Friday, January 04, 2013

My Tale From the Trenches

Skimming through the funny but sad tales of organizational disaster at Tale From The Trenches, I realized I might have a story that might actually be helpful, so I posted:
This true tale may help you avoid a trap, even though it comes from outside the game industry.

One day, I noted to My New Boss that the New Web Guy refused to test on browsers other that IE. His logic was that it was the standard so that should be enough.
My logic was that we needed to satisfy customers wherever they were, and many were shifting to other browsers.
My New Bosses' logic was that she had hired him and therefore I was questioning her judgment. Which I suppose may have been true but at the time considered irrelevant. Silly me!
After a few months of this sort of thing (many, many issues all coming down to the same basic problem: New Web Guy didn't really care about serving our customers) I escalated to the Big Boss.
My strategic error was in not noticing that the Big Boss had hired My New Boss from a failing organization where they had both worked (...and, in retrospect, possibly contributed to its failure...). In a few words, they were pals.
And soon I was unemployed.
It all turned out well for me but I believe that the 1st lesson of retaining a job until you depart on your schedule instead of someone else's is to note carefully who is pals with whom.
The saddest part of this story is that state law prevents this organization from going out of business no matter how badly it screws up. The fact that its website is customer-hostile was completely irrelevant, so both Big Boss and My New Boss retired with a pension. New Web Guy still puts disfunctional crap out on the web (because, frankly, no-one who looks at his portfolio will hire him away.)

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