delegated financial authority: $0

friday was my last day at company “e2, an h2 company” and today my first day at company t.

not much of a change since whilst i at company e2 i had been on assignment at company t – so same job title, same location (one desk to the left), and many of the same people. but i have always enjoyed my time at company t and I look forward to working with them more as a member of their team than as a supplier.

i’ve taken a bit of a chance since i’ve moved from a “permanent” role to a contractor position, but i think in today’s economic conditions there is no such thing as a permanent position, especially at company e2 where the ceo is ruthlessly “repositioning” the company whilst collecting the largest cash bonus of any ceo in the states. plus company t is a new zealand company and has a more balanced view of profits-at-any-costs, and is much less likely to toss employees overboard to make a few more dollars for the shareholders.

one particular item during my new hire training that i found humourous. during my early days in boston my employer would frequently send out a memo with the spending limits for the senior staff: ceo: $100k, vps: $50k, directors: $25k, managers: 10k. me and my colleagues were not listed so we would update the list by including our names at the bottom: antony: $0, david: $0, sheila: $0. over the next 20 years i was able to break through the $0 barrier and be granted increasing financial authority. that all changed with our move to nz. during my induction training company policies were reviewed including that as a contractor i have no authority to spend company funds – my “delegated financial authority” is $0.


today is my one year anniversary at company e2 and also the completion of it’s acquisition by company h2. i now work for “e2 – an h2 company”. i don’t expect this will have any impact on me, but we have been assured that “any workforce reductions will be made in adherence to all local laws.” quite comforting to know that their threshold for making firing decisions is “we won’t do anything illegal.”

my year at e2 has been fairly uneventful – although i continue to be surprised by the *big* company ways of working. my computer login in the past has always been “afoster” or “antony” or some such. at e2 my login is “zzsq42.” and my team name – no joke – is “ASFO AP A&NZ CM&E TNZ DEL MOBILE & CONS”

about once a week a get an email like this.

Subject: Important Organizational Announcement

From: Executive-I’ve-Never-Heard-Of-Before

To better serve the rapidly changing needs of our customers we have restructured our organization. I am pleased to announce Sub-Executive-I’ve-Never-Heard-Of-Before will be assuming responsibility for Team-I’ve-Never-Heard-Of-Before and reporting directly to me.

This change is an important part of our efforts to build and maintain a World Class organization.


my favourite tidbit. in may we were all asked and then repeatedly reminded to complete an anonymous employee satisfaction survey. we were assured that the results would be quickly reviewed by the executives and we would be presented with the results and the appropriate actions. nothing until late july when they said that there had been a problem at the survey company and they were not able to provide all the results.

my cynical view has the conversation playing out like this:

survey company “we have compiled the results of the survey for your review”
e2 “thanks, but we wanted *all* the results, not just the negative ones”
survey company “but those are *all* the results”
e2 “no – i don’t think so. so go away and don’t come back until you’ve found *all* the results including the really good ones”

tps report.jpg

it a small, small, world

whilst i am employed by company e2, i on the account of a large nz telecommunications company (company t) and spend much of my time at their site. today i was sitting at my desk at company t when i hear “hey antony – how are things?” i turn to see a former colleague from my last employer in massachusetts – now also living and working in new zealand. 14717 km (9145 miles) from boston and i run into someone i know from a 30 person startup.

similarly i’m talking with my colleague at e2 who sits at the desk next to me. my time working at orange comes up since he is originally from the uk. i mentioned how much i enjoyed working in london. he asks where in london i worked:

“marylebone” (one of the sections of london)

“that’s a nice part of town. where in maryleborn?”

“an old heritage building on wigmore”

“anywhere near the music hall?”

“right across the street. i was in 33 wigmore”

“i worked on the 1st floor. you must have been up on 3?”


mind you that london is a city of 12 million people and the chap at the desk next to me in wellington worked in the same small building at the same time.