Jamie's Blog

Lessons from a life of startups, coding, countryside, and kids

“A Sign of the Times”

I’m going to swear now so turn away if you disapprove

“A sign of the times”
“In these difficult times”
“The world we live in”
“At least you still have a job”

I fucking hate these stupid platitudes which are currently being banded around in boardrooms up and down the country (including ours, this morning, when free tea & coffee was cancelled). It’s as if uttering one of these phrases makes everything ok, that we can’t argue with the choices, that we can’t dare to dream of something better. It’s that assumption that dreams must be abandoned that really irks me.

I’ve been moved from feature development, to backlog defect fixing, to customer development support, to QA on an entirely different product — all in the space of a year. I now work report to a manager in another country, work on a product which only 4 people in the building work on and I’ve been told, in no uncertain terms, not to look for development work within the QA role. I must simply accept my fate, play my part as the pawn to be moved about, and dance like a monkey performing the same repetitive manual test scripts. Oh, don’t even think about trying to automate that you naughty developer! This is screwing with my career and, whilst those decisions might make sense from a business perspective, this isn’t something I’m going to be happy with. I’m fucking pissed.

What will I do? Firstly, there are choices everywhere and anywhere, in every situation. So, I’m going to accept my lovely new QA role with open, if somewhat limp, arms. I’m going to do my job to a level which will neither get me fired nor garner me any awards or praise. I’ve abandoned any and all prospects of a long term career as an employee so I’m not trying to impress anyone here. I need to take my fate into my own hands and no longer be beholden to the decisions made in corporate boardrooms. I’m going to concentrate 100% of my life energy into starting a business and growing it to a level that will replace my full-time job. It’ll take time, possibly lots of time, but that’s even more reason to start. right. now.

I’ve also got a few new catchphrases for “these difficult times”: