Re: Sometimes you get what you need..

Subject: Re: Sometimes you get what you need..
From: Linda Sherman <linsherm -at- GTE -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 01:45:55 -0500

William E Newkirk wrote:
> Well, the middle of my response was missing, but Arlen covered the same
> ground.
> Comes down to how you frame the requests...if you say half the staff's not
> working, you are asking for a cut.
> If you said that a few more terminals would reduce backlog and improve
> productivity and asset use, they'd probably jump for it.

Probably not. (I'll explain in a moment).

Here's my original message:

Be warned that it doesn't always work.

I once worked at a large company where the president asked me for my
suggestions. I pointed out that there was only one terminal for every
two mainframe programmers, and because of that, the programmars could
really only work half a day. His reaction: he went to the VP of MIS and
told him to fire half the programmers! Fortunately, the VP talked him
out of it.

Moral of story: be sure you have your thumb on the pulse of company
politics (I didn't).

Please re-read the first and last lines of my original message. I don't
see how I could make it any clearer that I realized my mistake and was
simply trying to advise others against falling into a similar trap. I
certainly wasn't defending my remark!

As it turned out, no argument would have persuaded this gentleman that
it was in his best interest to purchase more terminals. There was a
board-room battle going on, and he was aligned with a faction that, for
reasons I can't get into, wanted to make MIS look as bad as possible. He
certainly was not about to do anything that might make MIS look better.
Like most board-room battles, it was about egos and personal ambition,
not about what was good for the company. There were many casualties.

Like I said, keep your thumb on the pulse of company politics.

(who has been programming for 22 years and has some idea of what
programmers use their terminals for and how often)
Linda K. Sherman <linsherm -at- gte -dot- net>
Computer programming, technical writing, web development
phone: 1-727-842-6756 fax: 1-727-842-6853

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