February 12th, 2003

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Company meeting

My employer's annual company meeting was this morning. Not the shareholder meeting. The employee version. Basically three+ hours of rah-rah. I get extremely irritated at these. I went because last year the PTB gave away lots of travel prizes. This year the big travel prize was a weekend trip to Victoria. Also company pullovers and an Argosy cruise. Big whoop. My salary for the time spent there was around $200. I certainly didn't get $200 worth of information. I sat there getting antsier and antsier. At the prescribed quitting time, noon, upper management was still cheering on, and so I got up and left. Hopped on a Metro bus to the office. I was really really angry. Meetings in general do that to me. Because 99% of meetings are pointless. They could be worthwhile about 50% of the time. But no one knows how to run a freaking meeting to keep it on track.

Anyway, even if well run, this meeting would not have been one of the good 50% even if run well. Basically, upper management stands up in front of everyone and tries to humorously go over financial numbers for various parts of our business. We're doing quite well. Didn't need anyone to waste my time to tell me that though. Same information as in our 10-K and 10-Q filings. At least we didn't have Steve Ballmer frightening us.

Capybara

Dennis Erickson

I don't follow the NFL all that much. But this item piqued my interest because the man used to coach at the University of Idaho, a school I attended for a period. Dennis Erickson was just hired by the San Francisco 49ers to be their head coach. Here's his head coaching career.

1982-85 University of Idaho
1986 University of Wyoming
1987-88 Washington State University
1989-94 University of Miami
1995-98 Seattle Seahawks
1999-2002 Oregon State University

Pretty itinerant, ain't he? Couple of things the 49ers ought to know, but apparently ignored. Dennis Erickson has no loyalty or honest. In each of his head coaching jobs, except for the Seahawks position, he made long term promises which he broke. He would be quoted as saying he enjoyed his position and that he would stick out his contract. The next week, he would be taking a head coaching job somewhere else. And he has done that again. Recent Oregon State University recruits stated that Erickson that he was going to stick out his contract for the next two years and probably retire at Oregon State University. This week, he's taking the 49ers job. And he does it just after the recruits passed the deadline for switching to another school. They cannot switch to another school without losing eligibility. If they were going to OSU out of a desire to work with Dennis Erickson, they are SOL. I don't feel too badly for them, but Erickson is a snake in the grass. Soon as another NFL team comes offering more money, say good bye!

Oh, and the second thing? Dennis Erickson can't coach. Dennis Erickson won in the college ranks by buying players. He ran dirty programs. He ran organizations that cheated for his players, so they would not have to be bothered with that pesky school stuff. Sometimes they were criminals and Erickson covered it up so they could play. In each and every case (except maybe OSU) shortly after he left, these problems were uncovered. Again, lots of school do it. But it ain't easy for all schools to compete on that level, and hence Ericksons teams usually won. Their opponents couldn't buy as many players. But put him in the NFL, where every team buys their players... under a salary cap? Erickson sucks. He managed a 31 and 34 record with the Seahawks. They were middle of the pack every year, and destined to stay that way. When everyone else buys their players, he has no advantage, and cannot coach them to perform above their expectations. And they are mediocre. Then again, the 49ers are known for finding creative ways around the salary cap. So maybe he's found the one good fit for him in the NFL. But I doubt it. Watch for mediocrity from the 49ers.