A right or wrong time to go?

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  1. wolfetone

    A right or wrong time to go?

    I work for a small company/charity as their IT Systems Manager, and I've been here for just over 2 1/2 years. My job is varied and broad, effectively encompassing anything that has a keyboard. Primarily though I'm employed to maintain a system that holds the records of my employer's members. The system is accessed by my employer, and other people outside of the organisation.

    I have had absolutely no guidance from the top, so I sat down for a week looking at all the various systems we had and devised a plan of action to modernise what we have, consolidate the systems making it easier to maintain, and provide a better user experience to the users. My CEO at the time let me go along with it, and so that's what I've done - on my own - since I started.

    About 9 months ago I was (finally) allowed to recruit an assistant, and he's been alright to be honest. But I literally had to stamp my feet and whail alot to get the extra help. Up until then, I was supposed to look after the IT both externally and internally, build the new systems, and provide tech support to the people in the office as well as those external users who use the bespoke systems we have.

    Because of all this, and the scope of work (which other parts of the organisation decided needed doing - without consulting me) the project has dragged. It was meant to be released in January this year, but has now been pushed back to September this year.

    Now, all through this time, my love of the work and the people I work with have degraded to the point where on Bank Holiday Monday I dreaded going back to work. I thought there was so many other things I could do, get some enjoyment out of what I do, than go back to the place and chip away at this project that I've had no support with. This feeling was further compounded this morning when I received 30 emails in my inbox, 15 of which were spam, and the rest were emails moaning how such a system didn't work or that another system needed to do something else. Mix in to this a change of CEO who last week brought in two IT guys from their old work to "review" our systems and the IT plan that we have. All of this I could have provided them with, but they didn't ask me and they got someone else in to do it.

    So right now, on the afternoon of Tuesday, I'm sat here with my Thunderbird turned off, my phone calls on divert, wondering whether it's time for me to call it a day. I feel I should, as I don't know how I'm supposed to stick around until September to see this project finished - which is essentially my baby. I thought the same back in December last year but was convinced to stay around.

    Really the only thing keeping me here is the project I'm working on. For pure pride than anything else I want to see out what I started. But the other half of me is concerned that this project I put out will be lambasted, hated, effectively useless, making my working life more of a hell than it is already. I'm still incredibly fucked off over my new CEO's actions as well. But ultimately, I don't want to let the people I work with (the ones I get on with anyway) down by leaving before the job is completed.

    While this is a rant, I don't know, but I'm hoping someone reading this who has a few more years experience than me can offer some guidance as to whether now is the right time to go or should I just finish the project then exit, stage left? Or stage right, I'm not really fussed in the direction.

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      1. wolfetone

        Re: A right or wrong time to go?

        The modernisation of it has taken so long because it was just me put in charge of it. There are 7 other websites or other systems that I have to look after and also sort out while all this is going on. The system itself handles 1,700 users and over 60,000 individual records. The system when I go to it was already 5 years out of date, doesn't work on mobile devices and was hard for a user base of computer illiterate people to use. And the modernisation was down solely to me. I asked for help, external contractors, and I was only give the assistant about 9 months ago as I said.

        I have been proactive about it, management never listened to me. I was 3 months in to it and said I needed another person in to help make it manageable. The response was a no. So 3 months later I asked again, with the project already falling behind. Again I was given a no. I've worked 12-16 hour days on it while other projects effectively stalled. Then 12 months ago I asked for help a 3rd time and I was told to go and get someone which I did.

        "Why? You said that right from the beginning you were basically in complete control of the whole IT side of the company. What has gone wrong with the project for which you can not be blamed?"

        This is a difficult one for me to answer without giving too much away about where I work. But the people "on the ground", the 1,700+ users are very quick to point fingers of blame at anyone but themselves. It's a very, very negative organisation in a lot of respects, and these people are the cause. Just today I had a phone call from a user moaning (verge of shouting) at me that our system was really slow on her new PC and it was absolutely fine on her old machine. I have changed nothing on the old system, and no one else reported issues. This isn't a one off, this is a daily occurrence basically.

        "Well the new CEO is a fairly recent thing, so it seems that you weren't happy there before that..... No - you made the decision. If you'd really wanted to leave, you would have left. On the other hand, it really doesn't seem like you're putting your heart into this project."

        Well the CEO is a recent thing yes, but what happened here was I spoke to my line manager (which itself was a new thing only installed a year ago for both myself and a lot of others) and told him how I felt and how I think it was best if I did leave. He said I shouldn't go, he wanted to see me complete the project, and that this new CEO was a silver bullet that was needed.

        Again you are right, I think I am worried about losing face. But I wouldn't say the project has become too big or less interesting. I never had support when building it, and that was denied to me by the people above me. But the same people above me I feel are sharpening knives for me. To put it this way, the people the new CEO got to come in told me separately that I'm not in an enviable position with my role and that one of them thought it was a mini miracle that I've done what I have done. I don't mind making a fool of myself but I draw a line when I feel I'm being set up for a fall basically.

        Thank you for the forthright comment though, not sure why you needed to take your coat with you? It's fairly mild outside...

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    2. Dan Paul

      Re: A right or wrong time to go?

      It's the right time to go. The first indication is that you describe the place as a "charity". The cheapest people there are to have as customers are "not for profits", religious institutions and charities.

      It seems they don't care about anything, express no loyalty and the new CEO who doesn't have any trust in the existing systems and made an end run around you, has an agenda that is antithetical to your own.

      My advice is to make like a shepherd and get the flock out of there as soon as you can.

    3. PattyCummings4

      Re: A right or wrong time to go?

      If u love the job and if you love what you are doing, stay. You are always free to go ahead and leave, you know.

  2. wolfetone

    Thanks both of you for the help.

    The report made it's way to my inbox yesterday, and there's a solitary paragraph in there that says I should be commended for the work I've done. But the rest of it just smacks of a lack of trust. Unfortunately, the CEO and myself aren't in the same office together for another 10 days where they wanted a meeting about the report. It'll be a short meeting, as I've no intention of continuing with the work and will resign.

    On the bright side it gives me a bit of space to figure out where to go next. Whether I go to a "digital agency" or do some contracting on a freelance basis. Who knows, but I know I'll be happier away from this job and that is the main thing.

    Once again thank you both :)

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