Saturday, March 25, 2006

Yes men

On a recent trip to The Philippines (I won't identify which one) I was dining alone. No big deal; I was happy with a glass of wine, a peppered pork chop and some Charles Dickens.

I prefer, when in The Philippines, to stay at the Baguio Country Club. It goes without saying that whenever I'm there I'm working on just the one site so I'm always, when in The Philippines, in Baguio.

I need my sanity time; it can become quite wearying to be on site and so I'm not always in the mood for company. You might have guessed from my writings that I'm perfectly happy to be on my own.

I also prefer to dine at the Par 7 bar rather than the Cotterman Verandah. It's cold out there on the verandah! And the wine is closer at Par 7 :-)

So on this occasion I walked into the bar only to discover a very noisy collection of blokes from the customer site, occupying a very long table. 16 of the bastards in fact; every one of the 15 determined to impress, it seemed, the 16th with how loudly he could laugh at the jokes of the 16th.

You understand that, no matter how loud they were, they were, for the most part, speaking in Tagalog and so I had not much of an idea about what they were saying. There were a few key words in english; Dallas, American etc. Didn't much matter; it wasn't hard to see that the guy at the head of the table was the number one man and all the rest were yes men.

Lest this seeem overcritical; once I'd realised that these people were from our customer site I started wondering if Bing was going to appear. I should have known instantly that he wasn't; if he'd been invited the head of the table would have been left vacant for him. The guy occuping that spot is only number 3 in the Filipino organisation.

The thing is that the day before Bing had put his arm around my shoulder and said in friendly yet unmistakable terms that if my software wasn't ready the next day there would be hell to pay. Where I come from you don't put your arm around the shoulder of another man unless you've drunk beer together!

Now I can be as pissed off as I want but that doesn't change the situation any. If the head honcho of the production site makes threats I have to take them seriously. Or at least I have to behave as though I take them seriously. It so happened that I was within a bees dick of finishing so I had no hesitation in telling him it would in fact be ready tomorrow. I tend to be very conservative in estimating software; most programmers aren't but I'm not a programmer anymore; I'm a developer :-)

Yes, it was ready the next day. Of course they still have to run a few production lots through. Hmmm, and I said I wasn't going to identify which trip! :-)

No comments: