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The company I had worked for changed. They no longer proudly said their priorities were, "Our People, Our Customers, Our Business." Now we were "assets", "resources" or "suits". You had to beg for training. And the backwaters! You could get stuck in an antiquated account and never see the light of day again. You were too valuable to transfer, but they wouldn't give you a raise because it was old technology. I knew guys who wanted to move. Their manager wouldn't release them to another account in the same company. They found an opening and were offered a job with the same company in a different town. After they quit and moved themselves they were rehired. And don't get me started on the broken promises of managers. A friend was promised overtime pay because a project was late. It took him a year of hounding his managers to get a partial payment. Then there were the quality programs. We had a new one each year. Dilbert was right, empowerment was a way to blame us for not doing what they told us not to do.

I got word of upcoming layoffs of programmers from a friend in corporate. My manager and his manager denied it. I told them to please lay me off in the first wave. I'd happily take a severance package. I submitted my resignation a couple of days before the layoffs were announced.

I talked to a few consulting company recruiters. There were problems in that business, but I didn't want to go to work for another arthritic corporate giant. I wanted to be valued for what I did. I wanted to get out of cesspool corporate politics and seismic policy shifts. So my wife and I talked about starting a contracting company. Our first placement would be me.

It worked out well. I've found out a lot about the contracting business from contractors. I've been in shops where I was highly respected. I've also been called a "scum contractor" by my supervisor. I know the good and the bad. I know the realities of our business.

You know, we've found a lot of nice companies in the past decade. We place programmers in contract and permanent positions with good managers in good companies. Bankers and accountants get placed with companies that fit their lifestyles and needs. On a national basis we find the best technical salespeople and help them develop their careers.

Our business is matching people with people. Anyone can match technical specifications but if you also bring warm feelings to an organization you will enjoy your work much more.

If you've seen our homepage, you've seen our values. They were imprinted on me at my parents' knees and by the school of hard knocks. I think they are essential to our business. We live by them.

Give us a call. We'll be happy to help you improve your job at your current employer. If you can't, we'll help you find a better employer . We would love to help you with your résumé . And feel free to get on our mailing lists We're here to help.

And here's a list of some of the companies AGI deals with.

Bryan Dilts

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