Friday, February 11, 2005

Dealing with children

nope, not the non voting kind. I have no idea how to cope with my step kids but that's the subject of another hundred posts .

No, the children I'm talking about here are those fellow employees who act like children. One of my fellow employees (and I really hope he reads this though I won't bring it to his attention) seems to have a bee in his bonnet. Actually he's not a fellow employee - I'm on salary; he's on contract. What seems to have sparked it is this;

I'm supposed to be in charge of the release process. This means I get to do the final builds, install the software on a few virgin machines and verify that it all still works. If it does I then create the CD images, do some test CD burns and install the software (from the CD) on a few virgin machines and verify that it still works. If it does then I print the labels, paste em onto the CD's, retest each CD and fill out the paperwork to have them shipped to various parts of the world. A glamorous task no? No!!

As you'll be wearingly familiar with; for the past month and a half or more I've been travelling. Since I'm the one doing the software release process this means that unless I happen to be in the right place at the right time the software release doesn't happen. Thus it was for January. My sin was that I didn't remember to remind one member of the team (the only member of the team who doesn't travel) that I would not be there to do the release. The release didn't happen. Did the thunder of the gods descend on that team member for the failure? Of course not. Nor, to be fair, did it descend upon my head - those in the position to dispense thunder and lightning understood.

Nonetheless, ever since then every single email exchange with that one team member includes a snide and childish comment about how unimportant he is; he's only the programmer. Uh huh, yes he is. If there's one thing I've learned in 20 years of being a developer it's that the process of actually writing the software is probably the least important part of the whole thing. I've restrained myself until now; only once have I asked how often he intends to milk my one mistake. Interestingly, his reply to that question (the whole exchange took place in email) was to back away and remind me of how unimportant he is in the scheme of things. It all reminded me of Uriah Heep!

He doesn't make it easy to actually remember his existence; he works on a part of the software that I don't have much to do with apart from wrapping it into the CD release; he also doesn't bother to show up in the office. I think I've seen him maybe 10 days in the last 7 months so it's not difficult to imagine him dropping off my radar.

Ah well, I don't expect a solution. I just needed to vent and who better to vent with than you, my gentle readers.

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