August 30, 2017: Phoenix

I had to leave the house at six thirty this morning to get to DFW airport to get my morning flight out to Skyharbor in Phoenix, Arizona.  This is actually my first time flying to Phoenix as a destination rather than as an airport to pass through, which Dominica and I used once on our way to California a number of years ago.  I’ve never been outside of the airport in Arizona before.  I’m not exactly keen on Arizona itself, with all of the racist retirees making it a world famous hotbed of hatred, intolerance, and racism.  I’m honestly a little skeptical of a company willing to put their offices here, what kind of decision making does that show?  I’m giving them some benefit of the doubt that because they are from the Middle East and are drawn to the desert climate that they didn’t do any research and don’t realize what a bad business, and social, location this is.  But I must say, as I’ve never been to this part of the desert, that is rather interesting, at least. I’ve been to the desert in Nevada a few times, but this is far enough away to be unique.

I got to the airport in plenty of time, no worries.  I was able to get to my gate and then casually get breakfast before it was time for my flight.  I boarded just after eight.  It is one hundred and seven degrees in Phoenix today.

The flight was short and went just fine.  Flying between Dallas and Phoenix is very easy.  No effort at all.

I got to Skyharbor, got my luggage, and of course things were already going wrong.  No one was really prepared to come to pick me up.  The person that was supposed to get me wasn’t “able to drive” as driving in Phoenix was “too hard for him” which is pretty ridiculous.  Where in the world can you drive safely if you can’t drive a city like Phoenix?  America has the easiest traffic on Earth, and Phoenix is a sprawling, flat city.  It cannot be any easier, anywhere, except driving around a small midwestern village.

Then the staffer that was supposed to get me tried to get me to take an Uber as he didn’t feel like coming to the airport.  It was all a bit of a mess, as if I am from anywhere that uses Uber (hint: I’m not) and as if I have any idea where I am supposed to be going!  I know nothing, people were supposed to meet me at the airport.

We eventually got that stuff straightened out and it was off to the office for a day of interviewing the team.

Interviews went well, although the assessment was that these were extremely limited capability, very junior people with no idea how to do the project that they were on and there was not one single person capable of making the software that they were supposed to be making.  Not in the least.  And how no one had noticed that there were zero real skills, and even the skills that people were pretending to have weren’t useful, I have no idea.  Basically it was a huge case of the Emperor’s New Clothes, from everyone.  Each person, in an attempt to bluster and act self important, claimed to be an expert with loads of training but was “too busy” or “too important” to worry about the details.  This left them opened to be scammed by the person below them doing the same thing, as the person above, lacking any knowledge or skills at all, had no idea if the person below them was telling the truth or not.

So the entire staff had been there for nearly a year.  In this time they had not accomplished even two days worth of work, and had not even identified the need to hire capable people who knew what they were doing.  It would be similar to wanting to build a house and hiring four project managers and two painters and no one is aware that you need carpenters, brick layers, general contracts, etc.  All of the roles that actually do something were missing, and only roles that were either purely useless or were just cosmetic were included.  It was, pretty much, insane.

So it made for a very stressful and interesting day, to say the least.  We went out for dinner, then after drinks we had more meetings late into the night.  Then I interviewed staff in Qatar.

I have proposals and I know that I can turn the company around.  What I don’t know is if the company is prepared to be turned around.  The people at the top are the ones that got them into this situation.  So we will have to wait and see what comes of it all.  But it is going to take a complete revamping over everything to have any hopes of getting this company on track.

What is sad is that already a budget vastly larger than should be needed to do the entire project, has already been spent and they are spending all of their time putting in offices, buying furniture and so forth for staff that has no purpose, in a location that is completely insane, and zero time or effort into actually doing any work!

So it was, at the least, a very interesting day and I have gotten to see Phoenix which is neat.  It is a terrible city and I do not want to live here, but it is interesting.