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Am I working too hard?

At my job, I am the only programmer in our IT group.  I am a developer, database administrator, project manager, analyst, and tech writer.  I am also expected to "help out" during emergencies and networking outages. 

My co-workers are distracting.  I'm trying to work and they spend half their time talking and it's a distraction.  They're either putting their heads together to solve a problem that one of them should be able to solve, talking about non-work related stuff, complaining about management, or making personal phone calls on company time. 

It seems that some co-workers who don't have enough to do.  They spend a lot of their time playing games or surfing the web while I'm busting ass.  They are paid just as much for only a fraction of the work.

My boss knows NOTHING about what I do, so it is also my job to not only go to meetings to deal with upper management, but do the work as well.  There are so many projects that they want done, but I can only do so much.

And then there are the typical office politics and a couple annoying co-workers....but that's the case in pretty much any job.

All of this stresses me out a bit.  Am I being taken advantage of or should I be happy I am responsible for so much and learn how to deal with the stress better?
Jack
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
 
 
Get a better job. You will stagnate and be obselete if you stay there. Also, you'll never move up.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007
 
 
Well, you are not recognized as anything more than your coworkers. I would say that they are gaming the system and you are going above and beyond. So long as you can accept some of these people being promoted above you or getting more than their share of the credit, then you are fine.

enjoy:)
anon
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
 
 
I faced exactly the same situation. Idiots who don't work got promoted ahead of me and I'm moving.
Kannan J Send private email
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
 
 
Start looking for a new job. We don't want the "p" word moving from "postal" to "programmer". :)
Ryan Smyth Send private email
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
 
 
In an ideal world work would always be a strict and fair meritocracy. Unfortunately this rarely happens.

My suggestion would be to make your efforts visible to your boss. Start having daily stand-up meetings as a team, get your efforts a bit more organized as a group, and generally just make it harder to hide.

Granted, if you can't get any buy-in from your boss on any of this then yes, you are screwed. You can work as hard as you want, but if you don't have the support of those directly in charge of you then are might as well start looking for another job.
Larry Myers
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
 
 
Assuming you stay there, I reccomend ear plugs. I use the bright orange ones... seriously... They are visible, so people know I'm 'plugged up' & leave me alone. When you're plugged up & someone still stops to chat, take the plugs out with a huff & give them the "WHAT?" glare. You gotta train these idiots.. Be the alpha dog.
back woods coder
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
 
 
Jack, have you told your boss everything you told us here? If so, who could your boss know nothing about your job? If not, why would you expect to be recognized for all that you do?

Talk to the people that are in charge of you and let them know your concerns and what you do for the organization. If things continue to be problematic, you have to decide if you like the job enough to hang around, do you have any hope of fixing what's bothering you, or do you need to move on?

Assuming that you are doing as good a job as you think you are doing, I don't see how they won't try to make some adjustments to help you better do your job, reward you for your effort, or both.

They also may take the view that what you are doing IS your job, in which case you are probably SOL and they will think you are simply whining.
Bart Park
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
 
 
Get a job offer from elsewhere, quit, then offer your services as a contractor for an insane amount, and see what happens.
mynameishere
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
 
 
Here is the question to ask yourself...

how much are you learning?
Are you getting better?
Is working hard going to help you get a better job?

If the answer to these is yes, disregard your co-workers. if you think you know enough to get another job, do it.

the key is keep learning.
Contractor
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
 
 
You might want to read the 48 Laws of Power... while looking for a new job.
Documentation Doctor Send private email
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
 
 
You are in control and do not recognize it.  That is the way management wants it to be because it would be very difficult to replace you.  When I entered the field well over twenty years ago, what you are doing at work was the norm.  However, in the day and age of the hyper-specialized, pigeon-holed, lower-skilled workforce, you are the exception.  You need to exert your dominance or management is going to continue to dominate you.
Be firm
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
 
 
maybe, you should get a new job. But, "Work Distribution" problems is a constant problem. This often happens!

I know in our group of 9, that 3 of us have been working a lot of hours.
Patrick From An IBank Send private email
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
 
 
I suggest you do a little reading:
Negotiation for Dummies http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0470045221
Get a Raise in 7 Days http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1570230994

Then try to get a raise, and if you don't like the turn out, find a new job.  Your coworkers are pretty standard office fare at full time jobs.  Perhaps you should jump on to the contractor boat, then you won't have to deal with those kind of people.
TravisO Send private email
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
 
 
"I faced exactly the same situation. Idiots who don't work got promoted ahead of me and I'm moving."

This seems to be a very common problem these days.  Is this the case in all large companies?  Seems the bullshitters are the ones getting ahead while those who get stuff done are left behind.

"My suggestion would be to make your efforts visible to your boss. Start having daily stand-up meetings as a team, get your efforts a bit more organized as a group, and generally just make it harder to hide."

My boss is well aware of my efforts.  There are a few co-workers who seem jealous and do what they can to distract me.

" Approving … 
Assuming you stay there, I reccomend ear plugs. I use the bright orange ones... seriously... They are visible, so people know I'm 'plugged up' & leave me alone. When you're plugged up & someone still stops to chat, take the plugs out with a huff & give them the "WHAT?" glare. You gotta train these idiots.. Be the alpha dog."

Thanks for the tip, I'll have to try that.  I tried wearing earphones a couple times and playing music but a couple of them go further out of their way to distract me (i.e. speak louder or walk up to my desk and try to get my attention).

"Assuming that you are doing as good a job as you think you are doing, I don't see how they won't try to make some adjustments to help you better do your job, reward you for your effort, or both."

I can try that and see what happens.  My boss seems to value my work.  It gets frustrating to be stressed out and have to work my ass while there are so many slackers around who are getting by just fine.

"You are in control and do not recognize it.  That is the way management wants it to be because it would be very difficult to replace you.  When I entered the field well over twenty years ago, what you are doing at work was the norm.  However, in the day and age of the hyper-specialized, pigeon-holed, lower-skilled workforce, you are the exception.  You need to exert your dominance or management is going to continue to dominate you. "

What is the best way to do that without ruffling feathers?
Jack
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
The best way is to prepare yourself for the next job and get the resume out there. You might be surprised with a much better work environment.
anon
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
Learn to manage upwards. That is what gets you raises and promotions.

Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
I made a rather significant error a few years back; I was under the impression that the boss wanted results; wanted deadlines met and code written and whatnot. 

You know what?  Some bosses really don't want productivity at the absence of everything else.  It sounds crazy but it's true.  Especially the ones wanting to be a 'good' boss - they'd rather have 10% less productivity, but have everyone get along, and they don't mind a little chatter.  They do mind people who are confrontational and arrogant, which I was.

Long story short - it could be that where you're going wrong is in not being enough of a convivial underachiever.  If that's not your bag, cool - but you need to pay really close attention to the corporate culture when you go looking for your next job.  There are a lot of corporate cultures that don't center around productivity and achievement.  There are also some which consider it a mark against you if you think your coworkers are idiots.

Sunday, May 06, 2007
 
 

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