In the middle of summer, I was trailing the rest of the technical staff in CollabNet’s South San Francisco office in hours put in on the ping pong table by a wide margin. Not everyone played, there was a lot of hanging out and shooting the bull as well. I was not to be compared to my peers here, however. I was put on notice that my performance compared to a team in Chennai, India was lacking.
Often, this sort of chat means you’ve been fired, and for some reason the company needs to take extra care to have a paper trail documenting your termination. Even without the Front Office Coordinator beguiling higher-ups, including my boss Richard Moon, there were plenty of signs that I was supposed to fail.
My role with the CERT team was a hybrid of Engineering and Support. If a bug was beyond the level 2 teams ability to solve, needed a programmer, yet required a quicker response than Engineering could deliver, it went to CERT. My former boss, who created and championed the team, had left to start a new venture in India. He was the star of the team, focused more on rolling new patches than administration.
In the monthly South San Francisco all hands meeting, which lasts around 9o minutes, CERT got about 15 seconds. It was used to give a statistic, without context or explanation. To the executives, it appeared my team was simply a cost center, and not a way to differentiate CollabNet from competitors.
Even so, I decided to treat the concern expressed about number of tickets closed as genuine. But things quickly became farcical. I had performance improvements, which could help a number of customers who were just being given an unverifiable explanation, and then told to reboot.