TSQL Tuesday #052 – Argue Against A Popular Opinion

Don’t Be that Guy

            or 10 things I hate about you


It always comes to me as a surprise that it is TSQL Tuesday again. I guess time just slips by so quickly these days.  This awesome month of March is brought to us by Michael Stewart [  BLOG   |   TWITTER  ]. March is awesome by the way because it contains my birthday. If you haven’t heard about or figured out what this Tuesday stuff is all about drop me a line and I will not only sell you on the concept I will convince you to write your first post for next month.

So at first I thought I would write up how my first database exercise outside of class was to create a fancy mail merge application in Access. It was a long manual process that took and entire week to complete, then I came along and said WHOA! We can make this really fast in a database. Cut processing down to just few short hours. But then I felt sad as Access is so old and the new hotness of Sharepoint and SSRS really will make it obsolete. Then I got to thinking…. I said to myself you know what is popular and makes me mad? THAT GUY! AND HER! But they are so popular and so powerful that the point is probably mute. But since it/they are popular I have decided to argue against it!

1. Always saying “Well I worked at XYZ.”

Ok, you know who this person is, you have worked with them or talked to them at some point in time. For me it was a woman I worked with in a past position. She’d always say “Well I used to work at Microsoft.”  We finally started in saying to each other things like “I used to work at Pizza Hut.” and “Well I used to work at Kmart.” The point is that using that as your crutch and reasoning as to why we should listen to you isn’t really working. And here are the common causes as to why we don’t care; 1) you haven’t worked there in so long it doesn’t matter, 2) you couldn’t get a job there now if you wanted, 3) It really just makes you sound like an ass, and 4) We know people who do work there and they are nice, and much to your surprise they would offer to help me because #sqlfamily wins!


2. Setting rules and standards but not being alive enough to know when to say you/it was wrong.

So this one comes from some pent up energy in a past position, but as I have talked about it with others and looked back over my life I realize it happens everywhere. But it might be more commonly known as “NO CHANGE HAPPENIGN HERE!”  There was a rule that said if the the query plan said you needed an index you had to build said index to have your release approved. Now it seems like a good idea to get silly old developers and the BI gang to stop and look at the query plan once in a while but this particular rule was an issue. I once had to build an index on a table that already had 32 indexes built on it and guess what it was a heap. But NO ONE would admit that this rule was dumb/counterproductive and let it stand. There was also the requirement to use WITH(NOLOCK) on everything, but I set my isolation level. That one did finally get over turned but as far as I know that index rule lives on.

3. Starting every answer with NO.

Really? I mean I know you think your cool image of being a hard ass makes you well respected but honestly it makes me feel sad for you. Stop and listen to what people have to say, they will respect you and they will feel like you took a minute to care. Doesn’t mean the answer has to change it is just the delivery.

4. You are not a celebrity, the paparazzi doesn’t follow you and TMZ doesn’t even know who you are.

Shania Twain sings “That don’t impress me much” and you know what she is right. I mean there are some pretty popular people in the community but it would be of my opinion that if you are one of them then you need to hold yourself to a higher standard. That’s right you need to set a good example. You need to encourage the next generation of leaders and help them find their way.  No poking the rhino, causing trouble or acting like you are too good for the common folk because as I recall it you too were one of those common folk.

5. Being a BULLY!

No those days are over! There is no reason on this earth for people to treat each other so poorly. You know I finally found a home, a community where I fit in and people understood me but then I found its dark side – the bullies. Knock that shit off! Be kind to one another and stop using scare tactics and intimidation to get your way. To be honest folks we need to hold each other accountable on this one. Really, next time you see a bully try calling them out.

6. One trick ponies or single solutions.

I have worked with far too many people that can quickly solve and application problem but their solution leaves out any consideration for Business Intelligence. Back when I started we just called it Reporting, but it was always forgotten or an afterthought. Now so many companies have to pay big money to get simple data put together to help them run their business. One of my favorite answers is XML, it makes for fast writes into the database. Yeah so what it is a bitch to get that data back out and slower than it should be. Design a BI solution at the same time or meet in the middle, simple as that.


7. Stop treating women differently.

I am so tired of hearing this and I am so tired of having to say this. Really, why can’t we all just get along? I can’t even count the number of situations where a man is considered “just that way” or “that’s just his personality”, even “but he gets the job done”. I can say those same things and hear nothing but “what’s wrong with Tammy, she’s so bitchy any more”. I will spell this one out better if a woman comes to a meeting prepared it should not intimidate you, you should be happy to know her. If a woman knows what she’s talking about and is offering opinions or answers you should listen to her, because a fair number of women are still afraid to speak up.  If a woman ask you a question, you should answer it. You wouldn’t ignore Bill that you eat lunch with every day. This problem will not go away on its own, we have to all work on it together.


8. We are a team, let’s act like it.

In so many work places I see everyone placing blame and pointing fingers. But if everyone just thought about the end goal and worked towards it life would be so much easier. This problem is most generally set at the management level. But teams can pull together and make a difference. Realistically I like to think that I am living for data integrity and server health maybe if we all did life would be easier.


9. You are not always right.

Come on admit it you thought you made a mistake once but you were wrong. Seriously I have had to use tactics in order to make senior developers see that they had made a mistake. If I said anything that sounded like “I don’t think this is right”, “I don’t know that this is going to work” or “I think you did this wrong” all conversations ended. But when I approached them with this stupid look on my face and said “I don’t get it what is this suppose to do, can you explain it” they’d start explaining and then say something about well look there I made a mistake. Now this is stupid, why do I have to act dumb and pretend to not get it to get you to see the error?  At the end of the day there is no prize for being right. To be honest at the end of life no one will ever say “Gee you held your ground and made everyone think you were right all the time, you proved it to everyone so here is your golden pony.”


10. Wil Wheaton’s rule #1 Don’t be a dick.

The question was asked the other day on twitter, “Does a DBA need to be confident to be a good DBA?” My answer was yes but not to the point of cocky. We all still have something to learn, let us not forget that. We’ve all had a bad day, let’s treat each other like it matters.


Ok so maybe I didn’t pick a single popular opinion to go against, maybe just don’t be that guy isn’t enough. I want to leave you with this final thought. The popular opinion is to “just let things go”, “not to cause trouble”, “keep your nose clean” and the list goes on. What I want to challenge you with is not letting that happen. Don’t let the bully get by with acting that way, don’t let someone be a dick and call someone out for treating women differently. WHY do we just let things go? I am not calling for vigilante justice I am just asking you to help out once in a while, stand up for someone or even just back them a little. I think every little bit helps.


3 comments to TSQL Tuesday #052 – Argue Against A Popular Opinion

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> <pre class="">




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.