i work in a hostile environment. it’s not hostile to anyone else, at least, not usually. just me.
don’t believe me?
i am a tier 2 technical analyst, which, if we are going to continue with the military metaphor, isn’t quite the first wave of infantry (read: cannon fodder) who are considered utter crap and useless, whose only job is to take most of the bullets so they don’t hit the (presumably) more “important” soldiers. tier 2 is the second wave. we get the job done. we are also the last ones off the field of battle — the ones above us never see the fight, they just make the decisions, the planning and strategy, but they don’t go outside, else they get potshots from the aforementioned snipers.
with me so far?
i have a bad habit of fixing things. one might not consider this “bad,” but where i work, it is apparently considered poor form. i fix things by figuring out what’s wrong and getting the job done. i annihilate the enemy. and, the tier 2 windows team that i am on is pretty much about figuring out what’s wrong and fixing it. other teams defer to their tier 3/4 as soon as they come across something out of the ordinary, but that’s not the way we’ve ever really rolled.
i made the mistake once of mentioning linux to the ones who call the shots. the context was this:
we have a problem with disk space on servers. there is a utility program on most distributions of linux which shows you graphically what folders are using the most disk space. this would presumably help our cause in identifying where the problem lies and escalating to the appropriate application team to see if there is anything they can do to make their application smaller. so i asked if there was something like this for windows. i was told “we all know you like linux. however, it is not helpful to the problem discuss linux.” period. end of discussion. several months later i find they are starting to roll out an application that does exactly what i was asking about.
since then, anytime i’ve said or asked anything of our tier 4 (we don’t have a tier 3), i’ve gotten a similar, hostile response. it is the reason i started looking seriously for a new job again. i’ve stopped going to them under any circumstance for anything, and even when i perform the exact same steps as other people on my team would (and do), i get burned for things they don’t get a second glance about.
(case in point: trying — and failing — to get a server online with 2/4 drives in the RAID array, and never getting it to come up at all. eventually, i wipe the drives to prepare for a reload, still working with the store, but the server’s cd-rom drive is bad, so a service ticket is needed for more parts. the server that comes out is bad and 8 hours later we get it back up and running on a (second) new server. “why did you initialize the drives?” because i spoke to another member of my team and that’s what he said was probably the next step. consequently, when he had a similar problem this last weekend, he did the same thing, calling the same person who gave me crap for wiping the drives whether he should proceed, or get a tech out with more parts. he was told to wipe the drives. the difference? he also didn’t require 2 servers.)
the latest volley came through no part of my own except, perhaps, communication. which, i guess, i should cut out too. i was working with a tech on a pc reload in which the scripted process to partition and format the new hard drive was failing. i got into diskpart, created the partition, formatted the drive, went on with my business. this was a process they used to be able to do as well, but the reload cds have changed and so some of the steps in the documentation they already have are no longer accurate. the tech (who was a lead) asked if there was something i could send them, so i sent their supervisor in that area the doc i had written on how to perform the steps i just did.
another member of my team, on a completely different issue, forwarded that email to our tier 4 (which, as an aside, is no longer really our tier 4 — they have been reallocated to other projects. in all reality, they are not over us at all anymore). he thought it would help that person who was using dispart at the time and apparently couldn’t remember the command he wanted. i then got burned twice — for doing this process, and for sending it to our field techs. i was called a “cowboy,” i guess for being, what? cavalier? fixing something on my own? not asking permission? this is not a new problem — we’ve been dealing with this and having to manually partition the hard drives since before these people were even involved with the cds we use to reload the pcs. the only thing i did was make a document and then passed it along so each time this happens — which is frequent — we don’t get a call on it.
so. minefield. snipers. hostile environment. if it wasn’t for the, you know, paycheck, i’d be walking out the door right now.
p.s. hire me! my resume is posted on the sidebar.