Imagine you’re the IT administrator for an office.
You keep the firewall running, maintain the servers, keep the printers topped-up with ink and paper, help the staff with their software woes … your job is to make sure everyone else can do their job.
You’ve held the job for nearly a decade. You’ve made plenty of mistakes in that time … but looking back, you think you did OK on the whole.
Then it comes time to move on. New things to do, new challenges and all that. You know it’s going to be painful, and you’re going to miss everyone a lot.
Your final week arrives. You’re continuing to do your job, but you’re also taking home your personal stuff when you leave each night, saying goodbye to people in the office, perhaps making a point of chatting to everyone for a little bit longer than usual.
During that final week you meet your replacement. He hasn’t managed to demonstrate his actual skills for the role yet, but he’s been very good at telling everyone about all his skills, and that no-one needs to worry.
You were asked your opinion of him during the interview process, and you said then that you didn’t think he’d be right for the role. But the decision wasn’t yours to make, and now he’s here. Some of the interview panel apparently liked his confidence.
He’s been keen to show his talent, so he’s already made some changes. He’s taken the passwords off a lot of the secure file areas, as people kept forgetting them and he doesn’t see why he should waste his time having to reset them. For those systems that insist on having passwords, he’s written them all on the whiteboard by reception.
He’s also removed firewall restrictions for him and some of the “guys” in the office, because he feels that they should be trusted to look at any websites they want and it’s just a “bit of fun” anyway. He’s also told accounting not to worry about the expensive software bill you’d prepared, because he’s found some Russian websites that have all the software needed for free download. He says “trust me” a lot.
Apparently he’s married; though considering how he speaks to women in the office, you find this hard to believe.
So, all in all, you’re a bit worried. But hey, you might be wrong! He might turn out to be great! Ultimately, you can’t see in the future and it’s not your place to say anyway.
On Friday afternoon, you pack up the remainder of your stuff, and leave your office for the last time. It’s not your office any longer. As you’re closing the door, The New Guy arrives, flanked by two delivery men. They’re carrying a new pool table. You hold the door open so they can carry your desk out, and drop the pool table in its place.
You leave the building, turn around and take one last look … and try your very hardest not to picture it on fire. You’re still really hoping you were wrong about him.
Just in case any of you were wondering how Obama might be feeling about now …