Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Patrick Flynn and Ronald Tipton, 2016.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Monday, March 28, 2011

How Did We Come to This? Chapter 5: Unsystematic System Shifting


The Old Goat was successful again in Sales Uplifting, but again he was moved (kicking and screaming) to another area. Each time The Old Goat had been moved it was not his idea or desire. Each time The Old Goat was moved it was into the current “hot” spot, the newest number one priority, and yet each time The Old Goat was moved it was not upward, but sideways.  His grade level stayed as it had been when The Old Goat was in All Things Deposited, yet people who had not established reputations of innovation and success were moving effortlessly upward.  Dudley Doright had become a Section Manager in but a few years and Flip Wineberry, who had a reputation among those he worked alongside of knowing nothing and bragging about it, had progressed by age 33 to a Division Manager position.  It was also very clear that Flip was more than just the new manager of All Things Deposited, replacing Ross.  He was the top guy at the OpsCenter. It was obvious that Willy Doitagain, the new Vice-president over Spittin’ Out Data had to acquiesce to Flip’s whims and wishes. Yet while Willy was there every day putting in many extra hours overseeing his domain, Flip was most often not there. Flip was off golfing or having meetings and whatever kept him from the helm. And all along persons over a certain age were disappearing from the OpsCenter to be replaced by young and inexperienced people, who also seemed to move up the ladder at amazing speed, skipping rungs of knowledge, even as the quality of the work deteriorated.
And The Old Goat, who had successfully built the Silly Pilly System to accompany the Silly Pilly Program, was sent yon and beyond to Numbing Numbers and another Old Female Goat with no experienced was brought in to take over his Silly Pilly System and step upon her own greased skid.
Once more The Old Goat tossed and turned at night, certain this was the move to make him fail. The Old Goat dreaded going into the Numbing Numbers area.  He only hoped that they had called him in recognition of what he had done with costs at All Things Deposited, since building a cost system was the new number one priority of the bank. 
Now in one of those incredibly questionable moves, We Are Independent Trust had hired an outfit called PENCIL-NECKED GEEKS, INC. (out of Pennsylvania), to study WAIT’s costing needs and recommend a cost system. They paid PENCIL-NECKED GEEKS, INC. $100,000 for their recommendation.  It is a smart move to get an outside opinion before investing several million dollars on an unknown quantity, is it not? Oh right, sure!  Except PENCIL-NECKED GEEKS, INC. representatives were former We Are Independent Trust managers who had been close to Cuddy Bear.  But The Old Goat was certain they were fair and impartial (oh yeah).  Except PENCIL-NECKED GEEKS, INC. also happened to sell a cost and profitability system of their own, so one of the vendors they were studying for their recommendation was themselves.  But The Old Goat was sure they could be fair and impartial (oh yeah). And surprise, surprise, their recommendation was PENCIL-NECKED GEEKS, INC.  But The Old Goat was sure it was a fair and impartial recommendation (oh yeah).
At the very same time, Icabod Longfellow, in Makingit Sell Research was pushing for the purchase of another multi-million dollar venture called WhoGotRockX, a Makingit Sell Central We-Know-Everything-About-You-And-What-You-Had-For-Breakfast-And-What-You-Paid-For-It System. A database to tell who had what and who was worth having as a client.  Only one little hitch, the PENCIL-NECKED GEEKS, INC. Cough-And-Produce-By-The-Notch-We-Put-On-The-Wall System was number one priority at WISH and all the IMP resources had been allocated to PENCIL-NECKED GEEKS, INC. There were only crumbs left over to support the installation of WhoGotRockX.  But Icabod stubbornly pushed it anyway and he got it approved and purchased.  This would return to haunt him; haunt us all in fact. Who got rocks? WISH got rocks in the head for ever getting mixed up with either of these systems.
The Old Goat was assigned to a team to study the costs of the OpsCenter, which was fine with him. He was to spend most of the next year where he use to work, away from headquarters and the Numbing Numbers division.  The Old Goat became the group leader of six analysts. He set the schedules and did the training. He didn’t like some things about the PENCIL-NECKED GEEKS, INC. system and The Old Goat hacked through the backdoor into their database (it was Access and so he got access because he understood Access) and was able to steal the collected data for a database of his own design, which produced much better reports than thePENCIL-NECKED GEEKS, INC.'s  high cost system.  The Old Goat also fixed some errors he found in their design.  He did tell them what he had done and they did incorporate some of his changes into upgrades of their system, but notice that got The Old Goat no credit or royalty.
The Old Goat also argued them into letting him study all shifts of Spittin’ Out Data during the same time frame. That division worked around the clock, three shifts. Their plan called for doing day shift one month, twilight shift the next month and night shift the third month.  Now The Old Goat was already in disagreement with their methods, because they had decided to devote three weeks of study to each area, rather than a full month. The Old Goat argued a full monthly cycle should be done, because there were often big differences between the weeks within a month. This was a normal sane, standard and sure approach to such a study, not just his idea. However, Cuddy Bear had insisted the system be completely in place within one year, so they had cut the study time to make the target date. Well, The Old Goat couldn’t see breaking Spittin’ Out Data’s shifts up over three months. The work flowed through the shifts and The Old Goat wanted the flow to match, especially the volumes.  It meant visiting every shift every day for a month, but The Old Goat scoped it out and got it done and saved them two months and probably a lot of bad base figures.
With OpsCenter completed,  The Old Goat was reluctantly assigned a desk in Numbing Numbers and made Senior Profitability Analyst. He had told his boss, Cap Kneebone, he could give him any other areas to study except Trust.  The Old Goat really didn’t know Trust. The Old Goat was given Capitalist Lending, which meant The Old Goat would have to work with a man named Vetter Willit, who was high up in Capitalist Lending and over all the lenders.  Then all of a sudden, things changed and The Old Goat was given Trust, not just Trust, but also Trust Operations and Info Machine Processing, the tough assignments.
But  Numbing Numbers also had responsibility for the budgets, so we constantly got interrupted in trying to pull the profitability system together because we had to do budgets, and we were always in a bind from lack of leadership. Then it became apparent that there was a generation gap. They reorganized the units and a little clique of twenty-somethings, who hung out with the manager, like flies around manure, got promoted to supervisors and we old guys were just a bunch of aging worker bees locked in the cells of the hive.  While we were the ones they could depend on to do the job, we were just chucked aside socially, so to speak.
But The Old Goat can’t just not do a good job, it goes against his nature. He began automating some of the routine procedures and he wrote up the manual.  He built a database to handle the organization chart and the income review, which was still in years after he left.
Meanwhile, as if time was not slim enough for getting the costing and the budgeting done, WISH announced The Cooperative Workshop, something like the collective communistic theories of Mao I think, but the latest obsession of Cuddy Bear.  It was a big deal, our subsequent annual reviews would depend on our involvement. The Old Goat joined a team outside Numbing Numbers.  Everyone was supposed to join teams outside their areas.  It was supposed to empower us, but basically it had everyone doing two jobs and being paid for one.  The Old Goat joined a team that was to come up with a Makingit Sell model to gain recognition for WAIT in the high-income market. This team had been in existence for six months and had gotten nowhere, even though most members were Makingit Sell people, who should have been elsewhere anywhere.  The Old Goat went home after the first meeting he attended, sat down and drew up a model, which he presented at the next meeting. It was tweaked a bit, but it was the one presented to Senior Management and approved for implementation. Did The Old Goat get recognition for this?  Well, yes and no. The whole team received an award for it, but the ones who people remembered were the two who did the presentation at the Senior Management meeting, not the one who actually conceived the model, wrote the presentation and created the PowerPoint slides. 
The Old Goat just went back to his Numbing Numbers cubicle and crunched his numbing numbers.  Then one day he saw his old job, Administrator of the Silly Pilly System in Makingit Sell Research was posted. The woman who had replaced him was retiring to move out west with her husband. The Old Goat ignored it, until he was coming out of the cafeteria and met a woman who worked in Brokerage. She had shared the dBase system with Sales Uplifting and they had often interfaced. She asked him if he was going to post for his old job.  The Old Goat said he had not considered it. Then she said, “You know Ernest Healthstriver would love to have you back.”

        And with those remarks his fate was sealed and The Old Goat began his final quest through the forest of evil.

1 comment:

Tamela's Place said...

WOW! how messed up was all of that.. too bad those with the answers, character and integrity get overlooked.. But in the end they will be the ones remembered..

Tammy :)