Taking Responsibility

Apparently Joe Tucci is taking responsibility for EMC’s poor performance this past quarter.

“I’m deeply disappointed with our performance this quarter,” Tucci said on a conference call this morning. “Our overall execution was clearly not up to EMC standards. Our senior executive team, including me, takes responsibility. While we did have some missteps, we are stepping up in taking ownership, and offering no excuses. We can and will do better.”

So, Joe, will you be giving up the multi-million-dollar bonuses and option packages? I think we all know that if a mere engineer’s or floor-sweeper’s “execution was clearly not up to EMC standards” they wouldn’t be getting extra party favors this quarter. Chances are they’d be looking for a new job. I’m not saying that’s right either, but what does “taking responsibility” mean if there are no real consequences worth fretting over?

The Snap

Not all of the stuff in this article (hat tip to Len Holgate for leading me to it) strikes a chord for me, but I’m sure anybody who knows me (especially if they’ve worked with me) can recognize The Snap. In my case it usually takes the form of a “what kind of insect is this” look, but it’s basically the same thing.

No one deserves to be on the receiving end of The Snap. All you were really doing was coming in to see when I was done because we agreed we’d go surfing this afternoon. Still, I got in The Zone and I’m writing this wicked article and WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU WANT? The Snap is a glare, a raised voice… something designed to indicate you are PISSING ME OFF with your presence.

It’s not fair, I realize that, but think of it like this. If you walk up to me and slap me across the face, I’m not going to think, “Why’d you do that?” I’m not going to take the time to dissect the situation. My instinct is going to be pure, primal, and immediate. I’m going to slap you back.

The reason for this irrational reaction is antiquated brain wiring. Four million years ago it was to my evolutionary advantage to respond to slaps as quickly as possible because they were often precursors to being eaten. Rather than piping my slap response through the “What is a Reasonable Response?” portion of my brain, it’s wired straight into my “React Immediately or Else” area. Somehow, The Snap response has the same wiring. Invasion of The Zone is akin to some primal activity that required the brain to wire itself for immediate, irrational response.

War of the Kittens

Better look behind you, big shot…
kitten holdup
…because that poor defenseless kitten has a friend.
kitten sniper
Sorry, couldn’t resist. I’ve known about the Obsidian Wings mascot for ages, and immediately thought of it when I saw the Poor Man entry. Neither image really has much to do with the rest of the content on either site.