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Thread: The Work Thread

  1. #311
    Tiny Dancer Drewbie's Avatar
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    I think I need to go work for a different company. I feel pretty capped at what they'll ever really allow me to do here. I'm more ambitious than this place will ever really allow me to be.

    However, I'm paralyzed by fear of change. My 16 years here have brought me a great deal of trust and autonomy to do whatever I really want to. If I really got what I wanted and was in a more critical role, I can't see continuing to have the flexibility of schedule or freedoms I currently enjoy. Bit of a catch 22.

  2. #312
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    Can you find meaningful achievement outside work? Hobby job, volunteering, political office, etc. Finally start that micro brewery you've dreamed about?

    My work is fine, probably never going to take over the company, but I don't hate it from day to day. On the other side I've got six different hobbies I'd love to pursue, I'm an active volunteer at a youth organization and church, and I'm running for school board. Work is just a means to an end in my case, gotta pay the bills.

  3. #313
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbie View Post
    However, I'm paralyzed by fear of change. My 16 years here have brought me a great deal of trust and autonomy to do whatever I really want to.
    In my industry, I'd call that complacency. But in my industry, switching jobs every 2-3 years is extremely normal. I know much less about what you do, so I'm hesitant to offer any thoughts on the matter, but: moving jobs isn't something to be afraid of. You might be able to improve your situation in any/every way (higher salary, better benefits, closer to home, friendlier coworkers, less travel, more autonomy, etc). Definitely no harm in looking and finding out. Take some of the sick days you've been piling up for 16 years and go do a few interviews.

  4. #314
    Tiny Dancer Drewbie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nynnja View Post
    Can you find meaningful achievement outside work? Hobby job, volunteering, political office, etc. Finally start that micro brewery you've dreamed about?

    My work is fine, probably never going to take over the company, but I don't hate it from day to day. On the other side I've got six different hobbies I'd love to pursue, I'm an active volunteer at a youth organization and church, and I'm running for school board. Work is just a means to an end in my case, gotta pay the bills.
    I do have a variety of hobbies, but many stall in the cold weather months because they reside in my garage. Part of my problem with work is the lack of a sense of accomplishment. Most of what I try to do in my management role is to bring about sweeping changes that take years to fully mature and implement. That leaves me feeling that I'm not really accomplishing anything day to day. Building things in my garage satisfies that need, when I'm able to do it.

    As to a brewery, I'm passed that now I think. I lost my passion for beer. I still drink it, but I just don't care about it as much as I used to. I'd love to find something I could turn into my own business, but I've never been able to come up with an idea in over 10 years of thinking about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Macheath View Post
    In my industry, I'd call that complacency. But in my industry, switching jobs every 2-3 years is extremely normal. I know much less about what you do, so I'm hesitant to offer any thoughts on the matter, but: moving jobs isn't something to be afraid of. You might be able to improve your situation in any/every way (higher salary, better benefits, closer to home, friendlier coworkers, less travel, more autonomy, etc). Definitely no harm in looking and finding out. Take some of the sick days you've been piling up for 16 years and go do a few interviews.
    I'm currently looking at options. I'm probably a year removed from being more attractive from a management experience perspective (2 years at this point), so that's a drawback. I know I could go back into sales and make a ton more money, but I really don't want to do that anymore. I dunno. I keep joking that I want to figure out what I wanna do when I grow up, but it never seems to materialize.

  5. #315
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbie View Post
    I dunno. I keep joking that I want to figure out what I wanna do when I grow up, but it never seems to materialize.
    I had an opportunity last year to move to a competitor and move up to head of the bridge department. Basically, I've got experience in design they aren't currently qualified for so they'd hire the experience through me. I was offered the chance to build their bridge department as far as I could take it, but I also realized that was going to require many hours of effort on my part. Long story short, with young kids and other interests I don't want to work that much. That's when I decided my job was a sustainable paycheck, the office is full of nice people, and I've got lots to focus on outside of work.

    I feel you on the building stuff side though, I really wish I had a heated workroom.

  6. #316
    Tiny Dancer Drewbie's Avatar
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    I've been trying to get some changes through the company in terms of how we look at our IT department. As it stands, the 1 guy we have is very good at keeping our systems running, but it is not a place that ever makes suggestions to make us better and is often a place where ideas go to die. We have a great deal of customization's to our software that we have to outsource each time we need to do anything with it. We have 1 resource for doing anything involving programming and he's working with dozens of other companies so his time is never really devoted to timely completion of things for us. I've listed IT shortcomings as a critical business risk for 2 years now as part of our company quality policy, but so far all that has come of that is an inquiry to the company that provides our ERP software and a name of another 1-man programming job shop. We have not used them at all, nor made contact that I'm aware of.

    Now, in a perfect world, I'd find something else we can have our current IT guy do here that fits what he likes to do and is good at, then open up the main thrust of the IT role to someone who could bring some of our custom programming in-house so we have devoted resources. Barring that, if you guys' opinion, is a 1-man shop better than a small company with several employees when it comes to oursourced custom programming like this?

  7. #317
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbie View Post
    our IT department
    IT shortcomings
    our current IT guy
    the IT role
    First of all, let's get some terminology straight: is this an "IT guy," or a programmer? They're not the same thing. I'm completely aware most normies lump anyone who "does computer stuff" into the IT bucket, so I don't blame you... but to be clear, the guy who does your desktop support and networking should not be the same guy you ask to write software.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbie View Post
    As it stands, the 1 guy we have is very good at keeping our systems running, but it is not a place that ever makes suggestions to make us better and is often a place where ideas go to die. We have a great deal of customization's to our software that we have to outsource each time we need to do anything with it. We have 1 resource for doing anything involving programming and he's working with dozens of other companies so his time is never really devoted to timely completion of things for us.
    Sounds like a shitty contractor. Where's he located? I assume remote. You could hire literally anyone in the world, I hope this isn't the boss's nephew in St. Paul.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbie View Post
    Now, in a perfect world, I'd find something else we can have our current IT guy do here that fits what he likes to do and is good at,
    ...and what is that, exactly? You're making him sound like an in-house programmer. If he's servicing "dozens of other companies" and not getting your work done, fucking dump his ass and hire someone else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbie View Post
    Barring that, if you guys' opinion, is a 1-man shop better than a small company with several employees when it comes to oursourced custom programming like this?
    More people is better. Always. If nothing else, it means there will (hopefully) be some attempt to document software on the team, so any of them can pick it up and work on it -- and also (hopefully) that if one guy leaves for some other job, you're not left high and dry because he was the only guy who knew your shit. Right now, you have what we call a "single point of failure." If Mr. IT Guy dies in a closet, you're a bit screwed.

  8. #318
    Tiny Dancer Drewbie's Avatar
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    Our IT guy is not a programmer. His actual title is Systems Administrator. He was hired into the role about 19 years ago and, to my knowledge, has no formal education in any related field. Previous to working here, he was driving a delivery truck for a computer company. At the time he came in, we didn't have much in the way of a system, but there was enough to keep someone busy full time just making sure everything stayed running smoothly and we could mitigate the impact of someone getting into a virus or having a computer meltdown.

    So, at this point in time, it appears our System Admin is primarily functioning as a project manager for the contracted programmer we work with. The current guy is a 1-man shop, as is the suggested additional resource our accountant/software consultant put forth. Our System Admin also is the guy that changes bulbs, deals with building contractors for facilities maintenance, repairs sprinklers in the lawn, and does whatever other random thing that pops up and doesn't seem to make sense elsewhere. He seems like that portion more than the project management piece, but I don't know if we have enough of that to justify a full time position, and I'm not sure it would pay as well as he's currently doing, so that might be a dead end.

    I keep advocating to bring someone in house to do all the programming since we've currently got a backlog of IT requests that has not really done anything but grow in at least 2 years. The most recent big project sucked up 100% of available resources for the past at least 9 months and nothing else was worked on during that time. Now it's nearly complete, but a fairly important feature that got missed on the front side is being ignored in favor of giving time to other things on the list. This 1 thing at a time for 9 months at a time, while we're using software that is across the board at least 2+ releases behind is maddening.

  9. #319
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbie View Post
    Our IT guy is not a programmer. His actual title is Systems Administrator.

    ...primarily functioning as a project manager for the contracted programmer we work with.
    Ohhh, after rereading the first post, you're talking about two different people. That was not clear to me the first time, hot damn.

    Anyway, advice still applies. If the "1-man shop" isn't getting your work done, he's a shitty contract that should be terminated. Hire someone else. Or, if you really think you've got enough work to keep somebody employed, you can look at making a hire. But contractors should probably do you just fine. You've just got a shitty one right now.

    Whether "IT/Lightbulb Guy" wants to be a project manager or not is between him and the company. But somebody will need to communicate the work to any contractors.

  10. #320
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    If you're preparing for an interview you should make sure to review this Enterprise level solution to Fizzbuzz

    https://github.com/EnterpriseQuality...erpriseEdition

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