April 27, 2016


By Daniel

Partial credit is being issued today. I spent most of the day feeling ill and the resulting work and effort kind of reflected that. I should be better about that, but I’m a simple creature sometimes. Just like I don’t regret staying home yesterday, I don’t regret going in today. I was far more capable, but it just didn’t amount to much. I could’ve accomplished an equivalent amount in probably two hours any other day.

One of the odd things I’m wrestling with is a note that came out in my first evaluation. I need to delegate more, more managing of the work and employees and less technical involvement. That’s a totally reasonable request, but it’s a tough transition. In the last gig, I was doing most of the technical work at this tier, most of the time. At the same time, I resented not getting some assistance, though honestly most of the time there wasn’t anyone else available that was capable of doing the work. Now I’ve got guys that can do the work, but I don’t want to bother them with it. I’d rather keep them fresh and relaxed for those times where I need 100% out of them. I’m fine with taking on the intervening stuff myself. But that’s counter to the direction I’m being asked to go.

It’s part of that professional transition that I summarized as “making it.” Now that I’ve got a pretty good idea of how everything here works, I need to step back and let the sysadmins work. My focus needs to be in keeping track of all the work they’ve been tasked with, triaging the severity thereof, and letting them know what should get worked on at what time, and that’s the primary responsibility. The secondary responsibility is being the “Tier 4” they can escalate to, being able to pinch-hit for them on their days off, and generally keep the peace. Somewhere in-between is planning and architecting new solutions and project management.

Similar to what I was saying this morning about there being no improvement without challenge, I’m not really doing my admins any favors here by taking work off their plates, not in the long run. It has the potential to be rather career-threatening if they go years without picking up anything new or being exposed to routine problems to solve.

What’s irritating about this is that it sounds for all the world that I’m trying to get out of doing work that I could be doing myself. Like someone rationalizing some awful thing as “for the best, honestly.” The pragmatic view of it is, that’s not what they hired me for. They weren’t looking for another sysadmin. They want an IT manager. Am I delivering on that? Perhaps I am the right person for the job, but am I performing the right duties?

I’m going to have to improve at that.