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I suspect (as others have pointed out or alluded to) that the problem here is that you are a threat to the Powers That Be. You're the janitor in the background who makes the admins feel like idiots when you've asked "why they don't just plug in that thingy that someone tripped over?"
I had a similar situation. I had a senior programmer, who I will call Connie (because that's her name) who was very protective of the system she worked on. One time she walked in on another programmer, Ann, fixing some problems on the system Connie worked on. Connie demanded to know what Ann was doing and Ann replied "I'm tired of getting paged at two o'clock in the morning to fix this thing."
Connie's response: "But if it doesn't break, they won't need us any more."
Connie was terribly concerned that other people would learn her system and make her redundant, or worse, improve the processes to the point where she wasn't needed any more. At one point, she gave me a job that should have taken about a month to do -- her way (side note: I think I've related this incident here before). I got it done in just a few hours by cobbling together a few scripts that I had previously written. I then sent out an email saying that since I had never done anything like this before, it would be helpful it others could double-check my work. As it turns out, I forgot to change the name of a couple of disk packs, but it only took about 30 seconds to fix once Connie pointed that out.
The result of my finishing a month of work in a day? On my next review, Connie wrote that because I missed the name of a couple of disk packs, I was "inattentive to detail". There was no mention of the fact that I had saved a month of labor. I found out later that management was trying to get rid of Connie for stunts like this :)
In short, be very, very careful about politics. It's miserable having to deal with this, but it's the real world. Sigh...
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In reply to (Ovid) Re: Management that just doesn't understand