Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Despite dedicating many years of my life and long hours away from my family for Intel, I, along with many others, will soon be forced to uproot our families and move to an IT 'Core' site in order to have a few 'aha' hallway conversations with co-workers if we wish to keep our jobs.

The oracles of wisdom responsible for the most recent knee-jerk organizational change have spun together another well-worn set of business justifications and have yet-again mastered a great depression of IT morale.

As I assume that I am not the only one who considers Intel IT management to be a deceitful group of incompetent monkeys, I propose we use this site to brainstorm and accumulate BKM's for making the forced attrition process as difficult as possible for Staff.

By all means, we will be far more effective as a group if we anonymously collaborate and share bkm's with one another on dealing with their policies.

Firing people at intel is a slow and painful process. They would clearly rather we leave than fire us. Any ideas on how we can keep our paychecks as long as possible? Perhaps we can tell them we are moving but then delay indefinitely? Any MLOA insights that might be used?

All comments will be welcomed on this plog. Post away!


Another Ex Intel Engineer said...

You sound as though you have been betrayed by Intel and that Intel owes you more than the apparent disrespect they are providing with this new policy. Before disagreeing with this policy and assuming the worst of IT management, maybe you should spend a few moments considering the perspective of the other side? Wouldn't there be great wisdom gained in understanding? I'd propose you meet with the GM of your group and ask him/her for a straight answer on why there is such management wagging. I'd bet ten bucks you get that straight answer. I'd also bet that assuming malice for incompetence is a wrong assumption.

Rick said...

The best part is that we have someone praising the wonders of telecommuting at the IT@Intel blog. That's irony at its best!


Anonymous said...

My take on what telecommuters should do:
- Do not simply quit! That's likely what's wanted.
When this is brought up to you by your management or HR:
- Ask to see the new policy IN WRITING and signed.
- Ask how compliance will be verified. Ask how exceptions will be tracked and OK'ed ask on what documented basis these exceptions are being made.
- Start your own list of exceptions. That's right! IT has highly-placed individuals in Oregon who live several hours from the nearest site. Will these directors and managers be exceptions? Why? Do they have special skills or just special friends? IT has people with nametags on Santa Clara cubes, but addresses in and around San Diego. Do they actually commute the seven hours each way daily? By documenting the exceptions you put the company on notice that lawsuits will come next.
- Ask if IT is going to actually match up the addresses of employees with their sites to verify compliance. Or is it going to be the "honor system"
- Ask if IT is going to have managers or admins actually check cubes to verify compliance. Including tracking Intel travel when this is the reason for not being in the cube.
- Don't let yourself be isolated. Keep talking, ask questions, be visible.
- Don't let emotion run your decisons, always be calm and polite when talking to management and HR, but also be clear.

The bottom line on this whole thing is: The company can have nearly any policy they want, but ONLY if they enforce it and manage it consistently. If individuals can show failure to enforce on some, while enforcing on others, the policy will not be likely to stand up well in court.

Anonymous said...

I've yet to hear a coherent data based argument that supports most of the organizational moves being made by Intel IT. Boosting employee moral seems to be the furthest thing from anyone's mind. Even people who are unaffected by the changes have to wonder what's coming next that may hit them. If the chief wants to outsource IT then that's what should be communicated and executed. These actions based on a vague or hidden agendas are the most cynical executive tactics I've see during 25 years in the business at numerous major corporations.

Anonymous said...

The first shoe dropped today. PCAP, I hardly knew ye.

So, is that it for this site? No more posts? You need to have someone like Josh Bancroft at TinyScreenfuls.com to promote it, to get more exposure.

(Well, unless this site is already run by Josh. If so, hi, Josh!) :)

Anonymous said...

The first person that responded to tihs blog, is either part of the incomptetent management of IT or doesn't work for the company. If they are the latter, they should not be so quick to jump the throat of this blog, saying that the owner is acting out of emotion. In all reality there probally is emotion involved, becuase once you get fucked over and over for a number of years it becomes emotional. I found thier post quite funny, especially that part about going to upper management for a straight answer, lol thats rich.

Anonymous said...

As a former-IT worker-bee and manager at Intel I saw the implementation of telecommuting (WFH). For the majority of telecommuters, this was a ride on the gravy train.

Projects suffered as a result of poor communication, lack of synergy, and team membership.

Telecommuters suffered because their managment was 'offsite' and therefore not as supportive as would normally be the case.

I knew personally several people who milked WFH into MLOA's for years before either taking a VSP or being made redundant.

Except for employees whose customers are not co-located, WFH makes no sense at all. Dumb idea. Dumb implementation. Really dumb management.

Anonymous said...

For the last month I have been documenting all the inconsistencies in implementing this new policy in hopes of having a paper trail for future legal action. You wouldn't believe how long the list is and how Dilbert Intel has become with its ridiculous decision making. I am a Virtual Office employee that will be fired by end of year if I don't move my family. The irony of the impact on me is that I have been rated as Outstanding or Exceeds every year that I've been a VO and the team I work with is completely in different countries. So if I move I will be sitting by myself in a dark corner doing the same job on the phone. Meanwhile many VO's or non-IT site employees who are connected to IT Staff will be granted an exception - not too mention the few IT staff members that are not in compliance with the policy and will likely not be forced to comply. The inconsistencies of this situation are depressing to me.

Anonymous said...

Intel has always, since 1980 at least, seemed to have "one size fits all" policies.

Ranting and Raving was initially designed for factory workers doing similar jobs and in that capacity it worked well. Bring it into a 'creative' office environment like IT and it causes more problems than it solves.

Remember Andy's "everybody in the door by 8AM" program? I got busted two times. Once for leaving my home building to put a cover on my motorcycle then returning. The other by taking the early bird flight from my home site to Santa Clara where I walked in to ST3 about 8:30.

Remember the "125% Solution"? It included hourly workers until some bright light pointed out they were due overtime as a result. It also meant a reduction in hours for my project as we had already been working 6+ days per week.

I can't remember how many times in my 21+ years we had a "boom to bust" cycle in hiring/layoffs. It seemed there was always a severe labor shortage or a new layoff program was underway. Never any stable time.

WFH/offsite is generally a good idea and, given the right circumstances, can be a huge morale booster for the company. Unfortunately, most managers want to "see" their people on a regular basis and workers aren't always as productive when they are out of sight. Instead of considering each instance on its own merits the company makes another general policy and the good are penalized along with the bad.

In my 30+ years in the IT wars I never saw a company with such consistently poor management in the middle and lower ranks as I did at Intel. It doesn't seem to have gotten any better since my leaving 6 years ago.

Anonymous said...

To the person who said: "Ranting and Raving was initially designed for factory workers doing similar jobs and in that capacity it worked well. Bring it into a 'creative' office environment like IT and it causes more problems than it solves."

Get over yourselves. The "factory workers" are paying your salaries. please go away - quickly and quietly.

Anonymous said...

The statement earlier referring to "factory workers" was not intended to slight them in any way but to point out that the management of groups of people doing very similar and repetitive jobs fits the FOCAL (R&R) process much better than people who do more diverse work.

But please keep in mind that without IT the factory workers would have no way to design, build, track, ship or sell their wares. So-called "carpet dwellers" are as necessary to the overall success of any company as are the people building the basic product.

Anonymous said...

And, for the obvious factory worker with thin skin....

In terms of raw dollars of revenue the chipmeisters do indeed rule, however, in terms of cost vs revenue take a good look at Treasury. They put Intel's otherwise idle capital to work and make thousands of times more revenue with virtually no overhead (compared to the fabs).

Get your head out of the sand and take a long look around. Intel is a huge and relatively diversified company with many revenue sources. Yours is not the only game in town.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of telecommuting...

I WFH for several years, but it's not all it's made out to be. Many late night meetings with other Geos, family time interrupted, lack of personal contact with others. No gravy train here. There's a subtle mindset that sets in when your day starts at 8am and can potentially end at midnight. Even with breaks throughout the day it can be a grinding experience.

So for our group it did make sense. To the mgr who posted on September 25, 2007 1:45 PM my response is if your subordinates get their work done as expected and on time, what's the problem? I have been a consistently high performer, and there was never any question about my deliverables being met. I had the full trust of my manager and business partners because I completed what I committed to do. My mgr was reluctant to end telecommuting because he knew it was working. He was a strong advocate but being directed to do end it he had no option but to comply.

Only a couple years ago Intel used to pitch the benefits of telecommuting on its website. Check out the Corporate Responsibility Report 2005 - Work/Life Balance by clicking this Google cached link. The actual Intel link at the top of the Google cache has been removed from the Intel site.

Or how about this 2004 Business Week article that mentions "The EPA is singing the praises of outfits that are helping to cut cutting pollution by encouraging employees to work from home"..."Topping the list: Intel".

Apparently the benefits aren't so great anymore. One can only speculate that someone didn't like seeing a vast wasteland of empty cubicles. There may have been other concerns with WFH in general, but in my team's case there were never any real issues.

So now I've added nearly an hour to the front and back end of my day, spending more on gas and arguably hurting the environment in the process. In response I cut out the late meetings "Sorry, can't make that timeframe." I'm still getting the work done but at a slower pace.

But the important thing is I am in the office, onsite and ready for whatever comes, notwithstanding that I'm the only member of my team at my home site - everyone else is scattered around Americas region. I guess that makes sense to someone. I'm still trying to figure that one out.

Telecommuting - gone at Intel but not forgotten by Google, or the rest of us indentured cubicle workers.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a dog in this fight but it has been my experience that there are fairly few jobs at Intel that should be WFH.

I remember well when telecommuting and flex time were introduced with the expectation that lots of employees could take advantage. WFH was probably made available to too many people and, once implemented, was very difficult to reign back in. Much easier to cancel the program entirely.

Intel doesn't have a habit of relying upon its lower-level people managers to determine whether WFH fits a particular job and it also tends to use a one-size-fits-all solution. This removes an important source of information for upper management and trust in the LL manager to effectively manage his people and decide what works best for his/her particular situation.

So, a basic good idea wasn't properly implemented and is now defunct. A lose-lose for everyone.

Anonymous said...

What ever happenend to "Data driving decisions?" There is no data I have seen or provided (I have asked) showing the ROI for the IT "location strategery". For those of use that work with many GEO's 6am-10pm mtgs are the norm. Intel gets many more hours out of us Virtual Office workers than they would if we had to commute (spend life on a campus cube). For those of us IT VO workers now being redeployed for merely working from VO (after offering to relocate on our own dime) that is plain wrong and shows how Intel's "progressive" policies will lead to a massive exit (attrition) to companies that actually put their employees before profit/loss statements. Shame on Intel - Becareful what you ask for cause here comes the exit en mass..