Friday, Saturday, and home again!

Friday was a rather unfortunate day at work. The Big Investment Bank’s employees were still shell-shocked from the redundancies that had happened the previous day. I was told that there were not only security guards present to escort the unfortunates out, but also paramedics as some people had collapsed. The human face of capitalism! These bankers, now that they have lost a goodly amount of money through mis-selling of subprime mortgage securities, are now rendering their own people, many of whom had nothing to do with the problem, jobless. It is a scandal and a shame (which opinion is why, yet again, this is behind a friends filter).

I had a meeting with the client’s honchos and my own test managers in the afternoon. Instead of being allowed to manage testing, the two test managers are now going to have to actually do testing themselves. One of them has never done any testing; I hired him on the basis of his project management skills and records. I feel really bad for him. In addition, the client is now treating our people as simply bodies to be moved around and assigned at their own whim. This is not what we thought when we started the project.

The man who is replacing D, the laid-off boss in London, is a technical whiz but probably not a management whiz, and he doesn’t know much, if anything, about testing. I feel bad for him. The only good thing about this is that the woman in the project management office who has been a thorn in my side since September was also laid off. She was laid up at home with a broken leg on the mend. I wonder whether they texted her, or perhaps send a security guard to her home to recover the laptop…

Friday night I took M and S, my test managers, out to V and T’s Restaurant on Morningside Heights, as they had expressed a desire for Italian food. The place was the same as ever, and the food was good: M and I had Chicken Parmigiana, and S had a jalapeno pizza, small. When it arrived, he looked at it (14″ in diameter) and said, “This is small?” He only ate two slices and took the rest home with him.

We talked about the project, about how they were faring in New York, and the like. S brought out the pictures of his children and wife (they have a girl and a boy). Up until then I hadn’t liked S much, as he is a bossy guy who doesn’t know where he fits in the organisation and talks too much in meetings. My heart softened when I saw the pictures. S will be in New York for up to 18 months, and his family will only visit for one or two months. Otherwise he’ll be alone. He told me that my employer’s Indian employees all had their salaries cut two out of the last three years because the company hadn’t met its targets! In addition, if S quits the company while he is in the US, he will owe them 1.5 million rupees. If he quits up to 6 months after he gets back to India, he’ll owe them 500,000 rupees. I’m too tired to do the math but it’s quite a tidy sum for a normal employee.

I packed Friday night, and took a cab to JFK Saturday morning. I was going to take SkyTrain, but as I’ve never done that before I thought I’d better not try it. The cab’s meter was “broken” and I culdn’t get a receipt. I suspect that the driver pocketed the entire fare. Well, I was at the airport by that time and didn’t want to fuss. Got my boarding pass printed at the kiosk, no problem, dropped off my bag, security was a relative breeze, and I saw and waited for the plane.

There were only 40 people on the plane, total (not including the cabin attendants). I moved to a window seat with no one sitting in the row, and enjoyed the colours of the clouds as the sun went down and I listened to music. My iPod seems to be back in shape. They had a full breakfast for me, and then a snack just before we landed. The food was better this way than it was going over. Took Heathrow Express and a taxi home, but was a bit taken aback at the receipt I got from the taxi driver:

Unpacked, and now to bed, quite a bit late.

4 Responses to “Friday, Saturday, and home again!”

  1. chi_thirdrail says:

    You paid for a taxi ride with a broken meter? I’d have said “You know, you’re required to use the meter to register the fare. Since the meter doesn’t say anything, this ride is free. Good day.”

    He totally was just evading the fees and taxes involved.

  2. chrishansenhome says:

    I suppose he was. However, I got to the airport and at a fare less than I expected to pay (the fare from JFK to Manhattan is a flat $45 plus any bridge or tunnel tolls but from Manhattan to JFK it’s supposed to be metered, I think). In addition, anyone making a fuss at the airport nowadays is liable to be taken into custody and Tasered for the amusement of the TSA goons. I decided to pay.

  3. rsc says:

    And are you backing Boris?

  4. chrishansenhome says:

    You’ve got to be kidding…a serial adulterer, bozo, man who refers to “picanninies” in the 21st Century…backing Boris? I wouldn’t back Boris for dogcatcher unless a dog could be relied on to bite him.