boredom

My current job bores me to death. The workload varies predictably across the year due to the industry. Unfortunately, we have a ludicrous workload during March-early April (delivering 3 sites a week for about a 5 week period, totally insane) but then it suddenly just vanishes, and it’ll be this way for at least a few months yet. For the last two weeks I’ve literally done no real work at all. It is mind numbing. And the fact is that the work was never exactly fascinating at the best of times. The job I was offered has never actually materialised and instead I’m doing boring menial things.

It won’t progress into anything better because the company does not see a real need for software engineering. It has no software expertise at all, apart from our ‘senior’ developer who works remotely 9 days out of 10 and doesn’t write unit tests or use version control, or, apparently, think there’s anything wrong with unhandled exceptions when the user enters empty data. I avoid his code as much as possible but occasionally I have to fix his JavaScript; he doesn’t indent it consistently, bugs creep in because he seems to think that ‘this‘ magically inherits the value of whatever he was thinking about at the time (so we get lots of silent failures when he wraps it with jQuery), he uses arguments.callee … he writes the kind of things you see on the Daily WTF. This is why I’ve not really pushed it that I’ve not ended up doing the job I was offered – because realistically, the best case scenario would be my inheriting responsibility for a lot of really shit code.

They had a chance to improve the situation when they recently hired a new project manager. I have no idea what the hiring criteria was, but apparently a distant vague awareness of how to create software was not one of them. I am genuinely dismayed and baffled by the choice. The only thing she seems to have any familiarity of is SEO, which is cargo cult mysticism; you might as well claim to be well versed in palm reading. Basically the company wants to produce software but is in denial that it needs real software engineers and software project managers if it wants to do so.

All in all, some days I am pretty sure I can feel my brain decaying. I hate being bored, I just can’t deal with it. I want to quit. So far I just haven’t quite convinced myself to quit without yet having anything else lined up. The rational part of me thinks this is dumb; worst likely outcome is a few months of unemployment which is still hugely preferable to a few months of mind numbing tedium. I’m not sure when the rational part of my brain ceded power. I was going to hand in my notice this week but that hasn’t happened. Current plan is next week… we’ll see.

EDIT: definitive plan is this: I work there another 3 weeks. This, as far as I understand it, makes me eligible for unemployment benefits if I’m still unemployed in January. Which I won’t be. As Monday is a bank holiday, that’s 14 working days. And I might take a couple of days’ holiday at the end of next week, since, well, I’m not going to use it otherwise.

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