I am a coward. I was told that my name had been suggested for some "product management" duties at Company O. and was asked earlier this week if I was interested. I said no.
Product management at Company O. is, as a colleague put it, being asked to be treated like "dog feces." It is a position that carries no real authority in itself. It is merely like so many of the positions at the courts of the old European monarchs; you work by influencing those who have real power to get things done. When done right, it can be very helpful in the development of product... but I find myself wondering how often it is actually done right, especially in my division of Company O.
It is also worth adding that I would be product managing the project that forced me to participate in two of the WORST fucking meetings I've ever been part of (described here and here.) Truth be told, the project was started with a compelling business brief and the best of intentions. It is a service-related offering, and no one did their homework about how best to make the thing work when we went from having one customer to when we have five hundred of them. Scalability. Profitability. Operations research. Business flow. Not enough numbers were crunched. Prototypes were not constructed, at least not by the right people. Salespeople promised the moon... and engineers and system operators are now finding it difficult to deliver profitably.
Now they are looking for "a few good (wo)men" to pull the fat out of the fire. After ranting extensively about the subject matter behind the previous paragraph for nearly an hour to the woman who was asking if I was interested, she replied "yes, but it will be a great challenge and a chance to grow."
Well, I'm all for growth opportunities. It's why I decided to finish a Ph.D after five years in the grad school pipe line when I figured out that I probably didn't want a job that would require a Ph.D when I finished. I was 90 percent of the way up the mountain... and giving up would be a mistake.
But I said no. I'm newly married. I need a life right now. I can't probably find a project to work on that is a completely clean sheet of paper, but I would like to find one with the words "eat shit and die" scribbled on it a bit less frequently.
Yet, I feel a little guilty. I'm the kind of guy who wants to finish what I start. Call this a strategic retreat, but it is still feels like running away. This project needs someone with some of my skills... but I can't be part of this.
on 2004-11-18 at 9:37 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond