Observations from Under the Desk

Finding random notes on your phone you don’t remember writing….

note

…can make a day quizzically entertaining. I mean, who is Kate/ Kate bush and what is she doing with a hill? Do I need a cipher to understand the rest?

Note: Screenshot is from today, but note details show I typed it at 3:32 am on 10/11/18. Sleep working, or sleep studying? I’ve yet to decide.
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Observations From The Big Red Button

bigredbuttonDo Not Push!

The ability of non-techie people to associate every issue with IT never ceases to amaze me. When did IT become synonymous with, “Those who hold the knowledge to fix everything?” We’re a group of people who have a penchants for technology because we’ve read a book, taken a test, or spent time playing around with random technology. We’re geeks!

Our inability to solve every problem non-techie people (or norms as we’ve called them) have can cause some dissension. I have seen people scream in the face of IT support people. I have watch mature adults throw things at IT personnel. I have watched IT people walk away from an encounter crying…and quitting.

Peoples behavior toward IT goes a little like this….

**Random departments managers ink pen stops working. She can no longer write down notes she’s viewing on the computer. Calls IT….IT suggests getting a new pen, or trying a different one she may have nearby. Department manager yells, “Just get down here and fix it. It’s what you get paid to do.” **

**User printed a form from pdf and now cannot find the printed form. Calls IT….”The computer isn’t working. I printed a form and now I can’t find it.”

IT asks, “Do you remember where you saw it last?”

User, “Well yes, it is on my screen.”

IT, “Can you print another one?”

User, “Why would I print another one? I just need you to come find the one I printed. It’s from the computer, and that’s you’re area, right?” **

**Company-Big-Wig emails the whole IT department, along with all of the Company’s other Big-Wigs.

“I have attempted to call IT multiple times now and they never answer. I have a computer problem I need them to fix right now. They are never available. They never answer. Does anyone even work in IT? They all need to be fired and replaced with a competent team of people.”

Big-Wigs calls show abandoned before reaching call queue which means Big-Wig hung up before the phone could ring to be answered. Big-Wig no longer with company.**

**Upper Management Person’s report is not working the way they requested. Approaches IT person currently working to write said report. Starts yelling, cussing, and belittling IT member…because IT is lazy and doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing. Believes monkeys could do better and take less time, etc. IT person politely reminds Upper Management Person the report has not been put out there for testing, yet. She’s still running the old report which…is still broken. UM Person stomps off, no apologies.**

Never once does it cross peoples minds IT holds an amazing amount of power. All of the technology they use is controlled by IT. The majority of norms like IT….because they fix things! IT works to make life easier for everyone; even the rude and inconsiderate.

The list of things IT could do to make life hell for any individual…. well, it’s pretty long, and would be so much fun to do! But…IT generally just grumbles about such incidents in their meetings and go about their day.

People really need to thank their lucky stars that IT personnel are reserved and good natured…..generally…..but we do keep our hand on the red button just in case. 🙂

Note: The spark of insanity which leads some people to raise their voice toward any fellow employee is one I question. If this is ‘normal’ behavior for them then I feel for their family and friends. There is never an acceptable reason to yell, belittle, or cuss at anyone. A machine, code, or technology in general…as long as it is inanimate…is very acceptable; even if it is a bit unacceptable by the ‘norms.’  🙂

IT Fun-And-Mental

angrycomputerI freely admit not all days are comical in the IT world.

There are days, like today, where the computer screen is your closest companion, and a query your confidant. It is these days which cause you to question your sanity….repeatedly. They also afford you the time to work on your four letter vocabulary. As of an hour ago, I do believe I have hit every four letter, foul intended word today. Not exactly the goal I set for myself this morning.

So, as a respite from my unintentional goal, I thought I’d share a few IT fundamentals:

 

  1. Coders have been known to flip off their computers. It doesn’t accomplish anything, but it sure makes you feel better.
  2. Error messages when queries fail are not always helpful. Example: Msg 2714, Level 16, State 3, Procedure X_ScrewedUpQuery412, Line 4 [Batch Start Line 9] 
  3. We may be quietly staring at our computer monitor but, in our heads we’re cursing like an old sailor.
  4. Damn-It dolls are a good investment.
  5. Stress balls are only good for throwing at other people.
  6. If we are scowling, and mumbling, place a caffeinated beverage on our desk and quietly back away.
  7. We tend to keep toys at our desk. Momentary mental distractions can save the life of our current project….and the person who requested it.
  8. We are actually very polite, interesting, ‘normal’ people. Unless, things are blowing up, failing, malfunctioning, or not functioning.
  9. We have a verbal filter when professionalism is called for, however, when surrounded by other IT personnel the filter is disabled. This can, occasionally, be a bad thing. More often then not, it is greatly appreciated.
  10. We understand end users do not speak geek. We attempt to speak non-geek, but even our non-geek can be too geeky. We’re just hard-wired that way.
  11. We really do enjoy helping you. We thrive on problems and challenges.  We just really like when you follow the process for reporting issues, and take the time to do basic troubleshooting.
  12. We don’t all live on hot pockets and caffeine but, we can make a valid argument for their inclusion in daily life.
  13. We do have different levels of geekiness. Some of those levels include nerdiness. And yes, there is a difference!

And last, but not least….

IT people are either dearly loved, or severely hated, depending on what is, or is not functioning.

Look Dummy, it’s Right in the Schotoma!

Location: Genius-Developer-Guys Office
Participants: GDG, Project Manager Extraordinaire, Queen-of-the-CallCenter, Random Person, and Me

Random person leans in office door: 

“Have you seen the Queen-of-the-CallCenter?”

Group Responds:

“Nope, nope we haven’t…”

The QotCC can hide in plain site when you have a bit of an evil streak. The evil streak quickly softens when you wonder if Random Persons issue was critical?

We might have a slight evil streak, but hey, we prove scientific theory’s when our evil sides kick in. 🙂

 

*Schotoma Example: 
“Imagine the following situation.  Someone says to you, ‘Please get the the salt,’ and as you walk into the next room, you say, ‘But I don’t know where it is.’  After looking for a few minutes, you call out, ‘I can’t find the salt.’  Then that someone walks up, takes the salt right off the shelf in front of you, and says, ‘Look, dummy, it’s right her in front of you.  If it was a snake, it would have bitten you.’  When you said, ‘I can’t,’ you gave your brain a command not to see the salt.  In psychology, we call it schotoma.”

Hairy Situation

hairpullingThe great thing about work? People

The not-so-great thing about work? People

Thankfully, they provide endless entertainment which compensates for the rest. Case in point….hair cuts.

Ventured in to Cost Cutters last week. Decided my hair was annoying the crap out of me, and it needed to go.

Monday, at work, the common question was, “Did you get your hair cut?” My unspoken responses went something like this:

“No, I went in to get this one unruly hair cut, and the rest became insanely jealous. They threatened bodily harm if not allowed to join in the fun. So, we had to cut them all. Have you ever seen hair wielding a knife? It’s scary!”

“No, I went to dry my hair this morning and the ends jumped off. They’re now on strike for better treatment. I’ll miss them but, I don’t negotiate with hair-rorists!”

“No, I participated in a horror movie marathon and my hair just couldn’t take it.”

“No, I didn’t get a hair cut. Why? What are you saying? Oh My God! Where’s my hair?!?!?!”

“Why yes, yes I did. I figured while I was at it, I’d get them all cut though.”

“No, I went wig shopping and this one just wouldn’t come off.”

“Wait! Who told you? Are they still watching me?”

“Wait…..you can see me?!?!”

I may, or may not, have watched Bill Engvall and Jeff Foxworthy a few too many times. Also, I may, or may not, find questions suspect unless you are a teacher, or parent. Just saying…

Observations Amidst an Infrastructure Meeting

tux

Observations Amidst an Infrastructure Meeting….

Bossman: “So, do you want to set that up on Linux?”

Team:

….”Oh, ya, Ubuntu!”

“No, openSUSE, or we could try Scientific Linux! Haven’t played with that one yet.”

“We really need donuts…jelly filled…or…Oh! Cream filled!”

“There is always Oracle Linux….powdered, powdered donuts are best. Or, cake, chocolate covered cake donuts.”

“I think I’ll just do Kali Linux. There are some features we could use for security, but I’d have to go with the cake donuts. They’re the best.”

“Nobody knows Kali, it’s a gimmick. Anyway it is almost lunch. How about pizza?”

“I know Kali! And Mexican food would be better…mmmm…pork chili!”

Bossman: “Can you all stop talking about food and decide. Is it Kali or what?”

Team:

“Mexican food and yes, Kali, since I’m the one working with it. Plus, we really need Monsters or red bull for this afternoon.”

“So, are we going to lunch now?”

“Ya, Wonderful House?”

“Meet you all there!”

Meetings should not be held around lunch time if they are truly meant to be productive. An issue we’ll surely discuss as we go for Chinese. Wonderful House here we come! Be afraid, be very afraid! 🙂