You all know I've been wanting to leave my messed up job for some time now, been there 8+ years. It's been a roller coaster with management here.
Anyway, I finally had "the talk" about an exit strategy, and that's when the dung hit the wind generator if you follow.
The boss spent the whole night rummaging through my IT folder in our cloud drive, basically making a huge list and a stack of papers about what she "doesn't know" about my job and all the vendors we use, etc.
So she then comes up with a template of all the stuff she wants to know about every vendor made mention of in my files. Who are they, what do they do, is it a service or a plugin, how much is it, is it paid manually or automatically, on what card, do they need an SSL, when is it due, how much, users/passwords, support contact, etc etc etc.
Keep in mind, most all this is in my vendor information files already, she just didn't bother to read any of it. Instead she creates a new template in Word or Excel or something with lots of little fields to put all this info in.
She's asking for things like the physical mailing address of these vendors! lol, like I'm going to spend time finding out the physical address of some place where I bought some sound files once. Fax number, minimum order quantities, just weird stuff.
Lots of lecturing about how she doesn't know what some vendor or another does, and IT people have "secret knowledge" that is complicated so laypersons can't understand it. She says all my notes "might make sense to an IT person, but it's not how my brain as a layperson understands it".
She wants me to write up a "function book" where I write thousands of little "how-to" articles for each "function" I perform as an IT person, but written for the layperson so they can do my job "if they had to". All the information about each vendor, plus all the functions I perform at those vendors, what it's used for, how to make changes, when to make changes, how to troubleshoot it, etc etc etc. Who has SSLs, how are they renewed, when, how...
To top it all off, she won't read stuff that's too long. If I send emails that are too long or detailed, she refuses to even read them and then chides me. But if I write stuff that's too short, she complains it's not written for the layperson.
If I write "right-click the start menu and choose manage" she complains it's too short and written for IT people. What is right-click? Where is the start menu? Is this Windows 10 or 7? Do I right-click the manage link too? ugh
So I write longer, for the layperson, and she complains I write too much and doesn't read it.
Anyway, I'm kind of ranting here, but that's not the point.
The point is, I have a folder in the cloud where I have documents for dang near every vendor that plays even a small role in operations. This document has payment information, user info, support contact info, descriptions, even troubleshooting advice. My password database has access to everything. My computer has loads of other stuff handy for the next IT person, like my scripts, private keys, tons of source files for everything I've ever created.
But instead it sounds like she wants me to rewrite everything I've ever written, only in the format she likes, in the way she likes, along with a "layperson" user manual for every vendor and service along with how-to procedures for every bit of work that could be performed with those services.
Frankly, this is just ridiculous to me. I'll be here for the next 6 months just writing stuff over and over that I've already written, while getting chided because IT stuff is too hard for laypersons.
This just isn't right. They don't even want to replace me, they think I can just write enough user manuals and procedure/how-to docs and vendor information docs so that everybody else here (no technical people at all) can just do my job by following procedure checklists. Managing emails and forwards, troubleshooting internet problems, adjusting router settings and testing it, managing backups and cloud drives and archives.
I've told them, just hire somebody so I can train them for a few weeks, but they don't want to, they don't think they can find anybody as cheap as me! Instead they are looking for IT service companies to remotely manage everything + be on call for those emergencies when they happen. But everything else in house should be able to be handled by my expert layperson procedure guides.
On top of all this writing I'm supposed to do, they want me training at lease 2, maybe 3 people here on taking over support and management of various services and websites I run. Like handing over management of our dedicated server to a person whose never seen an SSH shell before. But it's ok you see, because I'll write up a layperson guide.
What is the right protocol here? I feel like I've already written everything of any value that an IT replacement could use. They are trying to force me to stay until all documentation is written just the way they like. Because if I left, if would put their company in a seriously vulnerable state because they "don't know anything about my job and what needs done" or how to troubleshoot and fix stuff if there is a problem.
Since I've already written stuff, it feels very stupid to RE-write everything just to change its format and looks. Like moving a pile of rocks from here to there, then rolling a ball up a hill and letting it roll back, just to roll it up again. This is busy work!
How much responsibility do I have to rewrite documentation just to change its format to please everybody? And keep in mind they never had any kind of official document store or official documentation guidelines. I just write docs as they make sense to me. Server information and the sites hosted by that server are in a spreadsheet. The financial summary of all the vendors we pay for, is in an Airtable DB as well as vendor Word files. General concepts like our overall backup strategy is contained in its own Word file along with any problems, and future changes I want to make. I separate a dedicated document for a disaster plan with overview of troubleshooting advice and who to call bout various things. I have document with instructions on how to do every scheduled task I have in my calendar. I have how-to procedures for each of those scheduled tasks.
I have user manuals saved, research docs, network diagram.
I have a MySQL database on my local computer where I've recorded all our hardware information, assets, computer specs, purchase and warranty info, model numbers, etc.
I have some docs in a self-hosted documentation tool called BookStack. I like it, but it seems she doesn't want to use a service, she wants everything in Word and Excel files in the cloud folder. So Airtable is no good, BootStack, MySQL, nope.
I have accounting information all laid out nice in an Airtable database which I link to from a doc in our cloud folder. She was confused by seeing a link and didn't even click it.
I really don't want to be stuck here for 6 months training laypeople to do IT work, writing endless user manuals for service providers, and changing formats of everything I've written for the last 8 years to make it conform to style choices.
What should really be expected of the IT person when they leave? I've heard everything from "hand over the passwords and walk" to "as a cornerstone employee it's your duty to not leave the company vulnerable at all." In some corporate high-level jobs, an exit strategy for important positions can take a year or two.
And believe me, there is no benefits while leaving. My vacation and sick pay is already cut off, my cell phone stipend is cut off, there is no severance. Heck we didn't even get a holiday bonus this year. So I'm being practically demanded to stay to do all this, while every benefit is already cut off simply because I've had "the talk" about wanting to leave. We don't even have an official last day.
This whole thing is driving me nuts right now. I consider them friends and I'm happy to have worked here 8 years so I don't want our relationship to blow up at the last second and lose any kind of reference I might have here. I'm sure they are in a bit of a panic, but what they are asking is months of work and to somehow distill 25 years of IT and web dev experience into one little "functions" black book that any layperson can follow to do my job. And there is no explaining to them otherwise.
On top of that, since they don't believe they can find a replacement who does everything I do for a reasonable price, they instead tell me I have to find my own replacement and to "use my circles" to track down a technical person.
I know a lot of responses here might be "just leave", but these things are easier said than done. I don't want their business to suffer, nor our relationship, nor my reference with them.