Food

  • Had the most lush smoothie for brunch.
    • Frozen bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and kefir,
    • Apple juice, and a peach Actimel blended up.
    • Delish.

Work

  • Met with team lead for our first weekly catchup. No issues. Just discussed my current task.
  • Working really well with our new engineer who started on Monday.
  • As of tomorrow I’ll have 50 days left in contract. After yesterday’s revelation, it’s unclear if I’ll be renewed or not.
  • Small win: The company contractors (including me) were officially allowed to use whatever software we wanted to use (within reason of course) and not be dictated to by our consultancy suppliers.

Work Context

So, anyone starting reading this new blog must surely be wondering, what in the world is going on at Chris’s work right now? Well, that’s a long story but here’s some context.

Firstly, know that I tend to thrive in, and enjoy contracts, where I work with supportive colleagues, and structures that are as flat as possible. I subscribe to the theory that a healthy team takes care of its members first, and in doing so, is better equipped to service the business. The means that ideally, all team members are peers with little difference in responsibilities, and that any failing by any single member will be met by a team defence and a team solution.

I’ve worked in places like this and it’s wonderful when you wake up and you’re keen to get to work at 9am.

In some contracts, that’s not what happens though. You dread getting up in the morning and signing on. I’ve had like 3 horrific contracts out of 10. One, where our team lead, quite incorrectly, had some sort of technical superiority complex and sought to sell himself to the business rather than support the team. Two, the worst ever, where the business refused to do anything about an idiot savant who believed the entire technical system belonged to him, refused to accept ideas from other team meetings, threw actual tantrums, dropped out meetings, and would revert your code commits quietly. And finally this contract where I was brought in to try to guide and steer an external consultancy that upper management had concerns about, only for them to realise this, which the consultancy responded to by:

  • Promoting their man, my peer, to team lead and brought in his friend as scrum master in an attempt to control the narratives.
  • Exaggerating minor issues and outright lying about me and other company contractors in an attempt to discredit us.
  • Openly not acting in any team spirit of support by dropping into public forums as we announced new operational or security solutions only to shit on them.
  • Attempting to (and miserably failing) to dictate what software we could use to do our roles. Remember this is a consultancy - and they’re telling us - who don’t work for them - how we can operate.

There are some excellent staff at my company and that includes my direct line manager, his manager, and the new director of engineering, but this is the political atmosphere I dread walking into every morning. The company staff inside our team support each other through various secret chat rooms but you’ve still got to be vigalent. You don’t go into meetings with the consultancy alone - or you record the meeting if you do. And you constantly have to sure they’re not just blatantly lying about things to senior staff.

They know their project is behind and they use our team as some sort of skapegoat for it all. It’s frankly exhausting and I really should leave as I didn’t become a contractor to put up with this nonsense.