I work in a software company as a technical consultant/jack of all trades. I have an odd dilemma - I have to fill out a timesheet every week where I account for 40 hours of work, but there is probably 4 hours of work a week, tops.
I've been dealing with this by allocating like 30 hours a week to my "client issue" and "general technical work" boxes for the one client that gives me any work at all, and putting the rest into various categories like meetings, professional development, training, etc. I've talked to managers several times now about if there are any projects I can be assigned to but every time I get the same answer - we're just waiting for the sales team to sell some deals, which I can then implement and work on, but nothing at this time.
Now I don't think anyone is actually checking these timesheets, but if anyone who knew anything about this client were to, it would be pretty obvious that I'm massively inflating how much work I'm doing. Do you have any advice for basically creating new opportunities for myself to spend time on (or ways to waste time/become less efficient that I can actually justify if someone were to ask what I'm working on), so I can bill less time to this client? I really don't like what I'm doing, but I feel like it's the only thing I can do to not appear redundant (I'm going to look for a new job soon, but need to stay here for a few more months so it looks okay on my resume). Any advice is appreciated.
I'll likely get promoted within 3 months, hence why I'm trying to stay here for probably at least another half year and just make the best of the situation. Otherwise I'd agree with you.
Hey faggots! There is such a thing as accounting. It is possible to evade the question of costs and gains. But unless you're going to write off costs and take gains for granted, sooner or later the question has to be answered.
How big is your company? It's mind boggling to me that any business with greater than zombie lvl agility would
1. miss this jerking off
2. do nothing about sales
3. consider promoting anyone while you jerk off because pipeline is rusting because they gave coffee to non-closers.
Well, if the bosses don't care, and it doesn't sound like they do, then fuck it. Enjoy the ride.
If you really wanna cover your ass, just put on your thinking cap and come up with something you can do that will benefit the company. Then do it.
No one gives a shit about those. It's just another admin task for your overworked manager. He makes sure they're filled out and moves on.
If you are getting the required work done then that's all they look at. Project completions and shit. The fact that no one has called you out and that you plan getting promoted further confirms this
Why not ask for following some courses for any certificate you want/could use, studie the course on your extra company time and get the certificate.
After that ask for a raise as your worth more now with your new shiny paper.
Not an answer to your question, but there are only two possible outcomes to this scenario unless your real contribution to the company changes quickly:
1) the management of your company is not, in fact, inept and will see the cost of servicing this client is exceeding the revenue generated, or at the very least exceeding the budgeted cost. They will come to you (or your manager) to find out why. Your tendency to fuck the dog at work will come to light. You will be unemployed.
2) your management is inept, and remains clueless to your shenanigans. Unfortunately, they also remain clueless about a great many other business fundamentals and the business goes bankrupt, most likely before they even realize what's happening. You will be unemployed.
You really think one level of management being incompetent is going to bring a company down. Not likely, I'd be willing to bet most large companies have wasted resources at every level of their structure
Spend the time creating internal tools for other departments. Most cases there's a lot of repetitive / easily computerized work that nobody has bothered to fix, so making random shit that helps others is a good way to be productive and get job security
The bigger the worse it is too. I worked in a nameless Fortune 100 company doing security audits... I reported to a supervisor, who reported to his manager, who reported to another manager, who reported to what is basically "the manager of managers" who then reported to a VP, then to a President, then to a Director, then to the CEO
To get an expense approved you had to litterally get 8 signatures. That means 8 presentations. 8 meetings about the presentation, and 8 different email chains
Same process at my current company? WebEx call, 2 signatures, and I can get something approved in 48 hours what would have taken 12 weeks+ before
I've been in your shoes before, back in 2005 and 2013/2014, except for the timesheet aspect (a huge red flag in and of itself).
Seriously, start looking for another job yesterday. Your management is too inept to keep you productively engaged. When questions start being asked, they're going to make up a story about how you're not turning in any work (nevermind that you haven't even given any to do) and fire you. Do everything you can to get out on your own terms because a firing/layoff looks bad for you no matter how stupid the reason was.
Its actually more like "dude from IT, you know, the guy at all our meetings. He just wrote this thing that automated half of what IT does. We can effectively lay off 9 people from IT tomorrow and maintain the same productivity"
I did that once. Saved my company almost 2 million a year on wages and benefits alone.
It took them 3 years to decide that they were going to hire a big dick swinging MIT grad for half my salary.
Should have just kept my head down, performed ever so slightly above expectations, raked in bonuses, and been happy. I got bored once too
Now? I browse 4chan, watch porn in my office, and spend a minimum of 3 hours a day outside smoking with the interns. Want to guess who won the Christmas party "best department head" vote?
How do you account for your time spent jacking off (assuming you have to account for it)?
We're no IBM, but we are a leader in what we do. Our position in the industry and lack of competition that provides a similar level of software services has allowed us to get away with quite a lot of inefficiency. I think they're more in it for the long haul, train me up to be some sort of superstar in the department. My manager is aware of the fact that I have little work, but likely not exactly of the extent. If he was paying attention to my timesheets he would probably know I was fudging the numbers but I'm guessing he just doesn't care because he understands the reality of the situation, that I would do work if there was any. As for the sales team, these things simply take time to close as the software we sell is expensive and has a pretty major impact on our clients' competitive advantage, so the hope is that some of these deals close in the coming weeks/months which I can then implement.
This is kind of my understanding as well, but I'm just trying to cover my ass so I don't get fired if that discussion were to arise.
I've actually started doing this. Our company offers licenses to e-learning type websites for technical professionals, just a matter of picking a good set of courses that would be valuable to me and the company.
Gonna look into this as well.
Thanks for the tips guys. Believe me, I would be applying for jobs if it weren't for the fact that I'm up for promotion very soon. Gonna be applying after I know whether or not I got it, assuming the situation hasn't changed by then.
I could see that train coming miles away. So at the last job that I actually cared about, I'd structure program changes so that _better_ work would be done. Failing that, so that more work overall could be done. All increasing productivity alone does is give dummies in management the idea that they can lay everybody off without consequences.
because the work we do in those 4 hours is more important than digging a ditch ever will be.
OP, if it's really that dead use up your vacation to go somewhere. But most people in software are never really busy. I mean if you worked in a single product there's always minor improvements and backlog bug fixes, but you probably don't maintain access to code based after consulting right?