Magic in a corporate environment: I’ve been dealing with this team outside of my business unit (management structure) who really just doesn’t give a shit what the customer experience is. It’s one of the huge problems in a large corporation – team X is responsible for maintaining something team Y wrote, but then it’s complete and utter crap, how does team X have any authority to motivate team Y? In an ideal world, team Y actually cares about what they’re building. In a typical corporation, to quote Dilbert, “They pay is the same whether I try or not”.

This has really been a problem from the word GO. The justification for team Y not doing anything is that team Y is feature driven. Customers want enhancements. It seems like a reasonable argument until we consider that we live in an app based world. If our stuff sucks, no-one is going to want to use it. If they don’t want to use it, they rate it 1 star. If they rate it 1 star, no-one else wants to use it. That’s the good scenario. The bad scenario is when we write something so bad that someone writes a third party app which does the same thing but the advertising revenue stream lines their pockets instead of ours.

The problem was that team Y can’t be bothered to pick up the phone when it breaks. The attitude is that “It’ll be fixed in the next release”. That doesn’t work. Our group sees it’s customer facing and gives it priority, their group doesn’t care about the customer. It would be great if we were funded like NASA, but we’re not. Customers make us the dollars. This habit of not helping got to the point of being abusive. Management on our side didn’t want to downgrade the priority of the tickets when this broke, but management on their side didn’t see fit to assign someone on call to fix it or be point-of-contact. This is a hell of a catch 22. Eventually this bubbled up to middle management (on our side), and it went a week with nothing happening. This is a perfect place to actually use magic – when you’ve done all the mundane stuff you possibly can and nothing seems to be happening. Why not appeal to the universe?

I considered using the goetia but it tends to go for quick and easy. Quick and easy in this case would be getting all of team Y fired or hit by a truck. While it probably would get new blood in there which might have new attitudes towards maintaining things it also would probably be messy and felt like swatting flies with a nuclear hammer. I’ve had OK effectiveness evoking angels for help but they tend to go for “the schedule of the universe” rather than what you’re specifically asking. Since this isn’t an altogether altruistic operation – I work for a purely commercial enterprise which happens to also run one of the most predatory SuperPACs you can imagine – I didn’t feel that was a good fit either. Nope, rather than meddle with the forces of the universe I decided to go for the old standby and grabbed the rune bag.

I like to do divinations to open and close these sorts of things, and I like my divinations to be layered (or have two different systems say similar things) and I really like my divinations to be from a different medium than my magic. If I’m going to throw the runes around I want to do the divination with the tarot. If I am going to use the tarot I will look at the runes. If I’m going to attempt an evocation I’ll throw runes at the start and tarot at the end. You get the drift. The tarot card I drew for the present situation was the Knight of Wands (thoth deck). This was how they were acting to a T, which I took as a good sign that my assessment of the situation would be correct and that this was a green-light to break out the runes.

The moral qualities appropriate to this figure are activity, generosity, fierceness, impetuosity, pride, impulsiveness, swiftness in unpredictable actions. If wrongly energized, he is evil-minded, cruel, bigoted and brutal. He is in either case ill-fitted to carry on his action; he has no means of modifying it according to circumstances. If he fails in his first effort, he has no resource.

The Knight of Wands is an impetuous character.

My Table of the Art is still setup in an Edred Thorsson-esque way with fire and ice (creation), the well (inspiration), and the tree (manifestation). This is mostly a function of the magic – if I’m using runes (and I prefer the runes) I think it’s decent to keep a norse theme going. If I were to use tarot I would mix it up into the elements. However in either case, I make hallow a space by walking a stick of incense around, which puts me in the mood. I followed up with the nu-sphere ritual (LBRP – invoking). I grabbed tiwaz (justice) and eihwaz (yew, like crossbow). This has proven in the past to be a ridiculously effective combination for me in the past but only when I’m absolutely correct. I took the two runes in hand along with a tea-light, did the KC (middle pillar) and once I felt like I had worked up a good amount of energy lit the tea-light in a thurible and put the runes against it. I gave thanks and did another nu-sphere (sending forth).

Time for another tarot card drawing, this time I shuffled the deck until it felt right and drew The Hermit (thoth deck). What I got out of this is that the path will be illuminated after a trial (transformation) and a separation. Contented, I went to bed.

Fast forward two weeks.

It turns out that complaining up the food chain actually worked this time, and people have commented that it “weirdly got traction”. Similar to the Hermit card, a light was suddenly shined onto the path and they decided to start playing ball. Also similar to the Hermit card, they decided the old version which was giving us some trouble was going to be forked and go away. Finally this whole thing came together after they were threatened with reprimand if they didn’t start supporting the code they wrote.