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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Battle of the Titans

So there's an interesting showdown playing out at work!

We recently got a new manager for our division. He has a dual function in that he also heads up a separate division for MEA. (But that's a different story). So he's on assignment, from the USA.

Here's the background. Been with the corporation for a number of years (about 13 or 14). Done well for himself. Has had various positions, including management, has been a salesman, account executive, etc.....
So, from a corporation perspective he's well rounded. He also had a stint working alongside the new CEO of the corporation (before she became the big shot of course) - which means he's well connected. All that aside, I had my reservations when I heard he was coming out. Don't have a good experience with these assignees, but I was willing to let him show his stuff.

Turns out, in 2 months, he has proven that he's a damn fine peoples manager! Probably the first one I have had ever in this company. He knows that people are more than just Numbers, or spreadsheets. He recognizes we have needs, families, need time off, want to earn money (as salesmen). He's already taking on the problems we have with the processes, problems with our commissions statements, with the fact that commissions are wrong, paid late, etc.

He is mentoring us! Yup, he actually knows what the business is about. Brings with him experience in the fields of the "new" offerings we have here in RSA. Does client calls with his salesmen, and makes a good impression with the clients. He is the right person for this job!

The moral in the office is much improved. He's no pushover, does not take crap, and you not going to spin one on him. But then, you wouldn't have to. He understands when you tell him what the problem is, that's it's probable, not like the previous clowns who immediately thought you didn't know what you were doing when in a situation! He respects the fact that sales is relationship driven. People but from people - no matter what you are selling!

So what's with the title of this post, I hear you ask? Well, his local manager is not impressed. She does not accept the fact that he knows more than she does! Does not appreciate that he pushes back when she tries to control / manipulate / threaten him! And therein lies the dilemma. If she does not let him run the business like he knows how, he's going back home - does not need her shit. If the business is not turned around, she will blame him, and probably have him repatriated!

Either way, we will lose a great manager - and the business will suffer because she wants to maintain manipulator control. What she was hoping to get is a yes man, what she's got is someone who knows more than she does, and reminds her of it whenever he needs to - and she has no way of managing this situation!

just got off a private cal to him, following a text message I received from him where he mentions that "We (us salespeople) don't need him anymore, we have a managed services expert on the team already" (meaning her).

So I called him to find out what he meant. We currently working on a few big deals. He has been invaluable with the input he provided to us. This evening he was in a meeting with her (and her lap dog - one of the salesmen who she has identified as "management material" (read "yes man/ lap dog"), and who happens to be the lead on one of the opportunities we are working on. She apparently ripped the solution to shreds - saying we didn't know what we were doing, we had over specked the solution, we had way too many resources included, and the help desk component was over the top......... Funny thing that... I had attended a 4 hour session with the customer earlier today, she wasn't there, neither was her lapdog, but they wanted to tell him we got it wrong. Thankfully, I had given him an update on my return, and so he actually was better informed than they were... and told them so!!! Fact is, I confirmed the solution with the client, who agreed that our approach was correct.
I think the problem is that someone somewhere mentioned a figure of USD20m, our solution (first draft pricing) comes in at USD32m. it's not over the top, even at this price.

But what she does / did not know was we did not spec the solution. Because they (the project team, including her lapdog) had only asked us to get involved in the last week and a half, and they have been working on it for 3 - 9 months (conflicting statements) we took the solution as specified by the hardware team (them who should know what they are doing) and priced THEIR solution as a managed service. We didn't make this shit up!

So, we have another big workshop scheduled for tomorrow - another client - another USD 20m + opportunity. For some reason or other, she got herself invited. I just know she's going to interfere, and maybe even fuck it up for us. My manager is going to be there as well - but I need him there for his expertise. So here is how this shit goes down tomorrow - if she fucks it up - I will make a big stink about it - and escalate the situation right up the sewerage pipe known as corporate ladder.

In fact - my manager says that back in the USA, base on her behavior he has observed here in 2 months, she probably would have been  charged in a civil court, and would be doing jail time for her treatment of reportees!!!  Hows that for serious shit! And here in sunny RSA we just suck this shit up!!!!

Anyway, I see a major clash coming - there's going to be blood, no winners - and if he leaves I think this division is fucked!!! More to follow - watch this space!



Jayne said...

Every company has one complete & utter fuckwit don't they?
I really wouldn't want to work in an atmosphere like what you're gonna have!
Btw, did you ever get your commission thing that was outstanding for so long?

Wreckless Euroafrican said...

Fuckwit? I wish! I can deal with those. This is a complete shanmbles - career driven woman on prmanent PMS - with zero managerial skills (as far as people management goes) and with preconceived ideas of how things should work (even though she has never done sales in her life) and a propensity of misreading information / comments etc. In fact, till Friday she was under the impression one of the deals I was working on, to take out costs in a client environment, was worth at least 4 billion rand. Their total IT spend is only 3.5 billion.... Nuff Sed!


Wreckless Euroafrican said...

PS - got some of the commissions, have given up on the rest - just can't be bothered to fight the system anymore - however, when I leave - depending on the circumstances at the time - I could take it further - outside of the corrupt system!


Bruthafromanothamutha said...

I read your story and I see my life flashing before my eyes but yet I think - is the grass really greener out there somewhere else or am I just too scared and all too ready to just keep putting up with the BS and extra work on a daily basis.
I think I just answered my own theory. Oh well I hope better times are ahead for you and DMG and I.

Stay safe and keep your head down.

Wreckless Euroafrican said...

@BoaM - I think anyone who works for the corporation has similar stories to tell. Reality - in RSA as a middle aged white male I don't have too many options - but at least now I have one on the way....
If, else where in the world, you are in a situation where you are an IT techie, you basically can only move to another IT company, which would probably have similar problems....