Saturday, September 05, 2009


This might be the end of this blog. I'm not about to quit but the there is a significant likelihood that I might be dragged along the keel of a warship this Monday.

We are about to install new software. Since such systems can bear danger to life and limb, they are subject to severe testing. So we will be at sea for the entire week carrying out those tests.*

Of course, the customer expects all known open items to be closed and will but emphasis on testing them. Well, as project life goes, there are delays, key engineers are not available and you haven't finished the job on time. This is bad, but when you are honest with the customer those things can be discussed. There is even a formal way of telling him.

Such a document had been sent to the customer. Since I'm the one who will face the customer on Monday, I'd asked for a copy of it, which I finally received yesterday. In the evening, when I was collecting my things for the trip, I breezed through it:
  1. Essential still open items are not listed as still open.
  2. I am supposedly the author of this document, although I had not written this concoction of lies.
There is no way to rectify this before Monday and there is no way the customer will not find out. Since I'm both the alleged liar and the messenger, I'm completely fucked and not in a good way.

Should I be loyal to my caring employer present me as an out and out liar or should I be honest with the customer and present my caring employer as an out and out liar?

*better steer clear of the Baltic Sea.

Added Later

"It's about trust. I can overlook flaws, but if you can't trust someone, they're worthless." Patty Hewes - Damages, Season 2


Pilgrim said...

Why, it´s only 35.000tns of diplomacy. Ain´t that enough for you?*lol* Propz Pilgrim

Mickle in NZ said...

The ******* isn't a colleage, they're a blot on the landscape (I'm being super mild). Bet they grease up to the bosses too.

You have every reason to be utterly pissed off - I feel this way for you right now. I'll eas my anger my hugging Zebbycat. Suggest you get Tono to stay close this weekend.

btw - you have me completely baffled with the latest Saturday Flowers. What is the plant - is it some kind of vegetable?

With "pissed offness" for you and soothing huggles,

Mickle and Snoreycat, xxx

Mr. Urs said...

@Pilrim... I'm not quite in a diplomatic mood.

@Mickle... Unfortunately Toño is "working" at a wine fair (close to the grave of German poet Rilke). Btw, its a gherkin flower.

Gauss Jordan said...

Eh. Every now and then I worry about the products I build. A bank may go down, or some research corporation's supercomputer may not be quite so super.

And then I see posts like this, where an entire warship may or may not function correctly.

And I feel marginally better, knowing that good or bad engineering is universal.

MartininBroda said...

Das ist offenkundig eklig, und mir fällt auch nichts ein, womit ich deine Laune aufbessern könnte, torchy konnte ich gestern wenigstens eine rückübersetzte automatische Übersetzung schicken, die war wirklich lustig. Alles Gute (erschreck die Leute nicht immer so). Ich schätze, wir hören gerade beide den selben vorübergehenden Radiokanal.

Suf n Steve said...


rather complicated, but again we always learn this lesson in any CRM conversation,
"not to be honest with the customer as well as to your employer"

no such things as loyal to these 2 party, they sucks! ur neck roll

Mr. Urs said...

@Gauss Jordan... Luckily this is not a safety issue. We take those things seriously. It is about improved functionality, not about lack of safety. We made promises, we do not keep. Such tests are bloody expensive (over 100 people & fuel for a week) and the customer is really cooperative. If things do not work out, he should be told. It is not bad engineering, but horribly bad project management, and it is a needless waste of money and trust.

@Martin... Ja, geniessen wir den "gemeinsamen" Abend

@Suf... I think the main reason I so pissed is because I'm going to loose my face. But as I learned from a Malaysian colleague on how do deal with such conversations: "be confident!"

Gauss Jordan said...

@Mr. Urs: Okay, "good or bad project management and leadership is universal."

Mr. Urs said...

@Gauss Jordan... I'm back in the office and have just finished a memo that should help me keep parts of my face on Monday. I've been pulled from this project back in February by the head of engineering. What am I still doing here?

Gauss Jordan said...

@Mr. Urs: You're dedicated to your work? One of our core values is "Dedication to every client's success." This demonstrates that, I suppose.