Morale Buster

Our team was trying to implement a redesign of our entire system. This was a lot of work. The schedule was ridiculously short. People started the death march to oblivion. We were not going to ever deliver this system. Most people quit. A consultant suggested that a contest be held to improve morale. The project manager agreed.

The contest was a challenge to find the most expressions of data in our database. Since I had been on the project for a long time, I was able to enter and win the contest. The prize was supposed to be $50. The project manager gave me a paper IOU instead.

The IOU was not paid in a timely fashion. So I posted it up on the wall. I frequently get a lot of visitors to my cubicle. Most saw the IOU and knew I had been stiffed by the project manager. They cursed him. I laughed because it had become a bit of a joke to me.

During my last week at the company, the same project manager saw my IOU and paid me in cash. By then the damage had already been done to his name. I harbored no ill feelings toward him. I had already written him and the IOU off. It is no surprise that the project and the contest were both utter failures.