Dec 31, 2006

"Maybe you should seek therapy"

Move on with your life. I just don't understand why you are so obsessed with the place...

What some don't seem to understand is that this blog is my therapy. One may choose to participate in it or not.

Undoubtedly, those who feel that I'm unduly "obsessed" with this place so long after my departure have never been betrayed by someone they love. To put it metaphorically, think of it as coming home to your loving wife of many years to find her in bed with someone else. She professes that she's never truly loved you and that the life you've been leading is a lie.

After an experience like that one may find oneself dwelling on the past and trying to sort out truth from fiction. I find there are times when I knew that there was deception afoot but, as the song says, "I'd rather go on hearing your lies than to go on living without you." But other times I get angry about the betrayal. I think I have a right.

The online therapy will continue, no doubt, thought it is lessening. As news develops and certain dirty tricksters still play out, though, I plan to post about it.

One notes that the holidays are a time of reflection and redoubling of effort. Happy New Year, everyone.

Dec 28, 2006

We Save Lives Every Day...

When I was working hundred hour weeks and weekends I felt inspired. I felt like I was doing something important.

I didn't know any better.

Branching out into the real world of advertising agencies it's funny to me how much sweepstakes, games, loyalty programes, et. al. are treated out here. They're an afterthought. They're a good way to get some traffic due to the "sweeps whores" of MyInstantWin but those oh-so-valuable names and addresses that are collected are viewed as being completely unviable. Yes, even those from people who "opt-in" to promotions, electing to be marketed to. We get the data... and then we don't do anything with it. They are simply "Unqualified Leads" and tossed out with the refuse.

So, while I felt like I was answering a higher calling by giving my blood, sweat, and literal tears to Online Promotions, I wasn't doing anything earth-shattering or that needed to be treated like brain surgery. Just thinking about this on my week off from work and thinking about how it was of dire importance that I needed to work on Christmas last year when I was still at "The Prize". Ahhhh, sweet memories.

Dec 23, 2006

Who shot J.R.?

Been hearing some strange rumors about the old homestead lately. Talks about hygene at meetings aimed at stinky IDs? And then I read this today:

The author discusses his aggressive recruitment and, subsequently, that ePrize went incommunicado. He turned down a job in the interim only to get mixed messages about being hired versus there not being a Dallas production office entirely. Add to this the HR director at ePrize resigning and you've got a very troubled lad and a very perplexing situation.

HR director leaving? No Dallas office? What's happening over there? It's funny these days as I interview people and mention my background I get a lot of unsolicited criticism and concern about the old red, purple and green. Looks like I'm not the only one not getting any phone calls, letters, or emails returned when trying to get in touch with folks over at 404 East 10 Mile... unless the people I'm trying to contact have been fired. 'Tis the season!

Addendum: Word on the "ex-Prize grapevine" has a key Dallas player being benched recently. Seems that the extra-marital behavior of "Mister Odd" finally caught up with him.

Resolving Workplace Conflict: An Exercise

Got a great e-mail the other day from a former ePrizer who saved this document:

We are currently in a state of flux here at ePrize. The schism of the DT role into Technologists and HTML specialists has been a source for confusion, consternation, and concern.

The following is an example of dissent among the ranks. Please read through this carefully:

Is this your fabulous writing? “Functionality--Viral Error -- I am unable to refer friends, apparently. Being given a butt ugly page that has two headlines and two sets of body copy that says I'm missing either my friends name or friends email. That text is VERY awkward as it should be either "Friend's name / friend's email" if they've referred one friend or "Friends' name / friends' email" if they've screwed up more than one. We don't have the ability to check this so I would recommend rephrasing those headlines.”

Yes, that's mine. The Butt Ugly gave me away, I imagine.

I'm going to type this and not say it out loud for your benefit: Don't ever feed stuff like that to the PMs. Ever.

LOL! What part was objectionable? The functionality assessment or my concern about apostophes?

I hate to break it to you, but I'm not laughing about it. I'm sick of your charade. There's a fine line between constructive criticism and attacking someone's work. And you continually cross it and aren't taken to task for it. Don't ever do it again.

Woah, woah, woah. What's the criticism? I'm so not seeing what the problem was. No charade intended -- please explain your complaint to me as if I were completely in the dark -- because I am.

Well, I'll use the Sony promotion and this as my examples. The words you use are completely uncalled for. "butt ugly", "WTF," etc. You need to watch how you say thing, because they are easily misinterpreted and it's going to take you quite awhile to live down the Sony e-mail.

If you're going to harp on older mistakes that I felt have been rectified, we'll never get anywhere. Is there such a thing as Tabula Rasa to you? That "butt ugly" comment was aimed at the HS, not the Technologist.
As we both know, the HS is the person in charge of the "prettiness" of a promotion -- I am 99% sure that this page was not complete -- nor was the promotion -- when handed to me for review. That was a way to call big attention to it for the HS who worked on it next to get on it pronto. Not a personal attack on you. Or a professional attack on your work.

Whoever said everything was an attack on me?

You're acting that way. The "charade" statement. When I write to my team, I use very brusque language. I was unaware that the "butt ugly" thing would be assigned to you -- you need only worry about the functionality, I would think.

It's assigned as a technologist task in the breakdown.

And I'm responsible for that how? Again, sorry if I offended -- that comment was not intended for you but for whichever HS was assigned those changes -- even if it were me.

I'm sure that the PM assigned it to you due to the functionality issues, not breaking it into parts as it should have been. I'll be sure to phrase any functionality problems in a nicer tone.


  1. What is the nature of the conflict?
  2. Has this conflict been resolved?
  3. How could this conflict have been avoided?

There's no doubt in my mind that the "conversation" documented here is real. I'm just not sure that the questions that followed it are. It was presented to me as if it were a worksheet of the conversation with three follow-up questions. My comments are the ones here in italics. The rest came from the word doc I was sent. Sorry, tough to communicate this via the limited formatting.

Dec 6, 2006


La La La, I'm Not Listening! Something to remember if you ever go from being an ePrizer to an exPrizer -- your email will be filtered into your former coworkers' SPAM folder in Outlook, so good luck getting a message to anyone there.

While this is probably a precaution against people dropping inappropriate emails on anyone, it's quite a bite when you're writing to anyone in HR trying to get information on your benefits or any other loose ends that weren't tied up before your departure.

It's not you -- it's the filter. Just let your fingers do the walking.

Behind Closed Doors

I'm having a bit of a crisis of faith... My current employer recently hired one of my former ePrize colleagues. He's finally in a position that he wanted to be in at ePrize for years but never managed to get into.

I worked with this person for years. When he came in, he pretty much formed an entire department by himself. After that, he was put under someone from a completely different department with the typical excuse that he was a good "worker" but not a "leader". Despite this major slight, he kept on. After a while, he wanted to move to project management (why I'll never know).

At this time I was having one of those meetings I've written about before; a lunch with the leadership team. Upon hearing that this guy wanted to make a move from his department to project management one of the big wigs said (with surprising force), "He will NEVER be a project manager here." I never found out the reason for this reaction or prohibition.

Rather than being a PM, he was moved into another fledgeling department. "Either he makes it there or we let him go," came the word. Talk about setting someone up to fail! But, he didn't fail. Instead, he came in and rocked the house.

At another manager's lunch his new boss was beside himself, "I don't know what to do! He's been in my department for six months and he's already far more advanced than [the guy that had been there for over a year]!" As if tha was a problem? To him it was. Better to have two semi-compitent workers than a superstar and a guy with a "good heart" but not much of a head on his shoulders. The superstar might make him feel bad.

That was where it stood when I left there. And now he's at my new place of business, hired in as a PM. So, do I tell him why he was never given this chance before? Or do I just bite my tongue and keep the backstabbing and backroom politics to myself? Perhaps if I knew why there was such a negative reaction to the thought of him being a PM... It's not like it was such a position of prestige. After all, that was the place for cousins and babysitters of The Purple Gang for a while; and the perfect place to put someone if you want them to fail.

Time will tell if I hold my tongue or not, I suppose.

Dec 1, 2006

Just Because You're Paranoid...

A recent federal ruling changes and clarifies requirements for companies to produce their e-mails (and other electronic data). According to an Associated Press story by Chrisopher S. Rugaber, "The new rules, which took effect Friday, require U.S. companies to keep better track of their employees' e-mails, instant messages and other electronic documents in the event the companies are sued."

In this way, ePrize has really stayed ahead of the curve.

Of course, your Jabber conversations are open for reading, but how about your other IM programs? Yes, those too. Even when you're at home -- if you're connected to the VPN. reports: "If your company has you establish a VPN or Virtual Private Network connection to the corporate network in order to access your email, while you have that VPN connection established then it's quite possible that your IM conversation is hitting the corporate servers, and possibly being logged."

The site lists some good rules of thumb:
  • Use different IM accounts for your personal and business conversations. Keep the conversations to their appropriate topics - business or personal - and use only one at work, and the other at home. Don't mix.
  • In any case, but especially on your business account, don't say anything you wouldn't want your boss to read. Or his boss. Or the entire IT department.
  • Connect to your company's equipment from home only when you actually need it.
Keep it real.