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Work - Ed's journal
So I have a dev server.
On this dev server I've been running a few utilities, that are useful to our day to day operations.

Nothing business critical really, but ... y'know, handy.

A little wiki, for keeping notes on. A checklist for our daily checks. And a little app, that just published our helpdesk call list. We used that daily, because it's actually much better suited for our purposes than our _real_ helpdesk app.

The actual helpdesk product we use requires one to log in - login expires after an hour - and actually run searches to find calls assigned to your queue. Rather than doing what any sensisible helpdesk system would do, and actively notify you, and make it _easy_ to monitor this list.

But anyway.

That's now gone now.

Been told 'not business need'. Noses have been turned up at the utilities, saying 'well, just use the official ones then'.

This has actually really pissed me off. I didn't rewrite the official utilities because I'm an egotist, or just for the hell of it. I did it because I consider the official utilities to basically not be up to scratch.

Anyway, I had got all enthused by the fact that in my review the fact that I actually looked for ways to improve our team function and role was considered a major plus. It's taken approximately 4 days for this feeling to have been squashed flat again.

Screw this. I'm now sufficiently pissed off to quit. It's not the time and effort taken (TBH I actually rather enjoyed it). It's the fact that "everyone" doesn't really see any need for actually doing that kind of thing. Y'know, taking what we do, and improving it so it's done more accurately, efficiently and easily. (And this is alongside pretending as a company that we're vaguely interested in Six Sigma and ITIL)

So now I've basically been told 'go back to using the official one'. Yay for Microsoft sharepoint (if you've ever used it, you'll know it's no where near as useful as a wiki) and our 'official' helpdesk system (which isn't, it's some bodge job which only exists because it's good at reporting statistics, and actually is a major pain in the arse for actually using to do our job with)

I of course, have been sneered at for even thinking I could do something better than Microsoft.

On the plus side, my review was sufficiently positive that I was reconsidering wanting to do stuff for the VSO, but now I don't actually have alot of incentive not to follow that up.
13 comments or Leave a comment
From: feanelwa Date: January 10th, 2008 12:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
There has never been a better time to fart in the lift.
siryel From: siryel Date: January 10th, 2008 12:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Need shotgun to get rid of decision making numpty?
mister_jack From: mister_jack Date: January 10th, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Have their printers started spitting out copies of your CV yet, then?
sobrique From: sobrique Date: January 10th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, but I may have been updating it whilst working late tonight (had a change to do anyway)
cthulahoops From: cthulahoops Date: January 10th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's a trust thing, isn't? They're basically saying "we don't trust you not to break something we don't understand and we don't trust your ability to choose and recommend tools."
jorune From: jorune Date: January 10th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll guess that it is the other side of the coin, not so much as we do not trust you but that we need to control what you do. A stranger agreed with another stranger that there would be one way of doing things and that way would reduce risk and be an approved process. They may say that they want you to work smarter and increase your productivity but if that affects someone's idea of risk then it must be stopped.

If they didn't trust you there would be no access to their systems. The choice of tools is made by someone else and it is to you to comply and like it.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: January 10th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not even that. This is a devbox, that's no where near our live environment.

It just does a few useful things.

But hey ho. Work culture in this country is not about efficiency, it's about the hours you do, and how busy you look.
cthulahoops From: cthulahoops Date: January 11th, 2008 12:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Trust implies risk, without risk there would be no need for trust.

There are also different levels of trust. There's the basic trust that someone isn't going to steal from you or sabotage your system and the trust that someone is competent enough to do their job. There's also trusting someone to take risks, improve processes and come up with new ideas.

The first two should be a given at Ed's level (if not, he should have been fired by now) and so it's the last type of trust that I'm talking about, and is what Ed should be aiming for. Given the situation described is not core business and pretty much zero risk, I call that a complete lack of trust.

In particular, this sentence shows disregard for professional opinion:

"I of course, have been sneered at for even thinking I could do something better than Microsoft."

In contrast, this afternoon I made a major patch to a live trading system with significant sums of money at stake. I was granted permission to do so without even being asked what the patch did.

I understand that large organisations are highly risk averse, so maybe my expectations are unrealistic - but then I have no desire to work for a large organisation.
jorune From: jorune Date: January 11th, 2008 08:19 am (UTC) (Link)
This is how they see it:

It's not that we don't trust you, but that we should not have to spend time considering if we should trust you. We have considered the needs of the organisation, of which you are part of, that this is the best approach. You are trusted to follow the decision we have made for you.

Unfortunately the nature of Bureaucracy and large organisations means that when a global order is given, the bureaucracy works to protect itself. It seeks to continue ordering and controlling, any deviation from this path must be done in a controlled and ordered manner. If an order is incorrect then its correction could take weeks to formally agree and change. Weeks that include teleconferences, stakeholder representation, consultation with management. Individuals are part of a wider whole and when they choose to act differently from the decisions that have been made for them, they are a disruption and cause a risk of unplanned change. This reduces the efficiency of the organisation and needs to be eliminated wherever it is found.

To quote Rudy Giuliani from the NY Times

"Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do."

Only once you accept the rules while you be free and surely that's what we all want isn't it? Yes?

Now the rules say that you are allowed to use our helpdesk software, not anything else.
(Deleted comment)
angryangeltoo From: angryangeltoo Date: January 10th, 2008 09:07 pm (UTC) (Link)


I know exactly what you mean here hons. I constantly get my ideas rejected because my work place is afraid of change. Even though you know it would make so much sense to impliment the idea, it is so frustrating and I really feel for you. Yeah get your CV out there and try to get into a company that appreciates logical thinking.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: January 10th, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Snugs

I get all sorts of things like that. One of my favourites is bitching about how a theoretical 'IT company' still hasn't grown beyond using spreadsheets for config management. As if there's a whole echelon of management who never 'got' the concept of a RDBMS.

Or who'll have a 'spreadsheet filling in' session, populating spreadsheets with reporting information, that they're looking up on a database, one line at a time, without ever thinking that they're doing exactly what the computer would, much much slower.

But hey, we value the time people spend (waste) working on things, not how much they actually accomplish.

Oh well.

App submitted to VSO. Maybe I shall hear back from them.
veremit From: veremit Date: January 11th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ok, short and sweet post here .. don't think anyone has covered this in the same light .. shoot me if they have ..

If they're unable to appreciate your skills and competancies, particularly to enhance efficiency and productivity in the company .. LEAVE. There will be other companies out there capable of making use of that, and nurturing that talent - not everyone has it.

If its not your position to dabble in these affairs, perhaps you have been rightly rebutted .. been there done that .. hits the ego, but at the end of the day .. my (your) fault.

Just my two penneth :)
Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
13 comments or Leave a comment