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.

3 thoughts on “CAB Horrors

  1. Oh, so tempting. “Oh, I really wish you’d told me this even five minutes ago, I’ve already started the network hardware’s shutdown process, and I can’t stop it now. I think you may have three more minutes before the whole network goes dead…”

  2. Yep, I’ve had this one…but word’s gotten out that it won’t work. Maybe it’s because I always tell those users “Sorry, but it’s too late – the work has already started and it’s the automation that’s taking the system down at that time. Nothing I can do now, because if it gets interrupted all your data gets corrupted and you’ll lose today’s work when I reload it from yesterday’s backup. Just save what you’ve got open before the shutdown happens and you won’t lose the current work.”

  3. Guess who has a CAB call in about 40 minutes? It’s for a local project, too.

    All the pushback so far has been “We need scan results, completed hardening checklists, and STIG complaince checklists before we can approve it.”

    My response has been – and will be on the call – is “Please read the paperwork! This is a /pre-installation/ CR, we need to have the formal CR in place for the contractors to come out and PULL THE HARDWARE OUT OF THE BOXES and INSTALL it. We can’t scan/configure ANYTHING until it’s INSTALLED, and we need this CR for INSTALLING it.”

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