Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Got asked to fly to a meeting on NEW YEARS EVE..??

My boss just asked me to fly to Orlando for a meeting on New Year's Eve, with a team that will be doing some development work with us.

Um.... okay.... what an odd request.  I mean really... what in the heck?

Regular poster posting anonymously...
Monday, December 29, 2003

Has anybody heard of a stranger proposed meetingtime?

I asked him if we were meeting on New Year's Eve because Christmas day had been taken!

Regular poster posting anonymously...
Monday, December 29, 2003

Check all surfaces for super-glue, make sure you've claimed all your expenses up to this date, determine where your wife/gf is going to be on the night, install a new CCTV system at home.

Oh, and you want to get paid quadruple time.

Simon Lucy
Monday, December 29, 2003

I'd say it's somewhat out of the ordinary, but really not terribly unusual.

Not sure of your line of business or your position in the company, but plenty of companies work around the clock, through holidays, etc.

Mark Hoffman
Monday, December 29, 2003

Reading between the lines...

...the date was suggested by the Orlando team, because they're swamped with work and that's their only open date for weeks.

If they're so swamped, that doesn't give me a great feeling about contracting them!  They're good enough to be busy, but do they have any time?

(The decision to go with these guys isn't really mine)

John Rose
Monday, December 29, 2003

I'll be flying then too for similar reasons.

Although, there are worse places to be New Year's Eve than Orlando.

Mark Smith
Monday, December 29, 2003

If you think it's an odd request, then it's an odd request.

To clarify - many people work 24/365. But they know who they are, and so this wouldn't be an odd request. To be asked to work on one of the few secular US holidays out of the blue (and three days beforehand) is, to be quite honest, abusive. (BTW, was this phrased as an inquiry or a request/directive?)

The most "normal" guess is that the contract team is a bunch of cowboys and said "hey, let's have the meeting on NYE and make it a party!" which got passed as a formal meeting request, and nobody's challenged it. I've seen that happen a LOT.

My $.02: tell the boss you have plans, is that date really essential or can it wait until next week, and if he is directing you to work on a holiday then you'll be needing paid overtime to the tune of double pay.

How you react if he says "no, get on the damn plane" is up to you. :-/

Philo

Philo
Monday, December 29, 2003

You want to hear abuse?

I'm on vacation now, and my manager called me to log in to do work, even though my back-up is covering for me.

I spoke to my back-up and he said that our manager hadn't even asked him.

There will alot of people jumping once the job market improves in Q1/Q2. The abuse that people have had to put up with over the past 2 years of downsizing and cost-cutting will reap these nimrod managers a world of hurt.

Nick
Monday, December 29, 2003

My advice:

You're stuck on the road on a holiday. Insist on flying first class. Insist on a nice hotel room, not some dump. Eat well in Orlando. Party hard on New Year's Eve and make sure it goes on the corporate bill.

In 2000, when I like every other programmer in the world was forced to be in the office bright tailed and bushey eyed on New Year's day, I made sure to be thoroughly hung over.  My now wife and I brought in breakfast and still made it a pleasant morning. I don't think that any of my code was too stellar on that day, but starting off the day with a mimosa and hot bagels in the office is good recompense.

Clay Dowling
Monday, December 29, 2003

"I made sure to be thoroughly hung over."

Nice....Good advice from the "Joel On Slackers" crowd.

I Hate Whiners
Monday, December 29, 2003

I bet the programmers in India don't complain about stuff like this.

Maybe I'm just whacko
Monday, December 29, 2003

Yes, we should be like Indian programmers.

Better yet, we should be like small chinese girls working in sweatshops.

That's the ticket!!!


Monday, December 29, 2003

Yeah, giving up a party is the same order of magnitude as being in a swaetshop. Get real!

Maybe I'm just whacko
Monday, December 29, 2003

Hey, if you want to compete with Indian developers, you must beat them at their own game!


Monday, December 29, 2003

Based on my experience with outsourced data entry, there are a lot more Indian holidays that are "must be off" than in the U.S. (at least outside of government and banking).

Mark Smith
Monday, December 29, 2003

I can think of some valid reasons to travel on a major holiday for business if it's overseas and the country where the customers are doesn't have the same holiday. Evens if this is the case, I'd ask for some sort of compensation for giving up my holiday. And I don't mean another day off at some future point.

Going to a US destination for a meeting with US folks on New Years Day is crazy. I think I would call in sick unless someone could convince me that it really makes sense. I'm willing to do whatever it takes for a company, but I do ask that they don't abuse this. Without an excellent explantion, it sounds like abuse.

pdq
Monday, December 29, 2003

Isn't Orlando on of the key targets that al qaeda has their eyes on for New Years?

Perhaps your boss is in with them and has taken out a policy on your life -- it's actually quite common for employers to take out life insurance policies on their employees - payable to the company on death.

Conspiracy Theorist
Monday, December 29, 2003

And my folks still don't understand why I quit my career as an hotelier............! 10 years!

Trust me, there are worse things that can be done on New Years Eve (like washing 600 plates and 600 bowls and 600 spoons and 600 forks and 600 knives and ...... And that's only from the first course!)

Enjoy your meeting and a very happy new year to you.

regards

KayJay

Indian Developer in India
Monday, December 29, 2003

Are you flying back home the same day (New Year's Eve)?  If so, and as long as you are back by early evening, I don't see that as being that bad.  If however, you are expected to stay overnight into New Year's Day.  Then, yes, that is quite rude.

Stress
Monday, December 29, 2003

Hibby Habba Hobey Hebey Hibey Haba Hobey Hebey... Know what I'm saying...


Monday, December 29, 2003

Also, I must admit... while I know that the odds of anything happening terrorist-wise are extremely low, I'm a bit nervous about flying on New Year's Eve. 

To give a little background on the proposed meeting: we have a big project (in terms of importance to our very small company, not big in terms of scope) coming up and we're outsourcing some of the work (to within U.S. borders! haha).  It's a big project on a tight deadline so time is crucial. 

But the deliverable is still a few months away.  If this were an emergency situation, like, say... our software blew up at a client installation or something, I'd be on the plane, no questions asked.  But this is basically a project kick-off meeting...

Aside from the personal inconvenience of flying and working on a major holiday, I'm worried about how this bodes for the project... if they're so busy that they're suggesting New Year's Eve as a meeting time... how are they gonna find time to work? 

Oh well.  He's not demanding that I fly.  I think we're gonna do it early next week, hopefully.  This wasn't a bitch-and-moan thing, I just thought it was an odd request that you all might get a kick out of for a little Monday entertainment.  :-)

Regular poster posting anonymously...
Monday, December 29, 2003

> Nice....Good advice from the "Joel On Slackers" crowd.

Who's slacking?  I worked hard to get that hung over.  The older I get the harder it is to drink like that.

Clay Dowling
Monday, December 29, 2003

---"Hey, if you want to compete with Indian developers, you must beat them at their own game! "----

So what you do is smile, say Ok and then go your own merry way. If they phone you asking what the hell is up, just say "coming now2 every ten minutes or so until your or their phone battery runs out.

Or you can do a Microsoft. Wait until everybody has been waiting at the seminar you've promised to give for about half an hour, and then when you phone say you're on the way. When you phone again half an hour later tell them you're lost in the industrial city. When they phone the third time to say they've got three or four cars to scour the zone and find you, then cheerfully admit that you haven't actually bothered to leave your headquarters five hundred kilomoters away.

Stephen Jones
Monday, December 29, 2003

I once had to fly to New York to present a demo of a prototype on Wall Street on Christmas Eve.  It had me returning from New York on Christmas Day.  But at least there was a good enough reason for doing it -- many people who needed to see the demo would be going on vacation for 1-2 weeks after Christmas, and my boss went with me. The only evil part about it was that the client could have given more notice, which would have allowed us to show the demo 1-2 days earlier.

However, this case sounds like one of those artificial deadlines, and one where the boss is trying to push buttons and exercise his power.  You know, the type where this thing MUST be done on short notice by this date and people must work weekends or give up a holiday to do it.  Then when you do it, nobody important looks at it for several days.  Any boss that pulled something like that on me would not be getting a pleasant reaction.  If you gladly bend over backwards for one ridiculous request, they'll want to do it again and again.

T. Norman
Tuesday, December 30, 2003

> Nice....Good advice from the "Joel On Slackers" crowd.

So, how are the slaves these days, Mr I Hate Whiners?

Big troublemaker
Tuesday, December 30, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home