About midway through my career I took a position as manager for a new start-up IT organization in an old well-established family wholesale distribution company with about 25 mobile sales people. They had been in business for years, but had zero computer experience. As soon as we had developed enough of our first system which was interactive order entry and billing, we started operating 24 hours a day from Sunday evening thru Friday evening. I had five crt terminal operators and no programmers or technical support at all except a couple periodic contract developers. Also had to deal with a consultant who 'advised'. He even tried to get me fired a couple times. I was responsible for staffing around the clock with union employees who got the new jobs due to seniority and worked in seniority order and not in schedule or skill priority. There were constant issues with who got overtime hours and who got called in first when help was needed, day or night. I was also on-call for technical support 24-6 also, with the extra day mine for development and testing on the single-task hardware.
This shop printed order picking documents for loading 15 or more truckloads of goods daily in a large warehouse, then after loading was done printed invoices for drivers to take because many orders were cash deliveries. When we began with our first IBM system, there was no multitasking, so my operators would key some orders, then shut down and print pick lists, then make adjustments to orders for out-of-stock and substitution items, then shut down again and print invoices so the trucks could leave starting around 4:30 or 5:00 AM.
Yes, there were crazy times of the years - every day. I did this for eleven years, at which time I was given a new manager who did fire me. Two good things came from this position. First, I walked away with the first 52k in my company-paid IRA, and second I learned that I would NEVER be a manager again. This lead to another 31 years mainly as a DBA and SQL developer.
The only other really bad experience was a boss who came to me while I was working on a tough problem and told me it was really simple and shouldn't take so long. I told him if it was so simple he should do it himself. That got me an interview with the company president and his sons.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
- L. DaVinci