This is part two of a four-part series, detailing the last year at my old software job. I was a front-line guy, I answered the phone, did most of the tech support, as well as sales, implementation, and commiserating when it all went wrong and the customer had no one else who really understood their pain.
We did good software, I still maintain that it was super powerful stuff, but it suffered from a development staff in another country (OverseasLand) who didn’t really care about our little offshoot office in Australia, and who didn’t really understand the benefit of making the software better unless that specific bit of improvement was being paid for. Doing good for the sake of it was against policy over there, while over here we created an environment that made the customer’s life easier whenever possible. There’s also a support staff in a low-wages Foreign Country, a wholly owned subsidiary of Head Office, who have recently been brought online.
The relevant staff: me, the support guy, and the boss. And now there’s the new Manager, from OverseasLand. He’s only just moved to Australia, temporarily at this point.
All names are changed, of course. They’re not innocent but I’m sure they’re wrathful. 😉
Head office is taking over our Australian operations, in six days. They’ve signed a lease in a building 40 minutes away from the current one, meaning I get to deal with rush hour traffic twice a day, and pay up to $180/month in tolls.
I asked them if they were going to pay for the toll charges I’d incur. They said they don’t pay for expenses, but that they’d work the tolls into my new wage.
Then they said my new wage would be lower, but that I could make that up on commissions.
My job currently is fairly unspecific. I do whatever needs to be done – answer phones, front line support, sales, product demos, dealer assistance, maintain the servers, handle all the web work, etc. I do it all.
My new job is Sales. That’s it. They’re going to make me do cold-calls, hassling people who’ve never heard of us, and my target will be 50 calls a day. They tell me it should take two and a half hours, not sure what I’ll do with the rest of the day, since they’re actively discouraging any attempts to function in other capacities. Sales staff don’t do support, we don’t answer the phones, we don’t help the customers we’ve been dealing directly with for 15 years.
They’re going to hire 3-7 more people, even though we’re currently disastrously overstaffed already. We’re still weeks away from a working phone system, and we haven’t seen the new employment contracts. There’s no internet at the new location yet, they don’t know if our current bookkeeper will be retained, there’s no replacement lined up.
They’re doing all their hiring based on LinkedIn, which has zero presence in Australia, because that’s what works in OverseasLand.
They’ll be recording all our calls.
This is an awful lot of grief just to keep selling the same amateur-hour software.