Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My Days at Schlumberger...

How well I remember the first few days when the Big Tech professional company Schlumberger bought our humble small company. A company that maybe was on the order of a few million dollars. Pocket change if not travel expenses to this French based company with multi-national offices. There was great promise that out own small company's frentic and manic pace would be replaced by processes repeatable, and a calmer environment. Where complete planning and execution, was a standard and standards and procedures would be the norm to carry out product development.

The Emperor Has No Clothes

Well it turned out what we thought were changes, there were no changes. The mantra for a good 6 months was a wait and see as to how our small company operated. Well the wait and see, became the encroachment and WE are better. You see we were innundated by their group from the south. A group that we thought they had their act together and at the same time, were versed in product development. As we got to know them, those originating with Schlumberger, we found they did not have product develpment experience, they NEVER created a product. We also found out, those who we thought had decades of experience with Schlumberger, really had only a few years with Schlumberger. The management team brought up from the South, had great credentials with Schlumberger, but had no real experience with product development. In fact, out management was superceded by an upperlevel of management brought in by Schlumberger.

One thing that was true, the new management did not last for long. Two years, and a new management team was brought in. What was interesting about the new management team, they had no clue what our company produced, did or even the products. They listened to our sales group for projected sales in the up coming year. Now, anyone who knew out sales department knew how they predicted future sales. Take the client out to an expensive dinner, ply them with wine and liquor, and ask them how much they would by in the up coming year. Of course, our sales force never presssured the custome to a commitment, but just assured them for a ball park guess. Oh let me not forget, our sales force was a little nervous when it came to using numbers. Well, they had no problem in calculating their commissions, buit when it came to using basic statistics or probability, that was an ugly thought. Also, you can't take numbers out to a swanky restraunt our BS them with drivel.

Schlumberger Human Resources

It was always amusing to see how the Schlumberger HR team came in and again tried to influence well run things their way as being the best way. They loved playing chicken crap gestapo techniques. They would look at "offensive" photos and penalize the offending person. While allowing harrassment of employees by Schlumberger management and were chicken to do anything about it. There was never an unhappy employee in the HR world of Schlumberger, but the reality was there were so many at our plant. Because of the simple face we could not make changes and management refused to listen to a single thing. Of course, HR was the happy place, kind of like a group of people who are on heroin, smoking it, injecting it, and drinkng it. A group of people that never saw a cloud in the sky. A group of people who wore coke rose colored glasses. Ah yes, how wonderous... to ignore anything, say nothing, but spy on employees every day.


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