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NOTES FROM THE FIELD: A change for the better?

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: A change for the better?

Pammy sure can throw a party. At her little shindig, I ran into some of my cronies: Rob the bartender, Murph, Reilly, and Cappy. But I have to say, she was the real highlight. Pammy in a snug red dress, now that’s a sight my eyes missed. Wow.

Seeing Pammy again really drives home how relationships change — not always for the better. The same can be said about SBC Communications. It has been a long tradition at SBC to rip and replace the sales support strategy each year, which takes at least two-quarters to get completely ironed out. But this year SBC tried something new. To help build sagging data sales, they took roughly half the pre-sales engineers and rebranded them technical sales executives, and made them sign a paper stating their salaries would go down in 2004 because the TSE sales title pays less in base and more in commission. Around April, TSEs found out their quotas were roughly three times the average account executive’s. Now management is going through the

“Why is morale so low after all we’ve done to stimulate sales?” phase in addition to the pre-existing “Why do our sales stink?” phase. Things will finally settle down enough for some big sales to close by the end of the year. But employees don’t expect to capitalise on it because everything will change next year, save higher quotas.

Meanwhile, Dell’s storage sub­systems are causing some major headaches at Michigan State University, one mole reported, even though the systems are brand spankin’ new. The two recently purchased and installed storage machines keep failing, and the most recent downtime lasted about 26 hours. That’s with more than 30,000 users transitioned to the new mail platform. Unfortunately, there is no way to downgrade to the old RS/6000 mail cluster system — so when the storage system goes down, so do the mail transfer agents. Ouch.

A spy discovered the Microsoft Word spellchecker offers but one suggestion for the typo “OSupgrade”: sugared. Hmm.

Speaking of sugar, I suspected Pammy had ulterior motives, as usual, but may have been wrong after all. “I just thought your spirits could use some lifting, Cringe,” she said to me as she ushered me out the door with the last of the other guests.


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