if your title is “VP”, you probably shouldn’t be fucking with your engineers’ computers

if your title is “VP”, you probably shouldn’t be fucking with your engineers’ computers

Remember <deadmouse>? Yeah, he’s still there.

Deadmau5 is still there too, rocking out. Actually I heard he moved to LA for a new g/f. That sounds a little whipped to me man. Maybe that’s why he never answers my questions on twitter. Oh well.

Anyway, back to <deadmouse>. That place? It was a medium sized reasonably successful second generation family operated business, you know, a “lifestyle” business, that makes a d00d and his kids rich, but really doesn’t do much else in the world, and stands a 95%+ chance of declining or outright failing once the kids take over.

And here’s a reason why. One week our mechanical engineer’s computer came to a screeching halt because the last thing the family dared do was spend their precious dollars on workstations for their engineers. Yeah, I mean seriously. Like half of the engineering dept (as of 2011 friends) had CRTs. Trying to do schematic capture, layout, optical design, firmware, on old, worn-out, single CRTs.

So, the mech E’s box “was a great system when we got it”. Five years ago. Now admittedly they were using a modern CAD tool, Autodesk Inventor, and even let this guy do his design work as solid models instead of old fashioned orthographic projection drawings. Well, he ran in to a brick wall because all of the hard drive space was getting eaten up by Autodesk updates and such. The machine crawled. And then it crawled slower. And then it refused to play.

Ok folks we’re talking about a hard drive. A fucking hard drive. There are three things in this world that are cheap: talk, hard drives, and ammunition.

In a real tech business where the mechanical engineering work was the bottle neck (and it absolutely was at this place), prudent management (like people who’ve read and understand “The Goal“) want to do anything they can to remove that bottle neck, even if it means, gasp, buying a _new_computer_. Ok, so maybe a reasonable, but smaller family operated biz would opt to buy a new hard drive.

The lifestyle types who love deadmouse so much they leave him in the lab for a year? Yeah, they get one of the family/owners/operators/VPs to FUCK AROUND WITH THE COMPUTER FOR NEARLY A WEEK. Brilliant, isn’t it? A TB drive is like what, under $100 bucks?

Oh, and try to nicely communicate your viewpoint to your boss (who happens to be the brother of the VP in question) that maybe the best thing for all of this, since, well, your one mechanical engineer is the bottleneck in engineering, and, you know, new product timelines, future revenue, all that sort of thing. Well, you do that, and the brotherly emotions come in to play. And you get called out for doing your job of trying to modernize and move the engineering department forward.

It’s a forest for the trees issue. And the reality is, even in a small, frugal, family run business, if your title is VP of anything, you probably shouldn’t spend days fucking around with your engineers’ computers to try and “save” money. Drop the emotions, drop the greed. Think about it logically.

Oh, you want really funny? The reason this VP was playing computer tech is because he was the computer expert at the firm. So expert in fact that in addition to his other duties he maintained their web server. Yes, their external web server was hosted on an internal windows machine connected directly to their internal network. Hey, no worries, they would hire a pro to come in every now and then and check on things. Ha, don’t you wish I was evil enough to give you the url so you could port-scan that mofo? Yeah, I know you.

Anyway, you think this is a way to run a business? Good luck.

« | »

Leave a Reply