Taking Back Control

I don’t often talk about my work, or my job, just where I am and what I do outside of work.

A while ago I quit my job, I couldn’t stand it any more, there were many reasons why, some I might go into here some I might not.

One of the main reasons was a project in Saudia Arabia, Riyadh to be exact..for the duration of 3 months. Now I’m not awfully fond of the location and the timespan..is way way way too long for me to take. Especially for what I’m getting paid..

I don’t get some super-fantastic salary, I am accorded no ‘expat’ benefits, I am treated (and paid) exactly like a local. Actually in someways underpaid…according to market rate.

Anyway the consistent mis-management, complete lack of client expectation handling and lies through-out the upper tier of management have become too much to bear.

Why keep taking projects we have no manpower to handle?

Why keep placing me in projects I have no experience and often no interest in and forcing me to do them?

Why spread your wings so wide when we already a niche company with a world leading skillset in some areas.

The sad thing to say is, I have more experience in IT than the COO, CEO or CTO.

They are greenhorns in comparison to me..yet it’s them who makes the decisions, yes…the wrong decisions, over and over again.

Late salary is another turn off..one thing you should never so is pay your people late, even a day or two, they do notice.

Late claims? Why…just pay!

Anything monetary that is late, especially if not explained in advance shows instability in the company and brings a lack of faith in staff attitude.

Which is bad..bad for everyone especially company productivity.

It’s often the problem though when small companies grow bigger, but they still retain the small company style and ethics. The upper management all being friends for example, how can they make objective decisions or shoot each other down?

The upper management not having adequate experience or any formal training in the subject they are managing in…managing might be an apt word in the other sense, just scraping by.

Dilbert principle I guess, put the biggest idiots in the highest positions so they can do the least damage, or the Peter Principle as it’s known.

“In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.”

Another thing is over promising clients, and saying ‘yes yes yes yes‘. WITHOUT checking the proposal with people that actually understand the subject, 9/10 times you are promising something that’s not feasible, or if it is, it’s not feasible within the timescale you’ve specified.

This makes the client facing staff look and feel very bad, and does not give any sense of loyalty to the company nor the people that created the whole mess.

It’s a simple thing..managing client expectations, just be realistic, promise what you can provide in a timescale you can comfortably provide it, that’s all.

Prioritisation is another thing, if you say every single task is super duper mega fantastically important, and they all must be done by tomorrow people will work their asses off and do them..

But then when they HAVE done them, and nothing happens, no action is taking after that they get disillusioned, leading them to be de-motivated and not feel like doing ANY of the tasks given to them.

After a while through experience the staff will learn by themselves which tasks are actually important and which are not and will prioritise themselves, but isn’t that taking away the role of the manager? It leads the staff to manage themselves, which again is not the best way for things to be.

Plus it really destroys the company work ethics, as if you ask anyone to do anything they will say yes, but they will never do it, you can chase and chase but you’ll never receive anything. Which makes the whole company a pool of inefficiency.

The attrition rate has been terrible, I’ve lasted pretty much the longest, hardly anyone lasted more than 2 years, I made 2.5! Quite an achievement. I’ve learnt a lot, mostly about how not to run a company, but that in itself is an invaluable lesson and I thank their incompetent asses for that.

But my personal growth has stopped and because of the old boy network in the upper tier of the company there is no room for vertical growth for any of us and the same old bullshit projects are coming in, mis-managed and over promised.

So I was on a plateau, bored and unmotivated, not learning, not growing (except my waist-line) and not developing personally or professionally.

Most of the people I like personally had left so my tolerance level for the idiots has gone down.

They have a habit of hiring incompetent people and keeping them on, not firing them or disciplining them, then they let the good people get pissed off and leave, they don’t fight to keep them.

Which is meaning the idiot level in the company is reaching saturation point and the competent staff level is going through the floor.

Anyway the my my contention is I’m losing control of my life, work is dictating where I go and when I go, which is destroying many other carefully laid plans I have.

Work should be an enabler, it should enable me to have money and time to do what I want..not restrict me.

So now, I am Taking Back Control, congratulations to me πŸ™‚




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26 Responses to Taking Back Control

  1. ShadowFox December 29, 2006 at 11:41 am #

    Welcome to my life!

  2. lethal December 29, 2006 at 12:12 pm #

    Hey, this is my first time leaving a comment after reading your posts, maybe because i can relate to your frustrations at work. I too, have resigned recently due to colleagues incompetence in getting the job done, which resulted in me picking up shit after them. Also, its surprising that even after explaining to the management thoroughly that certain things cannot be done, or even is not profitable if executed, they will still go ahead and do it. So whats the point of having endless meetings only to watch the event go to flames? When shit hits the fan, fingers will start pointing and emails will be forwarded and cc-ed in defense. You put in effort, did your best, and you get shot down by incompetent colleagues or redundant superiors ‘cos of their mistakes and bad decisions. All this is a vicious cycle, u put effort, u get shot down, u get frustrated, u get over it, u get comfortable, u start to accept things the way they are. Its dangerous when one gets too comfortable in the company, it just stalls personal growth and creative development, by the time one realised it, it may be years wasted. Fortunately, i manage to get a job in a famous public listed company and will start work early next year. So hopefully, all goes well for me. Just hang in there man, hope everything works out well for u also.

  3. spiller December 29, 2006 at 12:35 pm #

    way to go man. i’m proud of ya.


    more post from now on, yes? πŸ˜‰

  4. pinolobu December 29, 2006 at 2:33 pm #

    So what are your plans now?

  5. v0ices December 29, 2006 at 2:48 pm #

    So… when are you going to start a comp and hire me?

  6. goblox December 29, 2006 at 3:48 pm #

    Let me guess… you worked for a Bumi company.

  7. Intensecure December 29, 2006 at 4:08 pm #

    Congratulations! I left the UK to set up a life here, with my Malaysian wife, to escape all the bullshit of corporate life, (and the weather πŸ˜‰ )and climbing ladder after ladder just to work with idiots who must have flown up to those heights on wings of Cuckoos.
    There is still plenty of bullshit here, of course – the bureaucracy boggles the mind for the simplest procedures – but we have our lives on some sort of track, under some sort of control. In our own hands.
    I sincerely hope you get the control, and rewards, that you deserve.

  8. Lowzeewee December 29, 2006 at 6:44 pm #

    You aren’t viewed as an expat, and you aren’t a bumi, so… You know what I mean. πŸ˜‰

    Good luck, ST!

  9. gbyeow December 29, 2006 at 6:56 pm #

    Good luck man. Remember, the grass is only as green as the shit that’s used to fertilise it.

  10. mybabybay December 29, 2006 at 7:45 pm #

    Congrats. Tomorrow is another new day. Happy New Year and hope you find a new job soon.

  11. yr X-Colleague December 29, 2006 at 10:53 pm #

    Good luck bro….leaving for goods! Hepi new year.

  12. wingz December 29, 2006 at 11:24 pm #

    congrats!!! u r a free man now!

  13. osx December 30, 2006 at 4:47 am #

    Looks like it affects everyone. Way to go man…it is about time to kick some ass!

  14. KY December 30, 2006 at 11:28 am #

    late salary is teh suck

  15. Paul Tan December 30, 2006 at 2:05 pm #


  16. lionel December 31, 2006 at 3:11 am #

    gbyeow: “Good luck man. Remember, the grass is only as green as the shit that’s used to fertilise it.”

    Greener shit yields greener grass, eh?

  17. ShaolinTiger January 1, 2007 at 4:48 pm #

    Shadowfox: Aye fun isn’t it!

    lethal: Thanks for the comment. Yeah that shit seems to happen a lot here, pass the buck, play the blame game, no responsibility, inept and inexperienced management. Good luck with your move and all the best for 2007!

    spiller: Yah for sure, will be less for a while as I need to get settled in and stuff, but after that things should be kicking back into gear, motivation is back..

    pinolobu: Planning to do something to push myself creatively and in a business sense, learn some new skills and mature my experience in the business world.

    v0ices: In the process of, kinda.

    goblox: Nah worse than that…Indian Indians…All NATO (No Action Talk Only).

    Intensecure: Thanks πŸ™‚ It’s better here definitely, just different, have to take some time to learn how things work.

    Lowzeewee: Sadly I know exactly what you mean.

    gbyeow: Thanks dude.

    mybabybay: Indeed, new year new future! Thanks.

    yr X-Colleague: Thanks!

  18. Chatts January 2, 2007 at 6:55 pm #

    Ah! I think you’ve just about hit the nail on the goddam head.

    A fellow sufferer congratulates you on getting back in the driver’s seat of life πŸ™‚

    Have a great 007 dude! Many Cheers.

  19. Nacule January 2, 2007 at 7:50 pm #

    Chatts sent me the link. Good thing you left when you did. From my experience these sorts of companies tend to adopt the following two business practices:

    1. Hit-and-run: Instead of building up a good reputation and thus ensuring repeat business from a client, hit them fast and hit them hard. Extract as much cash out of them before they realize they are being had. Sometimes people at the clients end are pretty stupid themselves so the extortion goes on for quite a while (I guess in some of these cases the client deserves it if they can’t hire someone competent to handle the project in the first place).

    2. Exploit: Hire fresh graduates/exploitable resources, pay them next to nothing and just get the work done. You can project them as highly skilled and experienced professionals (most clients aren’t able to tell the difference). As they’re working on the hit-and-run method they don’t care about the quality of work. Just keep the overheads down, maximize profits and keep milking the client until he wises up to you.

    Be assured, the guys at the top aren’t idiots. In fact, they are amazingly smart and know how to exploit a situation to their personal advantage. They are making shit loads of cash in a very short span of time. Building a company of repute, and leaving it as their legacy, is not their primary concern. Making money to retire to a luxurious life by 40 is. And they are very very good at that.

  20. Ethan Hunt January 6, 2007 at 10:32 pm #

    Sorry to hear about your job dude. We never did talk about work much when we’re out so at least that keeps our mind off work. But now your free !! Good luck on the job hunt and happy new year !!..

  21. m0rn!ng st*r January 8, 2007 at 5:35 pm #

    Hey man, dun forget to keep in touch. The N73 I got at digital mall has been sweet, lovin it!

    Come by my blog next week, have some cool ideas poppin on it.

    Good luck and happy new year.

  22. ShaolinTiger January 9, 2007 at 12:27 pm #

    Chatts: Thanks man, come on MSN more often haven’t seen you for ages.

    Nacule: Agree man, that seems to be their strategy, hit hard and fast and don’t worry about repeat business. They aren’t idiots, but they don’t have the greatest amount of sense, as I can see by the money being hemorrhaged on a product that nobody wants, the company could have been doing really well by now.

    Ethan Hunt: Eh it’s a good thing πŸ˜‰ Now I got some power back in my life. And a PS2 of course πŸ˜€

    m0rn!ng st*r: Sure man I got your blogspot on my RSS but you haven’t updated it yet. Good to bump into you too.

  23. Aunty Ningku January 19, 2007 at 3:39 pm #

    Time to go back. Your country needs you !!!

  24. Yeelin January 20, 2007 at 5:06 pm #

    Totally agree! I am leaving my current company for those reasons too… sigh… changing a new job doesn’t solve the problems as I know it happens in all places… how?

  25. lin June 22, 2007 at 2:41 pm #

    I was exactly in that situation in my previous company, so I quit. Now, I have gone to a worse one.. what should I do?? Quit again? I am getting more and more depressed over what i am doing…

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