Monday, March 31, 2008

In Which I Present My Case


So IT people work late at night and odd hours. This is a fact. Our work is vital and the fewer people who notice we are doing it the better.

Also, things break in the middle of the night and whenever they want so we stay on call all the time.

However, it is important to my religious beliefs and personal emotional well-being that I not be scheduled to work between sundown on Friday and sundown on Saturday. Notice please that I did not say I would not work, just that I not be scheduled to work. Scheduling implies that there was a choice of times and the worst possible was selected for me. If something breaks on Friday night, I'm there. I just ask that my preferences for off-hours work be taken into consideration when possible.

So the compromise my manager has come to with this is that I work all weekend every weekend. If my time reporting (which is stupid for salaried employees anyway) comes in at under sixty hours a flurry of emails is issued requesting my help on other projects.

To top this off, the three day weekend surrounding Purim and Easter I spent pouring through poorly worked-over code, trying to create functionality in a holy miracle of my own on the Saturday I've started to call "The Saturday of Our Blessed Mother of .NET Functionality Message Board Trolling".

During the midst of this, my manager called my cell phone to request that I update the status of this project before sundown on Friday since he would be unable to answer his phone on the Sabbath.

"Hey!" I answered,"That's great because I'll be unable to dial a phone during the same period of time!"

I was ignored.

Then last Friday afternoon he called me again after I'd spent most of the week off-site and away from the application build machines to tell me that I needed to be available to build something else over the weekend again.

"You know my VPN isn't working since the last update and no one supports it on my Mac anyway so I'll have to drive into the office to do those builds, right?" I asked.

"That's fine."

Oh good. I'd hate for that to have pissed him off.

"I'll just let them know to give you fifteen minutes lead time to get to the office."

Sweet. Fifteen minutes for fifteen miles. In Houston. Along the worst stretch of highway in the western world.

You may recall the episode in January when I did not answer a phone call which was never placed. If not, please read this bit.  

To sum up, I was told that if I didn't answer my cell phone and respond "instantly" at any time of the day or night I was not doing my job. The fact that it is my cell phone is irrelevant. I gave them the number for the purposes of a phone interview so they can plaster it over the intranet site if they like. And my wife's. And my home number. And they wanted my personal email address so I had to set up a dummy account to not check ever which was also a hassle.

Either way, the notification email to the developers went out and read:

"Garrick will be the primary contact for any CvX build requests this weekend. He will have to drive into the office to do the builds, so there will be a delay between request and the start of the build. Please give Garrick some lead time so he can respond.

I’ve asked James to be Garrick’s backup. I’ve not spoken with him, but left him a voice message.

Tertiary backup is Kishore.

Thanks, Vasanth.


PS. Just a reminder, my cell phone # is a private # which I don’t use for business purposes. Any calls to the cell phone may or may not be answered."

The guy gets to work two hours after me, leaves half an hour before I do and almost always says "Hey, do this thing before you go. It came in before lunch so they are probably looking for it" on his way out the door.

To be brief, I have to keep reminding myself that there is no "Crazed Loner Gunman" in T-E-A-M. Still, I find myself constantly wishing that blood stains did not violate the corporate dress code.

I've been mentally composing my resignation letter (bomb) and am having major difficulties keeping it PG-13.

If it turns out good, I'll be sure to post it here.

I'm not overreacting am I? What would "the normals" do in this case? I have no frame of reference for that.

Also, someone has been stealing my Diet Coke out of the refrigerator so I've been keeping them stashed behind my computer and drinking them warm!

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