My owner has sit in a cube or small office for the better part of 25 years. He works in IT. Information Technology as a Network Engineer. A lot of technologies have changed in this quarter century but the one thing is constant. Any ideas? Change. Beyond change in technology there is something much bigger. From this point on I will let my owner write the rest of this post because I sick of listening to him bitch about it. Besides… I think maybe 2 or 3 people actually read it. So here goes.
Thanks.. Olive for the intro??? Yep, I have worked for 25 years in Information Technology. Technology always changes. That is fine. Technology can do wonderful things also. But you know what – I am tired. Mainly I am tired of the smart people who know it all or the C levels who look at IT as a cost center instead of a powerful tool to give the business competitive advantages.
I am tired of bosses who are stuck between directors and the employees they ‘manage’ who have zero time to mentor and lead. These first level managers spend most of their careers in meetings. Most of the meetings are generally political in nature or a waste of time. Some managers want to build their little empires. Other managers want to climb the corporate ladder. Most managers just want to stop “managing people and process” and actually lead their group.
This is not possible in most of Corporate America. You see, there are metrics, budgets, and egos. Beyond these realities… IT professionals (peons like me) have to follow change control and best practices. We sit in countless useless meetings. Most managers and people in leadership are essentially clueless about the people and technologies they have accountability for. However, there is a solution to that. It is called consultants. Consultants at this level are basically the cool kids at the lunch table. Generally pretty or handsome and outgoing. They seem smart and have great stories to tell. So why would leaders not listen to them? I mean they are not going to listen to their employees in most cases.
I literally despise consultants. Well that seems a little harsh. Let me explain, the consultants I don’t care for are the ones that have the ear of the C’s. These people are snakes in the grass. They are good at sales. They could sell anything. And they usually do. They are social in nature. They like to talk about themselves and their accomplishments. It is a win/win for C’s and consultants because they are very similar. C’s are clueless with technology but very good with numbers.
The job of the technology C is essentially to keep costs low with technology. As far as the people below them. As I said before, C’s don’t understand technology or people. So these people are just numbers – certainly not people who could actually innovate or be given a chance to share perspective to improve the enterprise.
Now… lately I have really thought why do I this? I mean I do it for a pay check. I know that. I enjoy certain aspects such as learning and solving technical problems. However as I think of the pros and cons I come up with – well I am stuck.
I have been through the daily grind now well into my 4th decade. Man I feel old. Like I said before change is a constant. I don’t mind technology changing. I enjoy learning new things. But as much as technology changes some things don’t change. The major thing that comes to mind is people. No matter how much the world wants to tell you people are different – we are very similar.
I have meet so many wonderful people over the years but I have also worked with people I have not cared for and I know there is probably a long line of people who don’t care for me – well maybe not that long I would hope.
Now some other things that don’t change besides people: In my job, if you make a mistake everyone knows. The finger is pointed at you. You generally end up in what I call “help me understand” conversations from the higher ups.
These people I swear I have so little respect for because they don’t know how to do the job but have the nerve to question mistakes. You know what I am human OK? What else? Oh here is a fun one – the constant threat of outsourcing. So this did not happen really until after Y2K. But as I said before most companies could care less about IT people and for the last 20 years has always been a reality.
Here is the view from the enterprise: These are the introverted nerds that can’t hold conversations with others anyway right? Or how about – we are not an IT company? Or how about IT is essential to our business but we must be more efficient with costs.
Anyway the bottom line…. IT people don’t matter to the enterprise. Example: influential leader or a C goes to a conference. They talk to the other weasels at the conference and find out how their co-weasel in another industry is saving money. Well it is outsourcing or the cloud, or whatever Gartner says. Most of this “advice/knowledge” gained is garbage. (BTW – I hate Gartner)
IT has revolutionized the business much like the assembly line revolutionized the business in the 20th century. But leadership in the enterprise do not understand. They have to save money and make money for the “share holder and share holder value”. Obviously not understanding the goldmine of knowledge they have with their IT people is a huge issue and if addressed could revolutionize many organizations.
Anyway I am getting side tracked a bit. I am just tired of the game. I come to work and try my best. I reflect my organization. I follow the process unless the processes are either not attainable or so inefficient I would not be able to bring any value to the organization.
I gave up years ago trying to change the culture or organization. I have learned leaders say they want to hear from you but the minute you propose change two things generally happen – they take credit or in most cases they slap your wrist and say don’t do that again. I guess one more thing happens – you are ignored.
I have had a lot of this in my career. I think I learned a few years ago to just stop giving my feedback all together. All the intellectual elitists at the universities taught was submission to their whitepaper non-real world workplace theory. I had some good professors but most were just living in a little bubble of society where they could be ‘smart’ and ‘important’. These folks could not handle a week in the real world. 25 years ago I thought I was prepared to enter the workforce. Well college did one major thing for me – it taught me how I learn and how to solve problems.
So other things that bother me:
- cube farms (open office concept)
- stupid buzzwords
- unnecessary meetings
- silly change control processes, meetings, and change advisory boards
- continuous cuts to budgets then money reallocated at the end of the year because we have to spend it
- people who talk about politics nonstop
- people who constantly lie and step over others to climb the corporate ladder
- people who ‘work from home’ but really just take advantage of it so the rest of the group has to pick up their work
- constant leader/manger changes (I have lost count of the number of managers I have had. It could be over 50)
- coworkers who drink the company Kool-Aid
- and the constant threat or reality of losing my job – either do to a mistake or outsourcing.
Here is an example that inspired my blog today. Shit like this happens all the time. And this is not a big deal – but after 25 years of little things like this they ad up and take really make an impact.
This is an example of an exchange on MS teams this morning. The co-worker is actually a good friend and trying to help me, but he really is just starting out in life and only a few years out of college.
In the past I would of tried to explain myself or at least defended myself. Not anymore. It truly does not matter.
So to wrap this up. I want guess I will stay in IT until I retire. I have tried blogging and opening an online store: foxymerchant.com
Neither is doing much of anything. I guess I am stuck.