A tale of two jobs.

For the last 3 years, I have been working for a large, UK financial institution, on a major transformation programme. The aim of this programme was to rip out their 40 year old banking platform, and replace it with a brand-new SAP platform. The total cost of this project was £400 million. Yet when I asked for a 2nd monitor to complement my existing 19″ (and 2 monitors is the *minimum* a developer should expect these days) I waited 6 weeks only to have a man turn up and plonk a 17″ on my desk.

“What the hell is that?!” I exclaimed.

“Yeah, sorry, budget won’t stretch to 19 inches” he explained.

I checked on Amazon and the difference in price was approximately £30. Now, bear in mind that they were paying over £500 a day for me, and you can see how nuts this was!

Before I sound like a whiny little bitch, it’s important to understand that this is an illustrative example of the attitude. The PC I was supplied with was unusably slow – it would sometimes take 15 seconds to open “All Programs” in the Start menu, and when I ordered another 2 GB of RAM a man came and installed 1…

Yet, what a contrast it is with my new company. 3 weeks before I joined they gave me my new laptop. It’s a top-spec Retina Macbook Pro that literally cost more than my car (granted my car wasn’t very expensive, but still!). And the day I started, my boss said “Here’s your iPhone 5. Oh, and someone pinched your monitor so pick whatever you want off Amazon and get Sally to order it.”. The next day I had two 24″ monitors on my desk. Also, there is free Coke in the fridge and nice toilet paper in the bogs.

The flip-side is that the work is challenging – but then, that’s why they employed me. I’m no longer a faceless cog in a giant machine – I’m once again a valued employee and I love it!


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