Changelog 2023-04-15

Two months into paternity leave I got a cryptic email from my manager saying we had to have a phone call the following Friday morning. Because several people I know had been layed off that very same week I was sure I was about to receive similar news. But I was only half correct; everyone but me on my team was being laid off effective immediately.

I’ve just finished my first full week back at work and would like to announce that I am aggressively seeking new opportunities 😬

I had a face-to-face with the company CEO on Thursday, and I came with a prepared list of questions. I was not satisfied with any of the answers. I know I shouldn’t be surprised by an executive’s willingness to lie, or to ignore problems, but I am. I also learned that not one manager was effected by these layoffs. Not even mine, who by all accounts should have been.

My manager can’t do my job. They don’t know anything about the way my team worked. They have failed miserably at on-boarding part-time contractors to replace my former colleagues. It would be easier to accept the situation if it seemed that anyone had learned anything from it, I see no evidence that they have. The expectation is business as usual, even with half the staff gone, and ignoring the risks and challenges of bringing part-timers in and opening up our entire codebase (and the public facing websites of our clients) to them.

I’ve seen differing opinions on this. I’ve heard in some organizations developers are paid more than their managers, and that managers are understood to be, essentially, calendar maintainers, and not expected to understand how developers do their job, or to take responsibility for the quality of their product. In this organization, though, that is not the expectation. The things that I’ve seen slip under this manager’s view make me ill, and they expose our company’s clients to unnecessary risk.

At least I got a raise, and a nod towards the fact that if my role expands into supervising contractors my salary will have to expand again.

Easter weeked, on the other hand, was entirely positive vibes 😄 We spent it with my wife’s family at her grandmother’s house. For some of them it was the first time meeting our daughter. It was so nice spending time with them, and I even made a lot of progress reading Whose Justice? Which Rationality? One of the best things about grandmother’s house is its proximity to the forest, so every day we had the opportunity for a nature walk. I added a new deck to my many decks of Hungarian vocabulary, to keep track of the common names for plants we find (don’t worry, the reverse side has the more useful latin binomial 😉).

Nothing has really taken off in the community garden (yet). Before Easter I planted four squares of onion, but by then, two weeks after the first round of planting, there was not a flower, lettuce, or root vegetable in sight. I know it can take a little longer than that, especially with the low temperatures we’ve had, but it’s still depressing. My only solace is knowing it’s far from too late to re-try, and there’s no lack of seeds. I’ve also got some nice cucumbers and squash plants already started inside, as well as a bunch of chili peppers. I have to remember to start hardening them off! And soon they’ll all get transplanted.

The pope comes to Budapest on the 30th. Shit’s gonna get B-A-N-A-N-A-S over the next couple weeks. Maybe I’ll go to his mass at the parliament building and pray for a new job 🙏 but probably not.