At my wage slave job, I rewrote an old VB6 program in VB.NET.
My original instructions were “make a copy plus these changes”. I did that. Then, they asked for a total overhaul. I did that. Then, they asked for another total overhaul.
Every time I finish, they add a whole bunch of new features. (That’s why you *NEVER* agree to work for a flat fee. You’ll be haggling with the client, over when it’s done. I’m a regular full-time employee, so it doesn’t matter in that sense. It is frustrating.) I have 3 bosses, each asking for different things and semi-contradictory features. They spent zero time thinking about specifications ahead of time.
Sometimes, you don’t know what you really want until you see a demo. However, the number of rewrites and “Add this feature now!” is starting to get silly. They didn’t do any planning at all, before I started working.
My version is way better than the old program. The only reason it isn’t “finished”, is that they keep asking for more features. My program will be used by several people, sorting the documents that customers submit. I asked “Why don’t we do a release? Then, add the other stuff in version 2.0.”
The reply was “Those people are stupid. We won’t be able to explain it to them twice.”
That was insulting. Low-ranking workers tend to be smarter than management gives them credit.
Here’s another incident, that shows they are bad managers.
Owner: (hostile) Why didn’t you implement X! I told you to do X! (implying that I had done a bad job)
FSK: You never asked me to do X. This is the first time I ever heard about X.
Owner: It was in the E-Mail where I asked you to do Y!
(I opened the E-Mail, and showed him that it didn’t mention X.)
That was offensive. The hostile tone is annoying. Even if I had forgotten about X, it’s a reasonable oversight in a complicated program. I’m doing a whole bunch of new features every day.
It’s pretty obvious what’s happening. The other programmer is telling the two owners that I’m a barely qualified loser, rather than someone who really knows what he’s doing. I’ve been on the receiving end of that many times. There’s no point in warning the owners, that their “partner” of all these years is pulling a con on them. The owners are completely clueless and can’t tell the difference. In their minds, anyone polite and friendly is a loser.
That’s an offensive attitude for an owner to have. “I only to hire stupid people.” That isn’t what I would do. I would identify intelligent people who hadn’t had much success. (Hint: Look for the “abused productive” personality type.)
Here’s a good exercise. Go into a supermarket or other store. Ask yourself “Who’s the best employee here?” or “If I could pick one person here to hire for myself, who would it be?” It’s very educational. (For example, the manager at the Broad Street Quizno’s at lunchtime is super-effective, when I was there in mid-2011.)
“Only stupid people work for me!” is an unhealthy attitude. I also sense it when they deal with me. They’re treating me the same as someone they hired for minimum wage. Instead of having the attitude “FSK knows his stuff!”, they think “FSK is an idiot, just like all the other people who work for me.” In one sense, they are correct. I should find a better job. They lowballed me on salary. (That’s always a mistake to accept. I should have known better.) It’s an unhealthy environment.