Because I said so!

A ticket was forwarded to us by $localCIO, and we couldn’t kick it back fast enough. A secretary for $bigImportantPerson wanted the ability to set her own homepage, when all users by policy are supposed to have their homepage set to the Intranet page of $localSite.

We emailed $localCIO and $secretary, asking for justification to change this since this normally isn’t allowed for anyone. The response $secretary gave us was “Because I’m the secretary for $bigImportantPerson. I want to choose my own homepage.” We denied the request and closed the ticket because using the excuse that you work for someone is woefully inadequate permission to justify changing policy.

New depths of uselessness

In their seemingly increasing efforts to prove their uselessness, a Tier 1 Desk Monkey blind transferred a user directly to me to work on his ticket. At first, I had no clue what this use was talking about, not only because his accent was so thick I could barely make out every 3rd or 4th word, but also because today was such a busy day, I barely remember what I did 10 minutes ago.

After divining further info, I recalled that I had kicked some tickets that had been misrouted to us this morning, since not only did we not support the issue at hand (users unable to log into dictation software with CAC cards), the users were on the other side of the country, well outside of our scope of support. I looked up the man’s ticket, and saw a note in the ticket immediately above mine that the Desk Monkey told the user I was working on their issue, when my note in the ticket clearly stated that all I did was route it to the proper group.

So I had to spend 10 minutes explaining to $user that not only did the Desk Monkey err where the truth was involved, he shouldn’t have been transferred to me since there was nothing I could do to help the poor sap.

CAB Horrors

Those of you in smaller companies, or perhaps in less technical fields, might not have to deal with the CAB horrors on a regular basis.  CAB is management for “Change Approval Board”, which is the team of gatekeepers who need to be informed of significant work on an IT system.  I don’t give them a funny name because, generally, they are people who know what they’re doing.

It’s the “everyone else” that become the issue when a change gets approved.  Literally every change I make follows the same pattern.  I recognize that some network maintenance needs to be done.  I submit my request to the CAB, they approve it.  Usually a week later than I’d have liked, but whatever.  The next step is to take it to the heads of the departments affected by the network that will be down.  The CAB has given their approval of the work on a technical level, now the egos have to give their OK that the work will not interfere with any business.  Anticipating this, I schedule all the work to begin an hour after closing.

True to form, the non-technical department heads don’t give a shit what I do after they leave, and they all sign off on it.  So I’m really set.  At this point, I have all my required OKs, all I have to do is keep everyone informed.  Five days before the work is scheduled, I e-mail everyone affected to let them know about the outage, and to contact me if it poses an issue.  Two days before the work is scheduled, I again e-mail everyone and pretty much tell them the work is GOING to happen, so please plan accordingly.

And it never fails, the day before, someone comes up and says “Neep neep neep, I’m expecting some time-sensitive data to come in right then, could you put it off another hour?”  And I say fine, pat the user on the head, and thank them for at least telling me this BEFORE I took everything down.

Then the day comes.  Everyone leaves.  I putter around for an hour, waiting for the approved time to shut down the works.  And, OF FUCKING COURSE, right before I’m about to do it, someone rushes in and says “Hey, I’m working late, and I really need to get this done.  Can you hold off a little bit longer?”

So, let me get this straight, Sparky.  Everyone in IT has approved this work, as has your direct supervisor and all of THEIR direct supervisors.  But you want to hold up two, five, maybe even ten hours of work so you can be a little work-a-fucking-holic and look super special in the morning for burning the midnight oil.  Meanwhile, you’re wasting the time of MY entire department and the entire networking team who keeps checking in on us.

Sadly, the person holding up the work will always be one of the Golden Children who can do no wrong, so I roll my eyes and sit around and wait for them to finish.  I know in advance it’s a fight I’d lose.

Cognitive Dissonance

I note that Uncle has, reportedly, decided that all US government and military computers will now use Windows 10.

I note that Windows 10, since the Anniversary Update, turns on the Customer Experience Improvement Program even if you have turned it off. CEIP, roughly translated, means “Report everything you are doing to Microsoft.”

I have to wonder, in which universe is having these two ideas both operative at the same time considered a Good Thing?

If nothing else, MS has now made itself a big fat target for realtime foreign military espionage…

Dilbert called it…

Got an email a while ago about asking my team to bump up three tickets to Matrix-level groups. Not 30 seconds after I got the email, a call comes in. It’s the very person who sent us the email, reciting word for word what was in the ticket. When I asked why she called, she said she wanted to make sure we worked on it as soon as possible.

So what was the issue and why was it so critical for her to call us immediately after emailing us? A couple computers were off the domain and she didn’t know how to add them back.