Bus-factor colleague was let go

New / Eng Snake 🐍
Mar 1, 2018 7 Comments

This post is mostly just to vent my frustrations. If anybody from my team sees this and recognizes it, I bid you hello. ✌️

So, a co-worker of mine was let go by the company today. I know this happens all the time with larger companies, but we are still pretty small so it makes an impact.

What sucks, is they were one of our bus factors. They handled all of our support, all of our IT, all of our server handling and setup. They made sure the office was already well stocked and anything involving the office was taken care of. The heavy lifting IT stuff wasn't the role they were hired to do years ago but they learned what they could and filled the shoes the best they could. From all I can tell, they were damned good at it too.

I think the person replacing them on Monday is supposed to have DBA experience, which will be good, but I don't get why we wouldn't just hire somebody with the needed skills to work alongside them. We are a company of bus factors and this hot-swapping instead of expanding our IT team just perpetuates that.

I imagine this happens all the time in this field but it really sucks. 😧

How do you guys handle it when an instrumental colleague is dumped by your company out of nowhere?

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TOP 7 Comments
  • What's a bus factor? I feel I grasp it from context. Something to the effect of an important person who knows a lot. But I'm not sure how to phrase it or why buses are involved haha
    Mar 1, 2018 2
    • Apple kJWN65
      Like if they get hit by a bus. It's usually a euphemism for them leaving for another offer since it's awkward to talk about that directly.
      Mar 1, 2018
    • Facebook admins_mom
      The analogy goes like this: "what is your bus factor" asks "how many people on your team can get hit by a bus before everything goes to shit". Obviously, it also depends on which people are getting hit by a bus.
      Mar 1, 2018
  • Uber xxvegas
    Are you sure you get the full context?
    Mar 1, 2018 1
    • New / Eng Snake 🐍
      OP
      For sure not, and fair point.

      I haven't talked to our boss about it, and I don't think there is an opening to do so appropriately. I have spoken with my now ex-coworker about it and several of the others over drinks and so I pretty much just have their side and whatever the rest of us think of it.
      Mar 2, 2018
  • Google jet1
    It actually doesnt happen in large companies. The reverse happens. Companies are unable to prevent bus factor employees from leaving (by not treating them royally). So many times you have a bunch of people working on a project that they dont have a full understanding of, because the bus factor employee just left for FANG.
    Mar 1, 2018 1
    • New / Eng Snake 🐍
      OP
      Ah, that makes sense. So with larger groups it's the company scrambling to keep their primary people around and fallout for everyone else when that fails? 😅

      With us our other primary bus factors is the person who manages our entire Android client and provides support to pretty much every project. Nobody else maintains the client so without them we would be fucked.

      I think the company keeps them in place by providing them with anything they need before it is asked and by not hiring anybody to actually help them out. They are crazy nice and humble. Unless they are sufficiently replaced, I don't think they will ever leave because they would feel bad about the chaos that would ensue from their departure. 🤔
      Mar 1, 2018

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