IT's a Tough Job

IT's a Tough Job

Maybe it's that Y2K is getting way too close for comfort. Maybe it's that the GST isn't far behind. Maybe it's just that the last vestige of the holiday season's good humour has finally bid us adieu. Maybe -- if you're a Sydneysider like me -- it's the Sydney Kings. Whatever the reason, there's a weariness in the air when I speak with many CIOs. Currently I'm also wading through a slew of CIO Salary Survey returns, so it was a no-brainer when I came across this list in the US edition of CIO. In the spirit of David Letterman wannabes everywhere, here is a list of the "Top 10 Reasons Why You Could Never Pay Me Enough to Be a CIO". Please note, that other than a bit of localisation on my part, full credit belongs to CIO (US) editorial director Lew McCreary.

Why You Could Never Pay Me Enough to Be a CIOTop 10 Reasons10. You're at home on a Sunday afternoon and you think of something important you don't want to forget. You call your office to leave yourself a voice mail message, and a strange voice answers your phone and says: "Andersen Consulting . . . " 9. You look up in the middle of your weekly year 2000 remediation task force meeting and notice that most of the seats at the table are occupied by lawyers.

8. Your HR rep proposes leafleting the SCG during a cricket match as a way to stimulate applications for open programmer slots.

7. Surprisingly, you agree to this tactic.

6. Your SAP implementation effort is into its 23rd month and you've still only deployed the financials. The project's budget ticker looks like the national debt clock, and there's no end in sight.

5. Every senior executive in your company thinks IS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of his or her function. And if your behaviour and performance fail to affirm that view, they begin to plot your overthrow.

4. Immigration recently raided your business. Apparently the bureau considers it unseemly that you are housing 17 Bengali C++ programmers in the IS group's lunchroom.

3. You're supposed to be your company's reigning expert in a wide variety of technologies that change so quickly that even the people who make them don't know what the state of the art is from minute to minute. 2. You are served with a supoena to testify in a class-action lawsuit against your company for failing to properly safeguard sensitive customer data. Corporate counsel informs you that you could be held personally liable if the plaintiffs win.

1. The CEO recently played golf with Tom Peters and is after you to start hiring people with criminal records and histories of psychiatric hospitalisation. He keeps saying things like: "Weird is good" and "Weirdness is creative". You vow to work on both your golf game and your resume. You begin to envy people with long histories of psychiatric hospitalisation.

I'm open to suggestions. If you'd like to add to the list e-mail me at: When I get 10 good ones I'll run the dinky-di version.

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