kaffyr: Still from Arakawa Under the Bridge (Arakawa afternoon)
kaffyr ([personal profile] kaffyr) wrote2013-09-28 10:49 am

Dept. of Catching Up

The Far Less Swozzled Update

I have a rather busy day ahead of me, seeing as how I'm going to get the chance to meet and have coffee with the delightful [personal profile] marence  this afternoon, but I wanted to drop by and do at least a couple of things: 

I'm sending belated birthday wishes to a longtime friend, once from Chicago and now from Minneapolis, [livejournal.com profile] doclnghair, who celebrated on Sept. 21. I hope your year is filled with creative joy, many friends, love, and music.

I also wanted to wish the erudite [personal profile] selenak  - world traveller extraordinaire, Beatle fan and scholar, thoughtful television commentator and excellent fic writer - a happy birthday, as of yesterday. I hope the day was excellent; may the coming year be just as fulfilling!

Other things: Here, under the cut to spare those of you who want to avoid [personal profile] kaffyr 's job-related angst, is a description of the meeting that actually sparked my previous post. In describing the meeting to[personal profile] yamx , I managed to encapsulate the entire bad craziness of that little corporate get-together.
Imposition of mandatory daily and weekly story minimums, complete with the declaration that we have to get stories up on the web immediately, "even if it's just a couple of paragraphs - you can expand on it later; we've got to beat Patch!"

This, despite the fact that the ability to put things up on our web site has actually been taken away from our editors and given to another section of the company, one that was created almost certainly to develop a staff of non-union editorial workers to be trained to do the work of us unionized reporters at less pay.

The artificial organizational wall erected in the company's pathological fear of and contempt for its original workforce actually works against its stated desire to become "digital first." Why? Because the extra layers of employees that control web access for our stories are people who don't know our communities and thus don't understand the context and importance of stories, who are also told to put "sponsored" stories (AKA advertorials) high up on the site, who are overworked because they have too many websites to deal with (we publish 33 or so newspapers in 33 or so communities.)

Add to that the fact that the company also imposed an entirely new editorial content platform through which to put things on the web - without getting rid of our platform, since they wanted us separate from editorial control so badly - that we have multiple technical problems as the two operating platforms clunk together and fail to work to get stories from reporter to editor to electronic page.

Oh, and the young people in the artificially separate department (they actually called them "vendors" in our meeting, and I laughed out loud. Told them that they could call them vendors all they wanted, but they were still employees) also use an aggregation algorithm to gather things off the web to put on our community websites. The program is automatic, and they often don't know that it's put weird YouTube things - or year old stories from our own archives - up as breaking news.

*stops, breathes*

Yeah, and one of the main architects of this, the man who called the meeting, came in for about seven minutes, made his "you must do these minimums and post, post, post!" speech - and then almost actually ran for the door, whilst saying "I'm leaving the rest to xxxx (his unfortunate lieutenant editors) if you have any questions."

Weaselly little dictatorial coward.

Oh, and I forgot to mention earlier that Rory and the Doctor arrived about five or six days ago, and The Family Pond is now complete. I plan to bring them to the next set of union negotiations, put them out in front of me, and tell the guys across the table that if they can deal in fantasy scenarios affecting my livelihood, I can provide them with more fulfilling fantasy scenarios.

And that, for the moment, is all.

shanghaied: (prickly)

[personal profile] shanghaied 2013-09-29 09:26 am (UTC)(link)
I plan to bring them to the next set of union negotiations, put them out in front of me, and tell the guys across the table that if they can deal in fantasy scenarios affecting my livelihood, I can provide them with more fulfilling fantasy scenarios.

You have soooo got to do a mashup with Wash's Dinosaurs Sketch from Firefly :P
selenak: (Dork)

[personal profile] selenak 2013-09-30 07:29 pm (UTC)(link)
It was an excellent day indeed, and I thank you!
bibliofile: Fan & papers in a stack (from my own photo) (Default)

[personal profile] bibliofile 2013-10-01 05:52 am (UTC)(link)
Yowza, that's some bizarre setup: minimums, Sir Post-A-Lot, and then putting up practically a "Chinese wall" (terrible phrase but I don't know another for it) in the middle of that workflow.

In their MBA coursework, did no one discuss that making it harder for people to do their jobs may make it, y'know, harder for people to DO THEIR JOBS?! Which affects, like, productivity. Or would that be too Deming-like?

[identity profile] a-phoenixdragon.livejournal.com 2013-09-28 07:02 pm (UTC)(link)
Happy Birthday to everyone!! Wheee!!

OMG. DEATH. I just...wow...wut?! How did so much stupid fit into one room?! Much less a meeting with a limited number of minutes?! Are these idiots aware of how many obstacles they've created for themselves?! OMG!!


Dude!! So glad Rory and the Doctor arrived safely. And that sounds like a damned good idea to me! Raaarrrghhh...

*squishes you fiercely*

[identity profile] a-phoenixdragon.livejournal.com 2013-09-29 01:21 am (UTC)(link)
Yes'm...I will try again tomorrow!


[identity profile] maruad.livejournal.com 2013-09-28 07:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Are they merely trying to recreate Yahoo news? If so they are too late and so doomed to failure.

The advertorial thing is sad. In the local newspaper they indicate (at least in the actual newspaper) that it is ad.
clocketpatch: A small, innocent-looking red alarm clock, stuck forever at 10 to 7. (Eleven you people give me a headache)

[personal profile] clocketpatch 2013-09-29 12:22 am (UTC)(link)

I plan to bring them to the next set of union negotiations, put them out in front of me, and tell the guys across the table that if they can deal in fantasy scenarios affecting my livelihood, I can provide them with more fulfilling fantasy scenarios.

Made me laugh my ass off. Sadly, I think that these people are too stupid to get the humour. That is a very WTF sounding meeting and I'm sorry that you had to sit through it and deal with its resulting stupidness.

[identity profile] tardis-stowaway.livejournal.com 2013-09-29 04:29 am (UTC)(link)
Oh my lord, that is an intensely stupid plan. It sounds shitty to everyone involved, poorly planned, poorly executed, not actually a useful way to be a 21st century digital company, and just wrong.

wrong sherlock texting photo wrongsherlocktext.gif

But hooray for tiny Rory and the Doctor arriving to help!

[identity profile] apostle-of-eris.livejournal.com 2013-09-30 08:39 pm (UTC)(link)
You are, I hope, familiar with the expression "seagull management"?
Fly in, scream at everyone, crap all over everything, and fly away.