Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

The last place you'll ever drink away the day...again.
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Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby 7-zark-7 » 02 Nov 2017, 15:58:18

So, my game was late to start because my life has been fast and furious. Although I can't claim that franchise any longer or at least I won't be able to in very short order.

I've been working just outside New York for NBC for 6 years. Since late October of 2011 when Wasabi and I were both caught in a massive layoff that hit our vendor of video editing products.

It's been a good run, I landed well and moved from an engineering role to a management position fairly quickly, replacing the director above me in about 15 months.

Let me stress: I am a player coach. I don't empire build, & I believe a rising tide lifts all boats. I take very good care of my direct reports because I have been in their shoes & I know the challenges they face on a daily basis.

If your boss thinks you will succeed or fail - he's right. I always saw success for them and steered the world (and them when needed) to get there. It's intense, but I honestly know no other life.

About 3 years ago, the director I worked for put his hat in for a VP opportunity & didn't get it. It frankly broke him, and he left the company soon after. I took on most of his responsibilities until the dust settled. Support contracts, facility builds, hell even satellite uplink scheduling. It. Needed. Doing. I did it.

I wasn't content with a manager role given that my responsibilities substantially outweighed those of the director I replaced, so I talked with HR about opportunities, specifically those in NYC proper.

"Steve" (my real name), they said, "we've got someone coming in that you need to talk to". They told me of the wonderkind VP from 30 Rock, who was taking on massive responsibilities. They talked me out of the opportunists I was looking at, & encouraged me that they thought I could get what I needed as part of "Gregg's" organization.

Gregg moved over, & I as a manager reported directly to the VP of global media engineering. When he posted the director role, I put my hat in.

He was surprised. He needed me in my swim lane, & didn't consider me as a candidate. The role was left unstaffed for over a year until he found a candidate who was a director at Viacom.

Gregg is ten years my junior and I had met during his intern days years earlier, & while I acknowledged his growth, he persisted in seeing me as the vendor engineer he met in 2007 (when he as an intern offered me a job & I turned him down).

We've met 4 times formally on career goals in the last two years. Each time, he has offered to pay me handsomely to set my goals aside and work as an independent contributor. I've talked with my boss (a talented leader who I respect considerably. He will not be surprised. Not too much at any rate)

We've got an odd dynamic. Gregg routinely bypasses my boss and myself to directly interact with engineers directly. We have an over subscription model in play where they give you more work than you could possibly do, & then watch which things you triage.

HR just contacted me and all the other managers in Greggs employ to get us onboard with the new rubric. A separate but equal program where technical management isn't a goal. They want all technically savvy people to be independent contributors, working for non technical leadership.

I have been offered numerous times to take off the manager hat. To get my hands dirty and to be well paid for it. I've always declined. I've been the smart engineer working for the non technical management. I've been the vendor in broadcast houses that employ this model.

It may well work. I've just never seen it and been burned by it.

Tomorrow, I submit my 2 weeks notice. I have a director position waiting for me at CBS in the city, reporting directly to the CTO.

I worry about my team, as I have held the line for them against an increasing tide. I've spent a year preparing my replacement. I've got a froend who can step into my "independent contributor" shoes at a moments notice.

I still worry. My career is very sound. But as a manager, my career has plateaued. I need to move on. I worry about my team... they are good. They are damn good.

But broadcast is full of sharks which I can no longer keep at bay after I file my notice tomorrow. I worry about them.

More in a bit,

7z7
"Zark Helmet is too awesome NOT to use!" -Smirker
"The possibility that it's Zark simply murdering someone at a whim each day... would be delightful if true, but I worry that that's too simple a solution." - Okaros

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby Admetus » 02 Nov 2017, 18:50:19

If that flat strategy fails, then either the VP will get his karmic justice, or a new savior of the techies will have arisen to management. We can hope, I mean!

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby Visigoth » 03 Nov 2017, 09:29:49

Admetus wrote:If that flat strategy fails, then either the VP will get his karmic justice...

By being promoted up with a bigger salary and bennies. Since you know it didn't fail because it was a bad strategy or plan, but because it wasn't executed correctly which is no fault of management.

Guessing that there's nothing they could do to woo you back since I'd think they'd try and counter when you submit your notice. Especially since it does seem like your filling a valuable role even though they don't want to admit it and once you are gone things could get interesting in that group.

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby 7-zark-7 » 03 Nov 2017, 10:16:17

Just gave verbal notice.

I'm not financially motivated (don't get me wrong, money is nice, & they do pay us to be there, but it's not money I was after)... they've offered money pretty consistently to push me back towards more of a hands on role.

If they offered cash now, it would just be more of the same that I've always turned down. If they offered to match my director role, it would be a name-only role which also doesn't interest.

I'll listen, but hope they don't counter beyond the "can I talk you out of it" conversation.

On a related note, my direct boss (Jonathan) just canceled all of his afternoon meetings. He's pretty happy that I handed him a stack of resumes and scheduled informal interviews for key candidates on Monday.

I really like & respect Jonathan, & having thrown a skifter into his pot, I want to enable his success however I can in the limited time I have remaining.

2 weeks and counting starts.... NOW

More in a bit,

7z7
"Zark Helmet is too awesome NOT to use!" -Smirker
"The possibility that it's Zark simply murdering someone at a whim each day... would be delightful if true, but I worry that that's too simple a solution." - Okaros

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby Jrsthethird » 03 Nov 2017, 10:52:22

I feel overwhelmed just reading all that. Best of luck!

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby 7-zark-7 » 03 Nov 2017, 11:47:57

Re typos in the OP. I was powering through a half yard of beer on my way to catch Ragnarok.
"Zark Helmet is too awesome NOT to use!" -Smirker
"The possibility that it's Zark simply murdering someone at a whim each day... would be delightful if true, but I worry that that's too simple a solution." - Okaros

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby Aldax » 03 Nov 2017, 14:35:03

Man, that is a lot of things going on. I hope everything works out for the better and best of luck
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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby 7-zark-7 » 03 Nov 2017, 15:31:59

And formal letter is submitted. I've arranged for a good friend to interview Monday morning as they will need a backfill - with the superbowl lockdown in February & pending Olympics coverage, we need to cover all bases

More in a bit,

7z7
"Zark Helmet is too awesome NOT to use!" -Smirker
"The possibility that it's Zark simply murdering someone at a whim each day... would be delightful if true, but I worry that that's too simple a solution." - Okaros

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby Ryvvn » 03 Nov 2017, 19:53:57

Jrsthethird wrote:I feel overwhelmed just reading all that. Best of luck!

Same and ditto!

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby Omega » 03 Nov 2017, 20:11:41

Good luck Zark. We're all counting on rooting for you.

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby dferrantino » 06 Nov 2017, 08:41:49

Good luck!

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby 7-zark-7 » 06 Nov 2017, 12:22:53

So I've spent the day guiding my potential independent-contributor replacement around the facility (I know I am prone to hyperbole, but our server room is literally the size of a football field - it does take a while to cover all bases).

He's a good friend, and in the loop - I wear two hats as a player coach, & he's interviewing for the player portion. I didn't come in wearing a manager hat either.

As for the potential coach, I've got confidence. He's not as green facing the role as I am. I hope they do right by him.

We sit down for a team meeting tomorrow at 3pm eastern to spread the news. I confess, I am having trouble keeping it quiet - I'm happy about the change - feels rather like graduation... you'll miss your friends, but there's still opportunity to catch up, even if you're not going to do so in the cafe.

More in a bit,

7z7
"Zark Helmet is too awesome NOT to use!" -Smirker
"The possibility that it's Zark simply murdering someone at a whim each day... would be delightful if true, but I worry that that's too simple a solution." - Okaros

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby 7-zark-7 » 08 Nov 2017, 10:26:23

Whoever said cats belonged in bags anyway? The only thing that moves faster than light is the speed of rumor in my facility.

More in a bit,

7z7
"Zark Helmet is too awesome NOT to use!" -Smirker
"The possibility that it's Zark simply murdering someone at a whim each day... would be delightful if true, but I worry that that's too simple a solution." - Okaros

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby Gungnir888 » 08 Nov 2017, 11:27:06

30 minutes to go! Congrats, zark!

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby Wasabi » 08 Nov 2017, 16:32:39

You have always been a rock star in the business, and really deserve this move. Congratulations, Steve.

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby dferrantino » 22 Nov 2017, 08:15:38

Has this game stalled out? I've been waiting for D5 for about a week now...

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby Omega » 22 Nov 2017, 11:07:58

dferrantino wrote:Has this game stalled out? I've been waiting for D5 for about a week now...


I'd assumed I was in some sort of Level Z limbo.

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby Ryvvn » 22 Nov 2017, 15:49:11

Maybe wait til after the holiday, but at this point it's probably best to reach out to Zark via other methods to check on him, provided anyone currently board active has the means to do so.

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby Wasabi » 22 Nov 2017, 17:13:08

I sent Steve a text yesterday, Haven't heard back yet.

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby Wasabi » 22 Nov 2017, 17:14:53

...and call me a stalker bug he posted to Facebook 3 hours ago, so at least we know he's very likely to be alive.

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby Ryvvn » 22 Nov 2017, 19:32:19

Wasabi wrote:...and call me a stalker bug he posted to Facebook 3 hours ago, so at least we know he's very likely to be alive.

Well that's a positive! If he hasn't returned by the end of this weekend, I'll take over GM responsiblities just to wrap up his game.

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby DastardlyOldMan » 26 Nov 2017, 12:30:54

Ryvvn - if you'd rather drop me GM access, since you're still in-game, I can try to finish things off, depending on how much note-taking Zark left us. I'm way off timezone, but I can at least roll the days along.

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby Ryvvn » 26 Nov 2017, 16:03:48

DastardlyOldMan wrote:Ryvvn - if you'd rather drop me GM access, since you're still in-game, I can try to finish things off, depending on how much note-taking Zark left us. I'm way off timezone, but I can at least roll the days along.

Done. If he hasn't returned tomorrow, do what you must to get the game to conclude.

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Re: Full Speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

Postby Meta4 » 27 Nov 2017, 09:54:40

7-zark-7 wrote:our server room is literally the size of a football field - it does take a while to cover all bases).


Do football fields have bases?
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