Let me tell you about George*. And my job. If you know me or have read my journal, or even just tried to sell me a mobile phone on the street, you'd know that I hate my job. I hate it with such vigour that 2 and 3/4 years after I started here, I've become extremely complacent, lazy and irritable towards the users here, students and staff alike. I make no apologies for that. As long as I stay on the good side of my boss, I don't really give a shit what happens here. If you hate your job as much as I do, you generally do just enough work to stay employed.
Why do I hate it so much? Many reasons, and on the other hand, there are a mountain of reasons why this is such a great job (for example, that I even have the opportunity to access the Internet during work time, let alone sometimes spending entire days reading Wikipedia).
But this isn't about me coming to terms with my job and my always present dilemma: "I'm miserable and want to leave my job, but can I find another job that pays as much that is as laid back and easy?". It's about what's pissing me off today. And George.
I first met George when I started here. He was an apprentice that I worked with and we became quite good friends even though we are complete opposites. He's a metrosexual, trendy cafe` hopper with an insatiable appetite for perving on women. An only child to rich parents, he went to one of Australia's finest kill-bot factories/private schools.
After his apprenticeship finished, he pissed off for a while, but I still kept in semi-regular contact with him on MSN while he went off to a private IT college and got an MCSA (Microsoft Certified System Administrator). Earlier this year, my offsider got a promotion (which I also went for, and lost to her much to my dismay) which left me alone as the sole support person. My boss at the time asked if I'd like to hire someone to fill in the empty spot, so I chose George. He came in for a quick interview with my boss and myself and started work a few days after.
Like I said before, George and I are complete opposites down to the finest detail. The only thing we have in common is comedy; we both have the same "disgusting" senses of humour and like the same movies. But apart from that, we're chalk and cheese.
So, when I say I'm irritable towards the users here, George is of course, very polite and often goes out of his way to help them, even if it's not within our scope of support (which most of the time, it isn't). He says hello to people he doesn't know, but has seen them walking around. I, on the other hand, ignore everyone. I make it clear to everyone here, that I'm here to work (or not) and not to socialise. I'm also quite good with computers and networks (I'm trying to remain modest, here). In fact, I know a lot more about computers than all of the "IT teachers" here. This may sound like I'm tooting my own horn, but it's true. I even know more about computers than my old co-worker that got the promotion ahead of me. In fact, I know a lot more about computers than George does, and I'll remind you again, George became an MCSA between the two times he worked here. Yeah. Does this make me feel good? Yes. And no. Because I'll never be able to afford the thousands of dollars it takes to become an MCSA, my job opportunities are severely limited, while George could probably walk into one of hundreds of jobs I'd rather have, because he spent $10,000 and a year of his life getting an MCSA.
Now, it doesn't bother me that he has an MCSA. It doesn't bother me that he's polite to people. It doesn't bother me that a lot of people find him attractive. It bothers me that it affects our work.
These days, people only call me for assistance if they can't find George. Doesn't bother me. Great. Stop annoying me and go see him. However, on the rare occasion that someone asks me about something first, they will usually go and ask George if I don't give them the answer they want. They will ask George without mentioning they'd already asked me. George rings me, and asks the same question, to which I chew him out because I just answered that question, and I have to AGAIN answer it.
This morning, I overheard two teachers walking down the hall, one an experienced full-timer, the other a new part-timer. The full-timer said "Yeah, if you can't find George, just come and see Kristen. He's the number 2 guy." I'm sure he didn't know I could hear him, but i'm now really pissed off because someone has the opinion that I'm "the number 2 guy". It pisses me off because George needs to ask me how to do everything. If he does something on his own accord, more often than not, it fucks up and I have to fix it, or tell him how to fix it, or show him how to do it properly. I handle EVERY problem in the college in some way, because George has to ask at least one piece of advice on everything he does. A lot of times, it's work specific stuff that I wouldn't expect him to know, but even more times it's stuff that an MCSA should know, and not have to ask me, who has only has an HSC.
One of the most frustrating conversations happened about a week ago:
FT Teacher: "Did you change the ColdFusion password? I can't log in"
Me: "Mmmm... no mate, you're the only one that uses it. It's kind've your responsibility to keep it safe"
FTT:" Oh... well it's changed. It's supposed to be ***** but it doesn't work"
I tried it myself, he's right. It doesn't work.
Me: "Hmm, I have no idea. I'll look into it shortly but I don't know how the hell I'm gonna get around that"
FTT: "Oh, then don't worry about it. I'll just go ask George"
At this point, I felt like Bruce Banner.
Me: "No offence to George, I'm not trying to bad mouth him, but he would be even more lost than I am, and he'd call me to ask the same question"
It's just getting too much, and it's really proving to me that you don't need technical know-how... even if your job depends on it. Just flash a smile, look pretty, and you can avoid being "the number 2 guy".
*Name changed just in case he reads this, which is possible. Then again he'll know it's about him anyway :/