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Thread: Just how mission critical are you?

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    Default Just how mission critical are you?

    After being on beyond for a few years now and in light of some more recent threads, it has become apparent that there are more than a few beyond members out there who appear to believe that they are so mission critical to the company they toil for that they are almost irreplaceable or that the company they toil for would almost come to a standstill if they weren't available.

    Now I have been an indentured schmuck for a large corporation, have worked for others in very small 2 man operations, have owned my small relatively small independent company and now just work for other companies as a subcontractor and at no time did I believe that I was not replaceable.

    But I have across many others over the years who thought they were almost god's gift to that company that they were working for and what a shock it was for them to be to be laid off or packaged out. I watched people at TELUS who had to be escorted out by security and police when their time came and yeah, what they were doing as an employee was maybe important but the company just soldiered on and either there was someone else who stepped up to do the work of that removed employee or it was quickly found out that that employee's specialized niche wasn't all that niche-like after all.

    As a company owner, I fairly quickly got people hired on that could run the place if I was gone and I mean run the place to the point that I could go off grid for 10 days straight which we did every year - nothing like fishing in a rowboat for 6-7 hours on a remote high mountain lake in BC where there was no services at all and the only company one had was moose, deer and the occasional bear in the woods.

    When I worked for someone else in a small 2 man operation, the owner of that company was able to take very remote getaways as we'll other continents bcause I could run the whole,operation but wth the same time I wasn't irreplaceable and when I opted to move on, the owner did find someone else to step in to cover my shifts.

    Now currently as a subcontractor, I am easily replaceable - I am not going to fool myself for one minute into some delusion that I am that important and/or valuable that I can't be replaced. As such, are you that untouchable, that valuable that the company you toil for can not continue to operate as normal if you're not around. I do get the sense that there are at least a few beyond members who place themselves on quite lofty plateaus although they are not remote plateaus because they need to be connected/available because important, eh.

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    If you are referring to the camping thread, it's less about some inflated sense of self-importance, and more about using fewer vacation days and inconveniencing co-workers less.
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    Yea if that's the thread you are talking about... That's the nature of some peoples jobs in this industry.

    Whether you are too important to be replaced is irrelevant, but if its your job in the moment to be available to take calls at all hours of the day then you cant be fucking off into the bush without making prior arrangements willy nilly. When operations have standby fees in the 10's of thousands of dollars an hour while they wait on Calgary to make a call. You answer the phone.

    Everyone can be replaced given enough time and inconvenience, that doesn't mean what they are doing isn't important in the moment and them not being there wont have significant impacts to the company.

    I am lucky enough to be so far down the call list that no one would ever call me ( plus i have no idea what I would do if they did ) but not everyone is so lucky.
    Last edited by killramos; 06-16-2020 at 07:55 AM.
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtraSlow View Post
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    If you are referring to the camping thread, it's less about some inflated sense of self-importance, and more about using fewer vacation days and inconveniencing co-workers less.
    Well that thread is what kick started this one but there are many other threads where my thoughts can be validated as well.

    If people actually believe that the being a bit less of an inconvenience to others or the company they work for makes them more valuable then they'll probably be in for a big shock some day - in the end, companies don't really give a damn about your skill sets when it comes to the crunch. You are simply a body with a number attached to it and when difficult decisions need to be made, your sacrifices will mean absolutely jack shit. Fuck, I have watched far too many so called valuable people let go over the years, people who thought their contributions would have more weight when crunch time came - what opener it was for those people.

    Always be humble, always be good at what you're required to do and don't ever fall into the trap of a sense of an over inflated self worth to the company you work for even if it's your own company - customers will set you straight on that very quickly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by killramos View Post
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    Yea if that's the thread you are talking about... That's the nature of some peoples jobs in this industry.

    Whether you are too important to be replaced is irrelevant, but if its your job in the moment to be available to take calls at all hours of the day then you cant be fucking off into the bush without making prior arrangements willy nilly. When operations have standby fees in the 10's of thousands of dollars an hour while they wait on Calgary to make a call. You answer the phone.

    Everyone can be replaced given enough time and inconvenience, that doesn't mean what they are doing isn't important in the moment and them not being there wont have significant impacts to the company.
    Heh, I watched TELUS walkout people on almost a moment's notice - people who many thought were invaluable and the company forged ahead with without the smallest blip showing up on their radar.

    I'm not saying one can just screw off into the bush without a bit of notice, hell, I can't do that as a simple peon-like subcontractor but everyone should be able to screw off into the bush and getting off grid is really good for one's self.

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedog View Post
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    Heh, I watched TELUS walkout people on almost a moment's notice - people who many thought were invaluable and the company forged ahead with without the smallest blip showing up on their radar.

    I'm not saying one can just screw off into the bush without a bit of notice, hell, I can't do that as a simple peon-like subcontractor but everyone should be able to screw off into the bush and getting off grid is really good for one's self.
    Do you just think its not reasonable for people to be on call or something? You know its not 365 days a year right?

    I mean, you do you, but people are well compensated for these inconveniences.

    Again, it has literally nothing to do with inflated senses of self importance, its just the nature of your job.

    Not every company is some massive organization like Telus where there are a dozen guys right behind you ready to take the call if you aren't either.
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

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    I'll just say, in regards to the camping thing, if I can leave for camping at noon Thursday but I have to stay in cell range, or I have to leave at 5pm Friday and I can go "to the bush", I'll stay in cell range with a smile on my face.
    I know exactly how replaceable I am, that has nothing to do with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by killramos View Post
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    Do you just think its not reasonable for people to be on call or something? You know its not 365 days a year right?

    I mean, you do you, but people are well compensated for these inconveniences.

    Again, it has literally nothing to do with inflated senses of self importance, its just the nature of your job.

    Not every company is some massive organization like Telus where there are a dozen guys right behind you ready to take the call if you aren't either.
    I have seen the same in smaller companies as well, I get it, you're important. Sorry for offending you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedog View Post
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    I have seen the same in smaller companies as well, I get it, you're important. Sorry for offending you.
    you still seem very incapable of understanding the difference between work being time sensitive, and conflating that with personal self importance.
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

    If you think I have been trying to present myself as intellectually superior, then you truly are a dimwit.
    Originally posted by Toma
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    I am replaceable. I've always built my teams so that everyone on my team, including myself, is fully replaceable and that things will move on without any one of us. Everything (as much as possible) needs to be documented so that others can carry on.

    I used to have a self importance complex. The company can't go on without me. Everything is in my head. It's very detrimental to personal life. I used to be the guy that can't be away from a laptop and internet at the drop of a hat. Shit goes down, nothing will get fixed without me. It's not worth it.

    We're employed because we do what we do efficiently and effectively.
    Originally posted by SEANBANERJEE
    I have gone above and beyond what I should rightfully have to do to protect my good name

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    Maybe people make themselves always available precisely because they are replaceable... And if they don't answer the phone they will get replaced.

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    I mean I can pass call off to someone else in the office when I am away but it just makes a mess for when I return - such is the nature of the consulting business in O&G though. If I am out of the Country i'll pass off most of my responsibilities, if I am at the lake for a week or something I'll hold onto it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    Maybe people make themselves always available precisely because they are replaceable... And if they don't answer the phone they will get replaced.
    That's probably a better way of saying it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rage2 View Post
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    I am replaceable. I've always built my teams so that everyone on my team, including myself, is fully replaceable and that things will move on without any one of us. Everything (as much as possible) needs to be documented so that others can carry on.

    I used to have a self importance complex. The company can't go on without me. Everything is in my head. It's very detrimental to personal life. I used to be the guy that can't be away from a laptop and internet at the drop of a hat. Shit goes down, nothing will get fixed without me. It's not worth it.

    We're employed because we do what we do efficiently and effectively.
    This is exactly how I run my team as well.
    In fact I have a guy on my team who could very likely step right into my role tomorrow if needed.

    I've never been a believer in hindering the experience gained by another employee in order to "protect my job".
    If I want to move up, its my job to make sure I have someone to replace me.

    That said, as of this moment I am one of the main "Calgary" guys, and I am on call quite frequently.
    If I plan on taking time off, I make arrangements for coverage.

    Nature of a 24/7 business.

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    I obviously missed all the excitement. Then again, I would never click on a thread that had any sort of reference to "camping". Gross.

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    Everyone is replaceable. Several years ago in my small company (<5) one guy was responsible for everything sales and marketing related, and in most cases he was the only one interacting with all of our resellers and customers. He felt like he was irreplaceable, and if anything, he wanted to be the CEO because he thought he was already managing so many parts of the business. When I took over the company, as part of the restructuring I had to let him go to manage costs. When he left he told me the business is doomed because he's the face of the company and I can't do what he does.

    Well when I told our resellers/customers the guy is no longer with us, all of them just said " oh okay! We will just talk to you then". Not only did we not lose any business, but sales grew >30% the year after. So yeah, very replaceable.

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    replaceability is usually correlated to compensation. All things being equal the highest paid people are usually the ones that are harder to replace.

    It's why CEOs and pro athletes get paid so much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rage2 View Post
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    i am replaceable. I've always built my teams so that everyone on my team, including myself, is fully replaceable and that things will move on without any one of us. Everything (as much as possible) needs to be documented so that others can carry on.

    I used to have a self importance complex. The company can't go on without me. Everything is in my head. It's very detrimental to personal life. I used to be the guy that can't be away from a laptop and internet at the drop of a hat. Shit goes down, nothing will get fixed without me. It's not worth it.

    We're employed because we do what we do efficiently and effectively.
    qft


    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    The benefit of masks is not known at this time. But we do know it is some non-trivial amount more than zero.

    We also know that the cost of mask use is, essentially, zero.

    So the cost:benefit of mask use is approaching infinity. I'll take that every time. And every time I see someone without a mask, I think they are stupid.

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    I'd say 4/10 or maybe 5/10. On one hand I'm completely replaceable, they could likely hire and train a replacement in ~3 months kind of thing but thats also because lots of things are well documented and organized. I think that's a good thing tbh because lets be real, after a couple years I'd rather jump on better opportunities than stay somewhere for life. I do say partially mission critical just because working on some projects that have to happen during turnarounds could get impacted if I dropped off the earth. It might be hard for someone to pick it up, learn on the fly, and still execute it on time when we have the shutdown windows at site.

    As for if I could shift to working from a remote connection while camping ... probably, I use VPN+Remote Desktop so even if I'm running some scripts and my internet dies, the computer keeps chugging along. So it would be painful with tons of input lag but I could probably still keep things rolling along slowly for a while. Couldn't do it forever but could likely get ahead on work and then coast for a bit and then play catchup without any impact on my team members / projects.
    Last edited by pheoxs; 06-16-2020 at 09:02 AM.
    Nolan

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    Even worse than being replaceable is when you get laid off and they don't even both to replace you. Had that happen to me, although, the role was designed for an environment that didn't exist shortly after I showed up. Although they then hired me back for a consulting thing for a bit. Job roles are transactions, and I'm slowly getting my head around that.
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