Costco Values

“Respect our vendors” is foreign enough to me in software engineering that I took this picture of Costco’s values. The opposite of respect, perhaps “contempt for vendors and tools,” seems endemic.

At one job, memorably, a coworker was fired over it. Our engineering team had a shared email list used when setting up root accounts on various 3rd party services, including our primary infrastructure vendor for whom we were one of their largest customers.

The infrastructure vendor sent a Net-Promoter Score-like survey to our shared email list. Receiving this kind of marketing junk was frequent enough that I ignored it, but my colleague filled it out:

On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend our service?: “1”

Why?: “I hate you.”

This survey response led to the vendor’s account executive making a frantic and fearful call to our leadership team. The blowback of that led to my coworkers’ termination. (This was not my colleague’s first warning; my team and I were also targets of their trolling and bullying.)

This is a funny story to reflect on. And it’s terribly toxic the multitude of things engineers will despise, wear on their sleeve, and eagerly share at the slightest opportunity, myself included.