Friday, February 10, 2006

KOOKY series: It's a Soap Opera life

Let's just say that you need a house to live in. So your husband, who fancies himself a bit of a handyman, and knows "a little bit" about building a house, decides to build a house for the two of you. His knowledge is from reading books, learning bits here and there from the internet and just really tinkering around a little in his spare time. He's the "expert", or so he thinks.

So he builds it and for cheap. Now he wants to hook up the plumbing to the main sewer lines and hook up the electricity to the main electrical lines. But he can't because he's built the house incorrectly, not everything is to code. He forgets that he needs to put in insulation in the roof, but there's insulation in the walls. And the indoor porch that he was hoping to put in next year, well, he doesn't have the proper foundation for it. It doesn't even enter to his brain that it may be a prudent thing to do to consult real experts for an opinion.

However, when he does approach the city for hookup to the main sewer and electrical lines, the city comes in and helps him patch up his shoddy job, hooks him up and he's good to go. When one side of the house collapses, the city comes in again to patch things up an makes it better. And get this, your husband hasn't paid a cent to the city for their help.

Also, when the city tries to tell him that there are things that he has done incorrectly or things that he didn't plan out properly, he huffs and he puffs and tells them that they have no idea what they are talking about. He laughs in their face when they say that doing anything like building the porch is going to cost more money. In fact, the city should build the porch for him, and for free.

The two of you move into your house, and live happily ever after, or until the next problem arises, where then this vicious cycle arises.

Sounds crazy? Welcome to my world. This is what is happening right now. I realize that this seems to be an extreme-ish example, and I will admit that it's a little over the top, but this is to really illustrate the point that I'm going to make.

We have a bunch of different people in different areas who think they are the "experts". We call them "IT-By-Accident". And a lot of times, that's where their expertise is from, learning from books and the internet. Taking a course here and there. But they have never worked or had experience from a proper environment. No one had shown them how things should work and how things should be set up. You don't learn that stuff from a book or from a course; it's from experience.

However, we end up having to save these people from themselves, and they expect us to do so for free. Never mind that it took weeks and weeks to fix, and we had to put aside our own work to save their butts. (How many of you out there had to clean up other people's messes in your own jobs. Fun, eh?)

Why is it this way? To tell you, I'd have to get into politics of my situation, something that I'm not really keen on doing. Just keep in mind that your tax dollars are partially paying for this.

Yes, pretty frustrating. But I keep in mind that we are not the only group that like this. This happens all over the place, in both the public and private sectors. There are a lot of "IT-By-Accident" people out there. For some very unknown reason, they keep on getting hired. I'm am not slogging all the "IT-By-Accident" types out there. Some are actually pretty competent. However, many are not. And there is more going on behind the scenes than just what I've mentioned (ie, politics), but you get the gist of it.

Baby steps, that's all we can do to hopefully change things around. Sigh.

(The picture above is the character Danny Baldwin from the British soap "Coronation Street". This picture cracks me up every time I see it. And it also goes to show how ridiculous the situation, so much so that we can only laugh at it. )

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