Archive for May 2009

I Fought The Law…

May 4, 2009

Well, I did it. I talked to my manager today about how unhappy I am in my job, particularly about the lack of training. Before I tell you how it went, a boring digression: 

One thing I neglected to mention in my previous post is the gradual erosion of IT resources since I joined almost five years ago.  Towards the end of my first year, my manager (who also did IT project work ) left the company…and they didn’t rehire anyone to fill the role in IT.  I’m sure the headcount where somewhere, but I don’t know for sure.  Then, three years ago, my co-worker was outsourced to another company.  He’s now responsible for the PC’s, servers, and network (for which he was already the primary support person) and I inherited about 40 % of his job (and got rid of precious little).  So I now have the work of two people.    Then, to top it off, I have now been asked to answer any PC related questions if someone calls/pages me instead of calling the Help Desk (that we pay for with each PC).

Not getting my training and hearing that someone else was approved for elective training made me blow my stack last Friday.  Fortunately, I didn’t talk to my boss because I was VERY angry.  So after committing myself to do it in the blog last night, I had the discussion with my manager today.  I let him know I was very upset about what I found out on Friday and said that as a result, I felt like what I do must not be valued and that I felt set up for failure (I had said this to him over a year and a half ago).  He dismissed how I felt, but miraculously, the money has been approved.  I don’t have the actual training yet because I’m having problems getting hold of the vendor (curse you companies that refuse to put phone numbers on your websites!  People still need to TALK sometimes!), but it’s going to happen.

I feel a little better because it’s off my chest and I’m finally getting the training.  But a part of me knows that nothing else is going to happen and I’m still going to feel unvalued and set up for failure.  I was thinking today that if I was a manager and one of my reports came to my office and said what I said, I would be floored and try to move heaven and earth to get to the bottom of what’s happening.  I’m making a vow that if I ever am successful enough to have my own company (because I’m sure not getting  a promotion here), that I would listen to my employees and at least consider how they feel.  If someone is that unhappy, something is seriously dysfunctional…which is a good description for how things are.  I’m sure this will come back to haunt me in my performance review, but I had a very small win today.

Sometimes, that’s all you can expect…

When The Going Gets Tough…

May 4, 2009

As I have mentioned before, I have a full time day job. I’m the IT person for a manufacturing plant. I’m not responsible for the PC’s, servers, and network, but everything else is my responsibility. Part of that includes our ERP system…not SAP. It’s a smallish ERP system made for our industry type and it’s built on the Progress database engine. I know SQL and Progress is most definitely NOT SQL in it’s native setup.

Since I got assigned responsibility for this application two years ago, I have been asking for training in Progress. There are no books you can read (at least I can’t find any), your only choice is a training class or a web class. Either way, you have to pay.

Last year, I wasn’t allowed to go because I was working on a critical critical, it was cancelled a month later. When the next Progress courses were offered, I couldn’t go because of a travel freeze – although others continued to go. I asked about getting the web classes since that wouldn’t require travel and…nothing happened.

So I ask AGAIN, this time for web only. I get the OK, but there doesn’t seem to be any money now. However, someone else in my group (non IT) talked to the Plant Manager and will be going for not one, but two ELECTIVE classes.

So what do you do?
a) Pretend you don’t know and don’t make any waves. The economy is bad – you want to keep your job.

b) Layout your feelings and try to understand the seeming illogic behind it.

c) Rant and rave and make a big stink.

I’m planning to try to to avoid C)  – although I have to tell you that on Friday, I might very well have done that. I avoided my manager because I was afraid that if I said anything, I might regret it.

Tomorrow though I have to address this. It feels to me like IT has no value whatsoever to the organization based on what has happened in terms of resources and assignments. This just seemed to confirm that to me. I’m going to stand up for myself and tell them how I feel. I’m not sure it’s going to do any good (and if pass performance holds true, this will come up in a negative way in my performance review), but to quote R.E.O. Speedwagon, “I can’t fight this feeling any longer”.

Look, I knew that IT would never be REALLY important to the manufacturing plant, but I figured wouldn’t be least important. I don’t know how this is going to play out, but I’ll keep you posted. Wish me luck when I talk to my manager on Monday…