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### Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 1677297 times)

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#### HorseFreak

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##### Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2685 on: June 13, 2013, 07:44:35 PM »
Explaining to a customer that sorry, we've no milk left, but the manager has gone to get some and will be back in about fifteen minutes. No, we don't have any in the fridge or out the back, that's what "no milk left" means. No, I personally don't have any extra. There isn't any hidden in a secret place just for staff, no. And no, I cannot just go and milk the cow that you think we have living in the back room.

This happened four times over a few months of working at that particular place.

Oh, dear. EvilTwik just suggested murmurring "well, just this once," and starting to unbutton your top.
There is an anecdote in the People's guide ot Mexico. To ask, in Spanish, if a shop sells something, you do not say "Do you have X?" That means "Do you personally have X?" You ask "Is there X?"

Well, one of the authors, a man, walked into a shop and asked the very pregnant shopkeeper "Do you have milk?" He reported that "the reaction of the other customers and the look on the girl's face took a year off my conversational ability in Spanish."

I asked a Mexican friend of mine about that and he said it's horse poo. It could be regional (he's from the Mexico City area), but he says you can ask "do you have...?" and it would be considered normal.

#### cwm

• Member
• Posts: 2337
##### Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2686 on: June 14, 2013, 03:14:47 PM »
My boyfriend is going through a huge impossible request right now.

He works for Company X, which is mostly contracted to work for Company Y. The current problem that they're having is that Company Y maintains a spreadsheet/database of information called QRS (making up all the acronyms, but they really are just three letter acronyms). His job at Company X is to take the information from QRS and put it into ZYX database so another department at Company Y can read it.

There's a massive issue right now where the data from QRS isn't coming over properly. It's propigating the wrong sets of data, adding duplicate data that can't validate because of errors, and isn't including several pieces of information that they absolutely need. This is a known issue from when QRS was created, but the developers refuse to acknowledge this in any documentable form. Executives at Company Y and Company X are nearly screaming mad because nothing is being done, but boyfriend can't prove what data he's missing because he doesn't have access to QRS to compare what he has and doesn't have. He can't get anyone to allow him access to QRS because it's not part of his job to need all that information. It's likely to take at least another week for him to write the scripts to query the database to see what exactly is going on, plus taking things offline to test them in a stable setting, thus not letting any of the rest of QRS users access it or letting any of the data update live.

The best part? ZYX is going to be gone by the end of the month. This has been planned for a very long time. It's halfway through June and they're JUST NOW opening up tickets (and the average shelf life for a ticket with the development team is two to three weeks before anything can be done). There was literally no way in the timeframe the executives wanted that the issues between ZYX and QRS to be fixed, and barely enough time for them to be diagnosed properly, but unless there's visible progress RIGHT NOW, people are going to be getting in trouble.

Boyfriend has been pulling 14 hour days trying to fix this. Half of the people who can fix this are here in the USA, half of them are in India, making finding time for them to all be online together working on this more difficult than normal. But his bosses can't explain this to the execs from either company, they want it done and they want it done before the system phases out.

Um, yeah. Sorry. No.

#### Midnight Kitty

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##### Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2687 on: June 17, 2013, 01:45:43 PM »
My boyfriend is going through a huge impossible request right now.
<snip>
But his bosses can't explain this to the execs from either company, they want it done and they want it done before the system phases out.

Um, yeah. Sorry. No.
I work for the government.  Big difference from private business.  We've had gliches in existing systems scheduled to be phased out in a year or 2.  No sense asking IT to fix the gliches; They will just say, "Don't worry about it; We're phasing that system out soon."  Doesn't matter how difficult it makes doing our work now.  I often say "the government moves at glacial speeds."
"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.  The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

Marcus Aurelius

#### magicdomino

• Member
• Posts: 5806
##### Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2688 on: June 17, 2013, 02:35:50 PM »
My boyfriend is going through a huge impossible request right now.
<snip>
But his bosses can't explain this to the execs from either company, they want it done and they want it done before the system phases out.

Um, yeah. Sorry. No.
I work for the government.  Big difference from private business.  We've had gliches in existing systems scheduled to be phased out in a year or 2.  No sense asking IT to fix the gliches; They will just say, "Don't worry about it; We're phasing that system out soon."  Doesn't matter how difficult it makes doing our work now.  I often say "the government moves at glacial speeds."

Worse, the system that is supposed to be phased out in a year ends up hanging around for many years because they can't transfer the data to the new system.

• Member
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• Not all those who wander are lost
##### Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2689 on: June 17, 2013, 02:48:11 PM »
We had an employee named Shelley, who was very intense and prone to emotional outbursts at random times, working on topic B. Well, over the year or so she was there, she worked about 25% of the time on topic B and 75% of the time on giant project C. When she left to take her shiny new job at another employer, no one at my institution had access to project C. No one needed to use project C. Shelley wasted not only her time, but an entire server's worth of space and the time of everyone else whose reports she had appropriated for project C.
“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

#### artk2002

• Member
• Posts: 13858
##### Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2690 on: June 17, 2013, 02:55:55 PM »
We had an employee named Shelley, who was very intense and prone to emotional outbursts at random times, working on topic B. Well, over the year or so she was there, she worked about 25% of the time on topic B and 75% of the time on giant project C. When she left to take her shiny new job at another employer, no one at my institution had access to project C. No one needed to use project C. Shelley wasted not only her time, but an entire server's worth of space and the time of everyone else whose reports she had appropriated for project C.

Where was her supervisor in all of this?
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

#### wolfie

• I don't know what this is so I am putting random words here
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##### Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2691 on: June 17, 2013, 03:04:09 PM »
We had an employee named Shelley, who was very intense and prone to emotional outbursts at random times, working on topic B. Well, over the year or so she was there, she worked about 25% of the time on topic B and 75% of the time on giant project C. When she left to take her shiny new job at another employer, no one at my institution had access to project C. No one needed to use project C. Shelley wasted not only her time, but an entire server's worth of space and the time of everyone else whose reports she had appropriated for project C.

Where was her supervisor in all of this?

I am wondering if it was just bad luck. I worked as an intern for 6 months on one project. The day before I left the project was disbanded and all my work was wasted.

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• Not all those who wander are lost
##### Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2692 on: June 17, 2013, 03:19:00 PM »
Shelley was "friends" with the director of our department, and whenever something was said to her, she would walk in the director's office and stomp her feet or cry. She started threatening to leave. Her supervisor couldn't do much without the directors' approval. It was a big waste of state resources and no one was sad when she left aside from the director.
“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

#### Coruscation

• Member
• Posts: 1001
##### Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2693 on: June 17, 2013, 04:26:29 PM »
My boyfriend is going through a huge impossible request right now.
<snip>
But his bosses can't explain this to the execs from either company, they want it done and they want it done before the system phases out.

Um, yeah. Sorry. No.
I work for the government.  Big difference from private business.  We've had gliches in existing systems scheduled to be phased out in a year or 2.  No sense asking IT to fix the gliches; They will just say, "Don't worry about it; We're phasing that system out soon."  Doesn't matter how difficult it makes doing our work now.  I often say "the government moves at glacial speeds."

Worse, the system that is supposed to be phased out in a year ends up hanging around for many years because they can't transfer the data to the new system.

This explains so much. My husband and his brother have forklift licences. They were issued for life years ago. Out of the blue, the government demanded that they reapply and start paying $60 every five years. The kicker was that BIL couldn't find his (it was over 15 years old) and was looking at having to pay$500 for a course to get it reissued. In desperation, my husband rang and told the person on the phone that they got their licences at the same time and they were one number off. The woman went and physically fetched the licence and confirmed his information.

I have low expectations of government departments but this one had us baffled, they obviously still had the information in their possession. All we could guess was that it was a job creation scheme combined with fundraising.

#### blue2000

• It is never too late to be what you might have been
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• Two kitties - No waiting. And no sleeping either.
##### Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2694 on: June 17, 2013, 08:22:55 PM »
My boyfriend is going through a huge impossible request right now.
<snip>
But his bosses can't explain this to the execs from either company, they want it done and they want it done before the system phases out.

Um, yeah. Sorry. No.
I work for the government.  Big difference from private business.  We've had gliches in existing systems scheduled to be phased out in a year or 2.  No sense asking IT to fix the gliches; They will just say, "Don't worry about it; We're phasing that system out soon."  Doesn't matter how difficult it makes doing our work now.  I often say "the government moves at glacial speeds."

Worse, the system that is supposed to be phased out in a year ends up hanging around for many years because they can't transfer the data to the new system.

This explains so much. My husband and his brother have forklift licences. They were issued for life years ago. Out of the blue, the government demanded that they reapply and start paying $60 every five years. The kicker was that BIL couldn't find his (it was over 15 years old) and was looking at having to pay$500 for a course to get it reissued. In desperation, my husband rang and told the person on the phone that they got their licences at the same time and they were one number off. The woman went and physically fetched the licence and confirmed his information.

I have low expectations of government departments but this one had us baffled, they obviously still had the information in their possession. All we could guess was that it was a job creation scheme combined with fundraising.

I have my license for several pieces of heavy equipment at work, and the rules have changed mainly because of safety concerns. We used to have to retest every three years, now it is retest every 18 months and redo the entire licensing course every three years - paid for by the company, thank goodness.

You would be surprised at how many people forget the safety procedures if they never have to retest. Not saying your DH and your BIL have, just that a lot of accidents happen because of this.
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

#### glacio

• Member
• Posts: 166
##### Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2695 on: June 17, 2013, 09:17:19 PM »
Explaining to a customer that sorry, we've no milk left, but the manager has gone to get some and will be back in about fifteen minutes. No, we don't have any in the fridge or out the back, that's what "no milk left" means. No, I personally don't have any extra. There isn't any hidden in a secret place just for staff, no. And no, I cannot just go and milk the cow that you think we have living in the back room.

This happened four times over a few months of working at that particular place.

Oh, dear. EvilTwik just suggested murmurring "well, just this once," and starting to unbutton your top.
There is an anecdote in the People's guide ot Mexico. To ask, in Spanish, if a shop sells something, you do not say "Do you have X?" That means "Do you personally have X?" You ask "Is there X?"

Well, one of the authors, a man, walked into a shop and asked the very pregnant shopkeeper "Do you have milk?" He reported that "the reaction of the other customers and the look on the girl's face took a year off my conversational ability in Spanish."

I asked a Mexican friend of mine about that and he said it's horse poo. It could be regional (he's from the Mexico City area), but he says you can ask "do you have...?" and it would be considered normal.

My border-town Spanish speaking boyfriend who has lived in various parts of Mexico said that while technically correct, almost everyone should understand in the context of the shop. Being outside of the shop may cause some confusion, however. Also there is a small chance that if you were in a very rural area that kept a much more rigid separation in the grammar may give some looks.

I would guess, going back to the subject title, that most shop keepers the world over assume that you are not asking for something impossible and work off of that before making completely freaking out

#### #borecore

• Member
• Posts: 5268
• Extreme normcore
##### Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2696 on: June 17, 2013, 09:26:04 PM »
My husband's in charge of workflow for his small company "BasketsUSA."  They got a request for a quote on development of set of five "gift basket"  with a promise that if they did really well, there would be 200 more baskets (representing weeks of work and lots of money) where that came from. Husband was very excited to fulfill this particular request, so he opened up the gift basket requests only to notice that they had had some IDENTICAL requests just the week before. Right on down to the sets of 5 bananas in one type and gingham ribbon on another.

"No, we outsourced those to our basket weavers in Bangladesh for weaving before we fill them. I'll get in touch with BasketWeev and see what's up, but it looks like they're outsourcing our products to the guy who contacted you, and that's specifically forbidden in their contract."
Boss was STEAMED.  Their clients' basket concepts are proprietary ideas and they can't be broadcast around the world. The quote request was a bad form letter, so it looked like the job/files had been sent to more than one place. BasketsUSA just got lucky that it was a recipient.
The next day, Husband comes in, and it's been resolved.
Turns out one of BasketWeev's employees was overwhelmed by his workload and decided to see if he could outsource it on his own time and pretend to do the work. He apparently had no idea that the whole reason the work was outsourced to Bangladesh in the first place wad because it was vastly cheaper, and by paying out of pocket for BasketsUSA baskets, he'd be spending more than he earned. Lots and lots more -- he was promptly fired. BasketWeev is lucky they had a fall guy, or they would have lost all their work, too.

I guess this could go in professional Darwinism, but I got such a kick out of the initial request,  I put it here.

(Names, industry and outsourcing source obviously obscured.)

#### jedikaiti

• Swiss Army Nerd
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• A pie in the hand is worth two in the mail.
##### Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2697 on: June 17, 2013, 09:39:32 PM »
Yea, I'd say that's some serious PD, but it does remind me of the guy who (rather more successfully) outsorced his programming job to China. He made a fortune, since he could easily hold down 2 jobs - I can't remember if he worked one or outsourced both - but the outsourcing cost FAR less than he was being paid.

At least, until he got caught!
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

#### Coruscation

• Member
• Posts: 1001
##### Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2698 on: June 17, 2013, 10:54:25 PM »
My boyfriend is going through a huge impossible request right now.
<snip>
But his bosses can't explain this to the execs from either company, they want it done and they want it done before the system phases out.

Um, yeah. Sorry. No.
I work for the government.  Big difference from private business.  We've had gliches in existing systems scheduled to be phased out in a year or 2.  No sense asking IT to fix the gliches; They will just say, "Don't worry about it; We're phasing that system out soon."  Doesn't matter how difficult it makes doing our work now.  I often say "the government moves at glacial speeds."

Worse, the system that is supposed to be phased out in a year ends up hanging around for many years because they can't transfer the data to the new system.

This explains so much. My husband and his brother have forklift licences. They were issued for life years ago. Out of the blue, the government demanded that they reapply and start paying $60 every five years. The kicker was that BIL couldn't find his (it was over 15 years old) and was looking at having to pay$500 for a course to get it reissued. In desperation, my husband rang and told the person on the phone that they got their licences at the same time and they were one number off. The woman went and physically fetched the licence and confirmed his information.

I have low expectations of government departments but this one had us baffled, they obviously still had the information in their possession. All we could guess was that it was a job creation scheme combined with fundraising.

I have my license for several pieces of heavy equipment at work, and the rules have changed mainly because of safety concerns. We used to have to retest every three years, now it is retest every 18 months and redo the entire licensing course every three years - paid for by the company, thank goodness.

You would be surprised at how many people forget the safety procedures if they never have to retest. Not saying your DH and your BIL have, just that a lot of accidents happen because of this.

Yes, but they couldn't find his details. He gave them his name, date of birth etc but until he gave them the number of his licence, they couldn't find his records. Then they could and reissued his licence without question and without testing. So, it was either a physical document or a computer file searchable by only the one parameter. Now, I guess, its loaded into the new computer system. For the next five years anyway.

Everything to do with bureaucracy, nothing to do with safety.

#### zyrs

• Member
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• spiffily male.
##### Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2699 on: June 18, 2013, 12:57:28 AM »
My boyfriend is going through a huge impossible request right now.
<snip>
But his bosses can't explain this to the execs from either company, they want it done and they want it done before the system phases out.

Um, yeah. Sorry. No.
I work for the government.  Big difference from private business.  We've had gliches in existing systems scheduled to be phased out in a year or 2.  No sense asking IT to fix the gliches; They will just say, "Don't worry about it; We're phasing that system out soon."  Doesn't matter how difficult it makes doing our work now.  I often say "the government moves at glacial speeds."

It's not that much different from some private businesses.  Where my wife works decided to change to a different type of order program to be implemented over a few years - then outsourced it to a company that has not delivered a working product for a year.  So every day they are scrambling to figure out what's wrong with the program today ...