yeah, i know …

You’ve probably noticed that this blog has been sitting here stagnant for some time. I’ve been threatening to do things with it, make it more attractive and desirable. I tease with promises of more writing to come, but alas, it never seems to happen.

I really have nothing to say for myself. I’m not a consistent communicator. Its not just with the blog, my friends will agree that sometimes I just kind of disappear. Sometimes, I suffer from information and technology overload and just can’t seem to concentrate long enough to get anything interesting out of my head.

I envy people who update their blog regularly with stories of their lives. I wish I could find such integuing stories in my every day life, but it seems that most often, I’m in my truck, at my desk, on my bike, or on my couch.

Lately, I’ve been completely over-stimulated at work and its really weighing on me. I work with a team of security engineers who support critical systems in a low-paper health care/hospital environment. We’re on-call 24×7, but we rotate between us, who will get the first call from the help desk when a high priority ticket is issued to our group. I’ve been in the hot seat for the past two weeks. I’ve been paged on more tickets in the past 2 weeks than I have in the 4 months I’ve been at this job combined. Plus, it seems, our monitoring systems have started sending me completely cryptic pages for no apparent reason. The night before last, these cryptic pages started at 2:30 am, and went on for ~15 minutes.

I’ve been innundated by internal auditors and raked over the coals for systems that I’ve only been in contact with for less than 4 months. I’ve been asked to explain and justify settings that I didn’t even know existed on systems that were implemented sloppily and have been dropped into our group for continuing clean-up.

I’ve got managers from other groups breathing down my neck to provide information that I don’t know how to get. Employees of that same manager have been constantly bothering me, asking the same questions that I’ve answered over and over again, because they’re also getting heat from said manager over this same issue.

I’ve been lectured by my manager for doing things that my predecessor showed me how to do; and had my hand slapped for troubleshooting a problem (successfully, i might add) the best way I knew how (but using a method that he didn’t like).

In the midst of all of this chaos, our most knowledgeable team member has left our organization for a new job opportunity elsewhere. His leaving has created panic in our group, which caused two weeks of chaos as we tried to extract knowledge from his brain and import it into ours.

I’ve been here 4 months, and I’m already closing doors and venting anger and frustration to sympathetic coworkers down the hall. I’m already feeling disgruntled and discouraged.

I’m realistic tho- this is still much better than the miserable existance I held at the last job down the road.

Why is it, that perfectly good technicians become managers? And when those perfectly good techs are put into that office, why is it that they then change into the very person that they used to complain about? Its like parents who lecture their kids for doing the same things that they did when they were young.

There are two types of IT folks – those who want to be techs forever; only interested in hands-on, real technical work. And those who use their tech experience to help them climb the ladder and move into management. The second, have dilusions of grandeour. They’re constantly looking for that holy grail of jobs. The more prestigious the title, the happier they’ll be – or at least, that’s their theory.

Problem is, when they get there, they realize they don’t like it at all. Their management fantasy doesn’t include actual manager duties – dealing with employees and shouldering the brunt of criticism and corporate bullshit that comes from above. So, when things aren’t going their way; when their stress level becomes less tolerable; they target their frustrations in a direction that makes them feel powerful and in control. They take it out on their employees. They get tired of taking shit from above, so they tell their employees that they’re not doing a good enough job; that they’re not working hard enough; that they need to do better.

I’m the first type of IT person. I want nothing to do with management – I’ve seen what it does to people and I don’t want that. I’m very content with the role I hold. I’m very happy being a system jockey for the rest of my carreer. It is unfortunate, tho, that I work in a field where management is raised from within and techs with no management skills are continually put into management positions. I just need to keep my eye on the prize, do my job, collect my paycheck and go home.

I’m paying my dues for an early retirement. Corporate life is not for me. Nine to Five is a ridiculous concept for someone in a position like mine, but its what I need to do to get paid. I just need to fly under the radar for a few more years until I can say goodbye to this ridiculous world and get on with enjoying life. Overall, its easier to deal with when I have a goal to work for. I just hope the day-to-day bullshit doesn’t kill me first. Ugh.

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3 Responses to yeah, i know …

  1. blacksword says:

    hey hun, keep with it. Even with the differences in our work lives, its amazing how similar our working environments are. I face many of the same managerial challenges and pressures as you.

    funny though, I sensed you have been very stressed out and taking a break from the world. Its all good, in time this too will pass.

  2. Feltham says:

    Actually you are wrong… There are three types of IT people, and I am the third type. The third being the type that had aspirations of being an artist / part time musician, but somehow ended up taking an IT course that ended up brining him into his sixth year of whatever. The whatever is this career that basically pays the bills and kills the day as I dream about being outdoors doing about anything other than what I am doing, including typing this response to your Blog.

    Hang in there, the worst is yet to come 😉

  3. Marty says:

    Mr. Feltham – you are the exception to EVERY rule 😉

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