Thursday, 16 August 2012

SMIs or Monkeys. Which are best?

Did I really want to turn to this pristine, virtual page and start to write about Thursday 16th August? Did I really want to recount the tale of another day filled with calls and e-mails, pointless debates and the virtual arse wiping that certain of my colleagues expect me to perform?

To be honest; things are going reasonably well considering the tight timescale and the usual compliment of lacklustre Subject Matter Idiots. I am so glad that I have a few that actually appear to know what they are doing and are willing to grasp the simple concept of identifying an issue, determining an action to resolve that issue and then progressing that action to completion. It isn't rocket science.

I appear to have a couple of SMIs that are not so target focussed as I am. One seems to think that I am here to provide administrative support functions. I have already offered him Technical Support in view of his current lack of tooling skills but he is now coming across as a bit of a piss taker when he is asked me to chase for outstanding items and collate a slide deck. The last time I looked it did not say Secretarial Support at the bottom of my e-mails. The other SMI is a bit of a drama queen.* He really knows his stuff but every thing is a HUGE issue and his communications can be a little rushed so it is often not clear if he is progressing things or not and also whether the world is going to end or whether he has just chipped a nail. Part of the reason for him flapping is because Dante's diverted him to another project so he is two or three days behind everyone else and manically trying to catch up.** Today I finally managed to get some of his time and the call did not start well ...

... "Bad Man, I'm not sure that sending the Indians those documents was a good idea" ... I promptly responded that I found that statement somewhat fucking ironic as a) it was at his suggestion that I sent them and b) they were sent to determine whether a standard service met their needs because the he was too busy to engage with my work ...

... at least he had the interpersonal skills to realise just how fucked off I was and apologised tout suite.

* Mind you, if you had seen his Instant Messenger photo you might more accurately  think of him as a Panto Ugly Sister.
** This is obviously neither good for him nor my project but Dante's has not yet mastered the allocation of staff to projects. My personal opinion of this failing is that it is due to a tight arse approach where a) they will not employ a slight surfeit of staff to deal with workload peaks and b) they pay well below average and we all know what peanuts buy you. ***
*** A couple of weeks ago Golfy and I did some analysis on the adage that if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. We assumed that people might want a huge amount of monkeys due to a poor comprehension of the thought experiment that an infinite amount of monkeys with typewriters will eventually deliver the Complete Works of Shakespeare. First things first; the mental image of a lot of monkeys with typewriters does bear a striking similarity to the view across Dante's open-plan offices. Putting that to one side, lets get back to the Monkeys. If you have an infinite amount of monkeys you are going to need a quantity of peanuts that is greater than infinity to keep them nourished. If an infinite amount of monkeys is tucking in to a pile of peanuts even greater than infinity, as sure as eggs are eggs, you are going to get a lot of monkey poo ...

... and you can bet your bottom dollar they are going to work out how to chuck their poo at you a long time before they get anywhere near "Signor Antonio, many a time and oft. In the Rialto you have rated me...

Therefore the moral of this story is that if you pay peanuts you are going to end up covered in crap.

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