My job is like a Dilbert strip

Only not funny.

Here's the scenario as an analogy.

Let's say my companies business is interior decoration. One of the major things we do is hang pictures. So, I'm part of a team that is to help with this.

The upper management sets the requirements as so

In order to attach pictures to the wall, we need to take 16 penny nails and embed them into the wall using this dead-blow mallet.

See the problem? The requirements are too detailed. What it should read is

We need to attach pictures to walls.

Instead, I (as the worker) have been given specific instructions on what materials to use and what tools to manipulate them by someone who only has the most basic understanding of what they're asking.

Yes, 16 penny nails are nails. But they're not the kind of nails we need to hang pictures. Yes a dead-blow mallet is a hammer, but it's not designed for high precision.

Now, I explain this to my foreman who tells me "sorry, that's what the bosses want". So I use them with disastrous results. The 16 penny nails go through the walls or cannot go in far enough because they've hit the cinder block exterior. The dead blow mallet isn't very controllable and ends up damaging the dry wall on a regular basis.

The upper management is not happy with the results, and it is explained to them that the tools aren't designed for this kind of work. Similar work, yes, but not this precise work.

So, upper management spends a lot of money on a nice set of Dremel tools so that the nails can be shortened by cutting them and has us build a very complex set of pulleys and guides that keep the dead blow from slipping off too far and hitting the wall. The complex pulleys fall apart and require a lot of maintenance which slows us down from actually hanging pictures and we fall behind.

And we're blamed for the problems.

That, my friends, is my job in a nutshell. 'Cept instead of hammers and nails, I'm given prepackaged software. Sure, it does something similar to what we need, but like the mallet to the hammer, the exact reason isn't there and requires a lot more effort to somewhat get it to work - never precisely what we need.

And all the time, I have already written "the hammer", but because a few people have only used a mallet before, they're not willing to switch.

I'd quit, but no matter where you go it's the same shit, only the names of the foremen change. 

posted by by Robb Allen @
Comments have been closed on this topic.