IT & Ballet

After watching the latest performance by the Smuin Ballet I’ve come to realize that those of us who work in IT are a lot like the male dancers in ballet.
You see, all this time, I thought that the women had the tough part. They toss themselves around and do all these amazing moves while the guys just kind of stand there, doing a leap every now and again. But, as I watched this performance, it finally occurred to me that the men have the toughest part. They’ve got to hoist these very solid women above them and make it look like it’s not hard. I know I can deadlift 120 pounds over my head, but it certainly ain’t graceful. They do it repeatedly and make it look like nothing. There are a myriad of other things they do which I won’t even try to talk about, since I’m much more a viewer of this than anything else, but the basic fact is that the guys are crucial, yet don’t get as much fame as the ladies.
Such is the case with we minions in IT. We make everything run and need to do it all behind the scenes so that no one notices that anything has gone wrong. Are we crucial to operations? Oh, you betcha. Do we get any praise? Nope, not at all. All of that goes to the sales force for meeting their numbers or maybe marketing for doing whatever they do. I remember one instance at a previous company where I was forced to attend a company meeting and watch the marketing group get lauded with congratulations and gift certificates to spas and dinners for planning an event that took about a month to pull off. Myself and my staff had completed a full upgrade to the company systems which took six months to plan and about three to finally get it all fine tuned with a lot of weekends and pain in there. Spas and dinners? Uh-uh. Praise and thanks? Nope sir. All I got were “pointers” on how I could have done the job differently from someone who had no understanding or graspe of what we had done. That just rocks!
So, like a male ballet dancer, do you do IT for the thrill and the artistry of it? There are some that might, but I have yet to see the glamor of crawling down an elevator shaft to find a severed twisted pair or explain to something why when they throw something in the trash can on their computer, it’s gone. No, I think that most of us do have a love of the machines, but in all honesty, we really just do it for the money.