Joe Buschmann

let topics = [csharp; specflow; fun]

Frank Drebin IT Manager: The Employee Lifecycle

One of the most challenging aspects of IT work is managing employees and their egos, insecurities, and demands. In this latest installment, Frank Drebin shows us how to navigate all aspects of the employee lifecycle.

Acquisition

Fade in.

Susan steps into an empty conference room and greets a job candidate.

SUSAN
Good morning, my name's Susan. Thanks for interviewing with us today. Before we get started, do you want anything to drink?

EX-GOOGLER
Do you have any smoothies?

SUSAN
Mmm, no smoothies.

EX-GOOGLER
Cappuccinos, lattes?

SUSAN
Just coffee.

EX-GOOGLER
I'm good then. Let's get started.

SUSAN
Sure. So I don't know how much Frank told you about the position. It's for a devops architect.

EX-GOOGLER
Frank told me about it.

SUSAN
Cool. I was looking over your resume and, uhh, to be blunt, I'm confused.

EX-GOOGLER
Ok, what's the problem?

SUSAN
Well, besides your contact information, it literally has nothing besides, "2005-2015 - Worked at Google."

EX-GOOGLER
It means exactly what it says. I used to work for Google.

SUSAN
I know, and that makes sense. It's just that people usually include more detail in their resumes. Job responsibilities, technology, stuff like that.

EX-GOOGLER
(Shrugs) What else is there to say? I worked for Google for ten years.

SUSAN
I'm looking for a little more though. Experience with VMs, Puppet, Docker, etc.

EX-GOOGLER
I'm perfectly qualified. I used to work for Google.

SUSAN
And I totally get that. I just want to make sure your experience matches up with what we need. We desperately want to automate our environments. Essentially create or update environments with a click of a button. Sandbox, QA, production. Anything we need.

EX-GOOGLER
Susan, do you think that Google automates?

SUSAN
I'm sure they do.

EX-GOOGLER
Well, I used to work there. For ten years. How many people here used to work at Google?

SUSAN
I'm not sure. No one that I know of.

EX-GOOGLER
You probably have some pissed off former Palm engineers who desperately hope that WebOS is resurrected.

SUSAN
Uhh, no.

EX-GOOGLER
You need to take advantage of this opportunity. You'll be able to say you have someone who used to work for Google. When executives are in for an office visit, you can bring them by my cube and tell them I worked for Google. When you're trying to land that big contract, you can bring the stakeholders to me. I'll tell them stories about working at Google, and BAM! The contract is yours.

Silence

SUSAN
I'm not sure how to respond to that.

EX-GOOGLER
(Leans forward and takes Susan's hands in his.) Susan. Google is fucking awesome. And I was there, crushing it, for ten years. Which means I'm fucking awesome. If you visit the Googleplex and ask for a smoothie, do you know how they'll respond?

SUSAN
No.

EX-GOOGLER
(Continues holding her hands.) They'll ask you what flavor. Strawberry. Mango. Whatever you want. They have dozens of kinds. That's how awesome Google is. And if you want coffee, they'll bring you one made by an actual barista. Not some shitty Bunn machine. Do you understand what I'm trying to say?

SUSAN
That...you uhh, worked for Google?

EX-GOOGLER
(Leans back with a smile.) Bingo! You get it now.

Later in Frank Drebin's office.

FRANK
So, what do you think?

SUSAN
He won't work out. Thumbs down for me.

FRANK
Are you kidding me? He's incredible.

SUSAN
He was really vague about his job experience.

FRANK
Hmm, I see. Well, did he mention he used to work for Google?

Retention

Later that day John, a software developer, steps into Frank's office.

JOHN
Frank, you gotta minute?

FRANK
Sure, come on in John.

JOHN
Here's my resignation letter and laptop. I took another job.

John places the letter and a laptop computer on Frank's desk.

FRANK
What!? Ok, close the door. You can't quit!

JOHN
I just did. I've been coding the same crap for ten years. I need a change.

FRANK
That's too bad. I was about to offer you a job in Devops.

JOHN
Really? That's exactly what I want to do.

FRANK
I know. Do you accept?

JOHN
I do!

FRANK
You're hired then.

JOHN
Wow! Thanks Frank.

FRANK
Your first task will be to rewrite the deployment scripts in NANT.

JOHN
NANT? Mmmm, I'm not sure what that is.

FRANK
I thought you wrote those NANT scripts for Ops?

JOHN
No, that must have been Roger.

FRANK
Oh...then you're fired.

JOHN
You can't fire me!

FRANK
I just did. You're completely unqualified.

JOHN
How will I feed my kids!

FRANK
You've got the other job.

JOHN
Oh yeah.

FRANK
Get out of here!

JOHN
Wait, before I go. What about the opening in QA? The test framework architect?

FRANK
Yeah, what about it?

JOHN
That's something different. I could do that.

FRANK
Alright, you want the job?

JOHN
Yeah.

FRANK
You're hired then. Congratulations.

JOHN
Awesome!

FRANK
I have to admit. I'm surprised you took the job.

JOHN
Why?

FRANK
The salary's half what you make now.

JOHN
Screw that! I quit.

FRANK
You can't quit. What will QA do without you?

JOHN
They'll deal with it. They have to cut the cord sometime.

John gets up to leave.

FRANK
Whoa, wait. Before you go. A position on my team just opened up. It's perfect for you.

JOHN
(Slowly sits down.) Alright I'm listening.

FRANK
I'll throw in a new laptop. How about a Macbook Pro?

JOHN
(Crosses his arms.) You'll have to do better than that. I'm a Windows guy.

FRANK
Well, you're in luck. The guy who quit was a Windows guy too. He had a souped up laptop. It even has your name on it.

Frank picks up John's laptop computer from the desk and holds it out for him.

JOHN
He just walked in and quit? Sounds like an ass.

FRANK
Yep, earlier today. What do you say?

JOHN
You drive a hard bargain...but I accept.

FRANK
Welcome aboard!

JOHN
Thanks Frank! You won't be sorry. I'll make you real proud!

FRANK
I know you will. Come with me. I'll introduce you to the team.

Termination

Santa Claus enters Frank Drebin's office.

FRANK
Hi Santa. Could you close the door please?

SANTA CLAUS
Ho ho ho! Frank! Sure. (Closes door.) Good morning my friend. Oh, before I forget, I have something for you!

FRANK
Actually, it's a bad time. We need to...

SANTA CLAUS
Nothing cheers a person up like a sweet treat!

FRANK
(Frank puts the candy cane in his shirt pocket which is already stuffed with candy canes.) Please sit down. Listen, I'll just come out and say it. We're letting you go. Things aren't working out. You're not at the management level.

SANTA CLAUS
What? What do you mean?

FRANK
You see Santa, we need someone who can deliver quickly and consistently under pressure. Sometimes overnight. We need someone who can keep track of lists of issues and determine priorities. You know, a person who can sift out the good from the bad. And then manage the large number of employees working the tickets and ensure solutions are delivered on time and on budget year in and year out. We need someone accustomed to traveling the world. Someone who can be in Hong Kong in the morning and Copenhagen that night. You're not that person.

SANTA CLAUS
Just give me another chance Frank. An opportunity to set things straight.

FRANK
The decision's been made. You can come in after 6:00 tonight to get your personal items.

SANTA CLAUS
Is there anything I can do?

FRANK
I'm sorry. In fact, we've already hired your replacement. (There's a knock on the office door.) Come in.

The Easter Bunny walks in.

SANTA CLAUS
(Looks at Frank in disbelief.) Seriously? This guy?

EASTER BUNNY
(Smirks) Beat it Santa.