Taking Advice

taking advice

Once upon a time, Jack (fictional character of course, I don’t want to offend the real person) was told by his dad, “Son, listen well, even if you don’t like the person who tells you things.”

Jack, being a nice person, remembers this throughout his life, up till he was recruited by this really big ERP implementer company. His boss, Garry, a burly, brash Project Manager, with the ability to embellish with at least one curse word in every sentence coming out of his mouth, got only one thing he told and hammered into all of his subordinates, and anyone within a shouting distance from him. That advice was a good one; it’s about getting the job done. Of course he said it in a rather grating and abusive manner, infused with many curse words he expertly put in there, from many years of practice.

On one assignment to a client, Jack was sent to a client to write a paper on ERP upgrade necessary due to the growth of a client company. Bob the CFO, the one who sanctioned the 2 weeks of consulting mandays, expected Jack to submit a paper and a presentation regarding the necessity, options, and recommendation by the end of the 2 weeks work. Jack arrived at the client site office and was told that Brian, the Business Analyst Manager, would get him a desk to work on and arrange meeting with the key persons needed to be interviewed. Brian eagerly greeted him at the office building entrance and they got along really well from the beginning. They talked about how working at different companies where they had been at, exchanging gossips, and lunch together. Brian even gave Jack, temporarily, a really nice top management office that hadn’t been occupied, and visited often to chat and see if Jack needed anything. Brian basically catered Jack to everything he needed, except to let Jack had enough time to do what he was supposed to do.

It was not like Jack forgot what he came there to do. It’s just that Brian assure him that the 2 weeks time was too short and it was customary to have extensions, sometimes up to a month. Brian assured Jack that he should ask extension mid week the second week. After all, my boss would appreciate that, Brian said, that I can bring in extra revenue with the extension. Jack thought about how true that was, that he should ‘help’ Garry achieve his revenue target. That should advance his career even faster and possibly get him a promotion. Although he just got a promotion and a significant pay raise just two months before. “I could fast tracked even faster, if I help Garry achieve his revenue target,” or so Jack thought.

Bob the CFO thought Jack had plenty of time to do what he supposed to do within the 2 weeks allocated. The paper and the presentation was lacking in quality, way below Jack’s standard. Brian sheepishly apologized for ‘probably ‘mislead Jack into thinking of the certainty of getting an extension. Back in the office, Garry managed to average three curse words per sentence of reprimand he said to Jack (with Garry’s office door open). Jack was upset and quit immediately (because Garry’s office door was open). So, Jack was without job and without girlfriend (she thinks it was Jack’s fault, see). But at least he got his dignity, or so he thought.  [jbs]

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