*** Jack *** Day 6
Bill, I'm truly sorry that you lost your job and have to endure difficult times like these. If there is anything I can do, even if just to talk, let me know. I am certainly not old enough (i.e., worldly) to offer advice, but I am straight shooter who can provide an honest opinion when asked. Anyway, good luck your soul searching, and I hope you find what you are looking for. Jack
*** Bill *** Day 5 (to John and large audience, including Jack)
HR told me today that the reason I didn't get the $6.80 per hour job is the interviewer felt that I have a "chip on my shoulder". I suspect that this is the actual reason that the front desk manager at the Resort decided to let me go (though she did not have the courage to come right out and say so - she would have been showing her paranoia). I'm not sure what to do about this. The reasons for my bitterness are obvious and natural, given all that has happened to me and the huge lack of family support and lack of caring from everyone around me. The solution is also obvious to me...lots of people being really nice and compassionate toward me for a sustained period of time (my attitude would improve enormously at the mere prospect that others were finally treating me with kindness and fairness and Christian love). But equally obvious is the fact that I can't make others do anything, much less the right thing. I am totally convinced that my father is totally clueless on how to be like this to me, so I have to ask myself "if my own father won't treat me with love and caring and support, how can I expect anyone else to do so"? I have often felt that others were acting unnecessarily timid and even fearful of me (note that I have no record of violent acts or even threatening acts). My motto is "if you are nice to me, I will be nice to you". Actually, I live by the Golden Rule at all times. But as I said, I also have an extremely heavy burden to carry around, so it is no surprise that it shows. It is only a surprise that no one tries to understand. In any case, I think I need to seek self-employment that will allow me to prosper while not showing the "chip on my shoulder". That is, unless and until others make a practice of treating me with love and kindness (consistently). I look forward to your suggestions, except that to suggest that I simply "get over it" is unrealistic and unwelcome and simply not going to happen. I assure you that none of you would be able to do so in my shoes... none of you.
*** Bill *** Day 4
(to John and large audience, including Jack)TOO LITTLE AND TOO LATE, JOHN. TODAY I LOST MY JOB AS CONCIERGE AT A REALLY NICE RESORT. IT WASN'T BECAUSE OF POOR JOB PERFORMANCE OR MISCONDUCT BUT BECAUSE I HAD A "BAD ATTITUDE" TOWARD THE POOR COMPUTER SYSTEMS AND LACK OF SUPPORT AT THE FRONT DESK FROM LOWER LEVEL MANAGEMENT. AND BOSS 1BOSS 2 (TWO LOWER LEVEL MANAGERS) SAID THAT I WAS INFLEXIBLE WHEN IT CAME TO POORLY DESIGNED SYSTEMS. THE TRUTH IS THAT THEY ARE THE INFLEXIBLE ONES (AND NOT QUALIFIED FOR THEIR POSITIONS). BUT AFTER ALL JOHN, I AM FAR MORE EDUCATED (IN MANAGEMENT SCIENCE) THAN BOTH OF THEM PUT TOGETHER, SO IT WAS A DUMB IDEA FOR ME TO WORK UNDER THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. AM I PARTICULARLY SENSITIVE TO ISSUES OF POOR SUPPORT? PERHAPS SO, BUT MY OBSERVATIONS WERE ACCURATE AND CORRECT JUST THE SAME. THESES INDIVIDUALS WERE JUST INFLEXIBLE AND INTOLLERANT (AND PERHAPS INTIMIDATED) ABOUT MY OBSERVATIONS. MY INTEREST WAS TO IMPROVE THE SYSTEMS (MY ,TRAINING AND EXPERTICE) AND AT THE SAME TIME PROVE MY VALUE TO THE COMPANY. THIS WAS IN CONFLICT WITH THEIR SELF INTEREST IN KEEPING THINGS THE WAY THEY ARE AND PROTECTING THEIR POSITIONS. THE SAD RESULT IS THAT NOW I DON'T KNOW WHAT I AM GOING TO DO TO SURVIVE.
Editor's note: original letter was written in ALL CAPS.
*** John *** Day 1 (to Bill)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUEditor's note: This well-wishing may have unintended results.
*** Bill *** Day 16
*** Three months pass between e-mails ***
Thanks Jack, I've have done just as you suggest. While I await a reply, here is a personal conversation not relevant for others to read.
*** Jack *** Day 15
Sorry it took me so long to respond. I am in the process of buying a house, and I have been quite distracted to say the least. I do not have access to the new system design, but your leaders do. I would consider asking up the chain of command, telling them about your experience and your desire to help. The system is very much still a design in concept, meaning it exists on paper only.
*** Bill *** Day 4
Jack,Is there a way that you might be able to get me a "showing" of the new system that you mention here? I am well trained to evaluate such systems and now I even have the experience to evaluate from the user perspective first hand. I may in fact be the only person in the company who can evaluate this system from both the advanced IT/System Analyst perspective and the direct first line user perspective. Another problem that I have noted with the current system is specific problem. Here are details about the problem. Don't misinterpret my comments as complaining of any sort. Again, I am trained to evaluate systems for safety and efficiency and to look for incremental improvements that will make a significant difference in cost savings. But, as with the evaluation of any operation, research is the first step. Again, I may be better qualified, with my combination of advanced education, previous experience in high-level evaluation of complex systems and current experience with this specific system, than anyone else around.Bill
*** Jack*** Day 2
Bill,Actually, there is a project in place to replace the System. This new system could enable a lot of cool features like cool feature 1 and cool feature 2. That being said, a new system costs a considerable amount of capital, and we are competing with other areas for $$ right now. Know that your leaders are doing their best to fight for this system, but it may have to wait until funding becomes available.JackP.S. Congrats on the new role!
*** Bill *** Day 1
I haven't emailed you in quite some time. I have finally landed a job at the Company as a concierge at one of the resorts. While the pay is very low, the position affords me the opportunity to learn the operation of a Company resort. One thing is that I have been working extensively with the System. This is a DOS based system that was acquired many years ago from IBM. It is very out dated and difficult to learn and use. I have been trying to find out why the system has not been updated and the best answer that I can come up with is that they fear the expense of retraining people to use a new system. Jack, I am sure that a new Windows based system could be developed from existing systems that would be faster, more efficient, and much much easier to use. In addition, it most likely would take much less time to learn than current system. I am in the position to remember the days when all systems were DOS based. When Windows first came out, many people were reluctant to switch because they feared learning the new system. Jack, Windows was so easy to learn that it quickly became obvious that it was more cost effective to switch.
But perhaps you know of a compelling reason why the System should not be converted to Windows and should remain a DOS based system. Please tell me what you know about it.
I am quite sure a new Windows based system would be cost effective for the Company and in time would be a huge cost saver but I need to understand all arguments against it.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Please don't share this email or subject matter with anyone else.
Act 1 - Scene 1
Bill: a 45-year-old engineer, recently laid off from a technical company.
Jack: a 27-year-old engineer, who works at the Company, a vacation resort. Jack is also an active alumnus of the university, where Bill also attended.John: a friend of Bill’s, who plays a minor part in the conversation (very minor in fact).
Bill would like to work for the Company, so he contacts Jack via alumni channels. They have lunch (Jack has the Bleu Cheese Burger Wrap but forgets to ask for no mushrooms—Jack hates when that happens). Jack agrees to help Bill find a job with the Company, especially given Jack’s strong technical background. Jack gives Bill some tips on how to make his resume more relevant for the Company. Jack lines up an interview and a few contacts, but no luck for Bill. About a year later, Bill resurfaces via e-mail.