Re: Assume makes an Ass ...
WARNING - CONTAINS TRITE AND POINTLESS MANAGER-SPEAK.
I once had to write a Business Continuity Plan for, wait for it, if the UK was hit by a highly contagious virus causing lots of people to be off work, and some to die, rather like the H5N1 bird 'flu pandemic (remember that). Well, apart from the company's chief medical officer going on record saying that it would never happen, I got assigned and met my 'boss' for the task.
He started out in our first meeting by complaining: "You realise that you are paid more than me? And that I should have had a promotion and a better company car for taking this role?"
I sort of responded some way and then said I saw he was a fellow of some Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery organisation (rather like their equivalent of the IISP* at the time). To which he replied:
"Yes, that's my ticket out of " (the company).
Well, after that less than auspicious start I dutifully wrote the first draft of the document, and sent it to him for review.
The first thing he strongly objected to was the standard company copyright statement (which was part of the standard document format we had been using for several years). It literally took 5 minutes on the phone to persuade him that it was ok to include a copyright statement as 1 the company mandated it, and 2 it did not affect the details of the plan.
Then he said we couldn't have a section marked "Assumptions" because, and here I quote him verbatim "Assume makes an ass of u and me." Yes he really said that to my face. I explained that the 'Assumptions' were those features, facilities and other preparations which we needed in order for the plan to work, but which we did not have the authority or resources to supply. He would have none of it, so eventually I relented and I think used the wording "External Requirements".
Eventually he grudgingly accepted my plan, as a first draft, but was not totally happy and wanted me to make the report "more professional". By which he meant that I was to use thicker lines and orange colouring in the diagram showing where the plan fitted in the documentation structure.
I confess that I did not have the best working relationship with him (although I strongly believe the feeling was mutual). I am not the best person to deal with direct antagonism and conflict from a manager, and he was thick too. I mean, if he's such a whizz at DR / BCP why couldn't he have written the blasted thing in the first place? Anyway, either the company is using my plan or something derived from it because they seem to be functioning pretty much as I suggested and it would be all over the news if they had collapsed. (I basically suggested working form home wherever possible, isolation of everyone essential to the business etc etc. Nothing Register commentards would not have thought of.)
*IISP = Institute for Information Security Practitioners.