We're not, my peers at work and I, interchangeable; we have different skills sets, different strengths and weaknesses, different subsets of the equipment and facilities that we know well or poorly. Unlike ants, we can't leave an unambiguous scent trail for one another, either.
All of that is by way of explaining why, when my boss cc;'d me on some e-mail regarding some fairly complex work interfacing with an outside contractor at a site (the near-abandoned North Campus of our Skunk-Workings) I know very well, and was sending a tech who does not know it at all well, I suggested to him that I'd better go up there and at help our guy and the outside guy find what they need.
"Do you really think you need to go up there?"
"Well, the cables aren't marked and if they get into the wrong one, it will shut the whole place down."
"Oh, it's not that complicated...."
"No, it's very, very simple: there are single points of failure all through that system and freeing up a connection point will require identifying the ones that are no longer in use." (The ones a former middle manager told me it was "not an efficient use of time" for me to ID and remove!)
Why do I bother? Some days I wonder if I should just let 'em shut the place down through refusal to recognize that in Engineering, we have specific areas of expertise and assigned responsibility. Decades ago, I was hired on to be the person-on-the-scene at the North Campus. The far more reliable equipment we use now has reduced the need to have someone there from 40 hours a week to almost zero -- but it didn't change the history of me having installed most of what's up there, nor has my responsibility for it ever been changed; I just never get time up there until something has either already failed or I can see a problem coming and try to head it off.
And I have to beg 'em to do that.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
9 months ago