Quitting Job Soapbox
I've had it. I'm going to resign my IT server room operations job (with Linux and Linux scripting) tomorrow. I am older and more experienced than my supervisor, with 15 years in this industry, and I'm tired of being belittled by him. He's a mean individual. He asks for my advice and then makes decisions completely opposite of mine, no longer taking my input. Most of his solutions use Windows, but the whole company is going Linux on the backend and this makes no sense to go with Windows. He's saying "left" when I say "right", just to spite me. And when I say I have evidence for why we should go a certain way on a strategy, he doesn't have any evidence for himself and just says, "Well, I'm going left." But when he says "left" that means "Windows" and that means more headache for me because I can't automate the monitoring and patching of it as well, or secure it as well.
He forgets to tell me stuff and then gets upset and thinks I've forgotten that he told me. He won't define my role properly and tells me to do something unusual with it one day, but then reverses the course on that later and scolds me for going outside my role. He is a control freak who won't let me breathe. He asks me to be his supervisor of 3 guys who report to me, but then goes around me and directs my staff without telling me. He leaves the server room a mess by his decisions on how things are deployed, and when I ask to improve it, he tells me it was my job all along and I'm the reason it's a mess. I then counter that I never saw the server purchase orders come across my desk, or the choice of colored cabling, or the diagrams on where the servers would go, or how the cable would be run. And when I teach (and then have come to scold) one of my guys for deploying the cabling not so neatly (such that our customers may be offended on a tour of our facility), I'm told to cool it on him and just let him be him. I'm also told that I am to control my guys, but don't discipline them because they might quit. And I'm told to cool it on cleaning the server room, but I have word through the grapevine that the server room being unclean is a classic example of why management above my boss thinks he's incompetent. (Yet, they're not doing anything about it.)
We're heavily underpaid for what work we do, and especially my direct reports to me. The only reason we stick around is because (a) we're too busy in our day jobs to even consider doing something differently, and (b) because of family obligations that keep us living here, we're stuck in this town with extremely high unemployment for IT jobs.
Meanwhile, I'm not really a good fit for this job. I mean, I can do it, and do it conscientiously, but it's not what I want to be doing. I did it because I do know how to do it well and have experience with it, and because my PHP/PostgreSQL web development job was outsourced to Brazil and I either was told to be laid off or to take this IT server room operations job. Luckily it involved Linux and some PHP tasks, so I held on. Now, don't get me wrong. I like working with the Brazil guys, and I have learned a lot from them, but I didn't like losing my web development job and want it back.
But then the IT server operations job got extremely tough. First, they added security audit standards and lots of paperwork for that. I almost can't lift my arm in the office without documenting why. Not a big deal if you have the staff for that, but we didn't. Second, my boss took everything hard that he was doing and pushed it all to me. Then, my guys beneath me can only handle so much because they're still fairly green, and so much of that work ended up in my lap. My guys are overtaxed in work, and so am I, and it's not fair that my boss isn't doing his fair share and gets to sleep on weekends while we're working. Third, my hours are insane. Many weekends and evenings I'm still working in order to avert crises or meet deadlines. Fourth, every other department in my company division has increased staff and practically tripled in size, but not my department, and our workload is unbearable. Fifth, we used to have 30 servers in our server room, and now we have over 70. In a few months it may go to 100. Sixth, we were forced to install BMC Patrol and we pull our hair out with this product. That product is flaky, sucks up our time, and is the culprit on why some of our servers crash, oddly enough. Seventh, most of my efforts to try and bring improvements have been getting nowhere. About the only thing I could get introduced was an on-call rotation (so that all the afterhours work doesn't always fall on me) and a work tracking system.
So, anyway, pray for me. I'm basically quitting tomorrow without having a landing pad to jump onto. I'm quitting to send a message that I am important, that I can't live like this and keep my marriage, health, and family, and that I feel so strongly for my cause that I'm going to do it whether the company wants to help me or not. I'm posting a 60 day notice in hopes that I can find a job in that timeframe within the existing company, or freelance, or get hired on somewhere else.
My wife thinks I'm nuts about this. She thinks I should just put up with it. She thinks I should find opportunities first and then go to them. Typically in my past I would do that, but this time I'm so fed up that I cannot wait. I am hoping that I can find bounty project type sites for PHP/MySQL/PostgreSQL/Linux work on the web and live off that, working from my home. I'm writing some software products that I plan to opensource and I hope that someday I'll be as financially successful, for instance, as JBoss. I would go the telecommute route with another salaried position with another company, but no matter how hard I try I cannot find any opportunities.
Several people in my office who are also doing IT (in a separate function) and who are sort of lateral in position to my boss are fed up with him too, and secretly they have spoken to me and are encouraging me to do what I think is right. Unfortunately there jobs kind of suck too, so I can't move into their departments.
Then, there's the reality that will hit my supervisor in the face when he realizes I'm giving him 60 day notice. All of a sudden all this work will come back on his face and he won't be able to sleep. Moreover, the talent pool is not very good where I live and so he'll have a hard time replacing me. I also think I do the work of like 3 normal people in an office, so if he only has dollars for one, he'll have projects get really far behind. And there are so many things that I do in the office with skill, and do so well, that he'll be up the creek when I leave. I'm 100% certain tomorrow this will all dawn on him when he sees my resignation letter. He'll be mad at first, and arrogant, but then will come back and be practically on his knees with repentance for his actions over this. It will be too little and too late.
Oddly enough, I'm scheduled for a pretty good raise in January, and I don't want it. I want my life and my web development career back. I want less stress. I want my regular hours. I want to be appreciated for what I am capable of doing best. I am tired of being upstaged by an overpaid, pompous, control-freak, penny-pinching, incompetent freshman wanna-be.
The best thing that could happen to me is that I quit and 60 days later I get my life back. And I hope that when I get my life back, that I'm working 50 hour work weeks again and doing what I love, which is web development with PHP. I'm hoping it's enough gigs that I can survive off of it. I have some side money that I've already established that is encouraging me, making me feel like I can make this a reality.
It's a bit of Russian Roulette. If I can't make a new career for myself in 90 to 100 days, I'm going to have to take a drastic measure and go take one of these 6 month PHP contracts in a distant city kind of gigs until I can think of a way out of this rut. And I'll hate being so far away from my family. Been there, done that.
Sorry to sound so mean -- I'm really a nice guy. I'm too nice. I get walked upon sometimes because I don't stand up enough to my bosses. It's just my boss drives me nuts and I've got a really bad one.
I also want to state that in my resignation letter it's going to be short and sweet. I'm not going to burn this bridge. I'm simply asking to get reassigned to PHP web development or let me resign in 60 days. That way, I can perhaps come back and do contract consulting for bootstrap income here or there as necessary.