I have recently been cursed with not only the worst Technical Manager that I have ever had the misfortune to work for, but the worst Technical Manager that I have ever seen in action.
My background is engineering with a degree in my specialist field, and I have well over 30 years experience in that field. The new boss on the other hand appears to be a failed bench technician who moved into IT for unknown reasons. He’s your typical British middle manager. He’s ruthless, vindictive and incompetent with no actual clue as to what “his” department actually does. Over many years certain personal attributes have been seen as essential to success in our field, the lack of which he now sees fit to ignore because he likes (or more likely, can’t see through) the person that he’s interviewing.
I’m doing the maths, and if I can manage to retire a couple or three years early, that’s what awaits me.
I spent a very pleasant evening drinking excellent beer with an old school friend, and we were bemoaning the state of technical talent in our respective fields.
Eventually conversation came round to one of his colleagues who occupies a lower level clerical/admin/minor mechanical maintenance role in his department. This individual left school at 16 with poor qualifications, partly it would seem due to a combination of hating school and not being overly bright. Now, neither of those facts is a crime because, as we all know, 50% of people will be of average or worse ability in every field.
The problem with this character. however, is that he keeps being passed over for technical training and more technical responsibility and gets angry because of it. Our conversation came round to something that one of my sons had mentioned to me last week about The Dunning-Kruger effect, we had a good old laugh about it, but it soon became serious, in that, it seems that this is becoming a more common problem (and certainly one which I have also encountered) , we decided (after a few beers, I might add) that it it may well be to do with the modern educational ethos that “nobody should be a loser”, after all losing out is something that we all need to learn to deal with in life, and perhaps the earlier in life that an individual has to learn to deal with it, the better the outcome for them and everybody else.
I’ve just got off the phone having spent an hour dealing with a call-centre droid, who was incapable of understanding the problem about which I was calling.
We went through his checklist of questions, which naturally did not lead to a solution.
I finally managed to get them to agree to give me a call-back from somebody who actually knows what they are doing. I’m not optimistic, and you can bet that the person with whom I wasted an hour of my time will consistently try to convince people that he actually knows what he is doing.
I need the pub….
Stolen from a Facebook status of a FOAF, but it sums up what I’m beginning to hate about the human race.
Conversation as follows…
Tech Support – Whats’ wrong?
User – Device X isn’t working.
Tech Support (after inspecting item) – Looks like the battery’s on its way out
User – Funny that, it was OK yesterday
Tech Support – Speechless
There’s a question to get everybody started!
I’m not actually sure that I even know where to start looking for the answer. Do we get less tolerant as we get older, or is it, perhaps, that, as we age, we learn more and expect everybody younger to know as much as we do (despite us not knowing whet we know now, when we were younger).
This should tell you, if you haven’t already worked it out, that I’m going to moan a lot. I’m going to moan about the weather, about how things were better in black and white, about foolish people, about stupid people, about just about anything that makes me feel like moaning.