back to article The pandemic improved the status of IT workers … forever

Welcome to the latest Register Debate in which writers discuss technology topics, and you the reader choose the winning argument. The format is simple: we propose a motion, the arguments for the motion will run this Monday and Wednesday, and the arguments against on Tuesday and Thursday. During the week you can cast your vote on …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Changed?

    I don't know if it has changed the status as such, but certainly I feel that people within our organization have a greater appreciation of the things we do. That's definitely a win, and definitely something I'm happy about.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Changed?

      Yeah, but long-term, is that going to last after most of that group of people have left the company?

      1. Dominic: Writer of this aritcle

        Re: Changed?

        It will fade, but my point was that there's lots of things coming down the track to keep reminding them.

    2. Snowy Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Changed?

      Until some IT system breaks and then it is back to the bottom of the pile.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The pandemic improved the status of IT workers … forever.???

    Far, far too early to tell.

  3. Khaptain Silver badge

    Business As Usual

    As IT pros we are expected to find solutions to problems on a constant basis. It's exactly what we did during COVID. Today I am finding solutions to varying degrees of Database problems, why is that any different.

    Personally I am doing what I am already paid to do... They only real difference was that at certain moments I had to do a lot of overtime, for which I was paid in accordance... I enjoyed the challenge and I enjoyed the extra salary, so I consider it a win/win.

    I don't need a faux elevated status from other employees, we already have a good working relation and I intend to keep it that way.

    1. Dominic: Writer of this aritcle

      Re: Business As Usual

      Yes we've always solved problems, the variables are whether we are *seen* to do it and/or blamed for causing it in the first aplce.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Business As Usual

        As far as I am concerned all that is required is good communication...If you don't have that, then no amount of anything is going to put you in good favour for very long, if at all.

        But that's not an IT problem, that's a human problem.

        In IT, for the majority, we work with both Humans and Machines; you have to take both into consideration.

  4. no user left unlocked

    Never Forever

    Way back in the mid 80's I joined Tesco Stores. A couple of years earlier they had dumped a third of their IT staff thinking they were not needed. Soon realised their mistake and had to recruit like crazy. This was just before EPOS was taking off and pretty much the entire business moving over to computer based systems.

    Those first years we were definitely appreciated and rewarded. Around the early to mid 90's there was a management mind set change and almost immediately it was clear we were "downgraded" in their eyes. Made to re-apply for our jobs and the ensuing pay cuts that generated and then the gradual slide as we were seen to be fungible units. Within a decade management had latched onto the off-shoring mantra and many of us collected our redundancy packages.

    So if IT is a cost centre then no, its not forever, just until the next management shake up.

    But while we are appreciated......... its nice.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Never Forever

      Around the early to mid 90's there was a management mind set change and almost immediately it was clear we were "downgraded" in their eyes. Made to re-apply for our jobs and the ensuing pay cuts that generated and then the gradual slide as we were seen to be fungible units.

      But then Y2K came along and we were needed again. Almost at the same time there was the dot-com bubble which I guess wasn't needed but that was fun for a while. After that IT became disposable again.

      Now we are needed again so make hay while you can because management never forgives and never forgets.

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: Never Forever

        "...because management never forgives and never forgets." Unless it's their debt, then they never forgive, and never remember.

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: Never Forever

          Exactly. Truer words were never spoken.

        2. Dominic: Writer of this aritcle

          Re: Never Forever

          Harsh but fair

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Never Forever

      Summed up perfectly!

      I remember the 90's, couldn't throw money at IT hard enough ( one year my bonus paid for my mortgage deposit and money leftover for a new car ) and then the dotcom crash came into 2000's and every IT dept was just another dirty financial black hole in every company 'cos everyone got bored with tech, it was just another thing you had to pay for in companies. Then the cuts, offshoring, no pay rises, tiny bonuses if any at all despite all the projects still having to be put in out of hours, many late nights, payback if you like for previous big bonuses, hey ho.

      I did OK in the end I suppose given that most people I knew at school ended minimum wage slaves in crap jobs or sponging off the state with 7 kids, I did pretty good for a kid with few prospects from a shit secondary modern school.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Never Forever

        >>a kid with few prospects from a shit secondary modern school.

        I was wondering something similar just the other day.

        How many young people with few resources, were able to train themselves and get into IT?

        I've know quite a few, though I get the feeling those "wild west" days of IT are coming to a close.

  5. Howard Sway Silver badge

    if they are paying more they value what you do more

    Well, this used to be the case. Now it's more like if they are paying more they expect you to do more - i.e. be "at work" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, because you're always reachable via your Smart Zoom IOT stuff they've provided you with.

    Luckily, the consistent underinvestment caused by cost-obsessed beancounters means that everything in corporate IT remains a cobbled together mess that requires plenty of IT staff to keep it afloat.

    1. Dominic: Writer of this aritcle

      Re: if they are paying more they value what you do more

      That's why we are hitting The Great Resignation as it is beginning to be called. ITpros are finding that they can say No and if given grief it is a lot easier to get new job.

  6. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      Just Working - neither here nor there

      Remote working scares the crap out of the sort of control-minded yes-person that typically gets to middle and senior management positions. Work is something unpleasant to be endured by as many as possible, in as public manner as possible, with very occasional trips to the "Reward-and-Recognition" fountain only when it looks like you're about to lose said wage-slave.

      What the pandemic showed was it's possible for whole departments to be productive remotely. What middle and senior management need to get their head around is that the choice of workplace is best delegated to the employee wherever possible - you will get their best where they feel most comfortable. And if you are unable to judge an employee by value and output (rather than presence) then you should look to retire from the whole management shebang, and do something more productive.

      1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

        Re: Just Working - neither here nor there

        I suspect it'll be about 10 years before current minions reach management level and say "remote working is fine - let's embrace it". By that time the old-fashioned manglement that you describe will have retired so it stands a chance of succeeding long-term.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just Working - neither here nor there

          ... By which time the disadvantages of remote working will be writ large for the new management to ignore.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            ...

            I'm curious... Are the downvotes because:

            (a) Some people believe that there are absolutely no downsides to remote working

            (b) Some people believe than management never, ever ignore problems.

            Or possibly both ... Ah, in the Utopia of today I had forgotten what idealism looked like.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: ...

              (c) People who have discovered it's much easier to skive off when working at home and are loath to see management remember the downsides, and thus make the WFH option go away.

              (d) Introverts who have discovered they can work far more effectively when out of the office, and really, really don't want the WFH option to go away.

              (d) Statistical noise.

              (e) All of the above.

              Humans being human, I tend towards option (e).

      2. Naselus

        Re: Just Working - neither here nor there

        "Remote working scares the crap out of the sort of control-minded yes-person that typically gets to middle and senior management positions."

        Tbh, I've generally found the 'Fascist Babysitter' manager personality is most common in junior management positions: those people with responsibility for 10 people or less who only have about 5 hours' worth of genuine work to do a week themselves, so they fill the time by obsessively hovering over their staff fussing about a 3-minute toilet break or someone being 5 minutes late in the morning. These guys absolutely hate not being able to watch their staff 24/7, since it largely removes the justification for their existence. Often, they're a reasonably fresh MBA who has been assigned to 'manage' a team which functions perfectly well without them, doing tasks they have absolutely no understanding of.

        Most of our senior management have more useful things to be doing than watching their direct reports and have been actively pushing for more remote working for the last 5 years so they can stop paying extortionate building rents for city centre office spaces. If you went to them to demand a disciplinary because Customer Service Agent #42 had been to the toilet 5 times in the past 2 weeks, then they'd think you were an idiot.

        But then, our company culture is based on trusting our staff, and our hiring policies tends to weed out little Napoleons early and show them the door. We pretty much figured out that just accepting that junior staff might be 5 minutes late a few times a year cost us much less than hiring a manager on twice their salary who's sole responsibility was to terrorize them for it.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. DevOpsTimothyC Bronze badge

      Re: Nah, not for me.

      I can tell you how my former IT department treated me. I helped sort out the WFH stuff and in February they decided that, as I was a contractor, they got rid of me and a colleague, citing "financial" reasons.

      A) You're a contractor

      B) By the statement above you're describing yourself as either Inside IR35 or a disguised employee.

      As a contractor you're a fungible resource to be ejected when a project / task is completed (most typical contracts). OR when the client no longer needs those services / when they choose to obtain those services from another provider (eg ISP).

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Nah, not for me.

        That was their point. What's yours?

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Nah, not for me.

          "That was their point. What's yours?"

          As both of the original posts have now been deleted, I can only guess at the differences. From context, I'm guessing their point was that, as a contractor, the poster should expect temporary work and therefore that losing the position when a task was complete is not reflecting disrespect on them, but rather a typical contract expectation. If the contract was dropped at a renewal point, as opposed to being terminated unexpectedly, it is an easy point of separation for all parties which they can all expect and plan for.

      3. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Nah, not for me.

        By the statement above you're describing yourself as either Inside IR35 or a disguised employee.

        Imagine you make hats and a company wants you to make hats for them for six months. You make plans, prepare and then few months in, they say you know what we no longer need your hats. Being upset about it does not make you an employee.

        And if you make particularly good hats and a company keeps coming for more, it does not mean they should employ you either.

        As a contractor you're a fungible resource to be ejected when a project / task is completed (most typical contracts).

        If you are providing a good service, why should a company using it be deprived from it or provider penalised with a punitive tax?

        Basically big consultancies were pissed off by independents undercutting their rates and greased treasury and HMRC to put an end to that. Chancellor with his wife's Infosys was the man they needed to finish the job.

        1. Naselus

          Re: Nah, not for me.

          "Basically big consultancies were pissed off by independents undercutting their rates and greased treasury and HMRC to put an end to that. Chancellor with his wife's Infosys was the man they needed to finish the job."

          Not entirely. There was a considerable trend of companies setting up disguised employees who had no desire to be contractors which also needed to be quashed. A lot of low-wage positions (cleaners, customer service advisors, sales monkeys, service desk jobs) were made 'contractors' despite the contracts in question being more or less identical to waged positions, with all the benefits taken out.

          Screwing over genuine small-time external contractors on behalf of Tory donors was just a bonus.

          1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

            Re: Nah, not for me.

            There was a considerable trend of companies setting up disguised employees who had no desire to be contractors which also needed to be quashed.

            I am yet to see evidence of that.

            A lot of low-wage positions (cleaners, customer service advisors, sales monkeys, service desk jobs) were made 'contractors' despite the contracts in question being more or less identical to waged positions, with all the benefits taken out.

            That's what IR35 actually now enables. Companies are now encouraged to do this, so they don't have to be bothered with employment law.

            1. Naselus

              Re: Nah, not for me.

              "I am yet to see evidence of that."

              Literally every one of my first 5 jobs was one of these fake contract roles. I was an employee in all but name... and benefits. So were the various jobs that my partner managed to obtain after leaving uni ten years ago. Go to your local hospital; all the cleaning staff are 'independent contractors'. Same in any hotel chain. If you go to your local football match, then most of the stewards there? Supposedly contractors. Uber drivers? Amazon delivery workers? 'Independent contractors'. And this is not exactly poorly documented in the media, and the legal battles of Uber drivers in particular to be recognized as employees have been widely publicized.

              So even if you have somehow managed to sit on some kind of pedestal only jumping from permie role to permie role from the minute you left high school, the only plausible reason you've not seen evidence for this is because you've not been looking.

              1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

                Re: Nah, not for me.

                Yes, now everyone will be a "contractor" - precisely because IR35 changes enable and promote that.

                Why should a company hire an employee if they can now hire an in-scope "contractor" and avoid any responsibilities coming from these pesky employment laws or risk workers forming an union?

            2. Franco Silver badge

              Re: Nah, not for me.

              "There was a considerable trend of companies setting up disguised employees who had no desire to be contractors which also needed to be quashed.

              I am yet to see evidence of that."

              I haven't seen many examples given specifically in IT, but the BBC have been found to be doing this for years, Christa Ackroyd was the "test case" for HMRC. At the moment I'm mostly seeing contracts assessed as inside IR35 when they quite clearly shouldn't be based on the SoW, for example there are a lot of companies hiring build engineers to get desktop refresh projects going again, and the vast majority of them are being assessed as inside that I am seeing.

              1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

                Re: Nah, not for me.

                I haven't seen many examples given specifically in IT, but the BBC have been found to be doing this for years, Christa Ackroyd was the "test case" for HMRC.

                That does not look like a large scale problem and existing rules could have been applied. In most cases HMRC was trying to show non-compliance, they were struggling to prove it.

                and the vast majority of them are being assessed as inside that I am seeing.

                If HMRC was unable to reliably tell whether someone is a disguised employee, there is no surprise companies don't want to hang potential massive liability over their heads. Those new IR35 changes provide excellent way out - just make sure contract falls in scope and you are out of HMRC radar.

                Who cares that legitimate businesses can no longer run (50% tax on revenue is a death sentence to any business).

                1. Franco Silver badge

                  Re: Nah, not for me.

                  The BBC issue was fairly well reported by Dave Chaplin and the usual contractor websites, but only in the cases that went to tribunals, there may well have been more that just paid the demanded amount and moved on.

                  It's no secret HMRC don't interpret their own rules the same way the courts do, but it's also clear that the safety first approach by businesses, at least in my area, is leading to a lack of skilled people willing to be second class employees because I see the same contracts come up again and again. It took 4-6 months for the public sector to get their houses in order when it came into effect there, it seems to be taking longer in the private sector. For reference, I was in the public sector when the changes came in there, left for 3 months then went back and the only difference was a much more tightly defined contract scope

                  1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

                    Re: Nah, not for me.

                    Again, this is just BBC. There was no evidence of large scale problem that would actually warrant such change in law.

                    According to HMRC themselves the tax gap was at 3bn (and that included everything from contractors to cleaners doing cash in hand). The changes are simply disproportional - the destruction of small businesses, disrupted projects and basically closed pathway for people to create jobs for themselves - killing entrepreneurial spirit in the nation will cost much much more.

                    This is all done so that those big corporations that happen to be party donors, could take over the markets that used to be filled by small independent service based businesses. The difference is that the workers they provide make much less money (and pay less tax) and those corporations actually can afford to implement proper tax avoidance structures.

                    Then you have reported 4bn loss to the tax payer from growing umbrella fraud.

                    All in the cheerful atmosphere of envious workers who never had guts to start their own thing. They won't so now nobody else can.

  8. msobkow Silver badge

    I'm not surprised a headhunter only sees dollar signs in the situation. Its what they do by default - skim the techies' profits for the sake of playing middle-man.

    But no, it won't last forever. Not by a long shot. Fame and glorfy for *anything* is short lived and forgotten as soon as the next "problem" gets blamed on IT.

    Even the jobs won't last forever. People's "over and above" work will be ignored as soon as it comes time to offshore more staff. :(

  9. mmonroe

    It was all a hoax

    In 20 years time I can see a bunch of know-it-alls claiming covid was all a con, just like know-it-alls today claim the Millenium bug was all a con.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      break out the moon boots...

      20 years time? They were claiming the Millennium bug was a con almost 30 seconds after midnight on 01-Jan-2000!

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: break out the moon boots...

        And claiming Covid was a con sometime last April.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: break out the moon boots...

        "They" (whoever that is) were claiming the Millenium Bug was a con in 1990. "They" had a point ... Almost all critical soft/firm/hardware was patched or replaced in plenty of time, with no real cost outside that of the regular upgrade cycle.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: It was all a hoax

      There is a big difference between ones and zeros in computers and a virus in humans. Most computers kept on trucking at the dawn of the year 2,000, and not by accident. However, the graveyards are full of humans lost due to the Covid pandemic. That'll be rather harder to debunk.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: It was all a hoax

        "However, the graveyards are full of humans lost due to the Covid pandemic. That'll be rather harder to debunk."

        There are still Holocaust Deniers who don't believe the mass graves evidence.

        Then there's the Moon Landing hoax proponents, Flat Earthers..and on and on and on.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: It was all a hoax

          Yeah, but those folks are, for all their noise, statistically insignificant. Nobody of importance pays them any attention, unless it's to point and laugh.

  10. ecofeco Silver badge

    For or against... what?

    The vote poll is vague. For or against what?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For or against... what?

      Whether or not us "standard nerds" now get the same advanced recognition as sales weasels, I guess.

    2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: For or against... what?

      I know it takes a while, but if you really pay attention you can find, written near the top of the page in barely conspicuous massive letters: "The pandemic improved the status of IT workers … forever"

      OK, it'd be easier if that were repeated just above the actual poll, but it's the whole topic of the post so should be clear enough.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: For or against... what?

        In fairness to them, these for/against labels don't always work very well for the statement. In this case, the opposite statement appears to be "The pandemic improved the status of IT workers, but only while the pandemic stresses continue". However, other possible opposing statements are available, including "The pandemic did not improve the status of IT workers" or the much less interesting "The pandemic improved the status of IT workers for a moderately long time but not forever".

        Other debates using this structure have at times either posed a statement that the debaters didn't argue, or used a compound sentence only part of which was covered. The poster is not the first to have found them vague.

    3. normal1

      Re: For or against... what?

      Us.

      You are either for or against us.

      /s

      //LoL

  11. MisterHappy

    We are on the up point in the cycle, it will go down again

    Anyone who has worked in IT for a while knows that problems make IT relevant, when everything is working as expected & ticking over without any issues is when management start eyeing up the IT dept and the "Inflated Salaries" with an eye to shaving something from the budget.

    I'd guess that before the end of 2022 (barring further disaster) there will be more and more articles bemoaning the short sightedness of employers who are cutting IT staffing.

    Happy to be wrong but experience & more than one redundancy round makes me think I won't be.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks? IT Crowd nailed it!

    Seriously? If you've been in the IT biz for more than 5 mins you will know it's not entirely different from that sketch in IT Crowd where everyone, including the toilet cleaners, gets thanked except IT! Alright, may not be as bad as that but working in IT you might get a thanks sent over from head of biz to head of IT but that's it. Sure we get "thank you's" from general biz people when we help them out on specific problems but only if we manage to solve the problem quicker than normal and with a little extra flair, you got 2 secs over the assigned ticket SLA and you might as well be a piece of crud they scrapped off their shoes.

    The only huge upside to working in IT? We get paid a shed load of money for doing a tough job, long hours, we fatten up our pensions quicker than most and we quit the rat-race sooner when we've had enough, even faster if we're contracting.

    Sorry but biz perception is that IT is a seen a huge financial black hole, staffed by slackers and morons. However the second something ain't working like an app or something bigger like an infra server or service, then the biz people can't find us quick enough begging for help.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Thanks? IT Crowd nailed it!

      "Those muppets just sit all day on the computer and make more money than my mate who is doing two shifts at a supermarket, now that's some real work."

      "Why don't your mate get into IT as well?"

      "He ain't built for slacking!"

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. aldolo

    too many people to thank

    as IT professional I don't feel that important. before the pandemic the week was already 2home/3office.

  15. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Really

    Ok so IT people can work from home now, but so what if most can't afford decent living and working space for the salaries they get. Oh and you ask the company to pay for use of your home as office? They'll laugh you off.

    Sure, it's mostly above average, but it does not keep up with the costs of living.

    In the 80s, for an IT salary you could buy a detached house with a garage and have plenty of space to eventually trying running your own thing.

    Today, even on senior salary you may be lucky to buy a flat and probably you still would have to find a partner to share the mortgage with.

    Successive governments are just moving the goal posts. You thought you could finally start your own thing? There is IR35 for you. You want to manufacture something? Better start making contacts in China, then watch they steal your idea.

  16. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Its always the same

    as IT you're seen as a drain on the company coffers right upto the point theres a problem.

    And if you can pull a HDD from a lightning struck server, then using you magic IT skills to recover all the vital data, burn it to a DVD, then hand it to the boss the next morning with a cheery smile and say "heres your pr0n collect err vital company records" , all of a sudden you are the IT god and saviour of the company. for about a week. then its back to being a drain.

    To be brutally honest here, how many senior manglers with no experience of IT in all its forms have any idea of what we actually do ?

  17. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Hahaha . . . no.

    Speaking only from personal experience, my IT team and the adjacent ones have been squeezed down to nothing. The work certainly hasn't diminished, but headcount has, and the company is making, if not record, at least significant profits. Manglement does say they "appreciate" us, however, so at least there's that. Receive appreciation in one hand, receive shit in the other; see which fills up first.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Hahaha . . . no.

      Maybe they stand outside and clap for you once a week.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hahaha . . . no.

      "Speaking only from personal experience, my IT team and the adjacent ones have been squeezed down to nothing. The work certainly hasn't diminished, but headcount has, and the company is making, if not record, at least significant profits. Manglement does say they "appreciate" us, however, so at least there's that. Receive appreciation in one hand, receive shit in the other; see which fills up first."

      It's similar where I work. But recently we did a company wide anonymous survey. They promised it would be anonymous and it seems it really was. People filling it certainly acted as if it would stay anonymous!!.

      The latest missive from "on high" took on an entirely different tone implying that the board level had become so divorced from the coal-face that there may well have been genuine surprise and shock at the comments from employees. It sounds like things are about to change, hopefully. And I am hopeful, as some changes for the better have already happened.

      1. druck Silver badge

        Re: Hahaha . . . no.

        The usual change is to git rid of the survey, or better still write it in a way that the only answers are the one they want to hear.

  18. damocles
    Gimp

    Infrastructure/Ops are only ever blamed

    March 2019 and the last two people in the building (both on the Ops team) were both supposed to be shielding. Entire company kitted out to WFH inside of 3 weeks, followed by a year of keeping the lights on and making sure anyone who wasn't furloughed could work.

    Thanks? Kudos? Hero worship? Afraid not. We were ignored unless someone didn't feel like working and blamed it on the systems being unavailable. Over 50% of my time wasted on proving everything is working as it should because why would their minion lie about it...

    Meanwhile the new HR app is full of our colleagues thanking and commending each other for a job well done, even the Dev team get in on the action.

    So no, Infra/Ops are not feeling the love, but on the bright side... oh wait... no

    Spleen vented

  19. Lucy in the Sky (with Diamonds)

    Somewhat doubtful...

    In 2020, on day one of the lockdown, our entire IT department was made redundant, and everything outsourced to Office 365.

    So, my status has improved from being an unwanted line item on a failing company's opex budget to becoming a person of leisure.

    I doubt that the bean counters have ever respected the IT people, but as kharma has it, the beancounters were also made redundant soon after, and outsourced to Xero.

  20. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Only Mountains are eternal

    I wish the proposal was true... but I don't live in the care bears world.

    Goods deeds are always forgotten. People are so used that things work transparently that they will forget very fast all the work required behind the scene to make it possible.

    IT is the 21st century equivalent of the trims working in the blackness of the coal holds.

    Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, it's the way the World goes and it will probably never change. Sic transit gloria mundi.

    1. jake Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Only Mountains are eternal

      Mono no aware (物の哀れ).

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Only Mountains are eternal

      Until a bird decides to come and sharpen it's beak on it one every 1000 years and wears it down to nothing.

      1. jake Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Only Mountains are eternal

        A Van Loon (pseudo)quote on El Reg. Whodathunkit.

        Maybe there's hope for humanity after all.

  21. jdb3

    Anyone that has worked in IT for years knows that we are the janitors as far as Management is concerned... We get praised when we clean up after someone's stupid mistake, but as long as the data is flowing the idea is 'Why do we pay them so much for something that "just works"? After all, I installed (X game/malware) at home, and it was simple!"'

    There are brief time periods where things are different, and the last few years are a good example. However, the only difference they see between employees and contractors overseas are that the accents make it harder to understand; otherwise they love saving money. We've been being praised (some of us at least) for the past 2 years, but that will end soon.

  22. jake Silver badge

    Status? For IT workers? Y, S, R.

    Mid-80s, I was working for a company that built gear to dynamically allocate bandwidth between video, voice and data.

    Incredibly Big Monster of a company started getting weird bit error rates on their global T1 (E1, T3 etc ...) network, which was larger than the Internet itself at the time. The network used our kit to terminate the telco supplied wire, and because telcos are perfect ::coff:: & it couldn't possibly be Monster's fault, it must be our problem, right? I was assigned to track down the problem after lower level techs couldn't figure it out.

    Going thru' the data, I discovered that once the problem started occurring at any one site, it gradually became worse ... It was never bad enough to actually take down a connection, but network errors ramped up over time.

    Further review showed that the same team of installers had installed the gear at the sites with the problem.

    I flew out to Boca and discovered that they had installed punch-down blocks in a janitor's closet ... directly over a mop bucket full of ammonia water. A couple quick calls confirmed similar placement in other offices, world wide. Seems it was the only wall space that was unused almost universally in such spaces.

    Corroded metal replaced and blocks relocated, no more bit-errors ... Rather than a "thank you" and a bonus or raise, I got the task of updating the installation documentation. Naturally.

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