature to another team who's not even going to release it when we deliver it because it'll get bumped down the priority chain (like always).  So why are we even bothering to deliver it on time while cutting stuff when the guys we are giving it to won't do anything with it for weeks?  In other words, we're making our deadlines so why aren't they?  Yeah, yeah, I know it's not the same thing.

But it doesn't matter.  In that instant, I felt just like Homer did in that instant.  I expressed my views using a few curses, which I have never done in my working life history.  Ever.  I didn't shout but I did use colourful language.  I guess all that frustration pent up inside of me was just looking to get released.  The thing is, I didn't really feel better after I said it.  I was still annoyed that we were cutting stuff and had to deliver on time knowing that the handoff wouldn't matter.

However, after typing this up and telling my story, I now feel a lot better.  Working at Microsoft can be fun, but it can be frustrating.

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  • What division? Is it the Windows division? I wouldn't be surprised if it was.

  • Ah, I know the department you speak of. They are the wonderful Mr Q and Mr A. And this week I know *exactly* how you feel. In fact I've made it an artform at my job to figure out ways to bypass them entirely :-)

  • Just wait.  If they cut your pay due to you delivering on time and under budget, then you'll know what it's like in lots of other companies.  Or if they fire you on account of your product working too perfectly, then you'll know what it's like in lots of companies.  (Yeah Microsoft isn't the baddest bully, just the biggest.)

  • Some responses:

    1. It wasn't Windows division, it was actually one of the teams within our department.

    2. I look for ways to bypass these guys, too.  It makes me feel much better when I succeed.

    3. It's now been many hours since my little tirade, and I don't regret it at all.  In fact, I'm currently feeling pretty good about it.  My manager's out of town so at the moment I don't have to worry about explaining why we're slipping for two weeks.  But hey, at least we didn't have to wait 5 years like we did for Vista!  ^_^

  • youre not gonna go postal on us are you?  :-O

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