On living without interruptionPosted: March 18, 2012
Dave Winer is inspiring me to write smaller posts on things that come to mind. I think it’s good for the soul.
One of the most telling things about changing jobs to a completely different career, from IT Operations to Marketing, is that there are some people who, while well paid, really get treated like shit. All of you IT Operations professionals out there, I am truly sorry for how your management and employers mistreat you. And for you individual contributors out there, I’m going to go one step further, and I’m going to sincerely apologize to your bosses, probably up to Director level, although some VPs probably get the shaft too. Your middle management’s life sucks, and, assuming they do right by you, you should be thankful they’re willing to work 24 hours a day 7 days a week with no on-call rotation.
IT Operations people’s lives are constantly getting disrupted. This is the case in many operational jobs, but none more so than in IT Operations. Sales Vice Presidents don’t get called every night a time or two to approve something or to be informed of something, and they certainly don’t work many weekends or miss vacations because some system decides out of the blue to go on the fritz.
Many times during my career people would tell me that there were other jobs out there that didn’t have the kind of time commitments, constant interruptions, and general downsides that IT Operations had. I always laughed them off, told them I was sure they were right, but now that I’m on the other side I have to say that life is truly better when your phone doesn’t ring every night with a problem. It’s like when you’re young and poor and you’re afraid to answer the phone because of some bill collector on the other end of the line. Once you get older and start paying your bills on time, the phone ringing no longer evokes a visceral fear reaction, and it’s the same after you change jobs. There is life after Operations, and while it isn’t for everyone, after 15 years of it, it was for me.