Posted by: eaubeauhorn | April 16, 2011

Well don’t that beat all?

For the last six years I have been teaching someone to take over my responsible position when I retire, which is in three weeks. The person I call my “understudy” started very slowly due to cultural expectations that were pretty far off from what he encounted in an American company, but after a while he became competent and I was confident that he could handle the upcoming summer months with all the things that can go wrong. We still didn’t have anyone who could do the intensive software design that goes with the job, but he was able to modify what existed to work, even if he wouldn’t have been able to make major changes as called for.

So then he up and quit. He was training yet another understudy, but that person is only barely out of kindergarten, so to speak, and not able to take on what needs to be taken on. In short, my company is in deep doo-doo. It isn’t a matter of just slowing things down until the new guy gets better at it; this job deals with real-time scenarios and emergencies, and when one of those occurs, there isn’t time to hop on the learning curve. You have to be damn good, able to think creatively on your feet, able to trouble-shoot complex software that is reacting to what is likely something it has not seen before, and get results yesterday, sometimes in the middle of the night.

So the under-understudy called me during my concert today (yes I had the cell phone off, good little girl me) and the entire thing is blowing up on him big time while he, on a Saturday, is trying to get results yesterday. And so I, once again good-little-girl me, am here at work trying to make it break the way he made it break, and, well, I cannot make it break. I’m sure he did some thing that will embarrass him when he figures it out. Meanwhile I have to do part of his job for him (the part that he couldn’t get to work) so that he can do the rest of it, which hopefully is not broken on his end (yes I tested it on my end.)

So once again here I am, the only one who can do this.

No, I am not delaying my retirement. Nope. Ain’t my problem. Oh, did I mention why the other guy quit? Because they kept delaying a well-deserved promotion. First it was January, then it was “Oh we’re sorry, it will be April.” Then it was, “Oh, we’re sorry, it will be June.” And surprise, surprise, he went and got another job. So my company is getting some pretty intense karmic payback, and perhaps learning a few things in the process. The younger crowd doesn’t know loyalty, and if they are young enough that they don’t lose much in the way of retirement, they just wave goodbye out the door. If you have positions that don’t require five years of training to be good at, no big deal; you just train another one and away you go. But when you have a job like mine, that is extremely experience-intensive, it’s just downright stupid to treat people that way.

Other departments are losing people at a record pace, too. Funny about that. Some of it can be out-sourced sucessfully, and a lot of the people who work for the contracting companies are, you guessed it, ex-employees of my company who are making twice as much as they were, working for a contractor.

So, pension in hand, I think I”ll go live in another state where I can watch from a distance.

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