I would say this counts for much less than 1% of what I have to do. A lot of this stuff is in files which I can give product owner control over, too.
>or porting the product from one build system to another.
And this isn't boring. Build systems are tricky and filled with pitfalls. The worst thing you can say about build systems is that it's not a prestigious task.
>I’ve lost count of the number of times a clever programmer has tried to automate the process and completely mucked things up, forcing me to go in and fix things manually.
Yeah, and fixing things manually in that case is boring. As I put it above "if you're doing a menial or boring task you're doing something wrong" and you precisely described "something wrong".
>That’s exactly where a great product manager can mentor a mediocre developer in making a sensible change.
Product managers are not the right people to teach this kind of thing.
>Of course. It’s also vastly better that to be born rich so one doesn’t have to work at all.
Unlike being born rich, which is out of your control, you are able to exercise some degree of control over whom you work with.