Lets see if this sticks

I’ve been stuck in twitter zings and facebook updates for a while now.  I thought that blogging would be something I was over.  I think I was wrong.

I do need a place to babble about stuff, not just send a buck40 across an iPhone blast or posting pictures of my kid with buzzy captions.

Let me preface this with saying the following, I am passionate about what I do.  That of course is the crux of my issue.  The people I work with are motivated by something besides, “the mission” or “the solutions” they are focused exclusively on the following terms revenue and profit.

Interesting Work for Interesting People, is the best philosophy in this business, otherwise you find yourself chasing every stupid little project that comes up.  Government Contracting isn’t all sitting the Crisis Center, and knowing the right thing to do at that right moment.  Sometimes, you’re a guy who just has to throw a switch.  Thats your job, throw a switch.  Thats fine for some companies to chase, ones that are focused on profits as their sole motives.

Why am I writing about this now, because I am formulating my thoughts for a meeting I’m going to have in about 45 minutes with the VP of something, Not sure if its operations or what.  He’s been hiring BD folks to go win work, and we have a really shallow bench.  Like, its pretty much me, and a couple of other guys.

In the interest of full disclosure, as I tweeted about yesterday, I’ve decided to ditch professionalism, in lieu of something better, being myself.  I kick ass, I know I do, I know what I am capable of, and I know what I can’t do.  For a majority of my career, I’ve been the guy they drop into a failing project, turn it around and deliver it.  From both a PM as well as a code slinger.   I don’t need people cheerleading from the sidelines, I need people who understand this stuff, a little at least, and who can help support me in those meetings.

If you want to build a geospatial group, then give me the effin resources to do it, and the effin’ time.  Point blank, I care more about my 10 month old’s spit up than I do about building a geospatial practice for you.  Ask me again in 5 years, and I’ll tell you I’m more interested in her skinned knee. I’ll do what I can to help you, but when push comes to shove, wife and daughter win.

Where is this going, well, I’m not going to do billable work for 8-10 hours a day then go home and “work on the Geospatial Group.”  If you want it, its going to cost you something.  I can build it for you, I can fucking do this from soup to nuts.  From the contacts, both contractor and fed, writing the proposal, winning the goddamned work, and actually doing the job.

I’ve pushed myself for companies, I’ve lost myself in projects, where I became a project “hero.”  Nothing else mattered besides delivery, and when I see coworkers and friends in similar situations, I try to warn them, but they truly never listen, because they are heros.  I’ll give you far more than 110% during the hours when lil girl is at daycare, or when I’m on travel.  But, for a long-term thing, my choice is to watch her crawl, watch my wife and her play, and make sure she knows that I’m there.

I understand there are situations where I can’t be, but anyone that I can control I will, and this is one of those.

So, put up the cash, get me some help, or watch this melt away.

Thanks for reading my psych up :)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Lets see if this sticks

  1. Hilary says:

    I totally get where you’re coming from – been there myself. I was in a very similar position when I was at Jacobs: be billable all the time (and go find your own work if you need to) and oh by the way, could you consolidate all the GIS resources in the company? On your own time. Thanks.

    But then they went and “temporarily” laid me off for 3 months, until I could get under contract on billable hours. After almost 10 years, they wouldn’t carry my salary as overhead for just 3 months. Since my company loyalty was being so well rewarded, I quit.

    I just love GIS project management and hope to get back to it someday – I’m even willing to bust my ass for a project when the need arises. AND I’m willing to do some business development. But it cuts both ways, and when push comes to shove, my family is going to be first.

    Good luck with your meeting. Let me know how it goes.

    • georube says:

      CH2M was the same way, I worked with a guy who hadn’t had a planned vacation in 5 years, because his PTO was consumed by “downtime.” I understand the need to win work, and make a profit, but having us sit around on overhead while something pans out should be built into your pricing structure, and not considered extra. Otherwise, you lose talent. And in the new Creative Economy, talent is all these companies have.

  2. Hugo Estrada says:

    I got to make it to meetings to talk more with you. This is one of the best blog entries I have seen in a long time. Keep us updated with what happens.

  3. Bill Dollins says:

    In my opinion the “hero” business model points to poor management. In our business, such a thing can always happen, but it should be the rare exception. An organization that comes to rely on the “hero” approach needs to do some serious self-reflection and fix whatever problem is causing it. This can range from getting your bids right to “managing” your prime contractors to any number of factors but, if you find yourself consistently scrambling and burning out your staff, then something is wrong that needs to be fixed.

    I’ve been on both sides of this problem and it’s no fun either way but the primary onus lies on the manager to remedy the situation. When a project is running poorly, I lose more sleep about the stress it places on staff than anything else. Generally, if the project ends up needing a “hero,” I’d rather take that bullet myself than ask someone else to (whenever possible).

  4. go-govie says:

    Why on earth does it take so long for gis contractors to figure out that the contracting game is a losing business??? You will never be more than a billing code or the guy who hobnobs to beg the govt for more billing codes. It’s not because you’re not talented… it’s because you can throw a fast-ball 90mph but you insist on trying to be the best hotdog salesman in the park. And you wonder why you’re constantly getting fucked over.

    Wake up dude…. go work for NGA. There the taxpayer already bankrolls you for an entire career… so you are only judged by your output…. not billable hours.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s