Team meeting today. Management is pushing us hard to seal the deal with this customer we're meeting on the 4th. So, obviously, we're going to make that deal. The company needs it, so it's my job to make it happen. We need a win.
Meeting with the customer went down today, and I gotta say, this project will be no problem. What the customer wants is a simple project scheduling system, like MS Project but with a few different bells and whistles. Can't be that hard if someone's already done something just like it.
I mean, I'm the most, ahem, experienced sales rep this company has, so I think I've got a pretty good idea of what the company wants and what Engineering needs to make that happen. This ain't my first rodeo.
Ran into Neil at the office today. He's a nice guy and one of the engineering managers; we got to chit-chatting, and he mentioned that he thought the new project was going to take "a lot of effort". I asked him what he meant, and he was kind of evasive about it. Probably had a lot to do with our CEO showing up down the hallway. We're not a big company, so the CEO knows pretty much anyone that's been here for more than a couple months.
Meh, can't be that big a deal. Engineering's never had any trouble meeting our deadlines before, no reason to think they'll start now.
Been talking with the customer lately. "Everything's going fine, no worries," I tell them. It must be, since all the updates I've been getting from Li are positive. "Right on schedule" and "no problem meeting the February 4th date." Everything's good. Li's my boss, so he knows what's going on. Engineering's got it handled.
When it's done, this project will be the biggest win this company has ever had. And we've been around a while, so that's saying something.
We had a very strange company party today. The CTO got up in front of the whole company and made a speech, but it was so riddled with intimations and veiled threats that I can't see how anyone would have taken it seriously. I mean, he has to be joking. I nearly laughed out loud at the sheer absurdity of it all.
But the engineers didn't think it was funny. One, in particular, was very concerned. I mean, girl, lighten up, it's a joke, not a life-or-death thing here.
Come to think of it, nobody from the engineering group has looked happy at all in the last few weeks. What's going on over there? Christmas is right around the corner, so why does everybody look so glum? We're going to get our win, shouldn't you be happy?
The deadline is coming up fast, and the reports that I've been getting are... mixed. On the one hand, management says that we're right on track, ready to meet the deadline on February 4th. On the other hand, they also said that some features won't be done, so we may need to "push" a little. That's quite a contradiction they've worked up for themselves.
I'll just have to present it in the best possible light. Won't be an issue.
Meeting with the customer today, just letting them know that while we're 90% done, we've got a few more bugs to work out. The demo tomorrow will be enlightening for them, and we'll see what they say. It'll work out.
The customer is, to put it politely, pissed, and I don't blame them. The app is in a terrible state. Half-empty screens, non-existent help pages, buggy controls. It's awful.
Needless to say, we're not going to make the deadline.
Anyway, we rescheduled the delivery date for April 1st. It's up to the developers to make that happen. Here's hoping they live up to their promise.
I've noticed a lot of new interns around the office lately. Good. We need every person we can get to get this project done.
There's been several weird happenings lately. The "server admin" quit (whoever that is), which means that a lot of our internal stuff like the email system are taking forever to repair. At this point, it's faster to just walk to Li's desk rather than email him.
Plus, some lifer threw his phone at a wall. I heard the sound from all the way across the office. Honestly, where does that guy get off thinking he can just destroy company property like that? Whatever's going on with Engineering, they'd better nut up and get their part of this arrangement done, or we're all going to be in trouble.
The second customer demo was today; we got so close, and yet so far. The customer likes the app as a whole, but just wanted a little tweak to a particular signup process. I told them it would be no problem, we'd have it done it two weeks. Engineering can make that happen.
I assume, anyway. They've been in an uproar. Seriously, guys, can't you get it together? You're making us all look bad.
Engineering continues to make my life miserable. The lead developer (who I found out was the guy who had been sleeping at his desk) quit today. He took with him all the intimate knowledge of this project, and so we're having to reassign other groups to it to make up for his selfishness. All this is going to do is make this late project even later.
I don't understand. This can't be that hard.
We had a bit of luck today. We got the customer to agree to extend the deadline to May 27th, what with the lead developer suddenly up and quitting. I mean, I get that sleeping at his desk was not fun, but maybe if he'd put a little more effort into this project eight months ago he wouldn't have been in that situation.
Starting to get a little worried about the demo on the 27th. Engineering's pace hasn't slowed down at all, and they're working long shifts. That's not good; why would they be working so hard if they were going to be done on time? I can't afford to look bad with this customer again, this company can't afford it, so if the developers can't get their act together, well...
Dammit. I knew it wasn't going well, but I didn't realize how screwed up Engineering was.
That new feature the customer wanted, the one that should only take two weeks? Not even close to done. It looks so bad, the customer nearly fired us on the spot. Instead, he patiently waited until the end of the demo, and then fired us. "Cutting their losses" and so on, the usual spiel. So, yeah, my job is just peachy today, and once again I have programmers to thank for my misery.
The office is pretty empty today. Not many people filing in; they probably got let go due to that debacle with the most recent customer. Serves them right. If only they'd worked a little harder, this wouldn't have happened. Their laziness cost this company, cost me, a win that we so desperately needed.
Anyway, I gotta get going on locating a new customer. We still need that win, and I'm going to be the one that finds it.