Author’s Note: I’ve been away on vacation and this post was supposed to feature before I left.
Recently, I was let go from my contracting job. Everyone I worked with acted like my dismissal was the worst thing that could happen to me. While startling for me, I never received negative feedback on my performance, I felt circumspect on my situation. For many of my, now former, colleagues, change was a bad thing. My former coworkers desired the status quo even though the job was not all that great.
In this age of COVID-19, protests, and unrest, I understand why people would cling to the status quo. However, sometimes the best thing for someone is to be forced to change and grow. True growth is not without pain. The sudden and unexpected dismissal was painful for me.
I think that the pain is what keeps people from moving forward. The status quo, no matter how bad, is less painful than embracing the change and unknown. Without the pain of change though, people are like Sisyphus; stuck rolling the same boulder up the same hill everyday. No matter the struggle, the reality of the status quo is more real than leaving the boulder behind.
Yea and I beheld Sisyphus in strong torment, grasping a monstrous stone with both his hands. He was pressing thereat with hands and feet, and trying to roll the stone upward toward the brow of the hill. But oft as he was about to hurl it over the top, the weight would drive him back, so once again to the plain rolled the stone, the shameless thing. And he once more kept heaving and straining, and the sweat the while was pouring down his limbs, and the dust rose upwards from his head.Homer
What if Sisyphus’s struggle was ended by leaving the task of pushing the boulder up hill? That is the question I am asking. As Information Technology (IT) professionals, we are compelled to push the boulder up the hill, even if the hill and the boulder are not there. I believe the uncertain nature of IT has produced this attitude in IT professionals.
Software engineering is an uncertain science. A programmer can write code that will misbehave in unexpected ways. By the very nature of code, the Sisyphean task is created. That is why I believe IT professionals accept the status quo, no matter who employs the IT professional, the job is always rolling the boulder up the hill.