> Conversely it could be said that a sysadmin who is happy to spend a few hours here and there learning to use something new that solves problems *they don't have* is too ready to waste time.
A boss managing sysadmins with that attitude has zero respect for employee skill development or finding improved ways to do even the company's own work. It creates a workplace that hires people and spits them out ten years later with no recent skill development. Around here, the Bay Area, that approach couldn't even retain a good sysadmin. They'd quit for a company that shows them more respect.
But, maybe you don't have the experience to understand that. I've actually owned companies employing engineers and sysadmins for the last eight years, both here in and in Austin. The way to keep good people is to go out of your way as an employer to foster careers and skill development through side projects, training, books, conferences, and community involvement.