Management Information Systems Grad…..I Am Incompetent

OK – where to start? Well…

I graduated from College in 1993 with a degree in Management Information Systems degree from a descent school. In school I was always intelligent (to a point) and when I actually managed to focus on a task or subject I did well. Most of the time, however, I could not focus on the lesson and just made up for it by studying the night before a test.

I had no real skills when I graduated from school, except for some rudimentary COBOL programming I had picked up in a programming class. So, I crammed for my first job interviews by using my COBOL text books (just like I did before exams).

I got an entry level job programming for a small company that made a very bad mortgage processing application. I worked my but off and was constantly studying and testing stuff in my free time. That go-getter attitude and work ethic was mainly fueled by the belief that I was basically incompetent and was going to be found-out any day.

This over-prepared, looking-for-more-responsibility, “have you read the latest article”, testing-software-in-my-home-computer-lab life went on from 1993 to 2000.

I had always been kind of nervous at work and convinced I was about to be fired. That is what fueled me (well I also wanted to make lots of money to feel better about myself). It seemed to be working as my salary went from 25k in ‘93 to a peak of about 95k in 2000. Anyway my life has changed since then…

I started realizing (when I started taking Zoloft in 2000 – to help with that anxiety) that I really never enjoyed my work and the areas of my life that it affected. I had become really tired of being afraid of being fired and of social situations in general. I mean – I don’t f#$king need people to like me! I stopped people pleasing (somewhat) and decided that my time off work was OFF WORK. No more spending all my free time doing work I wasn’t getting paid for. The other result is that if I couldn’t keep up with my work during work hours (and yes I still did stay late occasionally) then its completion date was moved back.

I imagine that this is when I started to become an incompetent “paper CNE/MCSE” (IE with certifications for things I had not worked with). I noticed my lack of real life experience with technology no longer hindered me from studying it the night before, going into a client, and hoping it worked as expected.

I think I had begun to assume that everyone lied on the resume (a little) and figured they could get the hang of it as they went – and maybe some do.

Perhaps I just reached the plateau of that “hard work pay’s off” bullshit- taken it as far as I could with my level of skill and education. Nobody was giving me the opportunity to get into management and I hadn’t gotten a MBA or anything. This combined with the crash of the technology boom has brought me to here.

Here sucks. I am in a job where I am suppoed to be an Exchange email expert and an Active Directory expert. All my REAL Exchange experience was in version 5.5 (several verisons ago) and I have fucked up a couple client projects with my incompetence. I managed to bullshit out of personal responsibility each time, but am sickened by my lack of integrity. To boot, my company HAS TO wonder how it can’t be my fault (where there’s smoke…) Anyway – I am just waiting to get fired. (That would be 3 times since 2000) My salary (5 years later) is 85k. Still repectable but 10k less than it was FIVE years ago. That’s wrong.

I did have one 3 month project (out of my 6 months in this job) that went well (no Exchange involved) but that doesn’t make up for the fuckups. You are EXPECTED to have things go well MOST of the time.

Again – I am not stupid, and have an aptitude and a lot of theoretical knowledge, but am completely incompetent for this job.

I don’t want to always be playing catchup with things I need to know, and I want to do a good job and get fair pay for it.

I think I need to quit being a consultant and just become a help desk guy. The pay would have to be less, but I can’t take this anymore…