“Less than impressed”

That was what my boss’ opinion of a user that called in, at 8am with a problem. I worked on the problem until 10:30 using all the training I have never had on modern domains until my boss shows up grasping at straws…

  • it might be a widespread problem. Check
  • it might be the wireless connection (the one we are using to remote in)
  • we need to connect it to the network with cable.

Then I call back at 11:21 and the user has gone to lunch, my boss is not impressed. 2.5 hours late for work, admittedly under caffeinated when he does, can’t fix the problem, THEN commences casting shade at someone for going to lunch.

Here’s a couple of things YOU might want to try.

  • show up for work on time and ready to work.
  • be assured that I will have tried all the shit you find obvious and possibly wrong as I have been doing this in the private sector and the government for 24 years now.
  • get off your ass, put on acceptable clothing, and drive across town the 7 miles across town so we can stop making multiple calls to the facility.

buuuuut you now tell me you have a meeting at noon. So I hope that user didn’t want to work on anything electronic today.

Is it hot in here or does anyone care?

Well when the a/c unit in the server room broke before the remodel, no one seemed to care. Leave the door open. Fixed right? Well we are almost done with the remodel and now the server room a/c is still broken but the a/c for the building is not working properly. Leaving the door open doesn’t really do much for keeping the revenue generating servers cool enough to keep operating if it gets too hot. I guess we are burning bridges on a "as we get to them" basis.

The cost of exchange

I was told we would never run exchange. That was a lie. Not only are we running exchange, we are paying for it being hosted somewhere. It is what it is. Outsourcing something we used to do inhouse? That’s not only dumb, it’s expensive. How expensive you ask? Well at the tune of $5/month/user it doesn’t sound bad… unless you have over 1,300 accounts. Then it amounts to real money. You could hire an email guy and buy him new redundant servers every 3 years and still save money. But the real cost is in the laziness…

What happens when you just deactivate those hosted accounts? Who’s checking on those? Do you suppose the hosting company is just going to not charge for using resources out of the kindness of their heart? I think not. In this particular instance the percentage is 29. That is about $1,800 a month we just piss away because we aren’t watching costs.

Monday, just like any other day…

Well here we are monday morning. The boss has taken the next two days off (less than 24 hours notice) so we are on our own. Also a cryptic message about another tech needing the day off.


  • My replacement laptop has lost wireless about three five times and BSOD’ed once. It’s replacement that was due to ship last friday has been pushed back 6/29.
  • The mobile management software platform we use for phones, tablets, and laptops… contract has expired and locked us out of the website.
  • There is a problem with an email client on a desktop that keeps forgetting it’s credentials. In someones infinite wisdom, windows and office updates have been turned off. That would be the first thing the manufactures of the software would have us try but I guess someone is smarter than the authors of the software. Unfortunately he is out today.

Clear Expectations

When you don’t have real clear training expectations, things like this start to appear in your environment.
The target audience this note is intended to address, has driven multi-ton, combustion engine powered vehicles through the streets to arrive at this keyboard. If that doesn’t frighten you… well… it should.

How do we fail? Let me count the ways.

Companies and more to the point departments come up short in all kinds of ways but I have known few to fail in so many categories all at the same time. It’s a perfect storm but nothing seems to be able to sink this ship. Here are a few brief examples that I will expand upon in future posts.

The List
  • Leadership – Not Present, not accountable, not in the game
  • Documentation (if any) – Dropbox, hope you know what you are looking for
  • Backups – Carbonite (out of date) for laptops. Desktops no real solution in place
  • Inventory control – Spiceworks? Kinda?
  • Server Access – Teamviewer! because no one could EVER hack teamviewer
  • Server Deployment – Virtual Machines!!!! YAY! Running on non redundant hardware.
  • VPN access – open to the world via an obscure port. What could go wrong. What’s that? A known username with a weak password? Give that man a prize!
  • Training – we get table scraps from where ever our boss gets to go. No time blocked or scheduled like in a real company.
  • Workflow – we just handle things the best anyone knows how in the way they have gotten it to work. No real procedures for doing things (see Documentation)

Quite the list and it seems to get longer all the time. God have mercy on our talented but misled souls.

What’s this all about then?

I decided to write this blog as a sort of therapy for the crap I and others suffer at work. So instead of pulling the wings off of insects or cleaning guns while’st drinking whisky, I write. So enjoy the many posts that I am certain will follow.