Author Topic: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74  (Read 1087285 times)

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Shalamar

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3465 on: March 01, 2013, 03:55:38 PM »
The company I used to work for had a computer console in the middle of the floor where all of us programmers worked.   This console allowed us to do some system-admin stuff to the test environment, including rebooting it.  Trouble is, this console was also capable of rebooting the production environment - which controlled a whole bunch of grocery stores country-wide.  Guess what happened one day?  (And no, it wasn't me who did it.  Thank goodness.)  Apparently those stores were all dead in the water for close to an hour while the system was brought back up.

That incident always reminded me of the Dilbert cartoon:

Dogbert:  How was your day?
Dilbert:  Yesterday I was a complete nobody.  Today, everyone knows my name.
Dogbert:  Screwed up, huh?
Dilbert:  Ooh, yeah.  Big time.

hjaye

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3466 on: March 02, 2013, 12:37:13 PM »
This did not turn into PD, but it sure came close. 

Years ago I worked for a small IT consulting firm.  It had one major client so naturally the owner of the company wanted to make sure we gave top notch service to the customer.

We were responsible for the email infrastructure for the client which was based on a Microsoft platform, at that time it was Microsoft Exchange version5.5 (this was back in the late 90's)  Microsoft had come out with a new service pack for the Exchange5.5 platform.  A service pack is basically a bunch fixes and upgrades to remedy problems that had been identified with the application. 

Wanting to make sure we did our due diligence, a time was scheduled to apply the service pack to the email servers.  My boss decided that to make sure the email environment was clean, he was going to run some utilities on the email servers.  One of the utilities is something called eseutil, which defragments the database.  The idea is that a fragmented database slows things down since the information is not easily readable since the information is not in consecutive order.  Defragmenting the database will clean things up and increase performance.

However, if my boss had actually done real due diligence, he would have found out, that one of the problems that the new service pack was going to fix, was a problem with running eseutil against an email database that was larger than 16 GB.  If you tried to defrag a database that was 16GB, it basically destroyed the database which would take down the entire email infrastructure and all of the email for all of the employees would be lost.

the email database on the clients email servers was just over 16GB, my boss was the one who ran the utility, and he crashed their email system.  There were backups, but there were problems being able to read the backups to rebuild the email environment.  It took over a week, but eventually, with the help of Microsoft, they were able to rebuild and restore most of the mail.

My boss was literally in the bathroom getting sick the first few days of trying to fix things.  The quirk in all this, is that the client never really knew what happened, they didn't know why the system crashed, and there was no post mortem to find out exactly what went wrong.  My boss actually made a lot of money since he had over 12 employees working practically around the clock for a week to fix the problem, and he charged the client for all the time spent fixing the problem.

the client not only paid the invoice for all the time, they actually thanked my boss for all the hard work and diligence at working at fixing the problem, and he came out of it smelling like a rose

artk2002

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3467 on: March 02, 2013, 12:51:48 PM »
She says to my boss "What does this grey button labeled 'EPO' do?"  He then replies "Why don't you just push it and find out?"  Kind of like in slow motion, the system admins and the operations staff watch as she reaches down and pushes the Emergengy Power-Off button.  As soon as we realized what she was doing, a bunch of us yelled "NOOOOOoooo", but it was of course too late.  The silence in the room with all of the equipment shut down was deafening.

It only took us a full 45 minutes to get the system back up and running again.  My boss explained it off to his boss as another system glitch.   I really don't know how he talked his way out of that one.

After that day, the button was covered by a cardboard cover held down with duct tape.  A big "NO" was written on the cardboard.

My pulse went up and I got a knot in my stomach as soon as I read "EPO." About the only thing worse would be triggering a halon dump in the computer room.
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. -Mark Twain

Acadianna

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3468 on: March 02, 2013, 01:19:35 PM »
My pulse went up and I got a knot in my stomach as soon as I read "EPO." About the only thing worse would be triggering a halon dump in the computer room.

Another one that would be close.  40 years ago, when computer machinery filled a fairly large room, my then-boyfriend was one of the sysops for the computer center at the university we both attended.  I happened to be in the machine room, not long after the new disk drives were installed.  I also happened to look into the disk drives, and then asked my BF:

"Why are the new disk drives smoking like mad?"

Cue Panic.

ETA:  Fortunately, it didn't trigger the Halon system!

Cami

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3469 on: April 04, 2013, 12:28:13 PM »
I am watching a vendor commit Professional Darwinism in front of me nearly as I type.

Background: We provide services A & B to clients. We have a contract with Vendor to provide A with our clients. This relationship has been in effect since mid-January. We've been in regular communication since then. No problems. All went well until last week, when clients called and told us that Vendor insisted they pay Vendor for B.  I thought, "No big deal. I'll call them up and straighten it out."

Beginning of big deal:  I called them up and told our rep, "Susie" of the problem. Susie's response, "Well, we checked your website and the way we read it, we should have been charging them for B all along."
Me: "No. In fact, it's quite clear that we are charging them for B." I read the verbiage to her.
Susie: "Oh, guess I read it wrong." [note the lack of apology here]
Me: "Okay. So let's just confirm the names of the people you've charged and I'll just refund them from here to make it easy."
Susie: "Oh, I can't give you the names."
Me: "Why?"

Big deal #1:
Them: "It's too much trouble."
Me: "Excuse me?"
Them: "We won't give you the names. It's too much trouble. Are you hard of hearing or what?"

Big deal #2:
Client calls me today to warn me that she called there to make sure her credit card had been refunded and the tells me that Susie was not only snippy and abrasive with her, but also badmouthed us and told her that, "The only reason we've had this problem is that Cami is incompetent." Shortly thereafter, second client calls and tells me the same thing.

Darwinism moment: Guess whose contract is going to be terminated at the end of the month?
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 12:35:57 PM by Cami »

LazyDaisy

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3470 on: April 04, 2013, 12:47:33 PM »
I am watching a vendor commit Professional Darwinism in front of me nearly as I type.

Background: We provide services A & B to clients. We have a contract with Vendor to provide A with our clients. This relationship has been in effect since mid-January. We've been in regular communication since then. No problems. All went well until last week, when clients called and told us that Vendor insisted they pay Vendor for B.  I thought, "No big deal. I'll call them up and straighten it out."

Beginning of big deal:  I called them up and told our rep, "Susie" of the problem. Susie's response, "Well, we checked your website and the way we read it, we should have been charging them for B all along."
Me: "No. In fact, it's quite clear that we are charging them for B." I read the verbiage to her.
Susie: "Oh, guess I read it wrong." [note the lack of apology here]
Me: "Okay. So let's just confirm the names of the people you've charged and I'll just refund them from here to make it easy."
Susie: "Oh, I can't give you the names."
Me: "Why?"

Big deal #1:
Them: "It's too much trouble."
Me: "Excuse me?"
Them: "We won't give you the names. It's too much trouble. Are you hard of hearing or what?"

Big deal #2:
Client calls me today to warn me that she called there to make sure her credit card had been refunded and the tells me that Susie was not only snippy and abrasive with her, but also badmouthed us and told her that, "The only reason we've had this problem is that Cami is incompetent." Shortly thereafter, second client calls and tells me the same thing.

Darwinism moment: Guess whose contract is going to be terminated at the end of the month?
End of the month!?! Why not immediately?
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

wheeitsme

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3471 on: April 04, 2013, 12:50:40 PM »
I am watching a vendor commit Professional Darwinism in front of me nearly as I type.

Background: We provide services A & B to clients. We have a contract with Vendor to provide A with our clients. This relationship has been in effect since mid-January. We've been in regular communication since then. No problems. All went well until last week, when clients called and told us that Vendor insisted they pay Vendor for B.  I thought, "No big deal. I'll call them up and straighten it out."

Beginning of big deal:  I called them up and told our rep, "Susie" of the problem. Susie's response, "Well, we checked your website and the way we read it, we should have been charging them for B all along."
Me: "No. In fact, it's quite clear that we are charging them for B." I read the verbiage to her.
Susie: "Oh, guess I read it wrong." [note the lack of apology here]
Me: "Okay. So let's just confirm the names of the people you've charged and I'll just refund them from here to make it easy."
Susie: "Oh, I can't give you the names."
Me: "Why?"

Big deal #1:
Them: "It's too much trouble."
Me: "Excuse me?"
Them: "We won't give you the names. It's too much trouble. Are you hard of hearing or what?"

Big deal #2:
Client calls me today to warn me that she called there to make sure her credit card had been refunded and the tells me that Susie was not only snippy and abrasive with her, but also badmouthed us and told her that, "The only reason we've had this problem is that Cami is incompetent." Shortly thereafter, second client calls and tells me the same thing.

Darwinism moment: Guess whose contract is going to be terminated at the end of the month?

And guess who probably won't have a job at the end of the month?

Cami

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3472 on: April 04, 2013, 01:07:05 PM »
I am watching a vendor commit Professional Darwinism in front of me nearly as I type.

Background: We provide services A & B to clients. We have a contract with Vendor to provide A with our clients. This relationship has been in effect since mid-January. We've been in regular communication since then. No problems. All went well until last week, when clients called and told us that Vendor insisted they pay Vendor for B.  I thought, "No big deal. I'll call them up and straighten it out."

Beginning of big deal:  I called them up and told our rep, "Susie" of the problem. Susie's response, "Well, we checked your website and the way we read it, we should have been charging them for B all along."
Me: "No. In fact, it's quite clear that we are charging them for B." I read the verbiage to her.
Susie: "Oh, guess I read it wrong." [note the lack of apology here]
Me: "Okay. So let's just confirm the names of the people you've charged and I'll just refund them from here to make it easy."
Susie: "Oh, I can't give you the names."
Me: "Why?"

Big deal #1:
Them: "It's too much trouble."
Me: "Excuse me?"
Them: "We won't give you the names. It's too much trouble. Are you hard of hearing or what?"

Big deal #2:
Client calls me today to warn me that she called there to make sure her credit card had been refunded and the tells me that Susie was not only snippy and abrasive with her, but also badmouthed us and told her that, "The only reason we've had this problem is that Cami is incompetent." Shortly thereafter, second client calls and tells me the same thing.

Darwinism moment: Guess whose contract is going to be terminated at the end of the month?
End of the month!?! Why not immediately?
Because we have to give 21 days notice of intent to vacate the contract. So while Vendor was told today that the contract would be vacated, the actual termination won't happen until the end of the month.

LazyDaisy

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3473 on: April 04, 2013, 01:38:58 PM »
I would think that they are the ones in violation of the contract thereby nullifying it.

Only thing I can think is to put a big notice on your company website alerting customers not to fall for the scam and report directly to your company of any payments they've made.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

Midnight Kitty

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3474 on: April 04, 2013, 04:31:50 PM »
Background: We provide services A & B to clients. We have a contract with Vendor to provide A with our clients. <snip> All went well until last week, when clients called and told us that Vendor insisted they pay Vendor for B.  I thought, "No big deal. I'll call them up and straighten it out."

Beginning of big deal:  I called them up and told our rep, "Susie" of the problem. Susie's response, "Well, we checked your website and the way we read it, we should have been charging them for B all along."
Why would Vendor have the right to charge for service B?  They only provide service A as a sub to Your Company.  I assume that Your Company provides service B either directly or through another vendor.

If Your Company is contracted to provide A & B, why don't they bill for both, then pay Vendor for providing service A?  I don't know the specifics of this situation, but usually the prime contractor gets paid by the client and then, in turn, pay their subcontractors after collecting a service or management fee.  When I was a consulting civil engineer, we often contracted with surveyors.  We billed the client for the surveyors' work and added a 10% "management fee" for our effort in coordinating the work.

Big deal #1:
Them: "It's too much trouble."
Me: "Excuse me?"
Them: "We won't give you the names. It's too much trouble. Are you hard of hearing or what?"
This comment would have set me off like fireworks.  I would have been in my manager's/supervisor's office in 1 minute, telling her what happened and escalating it to Susie's boss within an hour.  It might take 21 days to terminate the contract, but it shouldn't take more than a couple hours to have Susie pulled off your account.  This statement is completely, totally over the line.  Susie's not even in the same galaxy as the line.

Be sure to post the fall out.  Inquiring minds want need to know.  (passing around virtual popcorn with plenty of virtual butter) >:D
"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

TeamBhakta

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3475 on: April 09, 2013, 04:23:14 PM »
Our local news often runs a segment about restaurants passing or failing health inspections. One restaurant was immediately shut down this week by the health department for violations, including rat droppings under their fridge  :P The restaurant owner told the news "it's not a big deal, because you wouldn't even know the rat droppings were there unless someone got down on the floor and looked under the fridge...we look forward to reopening very soon." Good luck with that, buddy  :o
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 04:24:58 PM by TeamBhakta »

blue2000

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3476 on: April 09, 2013, 04:56:23 PM »
The problem with rat droppings under their fridge is that it means a rat (or several rats) are living there. Probably running on the counters and tables, too, and getting into the leftover food.

Rats doing Swan Lake moves through the soup may be amusing on YouTube, but not when it is my soup! :-X
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

Shalamar

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3477 on: April 09, 2013, 04:59:02 PM »
That reminds me of when my parents' favorite restaurant moved to a new location.  My folks went to have dinner at the new place, and they chatted to the owner while they waited for their food.  The owner said happily "Oh, we love it here.  The old place was so DIRTY.  You wouldn't believe how DIRTY it was."

My poor parents had frozen smiles on their faces, and meanwhile they kept thinking "Oh God, how many times did we eat there?"

They never went back to the new location, even if it was less DIRTY.

Cami

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3478 on: April 09, 2013, 05:02:01 PM »
Background: We provide services A & B to clients. We have a contract with Vendor to provide A with our clients. <snip> All went well until last week, when clients called and told us that Vendor insisted they pay Vendor for B.  I thought, "No big deal. I'll call them up and straighten it out."

Beginning of big deal:  I called them up and told our rep, "Susie" of the problem. Susie's response, "Well, we checked your website and the way we read it, we should have been charging them for B all along."
Why would Vendor have the right to charge for service B?  They only provide service A as a sub to Your Company.  I assume that Your Company provides service B either directly or through another vendor.

If Your Company is contracted to provide A & B, why don't they bill for both, then pay Vendor for providing service A?  I don't know the specifics of this situation, but usually the prime contractor gets paid by the client and then, in turn, pay their subcontractors after collecting a service or management fee.  When I was a consulting civil engineer, we often contracted with surveyors.  We billed the client for the surveyors' work and added a 10% "management fee" for our effort in coordinating the work.

I wrote the scenario in a very generic way. To explain why our system does not work the way yours does would be to provide too much information. You'll just have to take my word for it that our system works the way it works.

Carotte

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3479 on: April 09, 2013, 05:03:11 PM »
That reminds me of when my parents' favorite restaurant moved to a new location.  My folks went to have dinner at the new place, and they chatted to the owner while they waited for their food.  The owner said happily "Oh, we love it here.  The old place was so DIRTY.  You wouldn't believe how DIRTY it was."

My poor parents had frozen smiles on their faces, and meanwhile they kept thinking "Oh God, how many times did we eat there?"

They never went back to the new location, even if it was less DIRTY.

Good idea, sounds like the owners never found out they have to actually clean. New place will probably end up the same way after a while.
Maybe he was saying that something made it hard to clean/keep clean, like the layout, neighborhood business not doing their part in pest control... but that was badly said, and still didn't reflect well on the owner.