Looking for a Tier 1 ISP Mentor for career advice.

Matthew Petach mpetach at netflight.com
Sat Dec 3 22:24:45 UTC 2011

On Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 12:30 PM, Scott Weeks <surfer at mauigateway.com> wrote:
> --- bicknell at ufp.org wrote:
> From: Leo Bicknell <bicknell at ufp.org>
> If you have telecommuters _everyone_ in the office should be forced
> to work from home at least 2 weeks a year, including the manager.
> It's only from that experience you learn to deal with your telecommuting
> co-workers in a way that raises everyone's productivity.
> ---------------------------------------------
> I have been bemoaning the lack of telecommuting positions available
> since I last did that permanently from 1998-2002.  I could never
> figure out how to get the managers since then to understand how to
> manage remote workers effectively, as that's what I think the problem
> is.  The manager's ability to value an employee in this century's
> methodology, rather than the old way: "wow, he was in the office 10
> hours today.  He must've gotten a lot of work done".  When, actually,
> the person played around for 6 of those hours while looking busy.
> Having the manager work from home, even temporarily, would solve this.
> Now if I can just get them to actually do that...  :-)

Easy.  Have the managers manage people halfway around the planet.

Only a tiny minority of my team works in the same timezone I do;
if I made my team members fit to my office-day work schedule,
they'd quickly mutiny.  Working from home lets me interact with
them at more reasonable hours for them, without causing too much
undue impact to my life schedule.

It also  helps when you're managing people 12,000 miles away;
there's almost zero chance of "face to face" time in the office,
so you quickly learn to use IRC, IM, and remote access
voice conference bridges to do realtime or near-realtime interaction
when needed, and email for longer-term threads.

> I really hope manager-types are listening.  You limit yourselves to
> those available in your immediate area and the skills they have.
> Opening yourselves to telecommuting allows you to hire folks with
> skills that may match your needs more effectively.

Some of us are; unfortunately, we're not the ones with open headcount
for hiring, because nobody on our teams ever wants to leave.  ;-P

> Personally, I am working at smaller networks than I would like to,
> but I get to live on Kauai and surf places like this every day:
> www.imagemania.net/data/media/22/Polihale%20Beach,%20Kauai,%20Hawaii.jpg
> when I'd rather get back into BGP and operating large networks because I
> enjoy it.  However, I will not give up life's fun things just to do that
> for a living.  I know I'm not the only one out there who thinks this way.

Totally agree; I've been courted by companies that are eager to hire
me, but once the subject of telecommuting is broached, they suddenly
backpedal; to me, that's a clear sign there's an impedance mismatch,
at which point I usually politely end the conversation.

> scott


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