When Times are Tough, Do You Rise to the Occasion?

This is a reprint of my editorial in Database Weekly.

Scenario One: The new third-party application, purchased by your company without your involvement, is performing poorly on SQL Server. As the DBA, you are getting a lot of flak from users and management, but your hands are severely tied as to what you can do to fix the problem.

Scenario Two: The IT budget has been cut, one DBA position has been lost, and the money promised to replace your aging hardware is nowhere to be seen. And, by the way, you now have to take over all the duties that the laid off DBA used to do.

When faced with difficult times such as these, what do you do? Do you:

  • Tell management, "If you had only listened to me in the first place"?
  • Whine and complain to anyone who will listen?
  • Keep quiet, but seethe with internalized anger and resentment?
  • Get back at the company by doing something professionally unethical?
  • Look for counseling with friends, co-workers, or even professionals, to get you through the tough times?
  • Start looking for a new job?
  • Accept the world for what it is and plough ahead, doing the best you can with what you’ve got?

At one time or another, everyone has been dealt an unfair hand, and life is just not fair. Sometimes the problems are small, like not getting the new server you wanted, or having to work overtime. In most cases, minor issues can be brushed aside because they are just small bumps in the road.

On the other hand, as in the scenarios described above, the problems can be major and can significantly affect how you feel about yourself and others, often shaking your self-confidence, maybe even leading to depression.

So my question to you is this: When you have been placed, through no fault of your own, in a really bad situation at work, how do you deal with it? What has worked for you, and what hasn’t?

One thought on “When Times are Tough, Do You Rise to the Occasion?

  1. First off you have to see what you can do to rise up and do your best in spite of the circumstances. Some times things will improve in the future and if you can wait it out you’ll be happy you were able to learn that you used your skills to survive the bad times. If things don’t work out then look for another job if you wish, but don’t do anything bad that you’ll regret later.

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