Management Never Learns That You Get What You Pay For

, , , , , | Working | January 24, 2019

Back when I worked as an IT technician in a factory, I had a female colleague who worked as one of our factory technicians. She was a very good technician — highly capable. Part of her job involved spending a lot of time working with a particular system that formed a core part of our production line. She became very competent with this system, and so became our go-to person if we had any issues.

One day she got word that management was doing an internal trawl to recruit someone who would manage this system. My colleague was very keen to apply, and everyone in our department — including our IT Manager, my colleague’s boss — said she should go for it. Initially, she didn’t tell our Head of Department, but when he found out he said that “while he’d be sorry to lose someone who was such a good IT Technician, he couldn’t think of anyone better qualified for the job.” Staff in other departments were excited to hear she had applied, too, because they knew she’d be really good at it.

Well, her interview rolled round, and she came away feeling very positive. The interview panel — which consisted of two directors and one of the senior managers — seemed to be impressed with her. It seemed that she would be a dead cert for this job.

Then management announced their decision: instead of hiring my colleague, they hired someone else: a young woman who had only been in the company about six months compared to my colleague’s two and a half years, was in no way IT literate — IT ability was pretty much a requirement for this job — and actually knew next to nothing about the system. In fact, the only thing she had over my colleague was that she worked as an admin clerk in a department that made the greatest use of this system. My colleague was disappointed, but disappointment soon turned to anger and frustration when the newly appointed “Administrator” for this system ended up phoning my colleague every day because she needed help with the system that she was supposed to be managing!

We later heard through the company grapevine that someone in higher management selected this person over my colleague on the basis that if they hired my colleague, “they’d have to pay her more because she’s an IT technician,” whereas if they hired someone who was just an admin clerk and less experienced in the system, “they could pay her an admin clerk salary.”

And people wonder why so many of my colleagues left the company — me included — to go on to better opportunities elsewhere!

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