Thursday, August 25, 2005

Under 'de sea...

I've never outgrown the mental picture I had of Davy Jones's locker when I was a kid.

(Of course, there are a LOT of things I've never outgrown) (Did TOO!) (Did NOT!!)

I always had this idea that Davy Jones's locker was like a school locker, so there'd be binders, papers, old tennis shoes and a jacket, maybe a secret stash of bubble gum. You know, stuff like that.

Anyway, it's been a long time since I've thought of that, but it came back to me yesterday.

The company I work for has problems. Not necessarily financial problems, but some operational type things that have been neglected for so long that they're just landmines waiting to explode at the slightest jar. Of course, the underlying reason these landmines exist in the first place is that the owner doesn't understand the importance of spending any cash on infrastructure. If it's not generating another dollar in revenue, he doesn't see why it's necessary.

Take the point-of-sale system we have. It's DOS based and outputs text files. That give you any hints on how old it is? It sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. The owner can't see how much this is costing him in lost productivity, both in the restaurants and the home office. He only sees how much getting a modern system costs and doesn't want to spend that much. He can't see that he's already spending MORE than that just to keep what's he's got functioning.

Anyway, that's just one example. The other reason some of these landmines exist is that when he did decide to spend some money on infrastructure and hire some administrative types, he did it on the cheap. And the people he hired were worth exactly what he paid for them. They managed to exacerbate the problems to the point they formed a Gordian knot. When it did, finally, dawn on him that he had a REAL problem, he went out and hired the Bigdog, who then convinced him it was good idea to hire me. And I came, knowing what I was getting into.

Then, about five weeks ago, the owner hired one of his "buds" to be the new CEO. He seems to be a nice enough guy. And he's smart too, so that's always good in your executive types. But he's inflicted with the same myopia that the owner has. He wants to cut costs. By outsourcing.

Now, this won't necessarily affect me (I've been assured it won't), but spending less money on infrastructure won't solve our problems. He's convinced it will. The real irony is that with his outsourcing plan, we won't even be spending less money. But that seems to be beside the point. His mind is already made up.

So, where does Davy Jones come in?

Yesterday, I used this analogy to the Bigdog: It's like we are on a ship with a big hole below the waterline and a raging fire on deck and the captain and first mate are deciding how to turn the life-rafts into extra cabin space so they can sell additional passage.


Anyway, I've not given up here. Yet. But I'm also going to start sending out feelers (Ewww!!!) for other opportunities. I don't know that sticking around just so I can say, "I told you so!" will be worth it.

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