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The Scary DBA

I have twenty+ years experience in IT. That time was spent in technical support, development and database administration. I work forRed Gate Software as a Product Evangelist. I write articles for publication at SQL Server Central, Simple-Talk, PASS Book Reviews and SQL Server Standard. I have published two books, ”Understanding SQL Server Execution Plans” and “SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled.” I’m one of the founding officers of the Southern New England SQL Server Users Group and its current president. I also work on part-time, short-term, off-site consulting contracts. In 2009 and 2010 I was awarded as a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. In the past I’ve been called rough, intimidating and scary. To which I usually reply, “Good.” You can contact me through grant -at- scarydba dot kom (unobfuscate as necessary).

You Can Say “No”

I heard about this new law that was passed to prevent employers from asking for your social media passwords. After the laughter stopped, I realized that, maybe, this would be needed. Not because I need the government to help me manage my interactions with my employers and potential employers. And not because I think the government needs to be involved in other peoples interactions, not at this level. But because I don’t think people realize they have a word that they can use with employers. That word is ‘No.’

“We want you to sign this non-compete agreement that says you’ll never be a DBA for any other company after leaving ours.” Ha! No. And yes, I really had one of these. And yes, there actually are laws against it (I looked it up), but I didn’t need them. I figured out all on my own that I might not stay at that company forever and that, after leaving the company, I might actually want to ply my trade. By the way, this particular dot com is long dead.

“We require you to take a psychological test as a requirement for employment.” OK, I did this, because I was very interested in the output of the test, but I asked them, what if I said no. They said they’d hire me anyway. Why? Because they can’t make you do stuff you don’t want to. Oh, and the output said was I a psycho killer, but they hired me anyway for some reason.

And I’ve heard that some employers want your private email address password. Again, no.

Here’s the deal, what I do in public, out loud, at large, that is my employer’s concern. If I’m posting compromising photo’s of myself and I’m a company spokesman, of course my employer can, and probably will, get upset. But if I’m communicating with my significant other or children, friends, family, etc., in a private space, even one that is digital, that’s what we used to call nunya, as in Nun Ya Business. You just don’t get to go there. Sorry.

Look, I get it. It’s a cold, awful, horrible world out there, especially if you are not employed. I’ll never forget the 3 months (and thank the gods it was only 3 months) that I spent looking for work in the fall of 2001. And when I finally got a job, I took a massive pay cut. Why? Because making X was more than making ZERO, which is what I was making at the time. So yes, you may compromise yourself at times. But, understand, it’s you making the compromise. You get to make the choices. No one is holding a gun to your head. If someone asks you to do something ridiculous or insane, say ‘No.’

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