Re: The Terrible IT Manager
"chronic but poorly concealed alcoholism" could also describe some of the best people I have worked for!
68 posts • joined 28 Oct 2013
I learned that if you bodge something with a bit of tape and string (or these days a Powershell script and task scheduler) you can expect it to still be there years later! These days I always put a plan together to 'tidy up' bodge work into something more long lasting once the crisis has past.
I did massive amount of Cable and switch replacements in a small school to try and fix an intermittent drop in the network. It happened mostly at lunch times but at random through out the day, it was only luck I was in the staff room one day when it happened. Some one used the ancient microwave in the kitchen area, seriously it must have come off the arc, and that was when it all dropped. As I said this was a small school and the server room was off the staff room, most of the cables were trunked behind the microwave in question. Thankfully due to its closeness to the server room, I was able to pull though enough slack to move the trunking up about a foot and fix the issue. We also added tinfoil to the inside of the trunking and added a wire to earth it as a little extra protection. To be honest it would have been better to replace the faulty microwave, as it must have been slowly cooking their staff too, but they were happy we had fixed the issue...
I worked for a company that would put 'dress to impress' as the requirements for the big company party. This always struck me as the right wording when you wanted people to look their best without specifying anything limited by gender or body shape, but still made it clear you should wear clothes...
I got lots of temperature warnings from monitoring at 3am and assumed the aircon had failed, as it had been acting up the week before. Unfortunately, when I tried to call building maintenance/security to get them to meet me there and unlock, I found out the building was on fire...
We have been looking for someone for a while and had said no to lots of people and in one case had someone not turn up to interview. A new HR person started and we got all those CV's sent to us again, including the no show.
They dont know what is a good or bad IT CV, so I tailor the first page to them with a block that shows all the buzzwords and MS/ITIL/Cisco/etc logos, then page 2 is all my real experience examples for when the hiring manager looks.
We have a job that looks for any encrypted/password protected files on our network so we can go ask the owner what it is and why its not in an approved secure repository. Apparently in the early days someone password protected a load of critical data on a Friday and forgot the password by the Monday.
Key loggers should be part of every IT toolbox!
I worked for a small MSP where everything was about being honest with the customer, offering reasonable recompense when we dropped the ball and always warning if there was a risk to be aware of with any job. This caused all the customers to trust us more with things after a cock up as they knew we were on the level with them.
I can call anyone I work with a Nerd and no one gets upset, but if I called them one of a number of other N words I would be taken out of the building and given a 'good talking to'. So someone who clearly needs to spend time dealing with real prejudice, make her see what its like to be a second class citizen and feel unwelcome everywhere she goes. In other words make her dye her hair ginger and see how far she can get publishing her badly thought out book!
Seriously though I know someone who is transgender who gets genuine shit for it, her whole family cut her out of their lives because she wanted to be her real self. Going to watch a football game in the local with my friend can be interesting and she was abused in one pub for using the correct toilet for her assigned gender. Compare that with someone calling me a Nerd as I can fix their computer, it does not even compare!
I love being a geek, a nerd and a boffin. How dare she say the words should be banned!
We just need to teach kids that bullying is wrong, I suggest next time they pick on the ginger kid take them out side and give them a kicking they never forget. The Bully, not the ginger kid that is...
Unfortunately this old 'Sticks and Stones' thing has been proven to be nonsense and words do cause massive harm to a developing mind. I say this as someone who embraces Geek as my identity and is happy to be called it. But having been bullied as a young child due to my differences, I still have issues as a 40+ year old when people make reference to me possibly being stupid in any way, my 140+ IQ and achievements do nothing to stop the memories of being bullied as I needed learning support for my dyslexia early on.
Words left scars that have not faded!
I worked for a MSP where the if one of us messed up it was all about how we as a team avoid doing it again. I could have wiped customer data and the boss would have stood by his team. His name was on the company so it was his issue to fix and his mistake, helped by the fact if something went wrong he had engineers like me who would not stop working till things were sorted. I saw him give big refunds to customers for things that were not our fault, just to make sure everyone was happy and got a fair deal.
The only time he was truly angry was when we had an engineer send a email to others in the team taking the piss out of one of the junior engineers for his ADHD. The engineer was out the building by the end of the day and told he was lucky to be being paid his notice.
I worked for a company that did small businesses as a choice. The boss had a nasty habit of forgetting to include a new Potato Clock, i mean UPS, or battery refresh to the old one with every new server install. He also had a habit of thinking that 'its not that old' when he had installed it 4 years before. This came to a head when we had a run of 3 or 4 UPS units fail due to their age followed by a power cut at a customer who had completely out grown the 750 unit they had protecting 2 large servers, a firewall, PoE+ Switch and by extension the 12 phones in the office. Some how he managed to turn this in to a positive with all the customers and sent out emails offering to do a power requirement assessment on all UPS including age check for a small fee. The other 'new' policy was not to plug both power supplies, if there were 2, in to the same UPS, making sure the one not in the UPS only ever went in to a surge protected supply.
I lost track of the number of UPS and Surge protectors we sold in the following month, in the bosses defense they were sold almost at cost since he was charging for our time. The person I feel sorry for in all this was the Delivery Driver who carried them up to our 2nd floor office...
Intel are too busy trying to fix security issues with the chips and get yields back up to match demand. Either that or they have realized that the 86 market is big enough for both of them and they need to both work hard to avoid being losing business to the ARM and other platforms that are out there!
As the son of a graphic designer I know what fun it can be to find a stock photo that fit and is not generic in some way. (how is the everywhere girl doing these days I wonder?) At one point my dad was using so many photos of generic football teams and referees doing things, that the company he worked for paid for a a photo shoot with a bunch of my mates in football/rugby gear. 20+ years on and I have never seen any of the photos used, I suspect no one who works there now even knows they have them.
This sounds like an outage I had, we had 2 links to our hosted 'cloud' telephony system provider, one from each building with a route between both buildings so that if one dropped all the traffic would route over the other link. What we did not realize (as the provider said they monitored all this) was that both links were running around 80% utilization, so when one dropped (thanks British gas for digging up the cable) we started dropping calls all over the place in both buildings.
It took them 2 days to admit they had not noticed the high utilization and this was the cause, after making us go through every single switch and check the QoS was as it should be...
Play this before you come to Brighton, its got so bad even our Zombies eat tofu brains...
This is nothing, BBC Watchdog showed that John Lewis and other high street shops are using similar tactics to target you with adverts for their stuff. Facebook knows where you shop, how long you spend there and what parts of the shop you were in. This is why i turn my phone off before I go to carpetright and the builders depot for quicklime...
A few years ago I was setting up WiFi for a recording studio at a country house between a military base that was on a map and one that was not. Unnamed Recording Artists who had various top 10 hits would come in and spend time in the studio, so the WiFi had to work 100% of the time or else. We found that a cheap consumer AP would last about 2 days before becoming unreliable, good quality business units lasted better but still didn't give the 24/7 reliable service they wanted. Blame was given to the military sites and plans were put in place to tinfoil the walls, floors, ceilings and anything else that interference could enter through including the cat flap. It was at this point they had the equipment in the studio updated, including the wiring, amps, mixing desks, wireless microphones... all of which were powerful enough to be used in any stadium. Amazingly the issues went away...
I have Dyslexia and my Mum worked as a proof reader, so when windows 95 came out and I was doing GCSE course work, I was lectured about every one of these little grammar rules. Once I reached college I realized the staff all had worse grammar than me and spell check helped me with the rest, so didn't let her near my work again.
I have been called out for 'a broken cup holder' back in 2002 ish, this was a CDROM drive. In 2010 I had to explain to someone that their internet did not work as they had no phone line. Just last year I had to explain to my mum that the PS4 game she got me would not work in my XBox...
To us tech people it may appear obvious but there will always be someone who asked where the 'any key' is...
If I got an EV I could not charge it at home, I live in a house where the only parking is on the road so often not near my house. I could not charge it at work as there are not enough spaces in the car park for me to get one. When I got my last car I looked at EV and spent a day trying to figure out the logistics to solve these issues, but ended up just getting the most efficient IC I could and left it at that.
we were at breakfast in the hotel at disneyland (one of the proper on park ones) and her phone 'disappeared' from her tray while she was putting bacon on her plate. The plate was on the tray, just to let you know how bold the tea leaf was. Disney staff and other guests could not give a sh1t. Thankfully we used find my phone to track it, it was either in the staff locker room or an office where they keep the lost property depending on if we take their word for it or trust our eyes...
Have you never been warned about plugging in a USB stick to a server and the virus risk that is? Also in this age of virtualization and clusters it is unlikely the box is in the rack is the server you are looking at. If you turned up to consult at my company and wanted to plug in a stick so you can put notepad++ on a production server, once we had finished laughing at you, you would then not be left unsupervised during your visit so you don't do anything that would result in us having to use the cattle prod.
Many years ago (when computers were still cream and monitors gave the user a dose of radiation) the print firm my Dad worked for was broken in to and their MAC computers all taken. 3 months later the robbers came back and took all the new shiny Mac's, so a big metal door was fitted with a metal frame. 6 months after that the criminals returned, this time hooking a chain to the frame of the door and using their car to pull it out the building. At this point the owner had enough and fitted a 'smoke cloak' system linked to a monitored alarm system as well as a new heavy duty door. The criminals never returned, but the alarm people accidentally set the system off while servicing it, the engineer was found curled in the corner shaking from the shock of the noise and not being able to see/breath due to the smoke, all the mac's had to be cleaned as they were covered in dust.
The worst thing about all of this, as a senior designer with customers who just wanted to deal with him, my Dad was in another part of the building with his own reception, private office and assistant. So his Mac was not taken and he was stuck with the oldest slowest machine in the company, he was not happy about this an said if ever he got his hands on the crooks he would tell give them a key and tell them about the internal route from his office to the main design studio that bypassed the metal door.
So I had a boss in the past who required first class travel to do any work at customers international offices and a 5 star hotel. When they opened a new office in the UK and realised any of us could do the basic network fit out, he was shocked when they got local contractors to do all the network install for us and told him to set up the servers remotely. He blamed us for stopping his free holidays!
I had several wasted days working for him, he would regularly require us to 'spend face time' with customers for issues that were easily fixed remotely and I had to do a 300mile round trip to check that a cable was plugged in right, weirdly the customer made it clear they were not paying us for my day when I 'wiggled the network cable' and everything started working.
Weirdly in the UK there is a level of liability on the Pedestrian, they still need to stop look and listen before they step out in to traffic. If they don't do that drivers are not at fault outside of a marked crossing! If they are on a Zebra crossing then the pedestrian should pause to make sure they are seen by the driver so they can stop, but legally the driver will be considered at fault for hitting them without additional evidence.
I have been involved in some events where the Car insurance industry has started looking at the 'who it liable' side of things for self driving cars, it is a nightmare and will cause problems for years to come.
I have commuted to London daily for a long time and get 10 min on the train before someone else's bum is in my face. The return journey is just as bad, with the bonus that by the time the train is empty enough for me to get my book out I have to get off. It depends on your train. On the plus side, getting to central London by car takes even longer, so any idiot who thinks they are better off driving always arrives in a stressed state. I guess self driving cars would make them not stressed from other drivers, but they would still be another hour on their way in.
My Dad used Apple Mac computers, since he was a graphic designer, starting in the 90's with one running system 7. When ever he tried to use my Windows PC with a 2 button mouse, he could not figure out which button to press. This was made worse once I got a mouse with scroll wheel and he refused to touch a windows PC ever. To be fair later in life he chucked the mouse completely and just used a graphic tablet!
My favourite memory was of the systems in a plant hire company with offices that are still to this day a bunch of porter cabins. They started to have some weird network issues from time to time that we could not fix until we traced the network cables through a hole in the floor in to rats nest of wires that contained a genuine rats nest. A quick rewire so all the network cabling was in trunking inside the cabin, not under it, and everything was fine. As far as I am aware, no one was brave enough to remove the old cabling from under the cabin, so the rats are likely still living there.
Only us tech people will view Linux as a reasonable option and don't get me started on Apple still assuming people don't make viruses for their products. All 1000 staff at the company I work for are now on 10, it works and all their software runs on it. If I was to wander in to any team and talk about getting something different, there would be a panic and we would have to spend months training them all how to use even the most simple other system. Some of my more 'special' staff didn't even notice that their new laptops were running W10 not W7, they were more put out by the new laptops being silver not black.
Pointless machine that destroys the fun! I have only ever done all grain and only produced one beer that was undrinkable in about 3 years... I will always swear its the crappy 'malt kits' that produce really bad home brew!
As for the time it takes Brew day is just a excuse for me to play xbox all afternoon with several short breaks to stir, filter and boil.
Not tried using a Sodastream but I do put all my water through a Brita filter before I start.
A pub in Brighton did have booths with 'press for beer' buttons on the wall that would summons the bar staff to get your order. It lasted about 6 months before they turned them off. Apparently on a busy Saturday night as you carry 3 pints back to your mates you will spill about half a pint, if they bring them too you at your table they have to be full thus losing them the additional revenue from all those spilt drinks.
My local youth group has Rugby balls, mini footballs, Frisbees and various other branded stuff that I have grabbed over the year. My wife has not purchased pens or stationary for her small business in years. Oh and none of my friends have had to buy the paid version of a decent antivirus in a while... I train most of my account managers to bring doughnuts if they come near the office.
instead of answering my technical questions, the team on one firewall manufacturer's stand kept giving me another beer and handing me to another person. This started at 2pm and continued in to their 'after party', at 11pm they took me for a curry then I slept on the sofa in one of their rooms and was purchased breakfast. They never answered my question and so I never used their product.
I once went to a product demo event where we all got given a free licence (worth about £80) to play with back in the office. My boss took all the staff in the company, took all the free licences from us and sold them to customers...
Why do we find the idea that the Universe may be aware and thinking in some way odd? Surely it would be small minded not to consider that this may be an option? I know for a lot of people this sounds close to saying 'there is a God', so they dismiss it as a fairy tale or stone age thinking, but to say an entity on these scales could not exist is equally as stone age in its understanding.
That we are aware and thinking proves there is thought in the universe, so maybe we are part of the universe looking at its self and asking 'what am I?'
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020