Friday, September 29, 2006

HP: Don't you Just Love It?

The imbroglio at HP gets sadder and funnier. Nobody was told anything. If they were, they didn't understand. Nobody read anything. Sorry, should have, too busy, too whatever. Question: I am a high honcho and obviously can't read every piece of paper that crosses my desk. On an critical question, do I have underlings, aids, goto guys? If an issue is important, one would think I might have asked a subordinate to read a document. Or do I want to appear so dazzling and all-knowing that I never delegate jackshit? Dunno.

I keep hearing the excuse that the work force is so lean and mean that everyone is "overwhelmed" with work. Excuse me? This obsession with the bottom line didn't preclude hireing a security firm to do a sh__load of "pretexting." I'll bet their invoice would have paid a few people to read documents. How could anyone in information systems not know that "Pretexting" was illegal? Certainly skirting the boundaries of illegality. I call AT&T pretending to be someone else to get phone records? That is Legal? Ha ha!

The sad thing is, this is typical for corporate America. A few years (quite a few) ago, I worked for a company that was putting in a new distribution system: shipping, receiving, fulfillment, you name it. We had a warehouse that worked, granted not state of the art but got the job done. The powers that be found a new system, new as in untried, and attempted to get it up and running. They pissed off the property owner of the old warehouse big time, so they couldn't expect any favors there. The new system wasn't ready. Wasn't tested. Didn't work. Can you believe they installed it and went live with it anyhow?

The IS people, both low and high were screaming, begging, pleading, "don't do it! It's not ready! Please don't do it! Wait and test!"

Well, guess what? The high honchos didn't listen. They couldn't receive. They couldn't ship. They pissed off all their customers. They lost 40 million dollars for starters, and god knows how much they paid consultants and staff to fly south to the new DC and put things to rights.

Now get this: when it hit the fan, as it always does, said honchos publicly said, "Nobody told me." And then they left the company AND GOT EVEN BETTER JOBS!

On that day, my respect for Corporate America hit bottom and stayed there. Nothing I've seen since has raised it one iota. So HP is same-old same-old. Unfortunately. Scratch a big corporation and you find greed, avarice and incompetence. I doubt that HP was like that in the days when Mr. H. and Mr. P. started it. There was probably idealism, caring for employees, honesty and all those good things. That was then.

I know there are exceptions. The problem is, they are Exceptions. What are things coming to? I don't know.
I've seen it all and liked none of it.


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