Bad career advice from a 14 year old

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Bad career advice from a 14 year old

  • Great story Kathi, love reading it

    Your grandson is going to be the future BOFH

  • In my career, I have actually met people that have the same opinion as your grandson.  They design solutions that only they can service.  They hoard information that they don't share, etc.  You can spot these people in project meetings where they shoot down other peoples ideas based on how well they satisfy requirements that were never defined.  When you have someone who continually puts their own needs ahead of the team or the project, it's disruptive.  I am more likely to find a way to prevent being held hostage by them in the future by removing the power that they have over the company.

    Over time, I realized that there is usually one or two factors that drive peoples decisions.  Those factors differ from person to person.  They may also evolve over time.  For some it's how to get ahead in life.  For others, it's how can I contribute to the greater good.  Others may be risk adverse.  Knowing these factors is crucial to getting people to play well together.  If you can come up with a solution where everyone wins, then people are usually more engaged.

    As you pointed out, when you become too specialized you cannot detach from the process.  You end up getting burned out because you stop growing as an employee.  It's not always the employees that are the issue.  A lot of companies don't seem to want to invest in their people, they would rather outsource a project versus bringing in training citing resource constraints or cost savings.  Sometimes it works out, but a lot of the time the employees feel displaced and move on, and then when the project starts to become less interesting (or overrun budget), the "mercenaries" move on to a different battle.

    You should take your grandson into work and let them shadow you for a few days.  But with kids I am always concerned that they are forced to grow up too early, and want them to experience the joys of being children while they are young.

  • Colossians 3:22-24

    22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice as men pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God.

    23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men,

    24 knowing that from the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance, for ye serve the Lord Christ.

    However, some companies do not deserve the best.

    I designed, developed, and implemented the best business system a company had in its fifty-year history, which greatly contributed to their ability to grow their production capacity and operating efficiency.  I had exceptional performance reviews every year and multiple positive testimonials from management while there.  All are documented in writing.

    When I expressed the desire to go part-time at some point in the future after breaking my foot at home on New Year’s Day 2018, management started hiring interns, gave all my new development work to them, and let me sit idle.  Then they suggested I work offsite at home in March of 2018 and then proceeded to ignore me.  They did not keep me informed of critical information all employees should know nor did they invite me to company events including the company Christmas party that year.  They were made aware of a handicap I had doing certain physical activities yet human resources continued to harass me about participating in activities I could not do.

    I worked every single day scheduled during the eight weeks I had a broken foot and every scheduled day except when a doctor’s appointment was scheduled in advance.  I am sixty-two years of age and have worked in IT for almost thirty years.  I was the first real IT professional the company ever had on staff.

    About six months prior to my resigning, the IT manager constantly broke my VPN connection so I could not work and proceeded to act like he was doing everything to fix the problem.  When I reported the issue, it would immediately stop for a while and then it would start again a day or so later.  This became so common and repetitive; I know it was him doing it.

    After almost two years of isolation, misery, and harassment and working 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. to keep a business-critical system running properly, I resigned with four weeks’ notice.  Many of the systems I was responsible for were critical to the company’s operation.  This role required that I work from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and beyond, if necessary. Some hours were not paid, but I was expected to be available if their system failed. I had no life with family and did not sleep well. After asking for a backup person for over a year and getting no traction, I gave four weeks’ notice on 12/09/2019 so I would have time to consider a role with better hours.

    While they said they did not want me to leave at the time I gave notice, the continual harassment I experienced while there, made my life miserable and was affecting my overall health.  At the end, they finally wanted me to spend weeks training interns the finer points of maintaining the critical systems I was responsible for.  I gave them twenty minutes.

    I checked back on two different occasions with the IT manager after leaving and was told everything I had developed was working perfectly and he told me how thankful he was for the work I did.   That was on February 5, 2020.  Checking back again on April 18, 2020 when their IT manager texted me out of the blue, he told me they were suffering from bad data.  I tried to caution them before resigning in January that having me go part-time was in their best interest.  Keeping their head in the sand and ignoring the one person that knew their business systems inside and out was a major mistake for them.  The last time I talked with the owner over reporting my end date there, he said they have bad data, and it is something they always had.  I know for a fact they did not have bad data when I was in control of their systems.  Since the owner is out of touch with what really goes on in IT there, my guess is this just an excuse the IT people have given him because they do not understand how to effectively manage data.  It serves them right.

    This company professes to be a Christian company and posts the ten commandments on their website.  True Christians would not treat people this way.

    UPDATE: In August 2020, the intern from India had his H1B visa expire and had to return to his country.  What is the old Aesop's fable about dog dropping the bone he had in his mouth for the larger one reflected in the pond and the dog loses both bones?

    Do not cast your jewels among swine.

     

  • I guess my question would be is... where would a 14 year old hear of such things in such a repeatable fashion that he'd be able to repeat them as "career goals"?  Too much of the wrong type of online discussion with gamer-buddies or ???

    I'm thinking that the source of your grandson's advice needs to be identified so it can be pushed away and the grandson might need some repair lessons on the subject of integrity and honor.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".
    "Dear Lord... I'm a DBA so please give me patience because, if you give me strength, I'm going to need bail money too!"

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • We used to have people who did what was called job secure programming. The code they produced was virtually impossible to read. My favorite, when I worked in the state of Georgia decades ago, was one guy who would pick a theme for his particular COBOL program. One of them was done with geography, so we had things like, "go to Afghanistan." In that program. Another one was based on his gardening, so we had things like "perform chrysanthemum." to maintain. It wasn't for spelling checker, there's no way in the world I get ever get chrysanthemum spelled correctly.

    Perhaps because I have been a consultant for most of my career, I always took great pride in the fact that my clients never had to put up with this sort of thing. When SQL Server switched from the old extended equality Sybase notation (*=) to the ANSI/ISO standard infixed notation ((

    OUTER JOIN), I had put the new notation in my code as comments. All my clients had to do was comment out the old notation and activate the new.. One of their developers called me up to thank me for it. He had been looking at some fairly extensive rewriting and he would've needed time to learn the differences between the old and the new SQL.

    Please post DDL and follow ANSI/ISO standards when asking for help. 

  • For a minute there, I thought I worked for the boss Thomas describes in scenario #1.  My boss used to tell me "Document, document, document!" And he was the only one who knew/understood how all of the existing systems were set up or configured. After he left on a sabbatical or something (joined Air National Guard and had to go to Boot Camp and training), a network device failed. Between his bananas naming conventions for computers (he named them after countries, not buildings or roles), and the fact that we didn't have a network diagram showing how all the pieces of the network were connected, it took a call to the guy who set up the network to get the mess sorted out.  (I'm pretty sure we made an enlarged copy of the network diagram in case something like that happened again!)

    Didn't make my old boss look very good, especially since he spent 2 weeks explaining supposedly everything to my new boss.

  • 25 years in IT. Laid off: 2. Brought back at 20 times the old salary: 0.

  • I think he came up with this from watching movies and TV shows. "Office Space" is one example of employees doing bad things to get back at the company.

  • Gordon Feeney wrote:

    25 years in IT. Laid off: 2. Brought back at 20 times the old salary: 0.

    20 Times the salary??? How much did that amount to?

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".
    "Dear Lord... I'm a DBA so please give me patience because, if you give me strength, I'm going to need bail money too!"

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Kathi Kellenberger wrote:

    I think he came up with this from watching movies and TV shows. "Office Space" is one example of employees doing bad things to get back at the company.

    Yowch... might be a bit difficult to "untrain" him from that.  Hopefully, someone is trying.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".
    "Dear Lord... I'm a DBA so please give me patience because, if you give me strength, I'm going to need bail money too!"

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • I remember the safety rules about always hiring C programmers and UNIX systems guys in pairs. Force them to work as a team. That way if one died or quit, you could switch over to the second employee.

    Please post DDL and follow ANSI/ISO standards when asking for help. 

  • I worked for a company in the late 70’s that was running on DEC VAX 11/780 systems. One day you could hear everyone saying, “Hey! Where did my files go?” It seems they fired the sys admin the week before and he had a time bomb program setup to start deleting everything if he failed to log in for a week. They caught it before too much was deleted, and they managed to restore most of the files that were deleted from tape backups. He was in quite a legal mess after that. I never heard the actual outcome but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t good for him.

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