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They Usually Find Someone to Blame...and it Wasn't my Turn

Posted 08-29-2017 at 11:22 PM by Blondebaerde


I've been in business a long time, about 27 years, 20 in IT. I've seen a few consistent behaviors over the years, one of which is blaming (someone) with there is a major issue. Human nature seems to require it.

Six months ago, we had a major account that went bad. For sake of argument, my boss was Captain of the ship. I was XO (exec officer). The troops were leads (call them Sergeants) and ICs working with said-captains.

This company is...a major player in Seattle area. I neither like nor dislike them. Unique culture, not how I was raised in this business. They're doing well, amidst chaos in their tech sector, so good for them.

The customer group are smart, but entrenched. Captain and XO swept in with a managed service, let's start putting some process and frameworks around this three million dollar goat rodeo. As XO, you can bet I did. Sergeants and troops, already there from previous work, took to it well enough.

Customer, however, did not.

Captain gave me orders, but after Week 1 was pretty much out to lunch. He resigned, in slow motion, and took another job at a spinoff company to ours. Plus going through a divorce. He helped me various times, and I ran the ship best I could. There were two key resignations, and customer asked me to term a problem child.

Compounding problem was our back office in a state of mild disarray. I was dragged into recruiting back at the office for a few days/week. I've never recruited nor interviewed so many in my life, it was rather funny though end of the day I only brought in another five people because good talent is hard to find, we have a very high bar, I am a bastard interviewer cloaked behind gentle good humor, and we need the best over the long haul.

Customer one day asks that my boss (Captain) be relieved, and me with him. Interesting. So, in slow motion, we both took off. VP gets involved. I heard little of it, though Captain had my back.

Ending the story, they ended up cleaning out the back office for "not supplying hiring support." Captain was cashiered and left for the other company, I've heard nothing of him since. I stood tall before the Man during the inquisition and acquitted myself well, doing little if-anything wrong that I'd been told about. I'm not angel and make mistakes, but not that big. Still, wondered if I'd be taken out and handed my papers.

Nope, HR and recruiting were deemed to be the culprits. It was their turn, I figure. Two temps, one 6 year company (wo)man, were termed.

Six months since, new boss praises me and others in my role, which is peculiar and beyond scope of this post. There are a dozen of us in a 2000 person firm, we have been moved to the national organization which will mean more travel, more structure, more rigor in what we deliver. Works for me, though the Seattle office has excellent support these days and will be bringing in major revenue.

The client I spoke of? They forgave our company. With Captain, XO, and others they threw out (five that I know of), they now seem happy. I don't take it personally anymore, though it was a disappointment. In fact I believe they're staffing up again for next phase. Count me out of that.

I'm fine, with other client in Chicago, Phoenix, Irvine, and Silicon Valley offices, working remote from my home office on a major project for another ten months. After that, if successful, promotion within our firm and executive level authority.

Sometimes, it's your fault. Sometimes, not so much. Some days you get the bahr, some days the bahr gets you.
Posted in Lifestyle
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