Product Release, Delays, and Bad Managers

I just realized I haven't posted in a while, so here's something on life in the office.

It’s interesting that a company that has been around for as long as Microsoft and has released so many products still can’t release things on time? As we all know windows Vista has been delayed for what seems like forever. I’m sure we all hope that it will work properly on release and we won’t need to wait for various service packs to fix issues. Personally I’m not working on that project but I think we can pretty much all agree it won’t work well on initial launch. This then leads us to upgrades and the release process.

I’m working in a different group and different product but it is Microsoft which means, I have to deal with upgrades and releases. I’m working on one scheduled for early next month. I say early because the release date is tentative. This isn’t a new experience, coming from AT&T/Cingular it was the same thing. Very rarely can I recall a time when an upgrade or new product was released on time. For the most part I don’t really care about stuff being released on time or not as I get paid either way. But, sometimes it does affect my life and that’s when it gets irritating.

For example, at Cingular I was working on an internal tool scheduled to be released on a Sunday over the summer. The first day that was scheduled I couldn’t take off and had to be available in case any issues came up. This of course means, over the summer I wasn’t able to take a camping trip or make any plans with the expectation I had to work that Sunday. Another note here, the people in charge usually don’t decide to postpone a system release until the day before it’s scheduled. Anyway, at Cingular I had to cover for this system release that kept getting pushed back until it got to a weekend that I did have something planned a trip to New York. Instead of pretending to be sick, which is what I should have done, I told my boss that I needed to have that weekend off and a couple days after. I made it clear that my knowledge of the product was equal to my co-workers and they could easily cover for me. My boss at the time, unfortunately was a totally bitch. We will call her Chrissy for the purpose of this article. So, I asked Chrissy if I could have those days off. She isn’t the kind of manager who can make decisions on her own, so she took it to her boss. They both decided the answer was no, I couldn’t take those days off. We argued over it, but of course, I lost and didn’t go on the trip.

Here’s the kicker… As you can probably guess the release was postponed and I could have gone on the trip anyway. As I’m sure you can also guess, the notification went out to late for me to actually go on the trip. And to add icing on the cake, my boss at no point apologized or expressed sympathy about not allowing me to go on a trip and forcing me to stay home for a system release that didn’t happen.

To all of you office workers out there involved in system releases that interfere with having a life outside of work. On behalf of the management that doesn’t even know I exist, I apologies, since I know they won’t.

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