Kind of sad

Excel Hopeful

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Mar 13, 2006
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I'm no Excel expert by any means, but I love to create and try new things in Excel. I have created many interlinked excel vba projects that have saved my company hundreds of hours.

It bothers me that some co-workers may be stealing my projects and ideas. I know I don't own excel, but I spent sooooooooo much time working on those projects and I don't thinks it's fair for someone to just copy and paste and take credit for my work.

Any thoughts?
 

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Andrew Fergus

MrExcel MVP
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Sep 9, 2004
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Hi

Intellectual property can be a very tricky area. Whilst the spreadsheets / VBA were your creations built using your knowledge, you also have to consider that your employer paid you for your time. And they possibly paid for you to learn, so there has to be a bit of give and take.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not taking sides with the employer because I also empathise that had you not done what you did, then it would have cost your employer a lot more. Is your employer aware of what you have done?

Correct me if I'm wrong here but it sounds like you want your employer / co-workers to acknowledge, or show some appreciation, for what you have done. Unfortunately you aren't the first person to feel this way and you definitely won't be the last.

Now I'm not a career counsellor or anything like that, but it sounds like you may need to get into some dialogue with your boss and / or co-workers. I can't tell you what to say or in what context but there will be ways and means of achieving this without appearing big-headed. If that doesn't work then you may want a small splash screen to appear on some of your creations to remind everyone exactly who created these spreadsheets.

But seriously, the best thing you can do here is to learn :
a) from your mistakes (ie don't get into this same position again), and
b) as much as you can as quickly as you can. If it is at the expense of the employer then all the better. If you are the highest skilled member of the team when it comes to VBA etc then you will be valued / revered (maybe not indispensible because no-one is, but close enough). So take the chance to learn even more.

Also keep in mind that your co-workers will not have the experience with / intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the spreadsheet to fix any problems that may arise. Just wait and see - give it enough time. Then you will be valued and appreciated.

Chin up and good luck!
Cheers, Andrew
 

Joe4

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There are ways to password protect your code and such. On many Access applications I have written, I have a splash screen that pop-ups up and says "Created By My Name" and has a date on it. And unless your co-workers are Excel exports also, if you have written some complex applciations, they probably won't be able to modify the VBA code to get it to work for them without your help anyway.

I know from being in that situation, that most companies have the policy that anything you create while working for them is actually "their property", not "yours". So if you left the company, and took an application you built for them and used it somewhere else (i.e. at another company), you could actually be accused of "stealing" the first companies property.
 

Excel Hopeful

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Messages
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Thanks guys. Yes, my employer knows, he actually asked me to relocate so I can be in the same office as him, so he can use me elsewhere.

Anyone have the code for the pop up screen?
 

Joe4

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Moose812

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Oct 1, 2006
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It bothers me that some co-workers may be stealing my projects and ideas.
I'm new here so first off hello & greets to all.

A few years ago I had the same thing happen to me, to top it off he accused me of stealing from him. I was selling connectivity technolgy and equipment and had made an excel template where I entered the customer information (name, contact, usage stats, existing equpment etc.). It had a sheet where I would configure the equipment I was going to present (config, cost, selling price & commision). This was linked to the quote sheets (purchase, leases, maintenance). This allowed me to do in 5 minutes what took hours, so my productivity went throught the roof. One day I come into the office & a VP's from corp. is in our conference room waiting for me. He starts to come down on me about ethics etc. etc. When I find out what was up I almost went postal. Then I rembered that the custom format ;;; hides what's in a cell. I did this on the quote cover sheet, I had from 2B:32K shaded gray in this area is where I hid "(my name) is on top of the world" with the date I finished that sheet. I'll just say I ended up good. You may want to try something like that if they are using what you created. just a thought
 

Darren Bartrup

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I have no problem with this.

On our common network drive (shared between about 30 people) I have a folder where I export various stand-alone modules.
Anyone can use the code in the modules for their own purposes and everyone knows they're mine as the folder's named 'Darrens VBA'.
Saying that, I don't think anyone uses them anyway as most of the 30 people have only just mastered Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V.
 

DoyleLawsonFan

New Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2006
Messages
2
I don't thinks it's fair for someone to just copy and paste and take credit for my work.
Anyone have the code for the pop up screen?
Don't be too quick to judge others. Sometimes the best way to learn Excel is through viewing (and using) others' work. That's kinda what happens here in these forums.
 

Moose812

New Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2006
Messages
6
Don't be too quick to judge others. Sometimes the best way to learn Excel is through viewing (and using) others' work. That's kinda what happens here in these forums.
I totally agree with you, I'm self taught mostly by reverse engineering and hours of "I know I can do it" kind of attitude (still have a lot to learn). When someone lies / steals, that's the difference.
Only 1 created the wheel but it takes many to refine it.
 

Greg Truby

MrExcel MVP
Joined
Jun 19, 2002
Messages
10,014
Andrew and jm14 have covered most of the major bases...but here are a couple of thoughts

It sounds like your boss more or less knows what's going on. But IMHO, this should not go unresolved. Either this guy really is taking credit for your work or he is not. Either way, you or your boss needs to know.
  1. If it's false, then it's bad for morale since
    • you are suspecting coworkers of taking credit for your work and you are not going to want to work with him
    • and if it's not true and he finds out that this is what you think of him then it's going to make the workplace tougher for everyone.
  2. If it's true then your boss needs to know so that he can get this toxic, duplicitous person off the payroll and out of your company's workplace now. If that is what this person's character is really like, the company is far better off without him.
You need to have an open, frank discussion with your boss. You may have to set up a test, giving this person the opportunity to utilitize your handiwork someplace where he can take credit for it. Then have your boss compliment the work and ask him if he did it. The guy will either take credit for your work or he'll give you your proper due. Thattaway, you'll know whether you have a stand-up guy you can work with or a weasel that needs to clean out his desk.
 

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