Why would anyone be crazy enough to start their own company (something known as a ‘start-up’)? Aside from the warm comforting warmness of corporate sameness, the rich ecology of a Big Brother (the most overused term ever) shop is a miracle to behold.
The manager is the guy in the office who creates the schedules and attends all meetings and teleconferences with the customer. He does this because the developers are not good with people.
The deputy attends all meetings and teleconferences because the manager does not really know how the system works. The deputy is often an ex-developer, but has a unique ability to not offend the customer with tech-speak and declarations of feature request stupidity.
The developers attend all meetings and teleconferences with the customer because the manager does not really know how the system works and the deputy has since had all knowledge of programming ripped from his mind by full-time Powerpoint and MS Project usage. They are often seen shifting in their seats, rolling their eyes, drumming their fingers, and looking nervously at their binary watches.
Code is that confusing mumbo-jumbo that was written a long time ago by some guys who have since left the company. Its main purpose is to now generate trouble tickets and to occasionally have its spacing structure, author attribution, and/or variable names modified.
There are only 24 hours in a day, yet this person is able to spend 32 hours a day in meetings. If there is a teleconference in Bali he’s there. Often the meeting sitter produces nothing… ever… and because of this feels a unquenchable desire to call and attend meetings as a way of justifying an existence.
No matter what the topic of a teleconference may be… he aggressively take them all over with his pet-topic, including but not limited to: - Golf - Why you suck - All experienced difficulties encountered while attempting to connect to the teleconference
Powerpoint is a highly complex software system with ever-changing menu items whose layout is indeterminate, however it has been found that if one vocalizes the precise path through the menuing system then the path will unfold. Therefore, the next time that you are forced to attend a meeting where the presenter has to traverse the Powerpoint Labyrinth, remember, it is not that they are trying to be annoying… they are reciting an essential incantation.
This person seems to always loose track of what is being discussed during a teleconference due to either muted (or un-muted) side-conversations distracting him, or simply because he has attention-span of a chimp. The Blackout usually presents itself in the form of a question pertaining to a topic that was JUST covered, or the pontification on a topic that was put to bed earlier in the telecon.
This guy loves looking smart, so he will often take a point brought up by someone else in attendance and morph it into their own – which of course they wave in the face of those in attendance as pure brilliance. There are two aspects of the Repeater: 1) The amount of morphing performed on anothers’ points and 2) The amount of time they wait before regurgitation occures; the lower the thresholds, the more smug the repeater.
Every IT office has at least one token hottie (and more likely, only one). Often there is no correlation between the actual level of hotness and the perceived level of hotness – the latter increasing as the amount of testosterone in the office increases.
This person has an uncanny ability to burn a whole day in conversation with other employees. Often 2 or more talkers find one another in a blissful synergy, but talented Talkers are able to spread the wealth among all of their colleagues; 10 minutes with Jim, 20 minutes with Sally, 25 minutes with Fredo, etc…
You could almost be convince that this person is paid to take smoke breaks.
This person rarely has anything useful to contribute and lives only to complain about how messed up the workplace is.
This person is prepared, at a moment’s notice, to: 1) push someone under the bus for failings in their own work or 2) push work off on others. This person has a keen ability to position themselves in such a way that NOTHING is ever their fault.
This person’s talent is simply in stretching ANY task, regardless of its complexity level, into a 40-hour work week.
This person rarely ever produces anything. Instead, he seems to be in a perpetual state of learning a given system, or programming language, or reading documentation.
This is the person who picks up the slack for everyone else mentioned above. The number of martyrs in a given office usually follows the 80/20 rule.
The 80/20 rule takes two forms: 1) within a given office, the lion-share of production is produced by 20% of the employees while the other 80% produce close to nothing or 2) 80% of the work is produced by 20% of the employees. Consider yourself lucky if your office is the latter.
This guy loves to play around with his own pet project(s), regardless if they are useful or related to the job in any fashion.
This person is so incredibly anal-retentive, that it takes them 10 times longer to complete a task than it would a normal human; however every space and linefeed is in place and not a single spelling mistake or grammar violation can ever be found.
This person is just a: developer, tech writer, tester, etc… and is unable (due to the laws of nature) to perform any task that might fall outside of their chosen specialization. The Just-A is often heard saying the following: - That’s outside of my pay-grade - I’m just-a blank, I don’t know anything about blank
The Historian often takes one of the following forms: - Proclaims the virtues of insert-30-year-old-tech-here regardless of modern technological trends - Proclaims that the way things were done around the office back in ‘the day’ were much better than today
This guy can talk a good talk. His knowledge of the current computing terminology is encyclopedic in nature. However, when you finally get him to produce something you find it laced with turpentine and beef fat.
This person helps decorate every single company event, maintains the coffee fund, and organizes going away lunches and “cake days”… unfortunately he never actually does any real work.
Does that guy work here?
The org chart is an ever changing entity with a life of its own. The happiness of the management in any organization is directly proportional to their position within the org chart and/or the number of branches spewing from their box in the chart itself. The release of a new org chart (usually weekly) is a time of great rejoicing, and great despair.
The dreamer most likely has very few people directly reporting to him, however, he rules these few with the zeal of Stalinist Russia. Immediately after the release of a company-wide org chart the dreamer will release his own org chart listing himself squarely at the top, overlooking his three minions.
Q: Why the heck is it done that way? It’s so inefficient and braindead. A: That’s the way we’ve always dunnit.
This person has so mastered the art of speaking in acronym that their very speech is Huffman coded.
These are tidbits of information taken during a meeting (often by meeting sitters) that serve as placeholders for actual tasks. People hate receiving action items regardless of the fact that they are routinely ignored because they have a vague scent of required work.
The range of notes taken in meetings is vast and innumerable, quite beyond the scope of this article. A few examples of typical notes include the following: