Sunday, June 14, 2015

work stress.

I sure know how to pick 'em.

I was hired to do SQL performance tuning, to fix long-running queries so they weren't so long-running, to teach people how to write queries properly so that this wouldn't keep happening. This is something I'm good at and something I like. This is also Code, not Hardware or Network or Server. It's Code. I am a developer, not a DBA.

When I started my job, a few people started asking me to do DBA stuff; the company had lost its DBA months before and was lumbering on without one, and some people assumed (incorrectly) that I was the new DBA. Even after I corrected that notion, some people still referred to me as the DBA, in the hopes that if they repeated it enough times I would eventually agree to assume a position I have no interest or expertise in (and which pays a hell of a lot more than I am paid). I do not work for the guy the previous DBAs worked for, and that guy is very protective of his fiefdom. I took advantage of this general organizational/political confusion, dug in my heels and said "I am a developer, sorry, I am not a DBA, go ask Fiefdom Guy to fulfill your DBA needs." I am a damn good developer, but I am not a DBA.

After a few months, the CIO decided to hire a DBA. The recruiter sent two pretty mediocre and uncharismatic candidates, and one was hired. He reported to work two Mondays ago. He's a contractor (we all are; there are very few real employees). They gave him a cube, a laptop, very limited internet access so he can't even get to microsoft.com, and no access to any SQL boxes at all. He does not work for the person that DBAs used to work for, and that person is still guarding his fiefdomFiefdom guy (we'll call him Dick) won't give the DBA access to anything, basically wants nothing to do with him. This new hire drives 90 minutes each way to come sit and twiddle his thumbs. He asks for work to do and access to do it, and is ignored. He has gone to the CIO about it and has gotten a runaround. Dick's people have flat-out told him they don't care what the CIO says, and have refused to help in any way.

What the hell is going on? The guy happens to be pretty abrasive, sure, but no more so than when he interviewed. Why would a company go to the expense of hiring someone and then leave him to wither on the vine?

So the DBA is getting very frustrated and is going to walk out tomorrow if no one will give him any work, or explain why he's not getting any work. And that sucks. But what makes it suck more is that the work the DBA should be doing will fall to me. And I'm not qualified to do it, nor do I have any desire to do it, and that's not what I was hired to do. And this makes my stomach hurt. I am so fucking sick of taking jobs where they just lie to you, say anything to get you in the door. How do I manage to pick such companies over and over? There must be something wrong with me.

1 comment:

Lee said...

This story illustrates why corporations are not creating jobs and would like to automate everything in sight along with most of what isn't. We have lost the art of cooperation. Enough people are crummy immature employees that it poisons the marketplace for all of us.

So when I hear politicians talk about job creation, I know that's fantasyland.

Dear friend, in that situation the normative behavior is to have more ambition than sense. Being unqualified hasn't stopped anyone who has been promoted past their actual competency. Your position is rational, for what that's worth. Rationality may or may not be warranted there.