I try to keep talk of Falstaff’s structure to a minimum, but to understand a few things underway I have to give a very brief rundown. Below is a chart of what the division looked like when I first got here. George Welton was in charge and he was the one that actually hired me. A guy by the name of Tobias Long was in charge of ANG and Willard was in charge of OSI, where I am. ANG and OSI are, as mentioned before, two groups that do the same thing using different software. OSI is the newer software and ANG is being phased out.
About the time I was shifted from being an OSI Programmer to an OSI Quality Assurance Associate, there was a major upheaval. George Welton was essentiall demoted to be the head of ANG. Tobias Long, who was the employee of the month at the time, was displaced. They tried putting him in QA, but that was correctly percieved as a step down, so he was moved in to Legal Standards and Compliance, where he is now. Carl Davis left the company and was briefly replaced by Hilton Wilde before the QA department was abolished and control was shifted to the leaders of each service. In the Interim, a guy named Gregg Elmond was named the head of LSC and shortly thereafter replaced Welton as the CIO, becoming his former boss’s boss.
Last week, everything changed again. Gregg Elmond was put back in charge of LSC and Reports and Legal Contracts (RLC, the name of the department which houses both the OSI and ANG subdepartments) was put solely in the hands of Willard Lake, my current boss and one of the heroes of this blog. Willard, who was merely a “Team Leader” when I got here, is now a full-blown Director. He now has the power and responsibility of Human Resource Management (he can now fire someone without needing it approved) and budget allocation. The latter part is going to be important in posts to come. George Welton has been shifted into LSC as a liaison between LSC and RLC. Elmond has been replaced by someone from the outside.
For review and further reference:
CIO - Cheif Information Officer. What a CIO is ordinarily in charge of is actually the job of our CTO. The CIO at Falstaff is in charge of making sure that the reports, legal contracts, and other documents that we do are put out in a timely and accurate manner.
Legal Standards & Compliance (LSC) - They’d call it “Legal” if they could, but they can’t because it’s not staffed by lawyers. Our customers believe that our legal contracts are looked over by actual lawyers, but not so. Not even paralegals, actually. Our financial reports are not looked at by accountants, either. If LSC personnel have a question, we do have a couple lawyers and an accountant on staff, though. Everything we do goes through LSC.
Reports & Legal Contracts (RLC) - This is the department that I work in and that Willard is in charge of. It’s a bit complicated, but we use a proprietary computer language (two, actually, one for each of the departments below) and established languages (SQL, XML, HTML) to create financial reports and legal contracts. Falstaff provides an array of services for small businesses to alleviate Human Resource needs (or software department writes in-house software, for instance), but we are the constant revenue-generator that keeps everyone else going. Through us, they can draft legal contracts without need of a lawyer. They can issue financial statements without having to hire a CPA.
Object-Standard Interface (OSI) - This is my department, or subdepartment technically. With OSI, companies can import and export documents in common document formats such as Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat. It has an object-oriented, graphical interface.
AlphaNumeric Gamma (ANG) - Gamma was the name of the original project, AlphaNumeric differentiates it from out object-interface. ANG is a DOS-based program without such ostensibly necessary things as Print Preview. The documents are harder to make, look crappier, and are much more difficult to produce for the end-user.
Quality Assurance (QA) and CopyCheckers (CC) - CopyCheckers have one of the worst office jobs in any company anywhere. They basically make sure that what we have matches the model that we were given. Turnover is high, morale is low. I’m currently in OSI Quality Assurance. QA technically doesn’t exist anymore as an identifier because the positions are now considered senior programmer rather than quality assurance, but the function is the same. Unlike the CopyCheckers, QA are divided between ANG and OSI.
Software Quality Control (SQC) - This is generally the exit point out of RLC. Instead of testing reports and documentation, you’re actually testing software. You get more money, but more than that you get out of RLC and therefore gain more respect. The SQC folks, however, don’t seem to have a significantly higher opinion of themselves than RLC folk do. I was a candidate for an SQC opening in early 2005.
Software Support Group (SSG) - It used to be that SSG never hired from RLC, but they’ve started. Software Support is glorified phone support, but they make a lot better money than the guy at the other end when you call the phone company to complain about your bill. It seems to me like it would be a good breading ground for account managers, but that rarely seems to happen.
Account Managers (AccMan) - While Software Support handles calls for low-volume clients, once you are spending a certain amount of money with us you get an account manager. Well you share one with anyone from 12 to 70 other companies, but you still get better service. Account Managers are our natural nemesis as they obtain glory by making promises on our behalf. They are the most well-paid people at the company outside of the executive council and particularly good sales managers.
Cheif Executive Officer (CEO) - Owns the company. Talks a lot.
Cheif Operations Officer (COO) - Runs the company.