Credit Due

I was silently patting myself on the back for persevering through a hard reports problem. In the middle of the night I came up with a plan that eventually resolved the problem. This is what I like to do – fix problems. Our current maintenance project is a perfect source of fun and tough problems to resolve. Then I got an e-mail from the test team. It was congratulating our reports developer for installing the patch that resolved the problem. I did a double take. There was no mention of me. I was the guy who did not quit on this bug. And I was the dude who brainstormed the fix for this problem. It was only because I was sharing my plans with the reports developer that she was even involved. In fact, the reports developer had initially decided to let another team research and resolve the problem. But here I was staring at an e-mail carbon copied to everybody giving her the credit for the fix.

Now I took a step back. Before acting hastily I usually try to think logically about events like this. What was the real impact of another person getting the glory for the work I did? In actuality, I don’t think there was any real impact. And the reports developer knows who cracked the case on this problem. The tester whose machine got fixed knows who did the heavy lifting for this problem. I assume the big dogs on the project know my contributions to the team. So perhaps I was making much ado about nothing. However I wanted to make sure that I was not getting walked on. I do not think that was the case here. You always hear that you have to toot your own horn. This scenario may not be the time to try to toot my horn.

After thinking about this situation a bit, it reminds me of a much more drastic example of somebody taking credit for my work. There was a high priority problem in the production environment a few years ago. I did the initial research on the problem and mapped out a solution to it. As always, I documented all of my findings in our trouble ticket control system. Apparently a manager had asked the test team what they knew about the problem. And it seems the test team looked up the problem in the trouble ticket system, and provided the information to the manager. Then the manager broadcasted a message to just about everyone (including the customer and myself), praising the work of the test team in analyzing and determining a resolution for the problem. Now that really stung when I read the e-mail. It was blatantly giving credit to the wrong people for the work. The e-mail even quoted some of the text verbatim that I entered into the trouble ticket system. Now that is some gall.

Luckily I let this last episode slide as well. I figured there was no real benefit to me if I exposed the situation for what is was. Instead I just chalked this up to a mistake in communication somewhere. I my goal would be to automatically not get excited over any snubs similar to those that happened in these incidents.