I do sympathise mspanners
There seems to be something very wrong in western culture techno industries (all over the employment sector in fact but in IT, electronics and engineering in particular). I'm an ex-civil servant so I have had vast
experience of the muddled thinking and frankly stupid discriminatory attitudes they have towards the people whose job skills actually make things happen
and instead give huge kudos and salaries to match to middle and higher managers and especially to consultants and contractors.
I was a webmaster and design team leader so I saw both sides of the fence as I was promoted from the ranks and loved my 'lowly' graphic design work for print and then as a web developer. I was very good at my job and with no boasting they were frankly lucky to have me as I had a good grounding in the essential business of my Dept having worked in courts for over 20 years and retrained at my own expense at Camberwell College so I actually understood what I was designing for really well. I could have made a lot more than 21K a year if I'd buggered off to work in the creative marketing or print industry sectors - this was in London so there were plenty of much more rewarding and lucrative opportunities around.
I wish to hell and back I had never taken the managerial job as it drew me away from 'hands on' work I loved. I found myself better off of course - I then made 25K for going up a grade and as 2 of my developers promptly buggered off for a rather larger pay rise in more or less the same type of work I then worked hard to get more financial recognition and status for my 'staff' so they would be less tempted to jump ship as well. That took over 2 years and by that time I was very ill from the stress (not wholly from that, but it bloody well had the most effect) and moved from design & development into project management...
What a bloody con that is! And what a gravy train too - I worked with 2 other higher graded colleagues and 2 consultants - the junior of those made nearly twice as much my boss and it gradually dawned on me just how much people who actually do all the brain or spadework were in fact less
highly regarded and certainly paid than people who essentially go to lots of meetings and spend of the day fiddling around in MS Project drawing pretty charts and calculating 'risk' assessments and 'critical paths' so that the project which is actually 'managed'...
To quote Jim Royle 'risk assessment my arse!'
I could give them a meaningful risk assessment - what if the people who were constructing the network systems or websites or payment engine parameters withdrew their labour - they sure as hell don't get made by pretty project charts. And the same thing if you're designing and building a bridge or bringing a telecoms systems onto a better operating system.
We don't NEED
half of these bloody peripheral skills people (I admit they have something to contribute but they're certainly not worth their fat pay packets over the people who contribute the brain power or practical skills) and we should instead be educating and encouraging those who actually do the essential work - the NHS being the biggest and worst example I can think of where the support administration staff are surely not as essential as medical workers and equipment and should certainly not earn more than say nurses instead of getting a surgeon's salary for being a sodding junior accountant
I think we're actually in dire need of Vetinari's administrative skills here in round world!