And Another Thing: Over a Barrel?
Mike Cohn asks if you're "Over a Barrel?" in a little poem about the good old days and how it used to be in IT.
Over a Barrel?
Not long ago, back in IT
Programmers worked in fear.
To keep their jobs, they slaved all night
For 18-grand a year.
We managers read résumés,
Then, hired whom we liked most.
Those days are gone! We've lost control!
And, now, my friends, we're toast.
There are more jobs than job applicants
And high-tech workers know it.
They won't work hard. _They want big bucks.
We're hurting, but can't show it.
So, we put up with employees
Like these, and must embrace them.
Because of IT shortages,
There's no one to replace them.
Like Dave, who coded SAP,
Management adored him.
So when he told them he was gone,
His CIO implored him.
"But I am leaving," he professed.
"It's hardly wrong or dirty.
I'm peeved, because one time last week
You worked me past five-thirty."
Then, there was Jenny, Project Lead,
And totally inept.
No budget that she couldn't blow;
No deadline ever kept.
But, no one else would take her job.
Though Jenny is the worst,
She'll stay till project's end,
Or she retires, whichever's first.
And Agnes is a DBA,
But nothing can inspire her.
She sits all day e-trading stocks
'Cause nobody can fire her.
"I know it's wrong," she does admit,
"The habit's quite obscene.
But, who can work on JCL
While Yahoo!'s down 13?"
And Jonathan was no big wheel,
He worked from 8 to 3,
Just hanging tapes, and, yet, he had
A loaded SUV.
"I'll take a little business trip,"
He proudly said, "And then,
I'll fudge on my expense report...
Though by a power of ten."
When he heard Sue had e-mailed porn,
Her boss just let it slide.
But, soon after her fourth offense,
He took her to the side.
"Such filth does not belong," he said,
"I'll give you one more chance."
He doesn't know her Web site has
His picture, without pants.
Eddie from procurement used to
Suffer several beatings
From managers who saw him nap
In weekly status meetings.
But now, since he does "SCM"
The boss just lets him slumber,
Though useless, they just raised his pay
To some six-digit number.
And Stanley likes to take days off
To show his independence.
He has amazing Java skills,
But pitiful attendance.
"Most companies would chew me out,
But here, it's not that bleak.
I give them great e-commerce skills,
And just two days a week!"
Then there's Zack, a corporate spy
Who limits his potential
By selling to competitors,
All stuff that's confidential.
Most companies would let Zack go,
They'd label him a jerk.
But, he stays on, because he shows
An interest in his work.
Thomas did app maintenance,
But did it his own way.
He'd move code to production,
But he wouldn't tell QA.
He skipped all standards, broke all rules,
His code would always bomb.
They'll fire him soon, but not right now...
The system's down! Call Tom.
Beth did Web Security,
So said her résumé,
Though actually her background was
One class, for just one day.
So, when their firewall went down
And everything was hacked,
Did Beth get bawled out? Heavens, no!
Three managers got sacked.
Sue and Carol surfed the Net
Downloading dangerous files.
But when confronted, they weren't scared,
They laughed and were all smiles!
"If we had done this years ago
Our managers would fire us,
But, right now, Personnel stays mum!
We think they have a virus."
The hard truth is, as managers,
We must keep Sue and Carol.
Thanks to the folks in this sad poem
We're all over a barrel.
But don't give up! Here's an idea
My CFO's endorsed.
We still have one solution:
We can hope we get outsourced.
Mike Cohn lives in Atlanta, where he diligently posts his resume online.