You fired your top talent. I hope you’re happy.
Tony Robinson

I’m Rick. Not this particular Rick, I don’t do IT, I used to do bureaucracy with IT nobody else had bothered to learn how to use as a tool.

Constantly, throughout my career, management demanded the impossible so I would do the impossible (impossible with the tools we were using, or the way we were supposed to be using it). Unlike Rick, I would show people how to do it. I’d even document it.

Each time, from higher up the food chain, the order would come to stop doing that but something else or the same thing in a different way. Each time, they’d scrap the old way of doing things and we’d all start again with different tools to do slightly different tasks so I’d have to do it all over again, delivering the impossible with unfamiliar tools while those around me struggled.

As time went on, they’d ask me how we did something five, ten, sometimes even twenty years and four computers ago (or pre-computer and the answer was in paper files stored three hundred miles away in a warehouse at the other end of the country.)

In the end, I broke. I was trying to do the same thing while psychotic. Fortunately for me, I was diagnosed with cancer and forced to take a year off work while that was treated. Even more fortunately, I had a HR department who recognised their duty of care and during the three years from when I returned to work to when I retired, they stopped asking me to do the impossible. I kinda missed it, but in retrospect, I’m glad they did because trying to do the impossible while acutely mentally ill would have been a higher grade of impossible.

I think what I’m saying is, there are ways to deal with Ricks without firing them but it takes a great deal of skill from HR departments, and that is skill which is rarely found in HR.

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