Warning, Not a Fairy Tale

Act I

Wednesday 6:15pm local time, the phone rings and my wife, Maria picks up the phone. I can hear her answering in English. Three options: it's her brother in law in Seattle, one of her ex-colleagues at British Telecom, or Kevin, my manager, announcing the expected reorg. Hey, that's Kevin. Starting here, all the quotes will be emphasized like this. Exact quotes, word for word. I am reassigned to a project in Dublin, Ireland. The project is under Manus. Until I get a new task assignment, can I please just continue what I am doing, still giving highest priority to resisable images ? All what Kevin knows is "Dublin" and the first name (yes ONLY the first name) of the guy, "Manus". I tell Kevin that I don't want to work on an obscure AOL project and I am ready to quit if I am reassigned to something I really dislike outside of Mozilla/Netscape.

Act II

Wednesday about 8pm local time. Fabienne, our local HR is even more shocked than I am because she's not in the loop and because I have no real information about what is happening to me. She is still at the office at 8pm and contacts immediately HR in MV to ask them about me. Here is a copy of the answer: Daniel Glazman is being retained, his reporting structure is changing, but everything else for him should remain the same.  To the best of my knowledge Daniel will be reporting into the Europe Innovation center under Manus.

Man, this is even less clear! Am I supposed to do the same thing but elsewhere ? So, it's just a question of headcount ? This is so unfair... And who is this Manus ? Innovation Center is under Clayton Lewis, not in Ireland, and there is no Manus in his organization! The only Manus I can find in AOLTech in Ireland is Manus Hanratty, and he is the VP of Int'l Development, these people do LOCALIZATION!!! What the heck is happening here ? I am reassigned to an L10N team ???? Why not directly a secretary position ?


Thursday 2:18pm local time, this is enough, I still have no information after a night without sleep. I send a mail to this Manus Hanratty, the subject is "Apparently reassigned to your team". I want to know what is happening to me! A few hours later, the answer shocks me again: Manus got NO NOTIFICATION of my reassignment, and he learns about it from my email. Worse, Fabienne tells me she has contacted Manus's HR people in Dublin and they got NO NOTIFICATION either.

I'm in limbos...

Act IV

Thursday 6:38 pm local time, I am sleeping on the sofa. I am depressed, really depressed, and the last night on the keyboard left me exhausted. The phone rings again. Open my eyes, wake up, try to walk to the phone without falling on the ground. Ah, yes, the Editorbase Meeting. Urgh. The "thing". No, Kevin, thanks, I am really too exhausted. But, yes, please, call me for the Layout Meeting. Thanks.

Thursday 7:17pm local time, phone rings again. Hum, that's not the right time for Layout meeting, who is calling ? Oh, Kevin again. Tells me that Jud is trying hard getting me back in "the organization" but also tells me that it's not a done deal because apparently we reach a budget limit. You could end up in Saari's team but again that's not a done deal.

Geeez. That's a nightmare. How long are they going to play that game with my nerves... Why did I collect during the last weeks a dozen of emails from my hierarchy and from PM saying how good my work is and thanking me for some nifty things I did recently AND deserve this at the same time ?

Act V

Friday 10am pm local time, my inbox contains mostly spam. Nothing from Kevin, nothing from Jud, nothing from Saari, and nothing from that Manus.

Act VI

lost what remained of my faith yesterday night at 7:17pm. I could easily accept being laid off. That's how the world goes. I could easily accept being reassigned to a project where they need SW Engineering. But I cannot accept "that". What was the idea behind reassigning me to an L10N team ? Fofce me to resign? Because in France there is 1 to 3 months prior notice to lay-offs ? If they want me to leave, let's reach a deal, but they should not treat me like this. I am fed up with all this shit.

Syd joined #mozilla and I could not resist. I was too harsh.

* syd built his new source tree in 5 minutes today
<glazou_fucked> syd: you are reassigned to "hello world" project ?

Hey you morons in AOL-TW strategy HQs: this document and his nice looking style is made by Composer. Yes, COMPOSER. And that is a part of Mozilla and Netscape. Yes, Netscape, the name/org/product you just stupidly killed, and Mozilla, the organization you are getting rid of. Congrats again, you are good innovators and good strategists.

Do I need to add that all my current tasks are "on hold" until this lame situation is clarified ?

Final Act

t's late friday evening, 10:15pm. I just got a phone call from my VP, Laura. She announced me that she's very sorry about the HR mess I had to face, that I am back at CPD, reassigned to Chris Saari's team, and that she wants to me to continue my current work on the editor and Composer, that work being critical for AOL Communicator and for a new project at AOL, that hum...welll...urgh...she's sorry again for all what happened to me and hum....

This nightmarish half-week leaves me completely exhausted. Some of my good friends/colleagues are gone. I still believe in Netscape but don't trust AOL any more. David-the-liquidator is playing his game to gain control over the whole thing, and I can bet he will kill Netscape and Gecko as soon as he has the power to do it. I can also bet he will do it in stealth mode, hiding behind one of his subordinates, as always. I think his plans include a major reorg of the SW development of the AOL client : investing on a small team building AOL Communicator, if successful, will help him show the top execs he can ax a large part of the technical teams in Dulles. He wants AOL Communicator to be the future (and only) AOL client. That'll be fun the day he notices he needs a browser... The result will be a drastic reduction of the costs, and that's the only thing that matters for AOL. AOL is not an industrial company. So he'll probably succeed. Well done, but I can also bet Microsoft is going to kick his ass faster than he can think of.

The end is near, my friends. I am 100% sure it is.