Morning Constitutional

More blog neglect, but this time I actually have some interesting things to report.

First of all, in an effort to deal with blog neglect I’ve shifted my usual authoring time to before work rather than after. Afterwards there are simply too many distractions- mental, physical and… ahem… social for me to really get focused on my thoughts and get them down. Whether I can keep it up is anyone’s guess, but for now I’ve got a nice cool morning, a full battery and a patch of sunshine to write in. What else could you want?

Secondly, we had our annual reviews here at work recently, and by all accounts I did pretty well. I had to go out and get a short-term prescription for insulin to deal with much of what was said during the review, and after a rather superfluous compensation discussion (what am I going to do, argue about a raise? Oh no! You’re giving me more money! Whatever will I do!) I’m now happily sitting on a modest increase. Given that my last three places of employment didn’t really believe in “raises” per se (one of my coworkers was fired because she asked for one), it’s a welcome change.

Thirdly, we released a bunch of new content for my project, HP Print Studio yesterday, which marks our first major push for international content. Included was pretty much all of south america, so in the end it was only two new languages (Portuguese and Mexican Spanish), but given that every country can customize the application down to the last background image, rolling out those 18 new countries was no small feat.

Of course, doing a rollout of that scale showed some of the cracks in our localization strategy, so I won’t lie and say it went smoothly. I was at work until very late on wednesday resolving last minute inconsistencies, and had to give up my weekly salsa lesson/social for the project (which I find amusingly ironic- latin america, salsa… get it? :). Having said that, I now have intimate knowledge on what’s broken and how to fix it, and an initial cost/benefit analysis means we might even be able to charge the client for it (though at this point I’m doing it simply for my own peace of mind).

Lastly, we had some… unfortunate downsizing at work. I won’t go into the detail of who, how and why, just to reassure my readership that I wasn’t affected (well, other than the shell shock). The reason I brought it up is because, having gone through two business evaporations, two acquisitions and a few other unfortunate staffing events, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this kind of event handled so well.

How do I mean that…

First of all, most of my downsizing experience has been reactive, in that a business had to suddenly adjust to an unexpected market adjustment or ‘catastrophe’. Fact is that most of those events could have been predicted with a little foresight, and reductions came as a surprise to the majority of the organization- even HR in some cases. My takeaway from those was that the business is poorly managed, and that there is no real driver at the helm. In short, that the only direction the business had was as a result of momentum.

In contrast, everything about yesterday’s event seemed strategic, well thought out and considered, and ultimately necessary. It was done because of the recession- I won’t lie there – but it was also done because of a whole host of other (undisclosable) conditions had been factored into the decision process. My takeaway here was that not only is there a driver at the helm, that driver also likes to to pull into a garage every so often, adjust the mix, check the fluids, clean the filters, refill the nitro and get a new set of fuzzy dice for the mirror. In short, someone who knows exactly what’s going on under the hood.

Having said that, if any of my former coworkers would like me to use my burgeoning network within the digital creative community to help connect them with potential opportunities, let me know- I’ve made some contacts through the Adobe User Group that may prove valuable.

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