Comments (20)

  1. Spot on Robert!

    It’s difficult to be on the receiving and of such indifference and neglect. I would also remind you that sometimes it’s also difficult to give everyone the help and attention they need. When one manager has 27 employees to coach they are bound to have someone fall down. That doesn’t make them a bad person, just makes them as overworked as anyone else.

    The most painful thing my manager ever said to me was: “So, what is it that you do around here anyway? What does a DBA do?”

    I knew my time was limited from that point forward. I didn’t blame the manager, I blamed myself for letting things get to that point.

    At the end of the day we are responsible for our own careers. And it really is like dating. Sometimes things just don’t click and people need to separate.


    1. Thanks Tom! And you’re absolutely right. I was a terrible advocate for the work I did early in my career. I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes it’s up to you to make people aware of what you do.

    2. One CEO of a small firm I worked for awhile ago said, “You’ve worked here for 6 months and no one knows what you do.” I was a little upset because I had made some significant changes to their organizations in terms of performance tuning. So I replied, “You’ll get an idea of what I do over the next six months.” That was the last day I worked at that organization. As a consultant, I document every change I make. If you don’t, someone else will take the credit or worse, think you’re not even there.

      1. Sadly, in the DBA world, not being noticed generally means you’re doing a great job. And often it back fires on you. Great point about documentation. It’s a good way to show what you’ve been doing and makes it harder for people to take credit for your hard waork.

  2. I wish there were more leaders involved in developing their people instead of managing them.

    “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.” – Henry Ford

    1. Thanks Chuck! Glad to know where that quote comes from.

  3. Recently my manager was fired. It was so very sad to me. She improved our careers and our life quality by give us chance to have training and get certified. This was a very important factor in area development.
    After she has gone we realized this indifference. Looking beyond, we can imitate this kind of management and be better professionals and better people.

    1. Thanks for sharing Ismael. I’m glad you had a chance to work with a manager that cares.

  4. Robert – All the work that you did at MS IS awesome. Your contributions to SQL community in general and DBM in particular is somethign which can not be expressed in few words.
    I still remember your contributions to DBTALK, Yukontq etc. Early on I got myself to think ‘maybe this guy doesnt have any work’ :-) and which was nowhere close to being true.

    Damagers (aka Manager)? – They suck [Period]! Especially the ones who are neither technical nor have leadership skills. There are so many groups @ MS which would turn so much better only if we could put few dummies in place of Damagers :-)
    I suggest don’t take it too personally! just stay +ve and keep working.

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I must admit that I did enjoy participating in the email groups.

  5. Too true, on both counts. As employees, it’s part of our job to keep our managers (or supervisors) up to date on what we are working on – we use the one-on-one format where I work.

    Sad to say I’ve seen the “if we train them they’ll just leave” attitude in some mangers, though luckily not my last several. I’ve been afforded training a number of times over the past 4 years, and I’m still with my employer. Long ago a co-worker went back to college, paid for by the company, and six months later they left. So it’s not just indifference – sometimes it’s experience on the part of the manager!

    I think the trick is to distinguish between TRAINING and PEOPLE. Some people will choose to leave, but the training isn’t the cause of the event. And sometimes indifference by the manager IS the cause. Just not always.

  6. Robert,

    I definitely agree with you that not training your employees is the starting point for those employees to start looking other opportunies. For me, the lack of training and challenges was the hint I needed to start looking at new horizons. As you when I notified my boss about me leaving the company what she said to me was “Have I treated you wrong?” “Well, wish you well, you know you can always come back?” Really?? She would have replaced me sooner that I’d changed my mind. Profesionally she never treated me “wrong” per say but moraly and ethically speaking she indirectly did through other coworkers, they way the address them and confronted them in front of others. Very sad. Of course there was no point to try to explain why I believe her actions and management style were wrong in my opinion. Some managers go around without even noticing the impact that they’re leaving behind and the demoralization they’re marking with to their employees. It’s hard to move on but some times that is the best step for the person and the professional in you. I love my new job now and my boss is great.

    1. Congrats on finding a job that you enjoy!

  7. Jimmy May, @aspiringgeek

    Knowing what a talented resource you are, that’s a sad tale indeed, Robert. Thanks for candidly sharing. One point in your post reminded me of a great quote I often use:
    “The only thing worse than training employees and having them leave is not training employees and having them stay.” —Zig Ziglar

    Tom, your comment is a great testament to the lost art of personal accountability. Good for you!

    1. Thanks Jimmy. You’ve been like a mentor to me for several years, and I owe you a great deal for the advice you’ve given me over the years.

  8. Thanks for sharing Robert.

    I’ve been a DBA for many years and always considered it was my responsibility to keep learning. The lack for training and lack of opportunities within most companies for DBAs and other IT staff seems to have become the norm.

    I’d blame our economy, but I’m not sure that isn’t just an excuse that too many companies are leaning on. They want you to do more with less, but with less personal time and less company supported training they may not like the results. What I’ll say is I totally agree with Zig Ziglar.

    So glad you found a manager who appreciates you!

  9. Thanks Linda. I totally agree.

  10. Great article. I feel like someone understands me. And the Harry Potter quote is perfection. Good luck in your search. I hope that you find a place that appreciates you!

    1. Thanks David! Actually, I think I am at a very good place now.

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