Saturday, October 31, 2009

Another new job

I interviewed with Ameren on Friday morning. The interview went very well and I expected to get an offer. Sure enough, the recruiter called that afternoon to let me know that Ameren wanted me. I told him that I would think it over and call him back later that afternoon.

I talked the situation over with Brian at Asynchrony. I would love to work for Asynchrony and I believe that Asynchrony would like to hire me. If they were guaranteed to get the contract they are bidding on, I would just wait for that and start there at the beginning of December.

Since that might not happen, I am going to take the job at Ameren. I will start there on November 9. That's immediately after I finish my current gig at Asynchrony. It finishes on Dec 18. There might be a position at Asynchrony at that time. The fact that Ameren is a short term position actually works in my favor.

If Asynchrony doesn't work out, there may be other positions available at Ameren. Or who knows, I may get a job at some other company that start with A. I have to admit that I've been very lucky. It seems that I've just been falling into great opportunities ever since I left AB.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bicyle commuting to the new job

I rode my bike to my new job for the first time today. It's actually a slight shorter commute than my old job (8 miles vs. 9 miles one-way). I haven't met any of them yet, but they are apparently a few other people who ride to work at least occasionally. It rained on the ride home. That gave me a chance to try out the shoe covers that I bought a couple a weeks ago. They worked great! My feet were dry even though it was raining heavily.

I really like working where I am now. It turns out that Carlos Brito gave great advice: go work for a technology company. I'm only there temporarily but I hope that it becomes permanent. I will actually be working next week as well so it's a two week gig instead of one week.

Tomorrow I have an interview for another temporary job. This one is for 6 weeks. I'm almost afraid that I'll get it. The good part is that it would be starting immediately after my current job ends. The bad part is that if I take it, it might keep me from working on the project that my current employer is bidding on. I guess I don't have to worry about that until I actually have an offer.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Job Update

I've talked to a few recruiters this week and gotten some leads. One of the recruiters was a real downer. She spent a lot of time talking about how bad the job market was. She also was encouraging me to be submitted for a VB6 job. I decided that I wasn't that desperate yet. The other recruiters were much more helpful and I have been submitted at a couple of places.

I also found a one week temporary job. This is at the company where Zac works. I interviewed there a couple of weeks ago. The don't have a permanent place for me right now but they want me to help prepare a bid for a contract. If they win the bid (and they still like me after a week) there may be a position available for me.

I heard from a former coworker that links to my blog were widely circulated around the office. I guess that explains how "Glad to see you go!" found it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The end of an era

I'm not going to bury the lead: I was just let go by AB on Monday, along with about 40 other people from IT. I have been expecting this for some time and I'm glad to be out of there. I think that they could have handled it better.
The main problem that I had with InBev is that I am a developer and they don't do development. Carlos Brito, InBev's CEO, said that "if you want an IT career, go work for an IT company." This may explain why morale is even lower in IT than in the rest of the company. To InBev, it is very important to be aligned with the culture. The culture is about cost cutting, not questioning your superiors, and repeating the company line to your subordinates, even when you know it isn't true.

We have been told several times in the past that there would be no outsourcing. By the end of the year they plan to outsource several hundred jobs that are currently being done by contractors.

Earlier this year they claimed that they didn't cut the contractors pay by 10%. They claimed that they only cut the amount the paid the contracting companies by 10% the contractors. As if these two amounts were unrelated.

On Thursday my L3, (I was an L5 so that would be my boss's boss) to his entire group that he didn't know what would happen to the people who were not aligned with the culture. On Friday, they started letting those people go.

In the same meeting he said that they were going to start replacing people who left. I'll have to check with my former co-workers to see if they hire someone to replace me or anyone else who was let go. No one believes that they will.

I did not know it at the time, but I was actually scheduled to be let go on Friday. I had a touch of the stomach bug that has been going around so I stayed home. I checked my e-mail remotely and say a meeting invitation for a "private appointment" that afternoon. My boss was not invited to the meeting. I assumed that it was the meeting to ax me so I volunteered to come in. My L3 told me to stay home and that they would re-schedule it for Monday.

On Sunday, my boss called to tell me that he was pretty sure that the ax was about to fall. He knew that he was also not aligned with the culture so he would be let go too. I told him that I might not be that motivated on Monday morning so I'd be in a little late.

On Monday, I told the rest of the group what I knew. It was unofficial but that it was going to happen. Most of the news we here is through the grapevine so this is not that unusual. I kept checking my e-mail to see if they was going to be another meeting invitation. People started joking that they might drag this out a few more days. I spent most of the morning making sure that things were as organized as possible for a smooth transition.

Rick suggested that we go out to lunch one last time as a group. Since there was a meeting scheduled for 12:45, we left a little early. While we were eating, Rick got a call on his cell phone. It was our L3 asking if Rick I was with him. He then asked for my cell phone number. Rick told me that our L3 with be calling me in a few minutes.

When he called, he said that HR was waiting for me in his boss's (L2) office and that I needed to come back right away. He also said that he didn't expect me to go to lunch so early because I had come in late. At this point it was almost noon and he was the one who scheduled the 12:45 meeting. If I had gone to lunch any later, I would not have had a chance to eat. I told him that I had ridden over with Rick so I did not have a vehicle. He said "Can you drive Rick's car back and have him ride with someone else?" I responded, "That would be up to Rick." He told me to call him back if I couldn't find a way to get back.

Of course, everyone at lunch said to keep them waiting. What could they do, fire me? , on the other hand, just wanted to get this over with. Rick lent me his car since he is a genuinely nice guy. I boxed up the remainder of lunch, said my goodbyes, and headed back to the office.

Once I got there, I met with someone from HR and my L2. Neither one really knows me so this was just the impersonal, bureaucratic process that you would expect. I didn't mind that part. After that, a different L3 walked me back to my desk to collect my personal effects. I asked if I could go change into my cycling clothes for the ride home. He said, "As long as you make it quick. I have a meeting to go to." Like I was the one who had scheduled this.

That evening, I went to a happy hour for someone else who had recently put in their notice. MY boss, who had also been let go, was there. Many of the people there were interested in hearing the whole story.

I mentioned earlier that morale was low in IT. Here are some numbers to back it up. These are from a survey that InBev did earlier this year. I have no reason to believe that these numbers have gotten any better (except that I'm gone).

(5662 people)
(444 people)
I am proud of the work I do94%90%
I am motivated to do what it takes to help the company win85%80%
I am satisfied with my line manager (direct supervisor)78%74%
I feel a real sense of ownership in the work that I do at AB InBev70%66%
I am proud to work for AB InBev72%60%
I am optimistic about the company's future64%57%
I feel that my opinions and ideas really count at work55%53%
A strong sense of commitment is shared by everyone in my department55%40%
I would stay at AB InBev even if I was offered another job at the same or slightly higher pay45%32%
I am satisfied with the training and career development opportunities at AB InBev44%20%
I feel informed about the changes the company has made, even if I don't agree with all the changes64%62%
Based on what I've learned about the new company's culture, I am or will be loyal to AB InBev61%59%
I am optimistic about my future with the company42%34%

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Have I mentioned that I hate my job?

I have been very unhappy with my job ever since InBev bought Anheuser-Busch late last year. The main problem is that I am a software developer working for a company that doesn't value software development. I have been looking for a job but haven't found the right one yet. There are rumors going around that more people might be cut in the very near future. If people are let go I expect that I will be one of them. Actually, I am hoping that I will be one of them.