November 23rd 2019
Today it was my friend Harry’s last day at work. I’m gonna miss him because he was one of my closest friends at work, but also because he gave a shit. And that’s a rare trait. He’s a front-end web developer, and he’s the most competent one we’ve had in my three years at the company. And we’ve had a few. And not only is he good because he’s technically proficient, but he’s good because he knows what’s required and works with you to find the answer, rather than having to have a completely prescribed brief in order to start working.
Despite that, he’d got to the point where he felt it was necessary to leave because he’d been mismanaged and undervalued, and he’d had it with the bureaucracy.
I’ve started an office drinking game (without alcohol) where every time someone says the word ‘process’ I say the word ‘shot’ (instead of actually having a shot).
If I did actually take a shot each time, I’d be hammered 24/7. Because there’s so many stupid, tedious, unnecessary processes that get in the way of anyone actually doing the work. In his tem particularly. Harry was good because he went around the processes, and he went around the processes because he cared more about getting work done than following processes. (if you’re playing along at home, that was four shots in that paragraph)
But what is rewarded in the company isn’t people who get the work done, it’s people who follow processes. And that’s why Harry’s gone. And in his place we have Jira, or Kanban, or Scrum, or whatever flavour the process ice cream is this week. As well as a PowerPoint presentation and a game of heads down thumbs up.
And the cycle will repeat. You either shut up and trust the process, or you find another job. That’s how it will go. That’s how it went for Harry, and other people will go too. And the people who care will get frustrated, and the people who don’t care will blindly submit.
And I’m not perfect. I have a lot of flaws. But you can never say that I don’t care.
Until tomorrow, good luck, H.