It’s been a bit since I last posted on the joys of The Company. So, here’s an update.
The pilot phase of the Skinny Project has completed. As expected, some people were let go because that was the point of the exercise — prove you could make the lazy, overpaid so-called workers do more with less people AND with lots of bottlenecks and time-wasting, but Skinny-approved, tedious tasks (ie: the Whiteboard). Our department saw only one given the boot, but that’s because two others got jobs elsewhere. So really, we lost three more people. Now we have five per shift from a peak of eight per shift on days and seven per shift at night.
There are cracks forming in the Skinny Project concept. For starters, the people in charge of Skinny Project felt that in order to enforce the wall of separation between the Rock and Roll teams, the two couldn’t sit together. Rock people could only sit with Rock people and Roll people with Roll people. Ultimately, it was envisioned that Rock people would eventually do every account at our site, but only the SEV 3 issues and the Roll people would do the same, only for SEV 1/SEV 2 issues. Naturally, the surfs (that would be people like me) saw this as never happening for a host of reasons.
With this in mind, we learned that there will be moves in the command center. Our Rock people will move to the row where the Roll and Dedicated folks are sitting for our team. The wall of separation is still there, only now our old team (what’s left of us) will be sitting together again. It hasn’t happened just yet, but word is it will happen soon (the Project Skinny people may stop it yet). Still, the removal of a small bottleneck (larger for other teams) would be a blow to the stupidity that is Skinny.
The next crack comes from the Router team. As I mentioned, this is staffed by Team Leads. Team Lead’s have a primary job of doing projects their manager has sent their way as well as doing some interactions with the various account teams. Well if they are spending half of their day answering the phone and being a non-value add, then they can’t spend all this time doing delegated work for managers. Plus, Team Leads hate working nights, even if they do get a 12% raise to do so. Twelve percent is enough to have me going, “OK, I could do this for a while” and get paid. Not so with our Team Leads and so soon there will be no Team Leads at night.
However, the Skinny Project powers won’t allow the teams to have their phones back. Instead, from our limited numbers, one person becomes the Phone Monkey, routing calls for everyone on that team. How unfair is that? After all, The Company spent a ton of money on a phone system to fairly distribute calls among a team. But I suppose if The Company and Skinny Project people allowed us to actually get all our calls, it would be further proof of the stupidity of Skinny and might lead to horrible concept of our team being a true team and not have a wall of separation (the removal of “Rock” and “Roll” teams).
The term “value add” has great weight with management and some managers are beginning to see (if they didn’t already) how little of what Skinny did added any value. All it did was make us do a ton of busy work and create a lot of bottlenecks to prevent gold plating. Instead, we are starting to miss SLA’s thanks to Skinny. Combine that with a general negative moral throughout The Company (at least in the U.S. — they are pretty fat and happy in India and Brazil), and The Company’s cost reductions in removal of people is much offset by the SLA misses and irritated customers in general over not getting the level of service they used to get.