Welcome! I’m Thomas…

It's Not Your Fault

It's Not Your Fault

A while back I started thinking about how a lot of people have no idea of the true value of having a good DBA. This made me also think that it is likely the reason why some people treat DBAs so poorly. And then for whatever reason I started thinking about Denny Cherry (blog | @mrdenny) and how his hair smells like strawberries and how cool it would be if we recreated a scene from Good Will Hunting where Denny would be Robin Williams and I would be Matt Damon and so I outlined a quick script while sitting in first class on my way to watch a shuttle launch. This all works best if you imagine we have Southie accents. You’re welcome.

SCENE: A DBA is in their manager’s office, to talk about their annual performance review as well as a recent incident involving support for one of the business units.

TOM: What’s that?

DENNY: That? It’s your review. I have to send it to HR with my comments.

TOM: You’re not going to give me a bad review, are you?

DENNY: [Smiles]

TOM: So, what’s it say?

DENNY: You want to read it? [Motions to hand it to Tom.]

TOM: No. (pause, looking at papers). Have you had any experience with that?

DENNY: Twenty years of being a production DBA you see a lot of…

TOM: No, have *you* had any experience with that?


TOM: Yeah, personally. Ever have someone repeatedly throw you under the bus?


TOM: [Smiling] It sure ain’t good.

FLASHBACK TO TOM’S FIRST MOMENTS AS A DBA – From a newbie point of view we see a manager, partially obscured by the doorframe to the server room. The manager turns towards the point of view and we cut back to the present day.

DENNY: My manager used to make us go to meetings and present *his* schema designs as if it was our own idea. The DBAs on the team would take turns presenting concepts and let everyone in the room respond. It was like feeding bacon to dogs.

TOM: My manager would just put a schema, a pager, and a functional spec on my desk and say “choose”.

FLASHBACK TO TOM’S FIRST MOMENTS AS A DBA – A large hand places papers on Tom’s desk, next to a old style, 10-pound pager.

DENNY: Gotta go with the functional spec there…

TOM: I used to go with the pager.


TOM: Cause forget him, that’s why.

[Long pause]

TOM: Is that why I left the team, decided I had enough of being a DBA?

DENNY: I didn’t know you had. Do you want to talk about it? [Pause.]  I don’t know a lot, Tom, but let me tell you one thing. All this history you have, this here [points to review paperwork]. Look here, son.

[Tom has been looking away, but turns to look at Denny.]

DENNY: This is not your fault.

TOM: Oh, *I* know.

DENNY: It’s not your fault.

TOM: [Smiling] I know.

DENNY: It’s not your fault.

TOM: I know.

DENNY: It’s not your fault.

TOM: [Dead serious]  I *know*.

DENNY: It’s not your fault.

TOM: Don’t mess with me.

DENNY: [Approaches Tom] It’s not your fault.

TOM: [Tears start] I know.

DENNY: It’s not…

TOM: [Crying harder] I know, *I KNOW*

[Denny holds Tom in his arms like a child while Tom weeps.]

Yeah, I’m pretty sure this need to happen. Maybe Denny and I can do some dinner theater while in Napa.

And, for reference, here is the original scene: