In a rather entertaining thread on an internal mailing list at work, some folks were discussing the number of Vice Presidents in the company (no doubt inspired by the coverage of last week's "all VP" meeting).

At one point in the thread, people run scripts against our internal data to crunch the numbers and figure out the average number of employees per VP. Depending how you count (who is excluded and whatnot), the number seems to be around 50. Given the size of the company and the larger variation among the organizations, that seems reasonable.

Someone questioned whether having only 50 people under them was sufficiently burdensome enough to be called a Vice President. So the question was posed thusly:

If you were responsible for ~50 people, what would you want your title to be?

And, as usual, an entertaining, witty, and accurate response came in just a few minutes later:

Public high school teacher?

If I was to ever leave this place, I'd certainly miss the internal mailing lists. They're a great source of information and entertainment. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at October 04, 2007 02:57 PM

Reader Comments
# Ian Neubert said:

That's ~50 students, per class for a high school teacher.

on October 4, 2007 03:47 PM
# said:

I left a couple of weeks ago, and devel-random is the thing I miss the most (besides the never-ending flow of free coffee).

on October 4, 2007 07:45 PM
# Gabrielle Hedlund said:

I have 33 students in my upper division classes (English) but we have 20-1 for 9th grade (17 in one class, 22 in the other).

Therefore I "manage" almost 140 students. Additionally, I am the advisor for two clubs (Break-dancing and Knitting) as well as the dance and cheer squads (add another 60 students).

(PE classes, by the way, generally have 50 students or so on rosters, depending on the school.

I'm sure this seems wildly amusing, but the pay ratio is not, nor is the responsibility that comes with being a classroom teacher. We are mandated to protect our students, must provide outstanding education for our students, and are concerned with the whole child.

Are the VPs at Yahoo doing as much work as a public school teacher? I don't have a martyr syndrome, but the reality is that educators are professionals with extraordinary workloads and no Christmas bonuses let alone "never-ending flow of free coffee."

on October 6, 2007 11:15 AM
# geoff goedde said:

Just happened in. As I sit here wirelessly connected to a terrifc discussion about my old stomping grounds, I would observe:

In other more mature industries; eg, manufacturing, managing 50 workers is a "manager" level job. They work with atoms, not bits; ie, they actually make something tangible. VPs frequently manage 250 personnel. And, free anything for employees is rarely available.

In the military, 50 troops deserve a 1stL, maybe a Captain. Of course therein, all the food is free when available.

In public education, we obviously have a problem Gabrielle. You didn't mention having to learn another language, along with all your other responsibilities.

In the information field, we enjoy the fruits of a widening knowledge gap. This from a perspective of my first computer having a 12Kbit drum as its mainstore (1961 GE FPS-7). We shipped the first Amdahl (Aug. 1975)(emp.#79) with a 475K operating system, and max memory was 6Meg.

I'd suggest that we IT workers have it really cushy compared to any other work sector, almost no matter the employer.

on October 7, 2007 06:30 AM
# Joe Hunkins said:

I heard VP Dick Cheney will be looking for a new VP gig next year. Anything at Yahoo? Like our HS teachers here in Oregon he likes to pack a gun so you'll all be very safe from Terror.

on October 8, 2007 08:18 AM
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