This is part three 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. 😉
Here we go.
November 10, 2011
When creating an appointment in our calendar, you can enter 24-hour time. The system’s smart enough to recognize it… Almost: 15:00 becomes 3:00, as it should.
But it’s always AM.
They’re changing the prices on me. Again.
I was told this morning that, since no one else is technically any sort of salesman, that I should handle the selling of upgrades and other stuff to existing customers. You remember yesterday of course, when they told me not to do this as it wasn’t my department.
Well today it sort of is again. Except of course we can’t print from the new system and are aren’t supposed to use the old one, so I can’t send out quotes or invoices.
Yesterday a customer asked if he’d need to update part of the system if he was upgrading his server to a newer OS. Usually this isn’t required, but his software was old, so I asked around. No one in my office knew, the vendor’s website didn’t say, and so I dashed off an email to the guy in Head Office who handles this stuff.
Then the new Australian manager comes in, and I ask him about it.
“Oh, I don’t know. Sell it anyway.”
…You really want me to sell a thousand dollars worth of software to a customer who might not need it?
Meanwhile, 24 hours later, no one in Head Office replied to my email about this issue, so no one knows (still) if he needs it or not.
In fact, no one’s replied to any of my emails for 2-3 days.
UPDATE: I finally heard back from Head Office about this question. The definitive answer: I think so. I’ll find out tomorrow.
Head Office demanded to know why my boss in Australia hasn’t been attending the online meetings. Apparently they changed their schedule and set up late meetings so he could attend.
It’d probably have helped if they told him about it.
So they asked if he could please attend the Friday meeting.
He told them “No.”
“No!? Why not?”
“Because that’s Saturday in Australia.”