Performance Improvement Plan - April 2004

In an effort to assist you in improving your performance in these areas, we have agreed to the following performance improvement plan:
  1. 1-on-1 meetings daily at 7:30am to
    1. review tasks working on (in CRM program) and ensure adequate progress is being made.
    2. Review accounts responsible for to ensure they are healthy and talk through any issues or opportunities.
  2. Have 1-on-1 meetings with primary Account Director at least three times per week to ensure good follow-through and communication on the accounts they share.
  3. Have 1-on-1 meetings with secondary Account Director at least twice per week to talk through issues on accounts in their former territory.
  4. Demonstrate improvement in working within the team. This includes offering to help others and generally improving (my) reputation within the team.
  5. Be on time at all meetings.
  6. Notify in advance and gain prior approval to miss pre-scheduled meetings.
This 'PIP' came from a Director who I had helped train when he was hired from outside the company in 2003. Looking back, there were DEFINITELY better candidates available from within the group. We all figured the new guy would have to be better than the previous Director, who was having some sort of nervous breakdown from a divorce -- I'm still amazed that we were all wrong! HA!

This guy came straight out of a Stanford MBA program. He kept spouting a lot of management ideas, "transparency", "publicly positive privately negative", and so on. While I think he meant well, and I guess he's a nice person outside of the workplace, at work he was a true jackass. He is the example I keep in mind of a horrible manager - as bad as the manager in Dilbert. Clueless, dangerous, irreverent, incapable of listening.

He fired around 5-7 people, including the sales rep who had just won the award for best sales that year!! (Although that sales rep had been walking around constantly saying "this place is a clusterfuck!", most of us laughed and had to agree -- because it was true.)

He did effectively fire me with this PIP --I refused to sign it -- and he said that I had one month to try & find a job. I did find a job, at the same company for a manager in NYC (while I'm in SF), so he never got rid of me, poor guy! HA HA (Mentally, I still think of myself as having been fired on that date, and I lost a lot of motivation to work here from that point onwards. Does this sound like Office Space?)

Meanwhile, he was fired ~ 7 months later and escorted from the building within 1 hour of being terminated. We never found out if it was because of bad numbers or just enough complaints made it back to HR. I wonder if firing 1/3 of the department was seen as a bad move? Or maybe the sales numbers after firing all those people were what did it? It's always hard to figure out upper management.

Somehow, it became less fun showing up late wearing jeans after he was axed.

A humorous side-note of this tale is that he hired three TRULY INCOMPETENT employees. These employees were incompetent to an amazing extent. I don't believe any of them contributed much of anything while they were here -- but they did try, I think.

Messages from Beyond (poem)

Messages from Beyond -- by Ari

Spirits rise up from the digital world.
They whisper through glowing light frames
secrets of plenty, vast volumes
data piles that spin endlessly
magnetic records playing through the night.

Eyes stuck on flashes, locked on the explosions.
Pixels, these fireworks of data blasting
images burn into retinae
messages pushed in
a torrent of information
flowing powerfully into the mind.

Closed eyes can still read the screen.
What can that mean?
Conversations with machine?
Subconscious angular programming?

Forgot that other people look back roundly.
Boxes are all input with no mouths
cables tangled to devices
moving darkness on a white screen
move dark on white
there is no night inside this digital dream.

Who is that on the other side of the window?
So hard to see clearly through it
to other dimensions of paper and forms
patterns that place themselves on frames
words that tell words how to expose themselves
machines that sort and file endlessly
catagorizing experience
so minutely

We discover we have been filed.