My Farewell to CTCLast month marked one year since I left CTC. I recently read TechTV Employee Number One, and realized that Russ's reasons for leaving TechTV were somewhat similar to my reasons for leaving CTC. I, however, did not send as devastating an email as he did. What I did send, however, was a letter, a manifesto if you will, detailing what I thought was wrong with my part of the company and why I chose to leave. Here it is.
ISMO ManagementWithin the ISMO, there are too many levels of management. This creates a feeling of inferiority among the employees 3 levels deep. Also, the bottom-most managers seem to yield no authority. Nothing gets done on their say-so alone. Almost every decision needs to go 1 or 2 steps above them. This is not only counterproductive, but it is frustrating.
Lack of StaffThe ISMO strives to continue implementing more, newer services to the company. However, with this continuous onslaught of work, a new hire in the ISMO hasn't happened. Instead, the budget continuously gets cut and the ISMO loses people. The ISMO has lost 6 people recently and hired 1. This places a tremendous burden on the few people who are tasked with the implementation of new services, especially with the loss of a seasoned employee.
Though, from one year ago, our person-count has risen, the combined aptitude has not. As an organization extremely low on human resources from the start, "getting our numbers up" is not the answer. We need to make strategic hires. We cannot hire someone to answer the phones unless they can function independently with a computer, we cannot hire someone to take care of applications unless they can troubleshoot and use the underlying operating system, we cannot hire someone to administer a phone infrastructure unless they understand data networks. The fact is, everything today runs on servers, and every tech needs to have some understanding of them.
CompensationI, as an example, have worked at CTC for 7.5 years, 6 of which as an intern. During my time as an intern, I constantly performed above the level at which interns were expected to perform. I did so hoping that one day, when I turn full time, that will be taken into consideration and I would not be started at the bottom of the rung. I was wrong, and disappointed. But I gave CTC the benefit of the doubt. I waited an entire year for my next review, knowing I would get promoted based on the accomplishments I made throughout the past year, because within the past year I had performed the same duties as our Staff and Senior Staff employees. Again, I was wrong, but this time I was very frustrated. Yet, I continued on, working harder, taking more responsibility, showing leadership abilities, and trying to teach others. But I was told that no one in the ISMO is getting promoted this year. How is a blanket statement such as that possible? I firmly believed that I should be working towards a Staff level promotion this year, not because of time alone, but because of merit. I felt unappreciated, not by my peers, but by the company. There was nothing I could do to prove my skills and abilities.
Behind the CurveCTC falls behind the curve with technology. Despite the better efforts of myself and a select few, new technology takes forever to be tested, let alone implemented. Whether this is because of budget constraints, employee constraints, or personal opinion, CTC suffers. As a company who has "technology" in their name, business developers cannot be expected to win contracts by boasting a network running Exchange 2000 in the year 2006. The aforementioned factors can all be handled, why they have not is a mystery to me.
SecrecyThere is nothing worse than being lied to, however I have become accustomed to it. It seems that regular employees in the ISMO are seen as not being able to handle the truth. We are either not given direct answers to our questions or flat out lied to. The most recent example is in regards to my departure. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t hang our group out to dry, so I did my best to go over my duties with everyone and attempt to backfill my position as best as I could. We were told that a new hire would take place, however we all agreed that a move from within would be best. We made a suggestion, and that’s when the double talk started. I still do not know what is going to happen with my position. I believe the managers know, because I have never gotten the same answer from them twice, but no regular employees know. Little things like this are very frustrating, especially when we are trying to help the group. I am sure this is not an ISMO-specific issue, but it would be much better if the communication lines were more open.
The Buddy SystemEmployee A gets hired. Soon, he hires his friend, Employee B, and his friend’s wife, Employee C. A few months later, Employee B hires his friend, Employee D. This seems confusing at first, but it boils down to this: if you are friends with any of employees A-D, you’re getting hired at CTC. Normally, that wouldn’t be so bad. In the ISMO’s case, these employees have been hired either into management positions or positions that previously didn’t exist. I now know where the money to promote me went…
Taking Care of EmployeesThis doesn’t seem to happen. A co-worker of mine just got promoted to Staff level. However, that only happened after a long, drawn out, fight and several compromises. The funny thing is, this person is a model employee. CTC couldn’t ask for a better worker. Why did he have to fight for a promotion he rightly deserved? On the other side of the coin, there are people at the same level who got promoted overnight by doing less work and having less of an impact on CTC’s future.