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bad advice : yum yum, give me some

by mg at 08:28 AM on May 04, 2001

I actually got a request for bad advice this week, but I would rather take the opportunity to get some advice from all of you. I need to know whether to quit my job or not.

So, some background. I was laid off the beginning of February. I was on unemployment until last week, when I started again someplace new. The place I started is a start-up Internet company (too many "starts" in the last couple sentences, damn). It is a very small start-up. After the guys with C in front of their titles (the CEO, the CFO, the Cetc...), there are only three employees and a couple contractors.

The project we are working on is a really big one. One big idea, with lots of intricate details (sorry, can't get more into it, confidentiality agreement and all). They want this site up and running in three weeks. We just started last week. If I was still at Razorfish, a project like this would take, at the very least, six months. And that would be with a team three times the size. That might explain why they are going out of business, but still three weeks is ridiculous.

I am an Information Architect by trade. I'd explain exactly what that is, but it is kind of boring to explain. Just think that an Information Architect is like a real architect, only what will eventually get built will be a website, not a house or a hospital, or whatever. They are only giving me enough information to build one “room” at a time. It would be like deciding to build a bathroom with a only a certain number of urinals, without knowing how many people will be using it and what gender they are. It is like building a hallway, without knowing what rooms you are trying to move between.

I've asked everyday since I've started for more information. Everyone I ask says I know what I need to know to do my work. Fine. Whatever. Yet, today, one of the C guys asked me why I wasn't participating in discussions about the bigger picture. I tried to explain to him, I've been trying to do that, that I've been asking to do that, and that HE wasn't giving me the chance to do that. He proceeded to talk for another half hour about stupid shit I'd already heard twenty times.

They expect of me, not only to do the Information Architecture, but also to do design, some development (code), and some writing. Still, in just three weeks. If this was Razorfish, like I said, I'd have longer, plus I'd probably have at least one other IA and a couple of interns under me, to do all the grunt work. So, I gotta do real work, grunt work, and a bunch of other stuff. Including, one day, to move a server cabinet, which I ended up cutting my finger on.

Most everyone who works there is Israeli. They speak Hebrew around the office. I'm not Israeli. I don't speak Hebrew. I think that is pretty rude.

My first week, I stayed 9 hours a day. On the Friday of my first week, the CEO called me into his office to ask me, among other things, why I wasn't spending more time at work.

One of the favourite offices phrases is "Be more energetic."

Anyway, that is part of the picture. The other is that if I quit my job, I won't be able to collect unemployment. I don't have a job lined up, not even the prospect of one on the horizon. Any job I'd likely take would pay me HALF of what I'm making now.

Yet, is the extra money worth the torture? Would I rather be happy and broke, or miserable and middle class?

So. I come to thee, my loyal readers, for advice. Quit? Stay? Jump in front of a moving bus? Begin a career in thievery? Stand on a subway platform and play the accordion? What should I do?

Either send an e-mail or better yet, use the comments things, right below.

comments (9)

I like this idea the most: "Stand on a subway platform and play the accordion."

Doesn't help, does it? Damn, let me try again.

by Lilly White at May 4, 2001 8:58 AM

well, the same thing happened where i worked, except the guy quit after 3 hours of putting up with my boss (he swears like he has touret's. he doesn't have touret's.). of course the main difference is that he had come out of retirment to take the job, so i guess he took the job for 'pocket money'...

by minja ninjarama at May 4, 2001 9:21 AM

Obviously, they're wanting the job done, not done right. Course there are differences with how large companies work and how small ones work, but still. They're being a bit too condescending.

I agree with Lilly: accordion. Or maybe instead of standing on the platform you could do a little jig...

by snaggle at May 4, 2001 9:44 AM

Well, what are the consequences of not getting it done in three weeks? If they're going to fire you, pretend to work for the next three weeks on the project. If they're going to get their heads out of their asses, and realize that a full job of this nature will take a vastly higher amount of A) Experienced people, and B) Time, then you have a chance at a raise. Or at least more money to buy that accordion and a decent pair of clogs.

by bri at May 4, 2001 10:44 AM

I agree with bri. If you want to quit your job and still collect unemployment - get yourself fired. Don't forget to have fun doing it, either.

by Tim at May 4, 2001 5:29 PM

I can only give this advice.




When you get an assignment like this.

Tell them to pick two of the above.

Then remember you can always sponge off your parents, friends, ex-co-workers, significant others, the public teat. So become the eccentric anti-social worker that the boss is afraid will show up with automatic weapons one day.

Maybe they'll give you more time, a raise, or at least a decent severance package to make sure you don't ever darken their doorstep again.

by Frantic Bastard at June 3, 2001 8:55 PM

You know they only want it quick & cheap. If they (your "bosses") want it so quick and especially CHEAP, then why don't they get off their deaded

asses and do it for themselves?

They can't? Not suprised....

Get the hell out of there.... You can get a better job. Don't be exploited by those assholes. If their business is that unstable, then what are you doing there? Don't waste anymore of your precious time or talents to those swine.

They will get theirs in due time.

Bid them an honorable ADIOS.

Then make like a banana & split !

Good Luck


by Everet at November 7, 2001 2:03 AM

Stick it out. Take a course in Hebrew. Learn not to sleep, and never leave your desk. Hell, if you manage to pull off the mircle which is this webpage, you'll get kudos more respect and maybe they won't throw inpossible tasks your way anymore. But probably not.

by Davide at March 19, 2003 10:52 PM

Hell, at least learn a few Hebrew words, or even prayers. (Adonai = oh God!)
Try site: http://learnhebrewprayers.com/index2.html

by Harry at September 8, 2005 5:45 PM

comments are closed