November 12th, 2004

Hello World

Hello. This is Chris 'Wombat' Crowell starting his blog. I feel like I am channeling Doogie Howser, and am chagrined to think that most people who use Live Journal will have no idea who that is, much less why I feel like him.
Well, lets get stuff caught up. I am going to assume you know me to a certain extent. Lets start in July of 2004 and proceed along milestones until we reach the NOW.
July 2. We drive away from our home in our brand new giant pickup truck and head East. 2 Adults, 2 boys, 2 dogs and a rat. Within a day everyone is in the cab of the truck. Death Valley in July is just that strong an incentive. We stay that way for the rest of the trip. Dogs are very very happy. Boys are very very happy. Jess and I, not so happy. See above note about brand new truck. Oh well, dog vomit scrubs out.
July 15. We arrive in Montreal Canada. Nothing at all happened on the trip. Really. What could happen in 4 thousand miles?
July 19. Full of hope I walk into Ubisoft Montreal. Oddly, the owners of the company are not there to greet me. :)
But, everyone is super nice and the next few months fly by, as far as work is concerned.
July 15 thru Sept 11th. We get to experience the living hell of trying to sell a house that is very far away. Bad things happen. At the end of it we are not really on speaking terms with our agent or his contractor. We get to discover just how much we really really hate apartment living. Really hate it.
Sept 12th. We move into our new home. We absolutely love it to pieces. We bike ride around the neighborhood and meet some new neighbors. They are new because they just moved in a month before we did. Turns out there are lots of new people in the neighborhood. Which is great, as most have kids!
Sept 13th. Go to new neighbors BBQ and meet more neighbors. Drink beer and have fun yakking. Love the house. Love the neighbors. Walking back to the house we find it to be like walking back thru the trees at a campground. Our house is like a campsite with bright lights. Have I said how much we love it?
Sept 14th. We find that the dogs have been loving it to pieces also. The backyard around the pool is completely wrecked. It looks like Bagdad. We debate renaming them Shock and Awe, but since we have dog tags already we want them to be named correctly...AFTER WE KILL THEM! As there is no other place we can leave them during the day, we have to write off the plants and grass around the pool until we can make other fencing arrangements. I also find out that we have raccoons that will tear open a garbage bag and strew the contents all over the front yard. I also find out that since it is so cold outside and since I saw the trash, I am the one who gets to go out and pick it all up. Oddly, this fails to amuse me.
Sept 14th is also the day that our furniture arrives. We have been camping inside the house, so this is exciting. We get everything completely out of the truck by the end of the day. Fantastic, it was supposed to take two days. Now we have a house full of cardboard boxes. Joy. We discover the things the movers packed that we wanted to throw out or leave for the new owners. Oops.
Sept 15th. Ah, back to work. Sorry Jess, try to have it all put away when I get home? heh.
Nov 2nd Black Tuesday. The Day The Democracy Died. So I am dramatic, sue me.
Nov 10th. EA Spouse posts a blog on Live Journal. Several people send me the link. I look and am compelled to add my two cents about EA management policies (which are the reason I am in Canada now).
Nov 11th Create a Live Journal user ID as I have completely blown my annonymity by now anyways on several posts. Been meaning to make a blog anyways to record my thoughts on living in this very cool new country, so here it is
Nov 12th. Discover that these blog things dont just write themselves now do they. Finally sit my ass down and start typing instead of booting an online game.
So, here we are, all caught up. Happy now? Well, in general, if I filter my reality very carefully, I am. I hope the same for you all.
  • Current Music
    dismal humming of my over fanned PC

Thoughts on Corporate Greed

Some thoughts on business

Bloodsucking corporate vampires:
I noted somewhere else that it seems a successful company like EA eventually attracts a certain kind of individual. These people are not interested in the actual product the company produces, they are interested in bathing in the cash flow and drinking deeply. They don't care about their fellow humans, instead they think of business as 'The Law of the Jungle' and 'Dog Eat Dog'. See, its natural! This jackass philosophy completely ignores the synergy of cooperative effort, as well as the rewards life offers beyond money. Quantifiable Tangibles like Happiness and Health are known to us all, but cannot figure into the Spreadsheet Logic of these people and is therefore denied existance. There is something inherent in our business models thats allows these parasites to infest the corporate body and suck on it till the soul is gone. Blood still pumps, but to no known purpose. Merely existing is the goal.
At a certain point the company philosophy seems to shift from 'making good products will ensure fiscal health' to 'lets make sure we are making as much money as possible'. I think this happens when a company goes public. The new owners usually dont care at all about what the company is creating. They only care about how much return they are getting on their invested dollar. This seems to be a law of business nature, so maybe it will enter into common knowledge in the high tech industry. The CEO's that found startups certainly seem to understand it, the rest of us need to catch a clue.

Good and Bad Management
I have a parable I made up about management. Since you asked so nicely, here it is:
Your boss hands you a plastic shovel and bucket. He tells you to go to the seashore and build a sand castle. Supposing you are close to the shore and there is sand there, whether you fail or succeed is your own responsibility. You have been given what you need to do the task.
Now, if the boss tell you to go and build a wall that will hold back the tide, you are guaranteed to fail. THIS is a management failure, not an employee failure.
When you are given a task (or if you are giving a task) you need to ask if the goal is a sand castle or a unbuildable barrier to a force of nature. Do not feel guilty if you fail at the latter.
  • Current Music
    the voices...