Here in the IT department we have loads of systems and applications we support. There are five that I would call ‘Supercritical.’ These are, in order of importance
- PeopleSoft, which handles all corporate employee data
- Payroll, which pays the bastards
- Kronos, a punchclock timekeeping system for our remote, hourly branches
- Remedy, our ticketing and ITIL system
- The company Intranet (I won’t give the internal name of it)
#5 is what I do at work. I keep it up and running. It’s an 11 server convoluted setup. While the application itself isn’t really critical to operations, it’s the absolute most visible of any apps company-wide, earning it a spot on the list. If I screw up, 80,000 employees know it. Fortunately I’m pretty good at keeping it stable.
#4 is the most reviled, hated system we run. It’s pretty important, as the help desk can’t really function without it. But it was poorly architected, poorly implemented, and breaks frequently. The vendor support we get on it is crap: we had to customize it a bit to make it useful for our setup, but if you customize it, they can’t offer much help anymore. In the end, we came up with a bastardized hybrid of what we NEED and the default. So it’s ugly.
The admin for #4, a friend of mine I’ve worked with for years, is under fire. The application breaks constantly, and because it’s so critical, it gets a lot of Directors interested. Said admin has to fight with both the horrible maintenance of it and the ITIL team who have unreasonable demands for it. I don’t envy him. He’s gotten to a point where he may either be fired, or quit over it. I wouldn’t be surprised at the latter (or the former, given what a negative reputation he’s unfairly accrued over it), because the FIRST admin we had for it quit too, about a year and a half ago.
Admin has no backup on this: if it breaks, it has to be him fixing it. I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m going to get asked to be the backup, such that when he leaves one way or the other, I become primary.
I really don’t want it. I have no knowledge of it (blissfully), but I also have my hands full. And yet I kinda see it coming. So I’m in a bit of a bind. Do I A) go into any potential meeting to discuss my backing it up with a ‘definitely not’ attitude and/or major salary increase demands, or B) suffer it like a good boy and be glad I’m employed at all? Keep in mind that it won’t help at review time: raises are a bitch to come by here, other than the standard annual increase.
I dunno. I dread what may be coming.