Unhappy people

It's not enough that PeopleSoft employees are facing stealth layoffs and a forced 40 hours of time off before year's end -- this in addition to other employee-friendly cost-slashing such as taking away free food and eliminating the rollover of vacation days.

On our first night back from vacation, Amber almost started a bar-room brawl, and it wasn't even with me. At the local pub, she bumped into a mean drunk girl and spilled a drink on her. The girl tried to follow Amber into the bathroom. "All I want is an apology," the drunkard demanded, throwing her full beer in Amber's face.

PeopleSoft financial woes

The drunk is not the only unhappy one in town. It's not enough that PeopleSoft employees are facing stealth layoffs and a forced 40 hours of time off before year's end -- this in addition to other employee-friendly cost-slashing such as taking away free food and eliminating the rollover of vacation days, according to a spy of mine. On top of all that, the employees have to clean up the mess left by PeopleSoft brass in upgrading to the company's own financials software. And, yes, that is PeopleSoft's own software.

Instead of using in-house expertise, Mahogany Row opted for lower-priced consultants. My spy said the idea was to keep PeopleSoft's own people out billing at high rates, which would have been sound had it not resulted in a financial system that didn't work so well. My spy says employees couldn't enter timesheets or orders correctly, which led to incorrect invoices. Of course, the field reps were left to clean up the mess.

Tooling around

It's no surprise that sales of Microsoft's Visual Studio .Net are not all that the company had been hoping for. And two of my spies say the learning curve that comes with the toolset has led some developers to look at other toolboxes. Meanwhile, it's no secret that Microsoft's fiercest competitors are putting on their friendly faces and working to woo those Visual Basic developers with brand spankin' new toolsets, such as BEA's WebLogic Workshop. My spy reports that instead of following Microsoft into the .Net world, a number of VB 6 developers are defecting to Borland's Delphi tool.

Band-aids needed

Yet another of Microsoft's products is not backward-compatible. Another of my Microsoft-centric spies says MS Publisher 2002 is not fully compatible with the 2000 version. To wit, when said spy tried to open documents originally scanned in Pub 2000, they were corrupted in 2002. After dealing with two different Microsoft tech support people, the reps essentially gave up, saying software folks in Redmond are the only ones who can apply the bandaid to this one.

Amber said she was proud of me for getting in the drunk girl's face. "Thanks for protecting me, Cringe," Amber said. "But I can't help wondering what you would have done if she'd hit you."

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