Biggie’s Cutting-Down Comments – So Devastating!!

Hello again, World!!!

Its so happened that one of the Directors of one of my employers/ ex-employers visited India. We all together went out to have drinks & dinner. It was going very well – introductions, talks, romours etc etc fun. I got to talk to him in person while having drinks and it was really great talking to such a great personality.

But you know, alcohol will have a strong impact on us, especially while consuming it. While we were talking, he asked me what do I work on etc stuff. I said I’m handling SAS BI system, which supports almost all the leading departments for their decision making systems. He once was a SAS guy, but it has been a while that he changed his technology.

You know what he said – he said “SAS Sucks” !!!

 

 

 

I mean how can one comment on anything which has been serving the company since over 35 years??? If it sucks, what was the need to have it in place? How can a person who resembles the company, is a Leader, holds more responsibilities to keep up the company’s culture and stuff, comments on a technology like this, which would obviously “demotivatespeople working hard for the company?? If it would have been somebody else who is not into that high designation, the scenario would have been totally different.

OK, if you are migrating every other technology to something which you think is good, thank it and move ahead and make it happen, instead of throwing these kind of comments.

The technology which had been being serving the company for majotiry of its legacy data and majority of its departments, for over 3 decades is a proven value of that technology. One cannot and should not treat that this way when they decide to move on to another technology.

I, being into SAS, could not take it anymore and just walked away from that talk. I’m sure no one would even take it when someone degrades your technology within the organization.

Agree/ Disagree??

PS: The picture is taken randomly from web & I do not own it. No plagiarism is intended here 🙂

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15 thoughts

  1. I have experienced the same harsh words, and have struggled to understand why that type of comment would have been made. As you well know, I manage a Citrix environment that is dependent on the stability of the corporate network, as well as independent service providers. If there is a network issue, the service is slowed down, and it takes longer to open your application. I have heard the comment that Citrix sucks, many times, from people at all levels that are not under the influence of alcohol. 🙂

    In regard to SAS, it is published in our environment as a Citrix application. Unfortunately, if there is a network slowdown, it takes longer to open up the SAS application, causing end-users to wait. As a result, you get the comment that SAS sucks. The SAS system itself is running fine, and the data is accurate, but the user experience is not as fast as the user wants, so then SAS sucks.

    Your expertise is very important, and the job you do is excellent. Never let anyone, at any level, hurt your feelings by a single comment. It is unfortunate that you don’t hear enough praise about SAS from the hundreds of users that are completely satisfied with the information system that you provide for them. You are certainly appreciated more than you will ever know. 🙂

  2. It would have been better if he at least explained why. And, it would have been best if he told you what kind of technology would be able to support the company better. I think he just got too much into alcohol and is taking out his frustrations on you just because you told him of how great the technology is.

  3. Kenneth Watman says: I am very much of the same mind as those who suggest that you attempt to understand his remarks as all about him and his blinders, and not about you, personally or professionally. So I have nothing to add on that score, but I would like to weigh in on the psychological dimension of all this and the similar episodes all of us have experienced.

    1. There’s Latin expression which translated means, “In wine, there is truth,” meaning what people say when they are drunk is what they really mean. I think that’s nonsense, as anyone who has been drunk can attest.

    2. Drunk or not, when people talk the way your Director did, he is not interested at all in what you have to say. He is watching his own video, and anything you would say at that moment would be greeted with antagonism and defensiveness. So I do not agree with the view that you should have made him substantiate his claims. No way. Nor do think his remarks had anything to do with what mod of SAS he might be referring to.

    3. It may or may not be worth raising in the cool light of day. If the matter has not gone further, I think not.

    4. As for the bystanders, I can guarantee you they were regarding him as nutty, rather than regarding you and your work as misguided.

    5. Keep in mind you clearly have been adding value which your organization recognizes. If you weren’t, you’d know in a big way by now.

    6. Last, and most fundamentally, I believe that many in the upper echelons of both business and government have deep-seated doubts about whether their decision making can and should be influenced by quantitative analysis versus 30 years of experience and their guts. That’s how they were raised, and it is gratifying to their egos to believe they can practice a sort of magic that defies quantification, whatever the huge mass of the literature that says otherwise.

    It may well be that you ran into that sort of thing from the Director, which fundamentally has nothing to do with SAS or any other analytical method. Rather it may have been his way of expressing deep skepticism about analytics that go beyond the traditional financial ratio-based analysis.

    In my opinion, you cannot argue people out of that. We all have to count on the Darwinian fact that analysis boosts the bottom line, and that ultimately speaks for itself. Those executives who resist will fall behind their competition who adopt analytics to their advantage. Ultimately they will be held responsible for their failure through natural selection.

  4. Girish Chander says: Well, I am sure your convictions are stronger than his opinions. Anyone can go wrong, especially when you are having a off-hand discussion he has expressed his thoughts. And the desire to look up to him was yours remember 🙂

    Ofcourse, as others way it would have been healthier if you had drawn him out and asked him why he thinks so. That might have given you a valuable insight on why he thinks that way. Maybe you could have put your points and make him see other way…..anyways, opinions of individuals are only that – opinions!

  5. Chandrasekhar says: It happens sometimes and people freak-out while they are drinking alcohol. I suggest that you don’t take it personally esp. when people talk about something which is not true in real world. It might be his perception.

  6. John Hertig says: Should he have said that? No, although if that was truly his opinion and ‘had’ to be expressed, it should have been presented as a complete argument, with the reasons behind his opinion given so the opinion could be refuted or at least understood.

    Should you have been offended? In my opinion, no. You know what you know and what he thinks is his problem, not yours. A better ‘feeling’ might have been interest in either helping someone else become ‘more knowledgeable’ or finding out something you are not yet aware of. Rather than walking away and feeling hurt, which has little if any positive impact on the world, why not ask ‘Really? Why do you think that?’

    Doing that has several potential benefits. He might realize that he misspoke and recant. He may provide ‘facts’ which you can disprove and change his misconception. And there is always the possibility, no matter how remote, that he is aware of something which you are not, and you could actually improve your knowledge.

    Perhaps one of the more invasive problems in the world today is that to ‘give offense’ to someone is a ‘serious crime’. Look how the world scrambles to ‘fix things’ if someone claims to be ‘offended’ by something. Never mind that the ‘fix’ often ‘offends’ more people than the original offense did. We have been ‘trained’ to look for offense in everything around us and focus on it, and this makes us weaker as a species (and lawyers stronger :-).

  7. John Kies says: Don’t take it personally. As I read (twice now) what you wrote, he was commenting on the product you manage, not you, not your management of it. Take advantage of this, contact the manager and remind him of the comment. Nicely by the way, no hurt no pain on your your part, and ask him what you should be working on? Where should your career focus because if his view is negative, you want to both advance and protect your career. He opened the door under the influence of not – you opportunity is to take advantage for your benefit.

  8. Tricia Aanderud says: Yes … that was my point about the version. If the manager was basing his comments on SAS 6.0 .. then you of course could happily point out that SAS has come a long way since then. They are also one of the leaders in the industry – so obviously they are doing something right.

    But you are correct – those who know less about the product think this guy is knowledgeable and his opinion has some value when it’s ill-informed.

    I know what you mean about reacting in the moment. I’m the Queen of “I-should-have-said”. Just keep the idea in your pocket so next time you are prepared for his Jedi-Mind tricks! 😉

  9. BKA says: Hello Tricia, I’ll definitely read ‘The DIlbert Principle’, that sounds interesting even with that one para you’ve pasted here 🙂

    BTW, the comment was made on SAS, not based on the version, rather SAS was upgraded to 9.1 a long back. My only concern is that folks who heard that person commenting like that may end up having a wrong impression on SAS, as they are not SAS users, instead they are not technical. And this will go on and on like rumours you know.

    I know I’ve to let that person justify on his comments, but I just didn’t. May be I was venerated at that point of time and now it’s too late 🙂

    I’ve known something from you now which I didn’t know about yet. Thanks for that and keep in touch.

    Cheers!!

  10. Tricia Aanderud says: I would have definitely made him substantiate that claim. What is it based on (SAS 6.0?), software costs, or something else? You need to draw him out to understand the claim – it will help you understand better if you need to make some changes to help others understand the product’s unique value.

    Also … you may want to read “The Dilbert Principal” … it has some interesting insights about leaders – smart and dumb ones. A quote from the author Scott Adams …

    “I wrote The Dilbert Principle around the concept that in many cases the least competent, least smart people are promoted, simply because they’re the ones you don’t want doing actual work. You want them ordering the doughnuts and yelling at people for not doing their assignments—you know, the easy work. Your heart surgeons and your computer programmers—your smart people—aren’t in management. That principle was literally happening everywhere.”

    Always keep that in mind when talking to “role models” and “leaders”. What I have found is that truly good ones (ones to admire and hold to a high standard) are “few and far” between.

  11. BKA Says: Thank you, Diane. Firstly, I feel so good that the world is listening to my words 🙂
    Secondly, I do understand what you are trying to convey here. I also understand that there could be reason(s) for commenting like that and not to direct our work.

    All I am saying is a Leader would be a Role Model to every other employee and who carries on and spread Company’s culture across the board. If it was a private conversation between just 2 of us, that would have been a different scenario, but it was made amongst few other folks as well.

    For instance, If I’m living in a county since a decade, where I’m the longest consumer of one of the internet service providers there, enjoying their services to the fullest with utmost satisfaction (obviously, if I’m not happy with it or if I don’t like their services I would have opted to go with an alternative service provider). Even when I am drunk, I don’t say anything bad about them because I know what they are and how valuable their services are. And when they have increased the monthly rate for their services for valid business reasons, which I don’t like though – how unethical it would sound when I say they are the worst service providers and their services sucks? Obviously people who used to listen me saying wow to them and now cutting them down for some reason, may end up thinking me a weirdo 🙂

    I hope I make sense here and I do accept your suggestion either. All I’m trying to convey here is we are evolving in this e-World, where everything works fine on a give & take rule – nothing less than doing a business with ourselves; and ‘words’ do have a significant impact these days 🙂

    Thanks again for reading my stuff & to understand my infliction.

    Cheers!!

  12. Here are some comments made by some professional people on LinkedIn. I thought I should share them here as well.

    Diane Korb Says: I feel your pain Bharath and can relate to where you’re coming from. All I can say is that comment was not directed at your or your valuable work, it came from some other experience and was, as you say, unfortunately influenced by alcohol.

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