Mike Stone

Mostly The Lonely Howls Of Mike Baying His Ideological Purity At The Moon

Big Company Bureaucracy

11 Feb 2021

I have a day job. Of course I have a day job. It’s not like Fosstodon pays my bills. This week, my day job has been more than a little draining. I’m going to drop that in the lap of “Big Company Bureaucracy”.

I grew up in a small town in rural Montana. Saying “rural” and Montana in the same sentence is kind of redundant if you know much about Montana. Even it’s big cities are kind of rural.

I started working pretty young. My first jobs were jobs where I was quite often by myself in the middle of a field moving irrigation pipe or putting hay bales on the back of a flat bed. If I had company, it was another person fifty yards from me moving a different line of pipe, or on the other side of the truck hucking bales. Not a lot of conversations.

Eventually, I went off to college and got more and more technical jobs. Each time I got a new job, it always seemed to be with a bigger company than the last. I think, finally, I’ve reached the limits to what I can stand.

Of course, there’s benefits to working for a big company. To name one, budgets are significantly different when your company is making billions in profit than they are when your company is twenty people in a modified apartment building.

The problem with big companies is with size comes bureaucracy. Lots of it.

This week, I’ve literally spent more than three days just trying to get something installed on a server I use. I don’t have root access, or I’d just do it myself, but I can’t have root access because of concerns about separation of duties. So, I have a piece of third party software I want to install and I have yet to figure out what hoops I have to jump through just to get that done.

I know this will fix the issue I’m having because I installed it on my home computer and tested it in less than a minute. It’s super simple. Literally two commands and less than ten megabytes to download.

But I can’t get that done.

That’s just one of so many problems I’ve run into this week, I could rant for hours about it. I was so frustrated today I snapped at my five year old. When I saw how sad she looked, I apologized and tried to explain that it wasn’t her, it was this thing at work that was making me angry. She nodded and walked out of the room only to come back almost immediately with a pudding cup and a Diet Mountain Dew for me. She said she hoped it made me feel better. It did, but not about work.

I’ve been with this company for almost ten years now. It’s the longest I’ve ever stayed at a single job. Before that it was just short of five years, and before that barely over three.

Maybe it’s time to think about moving on? Maybe it’s time break that streak of only working for bigger and bigger companies?

I remember fondly the days where I could walk over to the desk of the NetSec guy and ask him to open a port for me on the firewall. I’d fill out the paperwork for the request sitting at his desk while he made the change. Seriously, those were the days.

Now, I feel like I’m just constantly beating my head against this massive wall of bureaucracy, and it takes forever to accomplish the most simple task. I understand why people with even a basic understanding of technology sometimes go rogue and throw a Pi on the network or something similar. The bureaucracy is sometimes just too much.

Maybe I’ve reached the point where it is for me too.

Day 11 of the #100DaysToOffload 2021 Series.

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