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Micellaneous Topics – Part 2

Misc Topic Part 2

Today's post will be part 2 of yesterday's post, covering the second conference, but it will necessarily be shorter. This conference is for a smaller group of people and since they don't make as much money, they could not bring in guest speakers. But I do want to make some quick notes about it.

First, there was some discussion about the industry and what the future year portends. Since we're tied in with the energy industry, there is hope that the industry has bottomed out. Then there was a presentation by the owner of the company of things we should do. Unfortunately, my notes for that section is still at work, so I will have to add the details later. He has some very good snippets that would be good for posters, if I can do the drawings/paintings. Unfortunately, it takes me too long.

In the afternoon, there was a team building session but unfortunately, I had to sit out that section because I was helping out people who had problems with their weekly report. So I can't report much on that. By the way, most people managed to do their report, either a day earlier, or in the hotel, or by delegating to their assistants. This is a very positive sign, although it took about 2 years to get there.


In the evening, we had a guest speaker who was a comedian but he was able to interweave the current business craze for teamwork and trust into his comedic routines. His "speech" actually involved the participation of the audience so his "lecture" was not a canned lecture. He had to react to how the audience members reacted. It was fascinating to watch him in action and how he pulled the concept of teamwork and trust out of his "routines". Oh, and his name is Joel Zeff. I wish I had such stellar talent as these speakers.

The next morning there was a game that was based upon the Family Feud format. This game was to test us on our knowledge of the rules and regulations in the industry. I'm new to the industry and there are quite a lot of regulations, which I don't know how they keep up. It is kind of perturbing how we are reliant on these managers on managing the business properly because there are a few whom I perceive as probably being on the slacker side. In every business, there are always some folks who are not into the business and thus are not knowledgeable and it's always scary to have your business reliant on these kinds of people. As an example of how scary it is, at SAIC, we had some project controllers who had no business being in that position and there were some accounting irregularities. There was one guy who had one set of hourly prices for revenue accruals and another for invoicing. When the project ended and it came time for the accountant to square up the revenue bookings with the billing, she found that about an extra $1 million in revenue had been accrued compared to what had been billed, based upon this guy's information. Per Sarbanes-Oxley, he had signed off on the hourly price given to the accountant as correct. Of course, he was let go but the size of the write-down was probably the final nail in the coffin for our division. Very soon afterward, we suffered numerous layoffs and an eventually sell off to Wipro. Today, this guy is working as a Finance Manager for a large company - hmmm, a scary thought.

Okay, that's a wrap as the conference ended after the Family Feud.

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