What Not To Say

This editorial was originally published on Jan 26, 2011. It is being re-run as Steve is out of town.

This article on 8 things your boss doesn’t want to hear made me smile. There are a few phrases listed that I would definitely recommend not using if you want to succeed in your current place of employment.

Having managed a few DBAs in my career, I thought of a few more that I thought might fit the data professionals out there as “things not to say” to your boss:

I’m not sure if more memory will help: You could substitute CPU or disk drives for memory in this one, but it’s your job to know. If you don’t, learn how to tell what your bottlenecks are and make appropriate recommendations.

That additional memory didn’t help: The only thing worse than not being able to make a good recommendation is making one that doesn’t improve performance after your boss has approved the purchase. Now you look bad, and you’ve made your boss look bad.

Company X has offered me $yyyyy. Will you match it? You can get away with this once at a job, or maybe once a decade. If you want to go to your boss with this one, be ready to quit if you don’t get it, and be ready to shine if you receive the raise. No one wants to be put in a corner, and I would be likely to let you move on if you came to me, unless I felt you deserved it. Even then, the second time you ask, I’m showing you the door.

I downloaded this software off the Internet and it crashed the server: You can’t trust stuff you download, no matter what the Open Source crowd says. Test, test, test. Preferably on a test machine.

It works on my machine: I have always wanted to answer this with a “Who gives a <insert four letter expletive here>?” My actual responses haven’t been that far away if it’s an important project and you give me this excuse.

Feel free to add your own “things not to say” to the comments below.


About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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