LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You Know You're DOOMED When...
IT can no longer find you in their systems.
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
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In This Issue...
Harold Peterson writes...
Hello, this is Harold. If you're seriously going to the Reno Air Races, you should look me up at the nearby Nevada Terawatt Facility (www.ntf.unr.edu). I'm up in the Ice Physics Laboratory.
Also, an amusing story involving Microsoft customer support: The first customer service representative I talked to listened to my problem (involving Windows Update), and said she'd transfer me to a tech support person. Instead, I got dumped back into the automated phone system, and on to a second customer service person. I repeated the problem, and was then transferred... to yet a third customer service person. Now I got the best answer of all: if I wanted support on an update before I installed it, I would be charged $35 for the support ticket. However, if I installed the update on my own, and it screwed up the computer, I could call back and the support ticket would be free. Am I missing something here?
-Harold (still at DRI)
Look's like Reno is a miss this year. We waited too long to book a hotel. Next year, maybe.
As for help from The Redmond Company, I guess the real question is, "What constitutes a 'screwed up' computer?" Some people would say that fact that you need an update qualifies you. I'm not so sure.
I think what you're missing is the adage, "It's easier to ask for forgiveness, than permission." The Redmond Company is going to shove software down at you on a regular basis. They aren't the only one's, Apple sends out an OS update almost once a month, and security updates when needed. These updates are "their" choice.
When you call support about an update you haven't received, you are implying that it's no longer their choice. You are trying to call the shots. If you want to drive the bus, you get to pay for the diesel. But if you let BillG drive and he sends you over a cliff, he'll spring for funeral expenses.
I'm assuming you are anticipating loss of time, and maybe data from this update. If this is the case, you should do a complete backup, and then choose when you would like a few days off.
You're in Reno, roll those dice!
I've just came off the Perfect Friday. Just to avoid confusion let's put down some parameters. The Perfect Friday is not having bikini-clad Super Models rub your shoulders, and massage your feet while you sip Diet Coke and tell people that they are giving morons a bad name. That's the Perfect Friday Demo. You're never getting that.
The Perfect Friday comes when the week has gone fast, yet intense. The Perfect Friday is the crescendo which provides relief to you and your team. The component pieces of the perfect day are:
Some people are going to feel relieved. Some people are going to squirm. Others will sit on the sidelines and enjoy the show.
I put down my copy of Engineering Fuck-Ups Quarterly, and looked at the opportunities which had presented themselves.
First things first, sweet revenge waits for no one. I relieved my junior people of dealing with Mr. Know-It-All. He wanted to be a prick, I was going to up the ante. I requested everything of him that junior did, but I didn't ask nice. It's that, "give me what I want, or I close your case" voice that feels like an electric cattle prod which has helped solidify my reputation as both evil, and process precise. You should never engage with Precise Evil. When he protested that he gave it all to junior, I replied that he didn't do it with a smile, so the data was invalid. He needed to do a whole lotta work. I needed lunch.
The head of Engineering sat with me, and dropped this guy's name.
"He's trying to pull rank," Engineer-Boy said.
"How can he pull rank? We don't answer to his VP," I said. "You did the right thing, I said to send anyone my way if they wanted your help. I'll bring you in only on the problems I can't solve."
I had made this pact with the head of Engineering some months ago which got people off his ass, and gave me almost unlimited access to his people. Now it was paying off, he didn't have to deal with Mr. Know-It-All, and I got someone to torture. Talk about win-win!
After lunch it was time to work on the Twinkee. I immediately started the rumor that she conned our Director into sending her to France. She didn't know about the France trip until I mentioned that if she brought back berets for everyone it would be nice.
"What are you talking about?" she asked.
"Your trip to France. Get us all hats."
"I don't know about this trip, how do you know about it?"
"I'm well connected."
Next thing you know, all her reports are asking for stuff, or bitching that they never get to go anywhere. But we needed a little more. A letter was sent from HR asking for her passport number and a reminder that if she had any fun, she had to put in for PTO. I made sure my Director was BCC:ed so he would know I was meeting my deliverables.
The Twinkee swallowed the bait. She asked HR where the orders came from, and HR lied through their teeth about it coming from ExecutiveLand. We all know HR lies. The trick is to get them to tell one for you every once in a while.
While the Twinkee was practicing some French song, Mr. Know-It-All sent in his data.
"Hmmm... Installer problem, I should go to Starbucks."
When assholes call, but them on hold. Ignore them. Go to Starbucks and swig Chanticos. There's two reasons for this. First, people who are assholes should never be rewarded. It encourages their behavior. Second, the juniors under me need to see that I stand up for them and get the pound of flesh that is due from people who mess with my team. Otherwise, why the hell would they follow me?
While I was away, the Twinkee was busy. Not only did she learn how to ask for Imodium in French, she caught wind of Mr. Know-It-All's asshole-ness, and sent him a "Watch Your Mouth" letter. She also was going to extract a pound of flesh as well. That's why, although I might pull her leg, I don't undermine the Twinkee. We always end up on the same side.
When I got back, Junior had received a apology letter. I then sent Mr. Know-It-All a web page from the manufacture of the installer that died. In twenty minutes his four day nightmare was over. See what being nice can get you?
The Twinkee? She's still got frogs in her eyes. I think we're going to keep this prank going for a week or two more. I just hope this doesn't back-fire. I hate it when women stop shaving their armpits.
FLASH! Movie Studios Discover Box Office SUCKS because The Films SUCK!
Britney, Time For Your Epiphany!
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"I'd trust him with my life, if my choices were him and Charles Manson."
"A man who knows how to fish, knows how to drink beer."
"Damn, you're way too quiet for all the sugar you've eaten."
"I'm hyper on the inside."
I think I see a snail outside that someone might want to eat.
(The Last Honest Geek)
Remember: The Crapolla contains my personal opinions. That's right they're mine, so get your own! And you kids get off my lawn!
Although written with the software professional in mind, my mind tends to wander all over the place, and I sometimes write about politics, mass stoopidity, dumb things I saw, and whatever else comes to mind.
From time to time, I use salty language, thus The Crapolla is not intended for children, or certain people in the Bush Administration.
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