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Author Topic: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74  (Read 3617654 times)

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Spriggy

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3435 on: February 14, 2013, 03:11:07 PM »
Spriggy: Just what the e-heck??????  They let the passed out guy drive away?

Yes, they let the passed out guy drive away.  Bob and Carl's excuse was that he was awake enough to drive by that time, so they didn't see the need to call emergency services.   :o

LEMon

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3436 on: February 14, 2013, 03:51:10 PM »
This actually reminds me of an anti-professional darwinism story.

New kid had his first 'on-call shift'.  He was at a library about a mile from the place of business when he got paged.  He went out to his car, went to put the key in the door, and realized his tire was flat.  Instead of calling in or even spending the 20 minutes or so it would take to change the tire first, he grabbed his backpack and took off at a dead run, making it to the office within ten minutes of when the page went out.  His boss had some difficulty not laughing at him, but was apparently impressed.
I'm impressed.  A note would have been added to his file if I were manager/boss.  The kid thinks the call is important so he puts it first.  (That might be a really neat new thread - what really impressive things have co-workers done at work)

ladyknight1

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3437 on: February 14, 2013, 03:59:41 PM »
I sense a spin-off!
ďAll 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

magician5

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3438 on: February 14, 2013, 04:24:16 PM »
This actually reminds me of an anti-professional darwinism story.

New kid had his first 'on-call shift'.  He was at a library about a mile from the place of business when he got paged.  He went out to his car, went to put the key in the door, and realized his tire was flat.  Instead of calling in or even spending the 20 minutes or so it would take to change the tire first, he grabbed his backpack and took off at a dead run, making it to the office within ten minutes of when the page went out.  His boss had some difficulty not laughing at him, but was apparently impressed.

I dated a doctor once. She was a wonderful person in many ways, but the demands placed upon her time were too much. The activities that could be suddenly halted, perhaps even abandoned, because of being 'on call' were  ... daunting, is that a good word? I suppose, look it up in your SCRABBLE dictionary (nudge nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean?).
There is no 'way to peace.' Peace is the way.

Mediancat

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3439 on: February 15, 2013, 07:11:16 AM »
Mary's response is to blame her coworkers, and claim that she is only making a simple mistake, and we are making a undo fuss.
Mary needs a reality check.  There are "simple mistakes" and "acts that violate the law."  Acts that violate the law are not simple mistakes and they have serious consequences, like losing your job.

Slight disagreement. I work with HIPAA and there are indeed some very simple things you can do that violates the law.  Which in no way, shape or forms makes violation of the law excusable, just that it can be very easy to do so.

Rob

You're right, it can be very easy to inadvertantly violate privacy laws.  For that reason, an attitude like Mary's is absolutely unacceptable in that sort of position.  If I had an employee who reacted as Mary did when confronted with her repeated errors, I'd bring it to HR and request that she either be terminated or reassigned to a position that doesn't involve access to private data.

Absolutely no argument here.
"In all of mankind's history, there has never been more damage done than by someone who 'thought they were doing the right thing'." -- Lucy, Peanuts

zyrs

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3440 on: February 16, 2013, 06:17:14 AM »
I have a work friend who was on call once, and he got a work call while he was at the movies.  His response was "I'll call you back later."  That did NOT go over well with the bosses.  To this day, he still doesn't really understand what he did wrong - "I was at the MOVIES!  What was I supposed to do?"

Perhaps ... not go to the movies while you are on call?

This happened to a friend. 
The place they work at has an emergency phone which is part of an automated system, so if you get a text on the phone, it's because a problem has already happened, you are being notified that you need to follow procedures to fix it.  There are two systems that send texts to the phone so in case one fails, the other will send a text.  Each of the people that works there is scheduled to take the phone for a week, then to hand it to the next person on the schedule.

Huge problem is detected in system phone is connected to and phone sends a text through the automated system.  The other system is people, and they never bother to send a text.  Unfortunately the person who has the phone has let the battery die and they never get the text so the problem does not get fixed for hours.  Of course, it wouldn't have mattered if they had gotten the text because they had left the phone at home while they went for an overnight visit to their romantic interest, so they wouldn't have been able to take care of it anyway.  And they don't understand why it's such a big deal anyway.

Shalamar

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3441 on: February 16, 2013, 11:13:38 AM »
Oh, Lordy.    :o.   That sounds like a perfect storm of screw-ups.

mmswm

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3442 on: February 16, 2013, 11:35:34 AM »
My father once had to deal with a situation that could have been PD if the big guys hadn't had a sense of humor about it. He worked for a major US telephone company (he's retired now), and the group he worked with was the end of the line for tech support.  A problem ticket had to go through several layers of tech support before it got to them, and when they got it, they had to fix it, no matter how long it took.  Some of these tickets took years of research and working with manufacturers and with the research labs.

So, there's a problem in a major switching office that supports a portion of a major city that's home to many, many tourist venues.  This problem has the potential to cause a catastrophic outage. This is considered serious enough that when all the lower levels of tech support failed to fix the problem, the CEO found it reasonable to send his personal driver to my father's office, drive him to the airport and put him on his personal private jet and fly him to the major city, where he'd hired another limo driver to drive him straight to the office.

My father gets there, does a few basic trouble shooting things, only to discover that an important piece of equipment was unplugged.  That was it.  They plugged the piece of equipment back in, rebooted a few systems and the problem was solved. If the CEO didn't have a sense of humor about it, several heads could have rolled, as the expense of sending my father there via private jet wasn't trivial.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

marcel

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3443 on: February 16, 2013, 12:00:04 PM »
My boss told me this tale that happened about 15 years ago.  The company interviewed for a new receptionist, and the president decided who he wanted to hire and called the applicant to offer the job.  Everyone was surprised to see a different applicant at the reception desk the next week - apparently the president had mixed up which resume went with which person and had offered the job to the wrong applicant.  Oh well, we'll see how this works out, was the decision.  Fast forward a few months.  The receptionist wasn't particularly well liked, but she wasn't completely incompetent either.  Things were okay.  There was a conferenc in New Orleans and the president, vice president and for some reason the receptionist flew to the conference and attended the first day.  The second day, the president, vice president and receptionist attended the morning session and then parted ways for lunch.  The receptionist was never heard from again.  Like, never.  She was not on the plane home the following day.  She never showed up for work or collected her belongings.  No one ever called looking for her.  Nothing.  She just vanished.  I asked my boss why they didn't follow up or report her as missing.  He said they just didn't really think about it.  That seriously blows my mind!  I really wonder what happened.  I am going on a trip to New Orleans with my boss in a few months and I am a little concerned that I might disappear too!  :)

That reminds me of when I was interning on a container vessel. One day we were docked in Bordeaux and our (Philipinian) cook took a trip into town for the evening.

By the time we were ready to depart, he still had not returned to the ship. In the end, we had to leave without him. Our agent did check with hospitals and police and everything, but nobody ever found out what had happened to them.

We had no idea whether he decided to stay in France illegaly or if something more sinister had happened to him, and I still consider this one of the strangest things I ever encounbtered profesionaly.
Wherever you go..... There you are.

VorFemme

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3444 on: February 16, 2013, 01:08:53 PM »
My father once had to deal with a situation that could have been PD if the big guys hadn't had a sense of humor about it. He worked for a major US telephone company (he's retired now), and the group he worked with was the end of the line for tech support.  A problem ticket had to go through several layers of tech support before it got to them, and when they got it, they had to fix it, no matter how long it took.  Some of these tickets took years of research and working with manufacturers and with the research labs.

So, there's a problem in a major switching office that supports a portion of a major city that's home to many, many tourist venues.  This problem has the potential to cause a catastrophic outage. This is considered serious enough that when all the lower levels of tech support failed to fix the problem, the CEO found it reasonable to send his personal driver to my father's office, drive him to the airport and put him on his personal private jet and fly him to the major city, where he'd hired another limo driver to drive him straight to the office.

My father gets there, does a few basic trouble shooting things, only to discover that an important piece of equipment was unplugged.  That was it.  They plugged the piece of equipment back in, rebooted a few systems and the problem was solved. If the CEO didn't have a sense of humor about it, several heads could have rolled, as the expense of sending my father there via private jet wasn't trivial.

Back when computerized ordering systems were in their toddlerhood (over twenty years ago) - VorGuy worked for a guy who was starting up a computer programming business and that was one of his projects.  The system involved a central offfice that took orders over the phone - then sent the order to the closest restaurant to you for cooking & delivery.  Home computers were available - but not common yet.

One store kept having trouble with their system - so VorGuy hopped in his car and drove for several hours to get there.....to find that the printer (fax machine style with a roll of paper instead of sheets of paper) had been moved for cleaning the day before and unplugged from the computer.....it had power, so when they checked "is it plugged in?" the answer was yes.

But either the phone line or the computer cable had fallen out.....
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 01:12:38 PM by VorFemme »
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?

ladyknight1

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3445 on: February 16, 2013, 02:04:55 PM »
I am sure you can all imagine how scanning and storing student documents are a big deal. Because that process is a big deal, my department has very strict policies regarding it. Every member of our department and IT know the policies. However, at least once a year, someone forgets the process and does whatever they please, which creates major problems. There are legal reasons why the scanners have to be located where they are.

For scanning student documents, we have a special scanner, that has special software that is run by a special department at our university. To add a scanner, it is a major investment ($$$$$). So we have rules regarding their use and maintenance. Once a scanner is in place, remote software installment must happen, it must be tested and made to be as good as possible, etc.

This is a month long process.

So, when we found out that two of our 6 scanners had been moved, and that not one of the integral people had been notified, it was a big deal.
ďAll 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

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3446 on: February 16, 2013, 03:08:31 PM »
My father once had to deal with a situation that could have been PD if the big guys hadn't had a sense of humor about it. He worked for a major US telephone company (he's retired now), and the group he worked with was the end of the line for tech support.  A problem ticket had to go through several layers of tech support before it got to them, and when they got it, they had to fix it, no matter how long it took.  Some of these tickets took years of research and working with manufacturers and with the research labs.

So, there's a problem in a major switching office that supports a portion of a major city that's home to many, many tourist venues.  This problem has the potential to cause a catastrophic outage. This is considered serious enough that when all the lower levels of tech support failed to fix the problem, the CEO found it reasonable to send his personal driver to my father's office, drive him to the airport and put him on his personal private jet and fly him to the major city, where he'd hired another limo driver to drive him straight to the office.

My father gets there, does a few basic trouble shooting things, only to discover that an important piece of equipment was unplugged.  That was it.  They plugged the piece of equipment back in, rebooted a few systems and the problem was solved. If the CEO didn't have a sense of humor about it, several heads could have rolled, as the expense of sending my father there via private jet wasn't trivial.

That reminds me of an apocryphal story, whose moral is about experts and what they are worth.

A company bought a multi-million dollar piece of equipment. The manufacturer brought it and installed it, but it didn't work. So they brought in the next level of tech support and they couldn't get it to work. And again with a third level. Finally, someone suggested that they get "Fred." Fred was the absolute expert on this equipment, but had retired. After much begging and pleading, Fred agreed to take the job. He visited the customer site and looked the machine over. He opened his tool box and took out a small hammer. He then tapped the machine in one corner. Suddenly, the machine starts working. There is much rejoicing.

Fred turns in his bill, which is for $50,000.50. The customer and manufacturer blow a gasket. "$50K for a little tap, what's this about?" Fred's response was: "The tap cost you $0.50. The $50K is for knowing where to tap."
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.

artk2002

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3447 on: February 16, 2013, 03:16:41 PM »
Back when computerized ordering systems were in their toddlerhood (over twenty years ago) - VorGuy worked for a guy who was starting up a computer programming business and that was one of his projects.  The system involved a central offfice that took orders over the phone - then sent the order to the closest restaurant to you for cooking & delivery.  Home computers were available - but not common yet.

One store kept having trouble with their system - so VorGuy hopped in his car and drove for several hours to get there.....to find that the printer (fax machine style with a roll of paper instead of sheets of paper) had been moved for cleaning the day before and unplugged from the computer.....it had power, so when they checked "is it plugged in?" the answer was yes.

But either the phone line or the computer cable had fallen out.....

I've told this story before, but it's apropos here. It's the story of why Art refuses to do first-line (and sometimes 2nd-line) customer support. I was CS for a small service bureau, who sold computer time on our mainframes to whomever would pony up some money (Larry Flynt? No problem! We'll print your stuff as soon as we finish printing the solicitation letters from the televangelist and before we print a few hundred thousand tax returns.) One of our customers was a government agency who kept a significant database on our system. They communicated with us via an old Teletype Model 35, essentially a typewriter with a modem attached. One day I fielded a call from someone at the agency complaining that they couldn't connect. I walked them through the process: Was it plugged into the power? Yes. Was it plugged into the phone jack? Yes. Was the power light on? Yes. Were any other lights on? No. We went around and around for a good half an hour before the person asked "What does this red 'paper' light mean?" You guessed it, the teletype was out of paper.

From then, until I moved to systems programming, I had to fight down the temptation to answer the phone with "Customer Support! This better be good!" So, apropos of the thread, I managed to dodge committing PD.
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.

Julian

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3448 on: February 16, 2013, 06:13:42 PM »
These computer support stories reminded me of one that happened a few years ago at my old job.

We* needed to get a new server - a not inconsiderable server.  $3M worth of specialised server.  Only one company, MegaComputerCorp, makes them.  But we work in a government department, and there are procurement rules that need to be followed, so we had to go out to tender for the hardware. 

That would have been simple enough, however the rules also stipulated that for capital expenditure of that degree, we must also have a project team that manage the tendering, purchase and installation of said hardware.  So the procurement department establish their project team, who go about their business at their usual glacial pace.  Some twelve months or so after the process started, we have the new server.  Yay!

Until they went to install it.  You see the project team had neglected to establish if the location of the new server was ready to go.  Well, there was space, but no dedicated power supply to power up the new megabeast.  And now, since the project had swallowed all the funding for the new server (what with paying the project team of three people for twelve months), there was nothing left in the bucket to establish the power supply.  It took another three months to get the power supply issue sorted, and the server up and running.  I'm still not sure where they got the extra bucks from.

I suppose we should consider ourselves lucky we actually got the server we needed, because they did try to persuade us otherwise in the beginning.

* 'We' as in my work unit.  We owned and managed the previous server, which contained statewide data storage and financial information for our Govt Dept.  It was an older version of the new server, which was slow, having space issues and was beyond its use-by date. 

Out on the patio we'd sit,
And the humidity we'd breathe,
We'd watch the lightning crack over canefields
Laugh and think, this is Australia.

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akm10

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3449 on: February 16, 2013, 08:39:31 PM »
Julian's story of the new server reminded me of what happened at my first "real" job. Unfortunately my employment ended before the story fully played out so I only heard the simple ending, and have no idea if anyone was eventually held responsible.

Setting: 25 years ago, when personal computers were just becoming cost effective, but most financial work was done on terminals to a mainframe. I worked at an office who's main focus was entering General Ledger data into the mainframe for an international company. The mainframe was physically located in this office, and wasn't too large. It was one of those systems that needed to have the hard drive 'unseated', or whatever it was then.

They decided to relocate and none of us were offered positions in the new location. One of my last tasks was arranging for the terminals to be packaged up for shipping to the new location. We paid for three people to spend six hours carefully boxing up about 10 terminals.

But what of the mainframe? I can hear Art and other IT personnel asking. The person in charge of the move refused to authorize funds for any special movers, claiming that the furniture movers had plenty of experience "moving computers."

My last day was before the final move, so I only heard this second hand, but the story was that the movers basically just treated the mainframe as if it was a filing cabinet, and when they turned it on at the new location, it failed to come on.

That's the last I heard. I don't think the person in charge of the move was held accountable for the loss of the mainframe as they were the "golden child", and were very good at deflecting blame. I wouldn't be surprised that even though I was gone by then, had no authority to hire special movers for the mainframe, was the youngest by decades of the group and only a low level clerk, somewhere there's a memo about how "Anna destroyed the mainframe."

Anna