I have been doing this job for ~6 years. 3 years, then a hefty gap, and now coming up on another 3 years in another month and a half.
I love the work – I love figuring out why the software isn’t doing what we expect it to do. I love noodling around with data to get to that “Here’s the problem!!” moment.
The work is one thing. The job…well, the job has become utterly fucking exhausting. Our staffing has gone a bit to shit, as we’ve been losing senior people through normal attrition (you just cannot do this job forever) and they’re hard to replace, and it’s put quite a lot of pressure on those that remain.
When I started, senior management said they were actively working on keeping senior staff off blind incoming call duty as much as possible. The opposite has happened and near half my day is doing blind incoming calls.
I’m on call 8 times in 2019, including the week of Christmas. This means availability overnights and the weekend, for an amount of overtime pay that is…not really good enough to be stuck at home praying that the phone doesn’t ring. And it usually has me burning a day of leave the Monday after so I can actually have a day off, since it trashes the weekend.
And leave…we have two subgroups in the department, and only two people from each subgroup can be off on any given day. That makes scheduling time off colorful to say the least. I’m putting in leave requests 9 months to a year in advance right now to have a chance at them getting approved before someone else gets the day.
And beyond leave, there’s just no flexibility. Your hours are set, your lunch is set. Coming in early just means a longer day. Stay late and you’re not getting that time back either. 9/80? Not happening.
And we’ve gotten a flood of untrained new clients, which just makes everything harder. They’re angry because changing software sucks, and there is only so much we can do before we have to tell them that we can’t train them.
This weekend I saw that there are two brand new openings in testing. Testing, the thing I do every day. The description stresses product knowledge over testing software knowledge, and states most testing will be manual. So, that is very me. This has always been a direction I thought I could eventually go in, since I knew I couldn’t do this forever. (Look at me kinda thinking ahead for once in my career.)
There would be no on call. Little, if any, client interaction. Work schedule flexibility. No racing to beat someone else for time off. No annual conference. At least 3 holidays a year that I wouldn’t be working.
Sure, there would be a learning curve for automated testing, but I know the product, and I know how clients use it, and I know how to manually test things.
But if I apply for it, word is eventually going to get back to my bosses. If I got it, they’ll be understandably annoyed with me, but I’ll be out of sight, out of mind soon enough. If I don’t get it…I’ll be the asshole who wanted to leave and who knows the long term consequences of that.
Well, I’ve sent the email to compensation to find out what the pay band is. We shall see.