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The Employment Contract


The Employment Contract

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John Pluchino
John Pluchino
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Technology positions require knowledgeable professionals working together to meet goals and objectives and to do that it requires team work. Just keep your eyes on the ball. Do whatever it takes whenever it is necessary and pray that you are working for a boss and an organization that has integrity. I have been blessed to be in exactly that environment throughout most of my career. I say "most" because when I found that I was not, I moved on. Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night.
jcrawf02
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I think I would originally have said that I don't care if it's in the employment contract, as long as the goals set for me that affect my evaluation are clearly spelled out. In other words, I don't need all-encompassing descriptions of what I do, as long as I get time to do the important things, and we (me + management) have agreed on what those important things are.

However, it would be nice if my job description actually listed all of the things that I actually do, so I could get credit for them when I move positions. It would also help to backfill the position. Perhaps all those crazy DBA postings that do way more than a DBA should be expected to do have evolved from people doing "other duties as assigned"? If every job actually listed what we do, more people might realize what is acceptable?

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keith.gerritsen 82264
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If I'm asked to hand-collate or insert the "TPS Report" cover sheet in break points the middle of 2000 pages already printed, because the client output has to go out today, absolutely. It's happened before, there's no room for prima donnas if a responsible manager has made their decision to prioritize work, and I'm asked to work out of area or do something one might consider menial. I wouldn't want it to be routine.

What I would absolutely insist upon signing on paper is if there are any airy promises at the negotiation or offer stage about comp time, flex time, work from home, or if there are periodic emergency or on-call schedules etc. Written up or no-go.
Stuart Davies
Stuart Davies
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richardmgreen1 (12/9/2011)
I have signed a contract but, probably like most people's, it's a little vague.
I like it that way.

I always make sure there's a line that basically reads "and anything other job as necessary" in my contracts. It gives me a lot of scope for doing other things when I have the time.

I think contracts are a good idea for working hours, working conditions and things like that, but specifying actual duties may be a step too far.


I am in a similar position, but the contract references the job title, when I joined I was SQL Server Specialist.
This then gives a few more specifics but nothing concrete just gives systems supported and the like.
Recently all the jobs were renamed and regraded I am now Application DBA specialist (what ever that is) and the job description is so vague as to be useless.

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GilaMonster
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I've worked with someone in the past who insisted on everything in her job responsibilities be written down and spelled out exactly with no 'and other duties' listed. She used that for all sorts of fun work-avoidance tricks

- Walking out of the office in the middle of a server-down crisis because it wasn't her night to be on call and she'd already worked her 8 hours. The rest of the team worked til 4am.
- Noticing but doing absolutely nothing about a failed job one night when on call because said job ran on a server that was not in her list of monitored servers, Never mind that the job in question wrote some files out that a critical job on one of her monitored servers needed later in the night. Net result DBA team manager gets call from angry business user at 5am
- Refusing to assist with a project when she was the only team member who wasn't overloaded with work because it wasn't part of her duties.

There's no place in the DBA/Dev world for those kind of shenanigans. Declining work because it's way out of your area of expertise is one thing. Declining just because it's not listed in black and white on a piece of paper, sorry, no.

Gail Shaw
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sburcombe
sburcombe
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I've always had a contract, and they usually have about a medium level of vagueness. While I don't like being restricted, there's always the "other duties as required" clause that allows for some freedom. I also set annual goals and objectives, but between me and my boss, we try to make these SMART, so although they can be a bit of a stretch, they're also achievable.

Simone
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I'd vote no contract of work. I am where I am today because my jobs never stick to a list of duties - I get to see technologies outside of my job, meet people outside my department, I get to learn soft skills that my job doesn't demand. One of the most valuable career skills has been making myself available when the demand comes for someone to do something different, and holding to a job list cuts off that option.

Without it, I wouldn't have ever touched SQL back in 1996, I'd still be an RPG developer in my little niche on AS400, I probably wouldn't be a DBA today and loving what I do.
Steve Jones
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IceDread (12/9/2011)
Well.. I would probably had said no a year ago.

This year however, my boss told me he was thinking about having me take over some share point tasks as well since the consultant doing it is leaving. That I am not so keen on doing. It's a product that might be replaced in 3-10 years and it's not a smooth product to work with at all..


I wouldn't be afraid of Sharepoint. I can't see that thing ever being replaced. It seems to spread without limits in most organizations.

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Evil Kraig F (12/9/2011)

We might have a slightly different perspective on this since I once was a janitor. You want to pay me my contract rates to grab a mop and take out the trash? Ummmmm.... sold.

I call myself a million dollar janitor on occassion when I get inquiries as to do I mind doing mundane work instead of the 'interesting stuff'. I'm down with the within my area of expertise, I'm certainly not feeling qualified to go do some OOP integration to EF and getting rated on it.

You want me to haul around Accounting's computers and get all the wiring re-hooked up in their new office while you pay me my current rate? 'eh, sure. Mind if I use a mail cart?


I'm in agreement. There have been times I've been asked to restock copy paper, move machines around the data center, even build network cables from scratch. At DBA rates, I'm happy to do it.

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IceDread
IceDread
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Steve Jones - SSC Editor (12/9/2011)
IceDread (12/9/2011)
Well.. I would probably had said no a year ago.

This year however, my boss told me he was thinking about having me take over some share point tasks as well since the consultant doing it is leaving. That I am not so keen on doing. It's a product that might be replaced in 3-10 years and it's not a smooth product to work with at all..


I wouldn't be afraid of Sharepoint. I can't see that thing ever being replaced. It seems to spread without limits in most organizations.


Hmm maybe I should reevaluate my position there and perhaps give it a try. I do like variation in tasks.. but I can not say I've heard that many great things about Sharepoint.
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