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.

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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! 🙂

 

Submit the Ticket!

fireDear Technically Challenged End User,

Submitting a ticket on an issue you are experiencing is IT’s preferred method of communication. The fact that we ask you, “Have you submitted a ticket?”, when you approach us should be a clue.  However, we understand technology can be challenging. Sending an email, with details of your issue, to helpdesk@waon.com can be complicated. The other three hundred emails you send in a week are far less complicated. We understand.

Submitting a ticket on your issue also robs us of your glorious visits to our personal space because, you know IT people just LOVE strangers in their personal space. We especially enjoy it when you stand there…staring at us…. while we’re working….and then….finally ask, “Are you busy? Can you look at something?”

“Why, No Jill! We are never to busy for you! Let me drop everything to look at your mission critical issue!”

We will then patiently follow you back to your desk. Where, we will quietly point out the button, checkbox, drop down, or field you forgot to fill in. We may even turn it off, and back on again, like we’ve recommended…repeatedly. We will do whatever we need to do to resolve your critical, highly important issue.

We will do it. We will smile. We will walk away, and smile more because, we know….

The URGENT report you requested this morning. The one we were working on. The one we have now lost all train of thought on. The one we will have to read every line of code we’ve written to re-establish our lost train of thought. That report…that report will be completed some time next month. We could have wrapped it up today but….you couldn’t be bothered to submit a ticket!

Sincerely Yours,

The IT Team