Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 31 - Toiling Away, but Adding no Value

          Today was like yesterday only more so. Gary waxed eloquent about how much he appreciated my coming in to help him wade through the closing process. It’s not like anything he’s ever seen before. I knew it wouldn’t be. It’s not like anything anyone’s ever seen before. What we deal with, what I had to deal with, is a joke among accounting systems. IT sales people used to call me up several times a month to try to sell me a new system. All those software and systems decisions were made at our corporate headquarters in Kentucky, but I always liked to talk to the sales people to see what was available and dream about how nice it would be if I could actually buy it and if it actually worked as advertized. They would always ask what apps we were using. When I would tell them, they had never heard of it. That tells you something about how antiquated and obscure our systems were.
Everything we had and everything we did related to our accounting systems was the direct result of someone trying to get by as cheaply as possible. I’ve seen a lot of this over the course of 30 years. Everybody wants to get by on the cheap when it comes to functions that are seen as non-essential or non value added. Accounting often gets short changed…and systems as well. It wasn’t until some smart software developers figured out a way to bundle the sales function into enterprise software that companies started really parting with huge money for their IT solutions. When it was just accounting they couldn’t care less. The systems lag brought on by cheapness really gets telling when companies with suddenly heightened expectations like ours start trying to get 21st century results out of 20th century software. I had just got out of this situation—although not by choice. Gary was now in the thick of the struggle.
Henry, my old boss, the one I would’a, could’a, should’a killed, was like that too when it came to accounting and accountants. He even thought the engineers were a useless lot. He once said to me, “Engineers and accountants—all they ever do is fiddlefrick around.” He was building custom, luxury watercraft that sold from $400,000 to over a million dollars apiece, and he tried to skimp on the engineering. Then he was surprised when his boats kept catching on fire.
I’m still feeling awful, but not getting any worse. I should probably go to the doctor, but I’ve got stuff to do and, like I said, I’m not getting any worse. Three more days and we’ll have the closing in the bag. I’ll be done with work for a while. I can quit thinking about and worrying about the place that cut me adrift because they needed someone to blame for their own inadequacies. I wonder if anyone even cares that I’m doing the honorable thing here by staying around to make sure Gary doesn’t miss a beat taking over my job. Probably not—certainly not Fritz who’s probably busy congratulating himself that Gary didn’t bolt like the other guy. I wonder if he knows how pissed off Gary is about having to do a physical inventory at the end of the month. Apparently Fritz forgot to tell Gary that fascinating little detail about his new job. It turns out that Gary hates inventories almost as much as I do. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are always welcome. Tell me what you like and what you don't. Information, encouragement, criticism--I don't care. A day where I don't learn something new is a day lost to me.