back to article Bombastic boss gave insane instructions to sensible sysadmin, with client on speakerphone

Hey, hey, it's Friday! Which means weekend frolics aren't far away once you get through this edition of On-Call, The Register's weekly reader-contributed tales of workplace woe. This week, meet “Craig,” who shared a story of working for a small IT services company that hired a new “team leader”. Craig used italics because …

  1. Lee D Silver badge

    So this law firm, with business-critical emails, were ONLY storing them in an outlook PST on a local machine?

    God, they deserve everything they get, not a recovery.

    I mean, if they had Exchange - LITERALLY no excuse. Just delete the mail account on the client and re-load and it'd pull back down from the database.

    But LOCAL Outlook folders? Obviously with "delete from server" turned on rather than just syncing to a huge IMAP folder held in the cloud somewhere? And then stored on only ONE client, but they just-so-happen to expect the tech to back everything up for them?

    Law-firms have serious and quite clear obligations on the retention of emails. These guys failed from the start, even if the tech-guys managed to restore something.

    1. defiler Silver badge

      Your high horse is getting tired...

      Back in the day we had a 4GB limit on the Exchange mailstore. Not per mailbox, but for the whole database. Sure, at the time that was a lot, but when you have 100 staff in a solicitor's office, it's amazing how quickly it goes.

      "Well you can pay for Enterprise, or we can extract the data to PST, but please be careful with them" becomes "Well you can pay... eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee... or we can extract... eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee..." which is quickly answered by "the second one".

      Also, bear in mind that around these parts, partner solicitors don't draw a (meaningful) salary, but take a split of the profit at the end of the year. So when you ask them to pay for something, that's taking money out of their pocket.

      This story is agonisingly familiar - I have been the miracle-worker for this kind of crap more times than I really want to consider.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Your high horse is getting tired...

        We had so many problems due to that 4Gb limit when I worked in a local authority. Our policy was very clear that e-mail wasn't a file storage tool and they should be keeping important stuff on their network drives so it could be backed up. The PSTs couldn't be as our infrastructure wouldn't support dragging such massive files back and forward on our piddly little broadband connections between sites even if we'd wanted to.

        The "fix" wasn't to train and educate users in why we got them to do it (basically to avoid the problems in this article) but instead to simply create an additional PST when the old one filled up but keep both attached so users could double dip to their hearts content.

        Needless to say the first time a director lost his PST due to a HDD failure we were forced to pay over 2 grand for an attempt to recover the files then suddenly this policy became rather important.

        .. for about two weeks before everyone just continued as before.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Your high horse is getting tired...

        4Gb... you where lucky. I used to work on a system using a FoxPro database (complete with 1Gb limit) for its accounting package that also hooked into the website to show customer accounts. When it hit that limit... everything stopped until we could free up some space and get it limping along again.

        Oh and the only tool it would talk to was MS access...*shudders*

        1. defiler Silver badge

          When it hit that limit... everything stopped until we could free up some space

          I know that feeling, too. But with Exchange it was a case of "everything stopped and God couldn't make it work again".

          There may have been ways to coax it back to life, but I didn't take the chance. When Exchange 2003 SP2 came out, I'd always set the limit to 72GB in the registry, keeping those 3GB in hand for the inevitable emergency when it would hit the stops.

          Telling the boss "all of the company email will stop in 4 months if nobody clears out" had the desired effect (unusually). That company was still using Exchange 2003 in 2012, with the same 72GB mailstore limit...

          1. Lee D Silver badge

            Re: When it hit that limit... everything stopped until we could free up some space

            Really, people?

            I'm sure historically such things were problems. But the cheapest of RAID storage in an Exchange server (let's not get into VMs, SANs, etc. okay) will give you so much space your user's email really shouldn't be an issue.

            If they're using it for file storage, set a limit on the EMAIL SIZE not the mailbox size.

            But solicitors et al do have very specific retention requirements. Expecting a local PST to do anything is failing to abide by them before you start (e.g. the guy could delete them and claim he never got them). If nothing else, if they get hit with a order to produce, your IT guys are going to be held accountable for not being able to provide it. The fact that the machine went titsup six months ago and took everything with it is not acceptable to a court, or client.

            Even a SOHO Exchange or IMAP setup should be retaining those emails beyond what the user can generate in a year, and then you can backup to long-term storage and clear out the mailbox if necessary. TBH, who do you think will win in court - your solicitor's suing you for failing to provide adequate retention despite a service contract, or you trying to argue that they never instructed you to?

            1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: When it hit that limit... everything stopped until we could free up some space

              You have no clue what you are talking about. The 4 GB was hard coded into Exchange. You can put the data store on a 1 Exabyte drive and make not wit one of a change that limit. Things are marginally better these days. I, for one, refuse to touch it beyond finding out what might be bogging up Exchange. I'll leave it up to the even more insane people than I to deal with it.

              1. DropBear Silver badge

                Re: When it hit that limit... everything stopped until we could free up some space

                "The 4 GB was hard coded into Exchange."

                I'm wondering whether that number shared some common ancestry at some point with the file size limit of 4GB of FAT32 file systems...

            2. dmacleo

              Re: When it hit that limit... everything stopped until we could free up some space

              iirc (been so long I may be wrong) but it was totality of the edb that mattered not the available drive space.

          2. el_oscuro
            WTF?

            Re: When it hit that limit... everything stopped until we could free up some space

            I'm utterly baffled about these limits. My Oracle database hit 1TB - back in 2001 on Windows NT 4, and with no sign of getting anywhere a limit. Doesn't Outlook use SQL server as it's backend? I'm pretty sure that even back then, SQL server could go over 2TB.

            And in 2012, we still had that Oracle database running on Windows 2003, then over 200TB and growing by at least 2TB a month.

            1. K Cartlidge

              Re: "I'm utterly baffled about these limits."

              The 4GB limit (and similar limits from that era) is not usually due to concerns about physical storage capacity (primarily).

              On a 32 bit architecture, the highest value you can store as a native integer is 4GB, assuming you don't store negative values. Allowing higher numbers involves either using more bits to represent them or switching to non-integers. Both of these would be less memory efficient and slower (and less accurate in the case of floating point values).

              The practical outcome is that if the highest number your code stores is 4GB then that becomes the effective maximum file size - as you could never store the location of any data past that point in a file.

              These days, systems are either 64 bit or are performant enough to take the hit of not using native 32 bit integers, so the "addressable locations" in the memory store rise and files can be larger.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: When it hit that limit... everything stopped until we could free up some space

              That would have been horrible because typical disk sizes then were 10s GB and commercial disks were smaller and more expensive (In 2000 laptops shipped with 4GB drives - I had a 26GB drive in my desktop - 16GB drives were still standard in servers so 60 drives for 1TB) .

              Disks were not hot-swap and RAID mirrors still broke in horrible ways. The only way I'd seen this done was with large storage arrays and vendor specific raw AIO drivers (typically the disks are not handled by the OS but by the application)

            3. Bitbeisser

              Re: When it hit that limit... everything stopped until we could free up some space

              >I'm utterly baffled about these limits. My Oracle database hit 1TB - back in 2001 on Windows NT 4, and

              >with no sign of getting anywhere a limit.

              How did you get 1TB of drive space for a single database back in 2001?

              On Windows NT 4 of all OS, which had a bug that prevented you from creating any partition size above 136GB?

              >Doesn't Outlook use SQL server as it's backend? I'm pretty sure >that even back then, SQL server could go over 2TB.

              Well, no. Neither Outlook (the email client) nor Exchange (the email server) are using SQL server. Both use their own, internal database engine(s)...

              >And in 2012, we still had that Oracle database running on Windows 2003, then over 200TB and growing

              >by at least 2TB a month.

              Well, Windows Server 2003 had a maximum partition size of 256TB...

              1. Titus Technophobe

                Re: When it hit that limit... everything stopped until we could free up some space

                > How did you get 1TB of drive space for a single database back in 2001?

                Two ways:

                a. don't use windows NT (2 - 4 Gigabytes was the address space limit for 32 bit addresses and in 2001 there were systems that used 64 bit addresses)

                b. on MS Windows construct the database from more than one database file spread across several Windows partitions

                Since you asked.

            4. Fat-Boy-R-Dee
              Paris Hilton

              2TB SQL/Oracle database back then? Sure.

              I'm utterly baffled about these limits. My Oracle database hit 1TB - back in 2001 on Windows NT 4, and with no sign of getting anywhere a limit.

              That's because your 1TB database was made up of a whole bunch of 32-bit .DBF files, almost 100% surely strung over multiple drive letters (mount, er, "reparse" points didn't become a thing until Win2K).

              Doesn't Outlook use SQL server as it's backend? I'm pretty sure that even back then, SQL server could go over 2TB.

              Exchange (not Outlook, that's the client) does use a tuned variant now, but way back when, it was the JET engine, baby.

              And in 2012, we still had that Oracle database running on Windows 2003, then over 200TB and growing by at least 2TB a month.

              a) Yeah, Oracle licensing remains as transparent and platform-migration/upgrade friendly as ever /s

              b) I always knew paypal had some humble beginnings, but ... /s /s

        2. Down not across

          Re: Your high horse is getting tired...

          When it hit that limit... everything stopped until we could free up some space and get it limping along again.

          Sound better than dbm on 32-bit Solaris just wrapped around, once file size hit 2GB, and began overwriting itself.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      I really do not understand why you have suffered such a high level of down-voting. This is exactly how I would have expected any company to operate - centralised IMAP storage with workstations simply caching a month or so's emails on their local HD.

      1. Rob D. Bronze badge

        Down votes for attitude?

        The article is really about managing incompetent bosses who are unaware of their own ignorance or lack any belief in their team but the discussion immediately went to explaining what the client was doing wrong without the full details of the client's situation.

        Looking at any entrenched IT system within an established organisation, in my experience, always throws up a handful of WTF items. No need to immediately assume that the business in question is being run incompetently. My working assumption when finding something looks unbelievably stupid for no good reason is that I don't yet know the full details.

    3. Kiwi Silver badge
      Facepalm

      rather than just syncing to a huge IMAP folder held in the cloud somewhere?

      Er, you do realise this is a LEGAL firm being talked about here - with significant expectations of privacy and so on. Backing up stuff "on the cloud"?

      The cloud.,, Where many companies disappear with little or no notice, or where the feebs etc can come in and seize servers etc.. Confidentiality, only the lawyers emails (and other data) are maybe housed on a data store that miraculously gets seized by the feebs investigating totally random and honestly-just-coincidence-we-had-no-idea-it-was-the-same-place child porn allegations from "an anonymous tipoff".

      Any law firm that uses anything other than some form of private cloud (at worst) should not have any customers, you cannot trust them with your data.

      And you complain about them failing "from the start".....

  2. chivo243 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Can I get that in writing?

    I've been in the position of "pulling the trigger" and I also protested, and said with clarity that I wouldn't be responsible for the outcome. Needless to say, I spent weeks cleaning up the mess, but someone above me had their ass in the sling for quite some time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can I get that in writing?

      I was asked to do something I was uncomfortable with on a database. I said I wasn't happy doing this and was told to get on with it. I said can I have that instruction in writing please. The person who had told me to do these changes then got cold feet and said "You're not filling me with confidence". I nearly said "Likewise".

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Can I get that in writing?

        I would think that was the point :)

  3. Korev Silver badge
    Coat

    Staff?

    he'd previously fixed their jammed printers, added new users to the company domain and lots of other mundane staff.

    So he was a recruiter too? And if he was surely he wants to bring in better than "mundane" people ;)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Staff?

      No, I was a techie, employed by a different company to provide on site tech support.

      Nothing to do with hiring.

    2. ssharwood

      Re: Staff?

      Back to sub-editing school for me, then :-(

  4. Admiral Grace Hopper

    "Mundane staff"

    I've worked with those. Heck, I've been one of those.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: "Mundane staff"

      Haven't we all (to both statements)...?

      It was one of the most valuable lessons I learned in post-graduate academia - always know who actually moves things along and gets things done, as opposed to who appears to be in charge but just orders them to be done. And to get on their good side and in their good books....

      Forget being nice to professors and directors and suchlike, if you were on friendly terms with the secretaries, storesmen (or probably storespeople these days, although back then they were all white-coated males) and technicians you could get anything done and circumvent all sorts of delays and bureaucracy.

      And it was amazing how quickly and easily things got signed off by the senior staff when you went via their secretaries, whom you took care to always be nice, friendly and helpful to of course.

      1. OwenMc64

        Re: "Mundane staff"

        Secretaries & Security - I always tried to stay on their side when I was posted to customer sites, and while it didn't pay off too often, the investment didn't hurt.

        One of the secretaries was English working in the US, I just need to pack a packet of Maltesers every trip to keep her sweet. That customer was tricky & she was a senior person's PA, so THAT was worth the grid

  5. James 51 Silver badge
    Windows

    The worst I've had is a team leader who one week ordered me to spend more time looking after a critical system as the weekend and the next week ordered me to not record doing it (and therefore not get paid for it).

    1. Andrew Moore Silver badge

      I had a similar situation- I told him to fuck off.

  6. LewisRage

    So he knew how to fix it anyway?

    'Had a third party PST repair tool that worked'

    So why didn't he just run that and get out of there in the first place? I guess he was trying to drop the new team leading in the shit but if I was the Lawyer firm I'd be asking why 'Diannes' time was so utterly wasted by the clown on site playing stupid games when he knew how to resolve the situation in the first place.

    1. Baldrickk Silver badge

      Re: So he knew how to fix it anyway?

      My only guess on this front is that as a "third party tool" it was an "off the internet" application and not one that had been vetted by the company - so he would have needed to confirm use of it to CYA.

      If not, I'm just as puzzled as you.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: So he knew how to fix it anyway?

        He phoned his office to consult with a colleague and instead got stuck dealing with his boss.

        RTFA.

        1. rmason Silver badge

          I don't get it.

          His boss was an arse, yes.

          Can registry changes make any difference to the loss of data in a PST file?

          No. No it cannot. so other than the TL being a tosser, this just doesn't stack up. The data was either present before the registry change, or it was not. The registry changes had no effect on this at all.

          Then we move on to this this tool he's familiar with, but totally didn't think to use until phoning base and asking for advice. He then remembered and "saved the day". What exactly did he try other than recreating the mail profile and (presumably) running the baked in scan/fix PST jobby in office?

          He ran this on a backup he'd taken, so basically the PST file as it was when he arrived (which suggests the data was not lost at this stage) just a corrupt PST, that';s probably fucking huge.

          He was given poor advice, by a dickhead, but the dickhead didn't cause or make the issue worse.

          I also suspect he walked off site leaving the same person with the same mega-gigabyte PST file that will corrupt again in short order.

          1. PickledAardvark

            Re: I don't get it.

            "Can registry changes make any difference to the loss of data in a PST file?"

            Hmm. Mostly I suspect that the team leader believed that messing about in the registry performed some chicken bone ritual. It had worked for him before so try it again... There are so many implementations of Outlook and so many app versions that there might be a bug which prevents correct reading of a PST file.

            If running an enterprise Outlook/Exchange environment, wiping out HKCU settings and anything in %AppData% for Outlook would be relatively harmless. The user would lose a few preference settings but the mailbox would be auto configured to work again.

            Wiping out HKCU etc in a non-enterprise environment would probably screw up Outlook and require tech intervention.

            Wiping out HKLM entries for Outlook is bad advice. You cannot be sure that Outlook will apply sensible defaults when it finds them missing.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I don't get it.

            Its nothing personal, but you weren't there.

            You have no possible idea of what happened.

            You can speculate all day.

            I walked off site knowing that the email issue was resolved, my reputation remained in good standing and that when the inevitable complaint(s) came in I was able to fight my corner with evidence and a witness.

            Say what you like about the circumstances but facts are facts.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I don't get it.

              You have no possible idea of what happened.

              Wasn't that the point of the action of telling the story - to let us know what happened??

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So he knew how to fix it anyway?

      Are you suggesting there was some sexual tension between 'Dianne' and 'Craig'? There's currently on the TV a toothpaste ad where an attractive, 21 ish year old woman, who's free spirited enough to make stupid faces at a child playing with a glove puppet on a train, gets shunted up against a pretty boy with a quiff. They then exchange flirty, faux-embarrased looks, and the woman does the classic 'lady di' pretending to be shy and avoiding eye contact. Genius Ad Execs, trying to persuade overweight women from Rochdale that their life is crap, and that they too can have exciting encounters on a train if they use that particular brand of toothpaste. Needless to say, this ad is annoying the shit out of me.

      Anyway, that's 'Craig' and 'Dianne', when looking at a paper jam.

      1. davyclam
        WTF?

        Re: So he knew how to fix it anyway?

        Me too me too. I actually thought it might have been made in some less sophisticated country (Romania, USA etc.) because this stuff was passe in the Noughties.

        Anyway they deserve each other.

      2. Mark Zero

        John Cougar Mellencamp Song? (wasRe: So he knew how to fix it anyway?)

        Maybe Craig and Dianne were fantasising about the John Cougar Mellencamp song Jack and Diane?

        Yes sad but it's 1am in Sydney!

    3. iron Silver badge

      Re: So he knew how to fix it anyway?

      Sounds to me like Craig is a bit of a dick who cared more about scoring points off the people back at base (and the new boss he didn't like in particular) than saving the client's emails. Dianne should not have hailed him as a hero.

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        Re: So he knew how to fix it anyway?

        Surely we've all met someone who thinks he's an expert because he can turn a computer on?

        I meet these people constantly at work and they tend to attract too much attention in the first place.

        1. not.known@this.address Bronze badge

          Re: So he knew how to fix it anyway?

          To quote Aladdin Sane,

          "He phoned his office to consult with a colleague and instead got stuck dealing with his boss.

          RTFA."

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So he knew how to fix it anyway?

        I managed both. Thanks.

        And I assure you, for saving his emails, no matter how trivially easy to a techie, will ALWAYS get you in the good books.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So he knew how to fix it anyway?

        To quote Aladdin Sane,

        "He phoned his office to consult with a colleague and instead got stuck dealing with his boss.

        RTFA."

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: So he knew how to fix it anyway?

      "if I was the Lawyer firm I'd be asking why 'Diannes' time was so utterly wasted by the clown on site playing stupid games when he knew how to resolve the situation in the first place."

      For one thing I'd guess Dianne was Craig's lawyer appointed minder. Craig would be handling client confidential information. In those circumstances the lawyer would expect to have someone keep and eye on things and, if he'd any sense, Craig would also want want that too.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So he knew how to fix it anyway?

      Running cracked software on site was a no-no.

      The inbuilt tool to repair them was failing to do so.

      I wanted to speak to the senior tech to bat ideas back and forth.

      I had limited options and ONLY when I had exhausted the "legal" ones, did I employ "illegal" ones.

      Sometime, you have to take the bull by the horns and do what's needed to get the fucking job done.

      Again, its easy to analyse what I did and find fault. I was there, you weren't.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So he knew how to fix it anyway?

        Furthermore, you must also take into account, I only have .a certain amount of time to do the job, I only had the minimum of tools to do the job, there is only so much you can do on site within allotted timeframe before you have to wave a white flag and RTB with it.

        There were so many other daft things I had tried, deleting temp files (even hidden ones), clearing cookies, resetting IE, short of reinstalling windows I did *everything* I could. But the FIRST thing I had done was backed up that .pst file. As I have said, I tread cautiously.

        I've worked with IT since the mid 70's and although I'm far from a sys-admin (not my particular field) I am a bloody home-pc technician and I've used Windows more or less exclusively since 3.1 (I had Amiga whilst others struggled with DOS) so I know how to fix most errors and then, reinstalling the entire OS then updating, putting all the custom software back on etc was a bloody pain. At this point, I introduced them to Norton ghost!

        It's difficult to cram a couple or 3 hours work into a short, succinct story.

        So forgive me if I didn't do things your way. I did it my way! ;-)

    6. ShelLuser

      @Lewis

      "So why didn't he just run that and get out of there in the first place?"

      For the record: I totally agree with you.

      However... Hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn't it? That's the part we both ignored at first. Heat of the moment, you don't always think straight and perfect. Especially not with that kind of manager looming over your shoulder.

    7. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Tigra 07 Silver badge

    "Here's a little ditty about speakerphones that On-Call finds amusing"

    Error loading Youtube: Video could not be played...

    It's mildly amusing...

  8. big_D Silver badge

    Redundant Systems

    I had one boss who decided that we needed redundant systems and bought in a new server infrastructure with mirrored servers in two separate server rooms, separated by a physical firewall (a wall to stop real fires from burning down both server rooms).

    So far, so good.

    However, he was of the opinion that, as we now had mirrored servers, we could do away with the tape backups. The whole IT department said no, this wasn't sensible. But the boss said that it was no longer needed, as we had a hot backup.

    No amount of trying to inform him that a hot-standby redundant system is not a backup could get him to change his mind...

    Until one day he made some changes to the main database and corrupted it in a catastrophic way. He said, no problem, pull it back from the redundant machine... At which point he learnt the hard way that redundant means that everything that happens on the primary machine also happens on the secondary machine "at the same time", which meant that there was no "backup" of the database, just an equally corrupted database on the secondary server!

    Lesson learned, he agreed that making backups was a good idea.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Redundant Systems

      I used to work in the media and ran a radio station where one day we moved to a new playout system (the prog that plays the music, jingles, adverts, etc.). I was then told by my boss that the custom music CD 'library' that I kept in the studio was really now redundant. All the music is held electronically and available via the SAN so "There really is no need". I'd resisted before because of the chances of things going wrong and always liking a backup. However this time I was told it's all new kit so no worries on that score.

      Then one night not long after one of the servers holding the music for my station went down. The lovely bloke in IT Support who was fixing it said that rebuilding was possibly going to take "half the night". I was so glad I hadn't ditched the CD's and could still keep everything running using the manual system.

    2. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: Redundant Systems

      Oh, that one.

      How many people confuse synchronising data between computers with backing it up? I've seen that mistake so many times.

  9. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    The ones that really annoy me

    ... are the ones that tell you to stop doing X and to do Y instead, in spite of your measured explanations as to how that would make things worse. Then, at the predictable train crash, demand to know why you didn't do X.

    1. Andrew Moore Silver badge

      Re: The ones that really annoy me

      I was in a high level meeting where my boss demanded to know why I had not followed standard protocol and done something completely different instead. I responded by sliding a copy of an email from him, over to him and pointed out, in front of his bosses, where he had instructed me to ignore standard protocol and do what he'd told me to do instead.

      In fairness, I was used to him stabbing me in the back to look good, so I'd come prepared.

    2. elDog Silver badge

      Re: The ones that really annoy me

      After a few of those, I learned to get all requests in writing (email). And I backed up (and still do) all my emails.

      Nowadays, everyone knows that I have a ton (or I guess that is called a terabyte) of historic records of what I've done, who asked for it, the outcome, etc.

      Everyone also understands that I don't take phone calls to make decisions. Send an email or a recordable machine-processable message. That also cuts down on the oral chatter.

      It's also nice being viewed as a grumpy old man in a position of some criticality.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reminds me of the time I sat in a meeting with the biggest dickhead in the world from sales discussing data and reports.

    I tried to explain what he was asking while not impossible wouldn't work when we put it in excel, I tried many different explanations by wording it in as many ways possible. I even drew him a picture but no he just would not have it.

    Then my boss piped in and said "just do it" so I tried to explain it to her but no she was on the sales excitement train of what they thought they could get from this report.

    In the end I did it and it was the most useless stupid report in the world though I did have a good laugh when I had to explain the report as it was a case of "why is it like that?", "Because that's what you asked for and I told you this is what you would get". I did try to offer alternative suggestions to get close to what they wanted but when some people get one track minded there's no point.

    I left after a month of so.

    Idiots like that are 10 a penny in the workplace.

    1. Roger Varley

      "Reminds me of the time I sat in a meeting with the biggest dickhead in the world from sales"

      Sorry, you couldn't have. He works here.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        He must be moonlighting, as I'm sure he works here too...

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Sorry, you couldn't have. He works here."

        No contradiction; you work where the A/C worked.

    2. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Happy

      I tried to explain what he was asking while not impossible wouldn't work

      Reminds me of The Expert sketch...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That Expert sketch is perfection. I nearly argued in a performance review on why I was above average on my timescales. I did not have the heart to tell them that in a company of 300 people there will be those above and below the average... as that is what the figure actually measures. Duh!

        No I did not waste time on the job. I still got the same amount of work done as everyone else in a day. I just did not artificially cut off custoners and pass the buck on workload to "massage" the figures. I was the one costing the company an extra 3p in call charges to get the job done that the last 3 of my coleagues did not do because they were scared of becoming above average on timescales.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Sandtitz

        Thank you, that's brilliant and pretty close to what happened albeit not as funny or ridiculous.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Idiots like that are 10 a penny in the workplace.

      Well, sure if they are paid what they are worth.

      But that is almost never the case, is it?

  11. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Happy

    Note exactly dangerous, but...

    A couple of boss-related incidents spring to mind...

    My first job, I was wet-behind-the-ears, fresh out of uni and landed a role at a local firm developing some pretty specialised HR software - a tiny five-man outfit that dropped down to two (me and the boss) and a part-timer over the time I was there. Effectively, I was the development department.

    Now this was in the age of dial-up (circa year 2000). And being a one-man development team without an internet connection at home, I used to spend my lunch hours largely online, trying to keep abreast of what was going on in the tech scene - that was until my boss spotted the spike in the phone bill, and gave me a thorough bollocking for raising costs.

    Anyway, that all went south when said boss picked a legal fight with a massive publishing company that even I, in my completely non-legal capacity, could see we weren't going to win.

    The other incident comes from the role I went onto after that (having been out of work for the best part of a year, thanks to being stuck with niche knowledge). It was the most horrible work-from-home setup, any you were expected to be online and available via skype from 8:00am to 6:00pm. I was living on my own in a flat at this point (thank god for mortgage protection!), so I barely saw a soul most days...

    Anyway, one day, I woke up one day feeling like I was about to die. So I fired up skype and called the boss. The conversation went roughly like this:

    Me: "Hi, Sorry to say this, but I'm really not feeling too good today, I've got a temperature of (whatever it was) and ache like crazy, so I really don't think I'm up to working much today."

    Boss: "If there was a £50 note on the floor in front of you, would you pick it up?"

    Me (remember, at this point I was still trying to pick up the pieces from prolonged unemployment): "Yeah, why?"

    Boss: "If you're well enough to pick up a £50 note, you're well enough to work."

    Needless to say, I jumped out of that one as soon as I could...

    1. Afernie

      Re: Note exactly dangerous, but...

      "Boss: "If you're well enough to pick up a £50 note, you're well enough to work.""

      I hear there are jobs involving harassing disabled people going at ATOS for guys with his "skill set".

      1. Alien8n Silver badge

        Re: Note exactly dangerous, but...

        Oh the ATOS lot are much more insidious than that. First PIP review for Mrs Alien went something along the lines of:

        "Yes, I can see you have a severe disability that leaves you unable to do anything for most of the week"

        Followed by the actual assessment that went to the DWP:

        "Person is absolutely fine on a good day so doesn't qualify for any points towards PIP"

        Which bit of "unable to even get out of the fucking bed without help from a carer on most days of the week" qualifies someone as physically fit and able to work? In case you're wondering, recently diagnosed with MS, and not the mild variety. Managing to stay employed for about an hour day, with the help of her daughter pushing her to work in a wheelchair as it's a 30 minute walk from home.

        1. James 51 Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Note exactly dangerous, but...

          Having seen friends and family go through DLA and then PIP it is obviously designed to force people off benefits regardless of the harm or greater costs accrued elsewhere in the benefit system.

  12. Potemkine! Silver badge

    One side is not enough

    I always have difficulties to believe stories from participants told from one unique point of view. Generally stories have many.

    Narrators may think being objective (sometimes), but human nature is what it is, prejudices are like anonymous, they are legion...

    " and realised the boss had no idea he was on speaker."

    Putting someone on speaker without warning is insensitive, politely speaking.

    1. samzeman

      Re: One side is not enough

      Hmm, I disagree. You shouldn't be saying anything to a colleague you wouldn't say to a customer, unless it's company secrets.

      1. Potemkine! Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: One side is not enough

        You shouldn't be saying anything to a colleague you wouldn't say to a customer

        ROTFL! I say many things to colleagues I would never tell to customers, starting by what I think about customers ^^

        1. Nick Kew Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: One side is not enough

          @ Potemkine!

          Upvote for the laugh, but I can't help thinking I've said more to clients about colleagues than vice versa.

      2. 2Nick3 Bronze badge

        Re: One side is not enough

        "You shouldn't be saying anything to a colleague you wouldn't say to a customer, unless it's company secrets."

        I agree with that, but sometimes you have to say things that you aren't ready to share with the customer. Of course that implies having a professional conversation to begin with, but the ability to tell your colleague, "As A, B, C and D didn't work I'm out of ideas. Do you have anything to try?" or "Crap -

        can you find 'Hail Mary' Harry and see if he has any ideas?" or something along those lines, without having the customer hearing it can be important.

    2. Trollslayer Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: One side is not enough

      Not when it is self preservation.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One side is not enough

      @Potemkine!

      The speaker phone was utilised so "Dianne" could A: hear what I was being instructed to do and B: to hear how this clown would talk to his staff when being asked a civil question or suggesting that his course of action might not the best one under the circumstances.

      Her testimony was crucial in the following investigation.

    4. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: One side is not enough

      I had someone (aren't clients wonderful) potentially defaming me over the phone once. I said I was going to put the call on the speaker phone which he didn't object to but just kept at it. He was upset because I'd advised not to switch from one software prog to another. He'd then gone ahead & done so anyway which he then had issues with. He was telling me over the phone that I'd advised him to switch and he'd talk to his lawyers etc. I said I had emails and written reports explaining my views.

      After a few more defamatory statements I said he'd now defamed me I had a witness to this and was liable to sue. "Yeah like you have lawyers" I pointed out that the rest of my immediate family were lawyers: three solicitors (one a partner in a major law firm) and two barristers. The phone went dead quite and I asked if he was still there, which got a mumbled "Yes". He didn't say anything for a minute and then came out with "Oh never mind." and the line went dead.

  13. Youngdog

    MS Office and reg keys

    A week into a new job and I was shadowing the 'senior' engineer whose response to any Excel error/crash was to uninstall and reinstall MS Office.

    He gave me a withering look when I suggested all he was doing was removing and putting back a mostly static set of files and HKLM reg keys and he should be nosing around profile/HKCU instead.

    Couldn't stop myself smirking though when 30-40 minutes and one seriously p**sed off user later the exact same error popped up.

  14. Drew Scott

    Who speaks to their team on speaker with client in the room unless it's a client meeting? Sounds like Craig is unprofessional and was trying to score points. Also doesn't sound like any risk of data loss if PST was retained at all times - not like mail data is sitting in the registry.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Sounds like Craig is unprofessional and was trying to score points."

      Sounds to me as if Craig had a good idea of what was likely to happen and was covering himself.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Damn right.

        This was back in about the year 2003. We had only recently installed Office 2003 pre SP1 on several machines.

        I had a good relationship with "Dianne", she trusted me and knew the job in hand would be done with the minimum downtime and inconvenience.

        This new team leader was all fart and no shit. Just not a good person to have in a management position.

        I didn't run MY pst repair tool because it was an unsanctioned 3rd party cracked tool and NO poker player plays their best hand first.

        Yes, I could have taken the PST, ran the 3rd party app on MY laptop and fixed it but there were concerns about data being transferred to other machines and Dianne was smart enough to know that "delete" doesn't!

        There was NO un-corrupted back up. This partners machine was off the grid, so to speak, as were all senior partners machines. Yes Dianne was there to oversee things as she was technically literate and reported directly to the senior partner. Yes, I wanted to teach the idiot TL a lesson in humility.

        As someone who's glass is always less than half empty, by imagining the worst WILL always happen, you tend to tread a little more cautiously and that philosophy has stuck with me and served me well many many times. If the worst CAN happen, it WILL!

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Damn right.

          "and NO poker player plays their best hand first"

          ...?

          You weren't there to play poker, you were there to recover a buggered up file. If Dianne trusted you, a simple explanation should have sufficed as to what your tool was and why you needed it. I myself have recovered dead PCs with Hirren's Boot CD and its collection of software of dubious providence. But when they need that machine NOW and said machine is telling them there's no C drive... they tend to be quite accommodating if you tell them it's a ten minute fix with your magical CD...

          1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

            Re: Damn right.

            If the tool is unsanctioned or unpaid for *you shouldn't be using it*. Work's response to asking to use it will almost certainly be to use the official tools first before looking at purchasing the (possibly expensive) other software.

            If it fixes the problem but it's not legit, that does not make it ok. It's morally slightly better to note that the third party software resolved the issue and should now be purchased legitimately, even if it's technically still illegal to use it in the first place.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There were other factors.

      It wasn't JUST the PST file, it was the entire stability of the machine, there was other data, documents, etc etc. The mails were, in the clients eyes, the most important thing to fix. If the HD was failing then getting the PST backed up was the MOST important thing. Thus, I concentrated on that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There were other factors.

        Hey "Craig" - you're only making it worse by defending yourself all over the Comments section. Your story was published, and if you've read On-Call the actions of the protagonist are always dissected. The more you talk about it the worse the responses are going to get.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There were other factors.

          No, with respect, fuck you.

          If people want to dissect my story, that's fine but I have every right to respond and try to clarify / explain.

          If you think my feelings will be hurt, let me assure you, I have none to hurt in the first place.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: There were other factors.

            "No, with respect, fuck you.

            If people want to dissect my story, that's fine but I have every right to respond and try to clarify / explain.

            If you think my feelings will be hurt, let me assure you, I have none to hurt in the first place."

            And you have every right to sound like a petulant 3-year old throwing a temper tantrum because someone said something you don't like, which you are using to the best of your ability - bully for you!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Who speaks to their team on speaker with client in the room unless it's a client meeting? Sounds like Craig is unprofessional and was trying to score points.

      Even worse, it reflects badly on the person who hired the team lead, and reflects badly on the company itself. If I heard about this, and was up Craig's chain of command, he'd be fired.

  15. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    First boss was fond of saying "just do XYZ at a client, it'll be quick".

    It was not, and he was not happy with the overtime I put in. He did not realized that Mr Murphy played a merry game with XYZ at that particular client as well.

    There's no such thing as a quick job. Forget it.

  16. Chris Evans

    It's Friday. So where is Alistair Dabbs?

    Good as it is 'On Call' can't hold a candle to Alistair Dabbs's "Something for the Weekend, Sir?".

    His last article was 28 Jul 2017:-(

    Please come back, we miss you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's Friday. So where is Alistair Dabbs?

      > Please come back, we miss you.

      I trust you will accept that the entirely opposite view can be very strongly held.

      The longer the holiday, the better. 'Infinite' sounds like the ideal time period...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's Friday. So where is Alistair Dabbs?

        Don't be churlish. No one's forcing you to read dabbs so what's the problem?

        Read a different article.

        1. elDog Silver badge

          Re: It's Friday. So where is Alistair Dabbs?

          Actually, I think the post you replied to was written by the Dabbs. Just his sort of thing to do.

          Pints on me to everyone!

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: It's Friday. So where is Alistair Dabbs?

      He's still on-site sorting out an email problem.

  17. Will111111

    IT boss

    I once had a boss who did everything. He was just as good at managing the books as he was at recruitment and setting up networks. A very wealthy new client of ours bought a whole bunch of new servers in a new comms room with new Cisco switches. This clown of a boss decided to link two 10/100 Cisco switches with a single cross-over cable with all the servers on one switch and the client machines on the other. Needless to say, I found this very amusing when I found out what he'd done.

  18. adam payne Silver badge

    I used to have a manager that would answer a call and go through the usual steps to resolve a problem. When the usual steps didn't work they would suggest some random fix (that was never going to work), a reboot of the machine and a call back if there was still an issue.

    This manager would then get up, leave the office to make a cup of tea and by the time they got back I would be on the phone to the person who still had the issue.

    Delegation at it's finest.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sadly

      They're the kind of managers you don't want.

      Not able to deal with the shitty end of the stick but ready to steal all the thunder when the worker drones save the day.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Last year, we had a major outage where I work affecting our live and test networks (office network was unaffected), and after the network came back (albeit somewhat unstable to begin with) I set to work bringing our Linux servers back up. Quite a mess, as they had objected en masse at losing their iSCSI storage. This was not helped in the slightest by others in the company asking me to sort out the bits they needed, simultaneously.

      I was starting to suffer from multitasking failure, when my manager sent a company-wide broadcast requesting that all requests to me should be directed via him, then of all things he asked if I wanted a coffee. "Go on, then". Took me a moment to figure out what he was up to, but a couple of minutes away from the computer was exactly what I needed at that time.

  19. COMM83

    Incompetent Techie

    Why would you risk your job by putting your boss on loudspeaker if front of a client? Hardly professional. And given the emails were recovered using a Third Party tool, the same solution the Team Leader suggested initially before the registry idea, its actually a non story.

    I'm surprised the team leader didn't sack you for making a stupid escalation call when you knew how to resolve the issue in the first place.

    Stick to those Printers if PST's are too challenging without help from your superiors.

  20. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    Clustered hosts

    And a boss that doesn't understand what a 'cluster lock disk' means.

    One node barfed, and volume was unreadable. Entire cluster shuts down.

    "Allocate from new array, restore from backup"

    Umm, no, give me a few minutes to look at the volume spindles and see what's happening.

    "Just restore on new spindles, its faster"

    Umm, no, 400+Gb, and 100Mb ethernet for the restore.

    The problem with large clusters and shared volumes and cluster lock disks is that some idiot somewhere will *eventually* use a volume for the wrong thing just because they can't see that it is in use elsewhere in the cluster. Just like the poor bugger that had added the cluster lock disk from the dead node to the DB tempspace elsewhere in the cluster. Because, you see the idiot yelling at us to "restore from backup" had yelled at him to "Just add that unused #$%@#$% disk to the tempspace NOW" 25 minutes prior to the one node crashing. I was on the PM for that. With emails, and since we were using the in house conference call tools, the audio recordings.

    I've worked for some truly dickish humans. And I've worked for some amazing bosses. I've learned how to speak the right language.

    And I always cover my ass.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sysadmin is a somewhat grandiose title for a desktop tech going about repairing PST files.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Which if you read

      my replies, you will see I agree.

      I was a desktop techie with a small smattering of server knowledge.

      I have never attested to being anything more.

  22. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Italics?

    What italics?

  23. Martyn 1

    Once had a system rapidly running out of space on one of the disks which stored the word processing docs for the company, it wasn't really my job so I wondered into the Ops room for a chat and to make sure somebody was dealing with it.

    Response I got was "yep we'll have it sorted out in a few minutes" which surprised me a little as I expected it to be more complicated than that so I asked what they were going to do "Eric (the boss) told us to delete everything on the disk more than 6 months old[1], if anybody needs any documents older than 6 months we will get them off backup".

    Thankfully I managed to intervene and stop him before he hit <CR>, I then had a brief chat with Eric where I explained that the disk also had the word processor system executables, which was installed a couple of years earlier and so would have been deleted in the purge, and all the template docs that the various departments used which had also been around for a long time., The fallout would not have been pretty when all the word processing and telex (yes it was that long ago) stopped working.

    [1] VMS, IIRC: $delete [*...]*.*;*/bef=-180-00:00:00

  24. Archtech Silver badge

    "Craig put the call on speaker so that Dianne could hear it..."

    A smart move.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Confusing from the start

    >>Craig used italics because after meeting his new boss he quickly surmised the title “was an entire contradiction, as he was neither.”

    I understand the new person not being a leader, but nobody is a team by themself.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Confusing from the start

      Conjoined twins?

  26. sabroni Silver badge

    Bias

    From the comments it's obvious which side of the call you identify with, the hero Craig or his evil boss....

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: Bias

      Some people honestly think the way they act is the right way to do things.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    It support is where the basic people stay

    The TL while maybe a dick but first asked him to use the .pst repair tool. There was no statement of "I have a non sanctioned tool". Ultimately it was a .pst repair tool that fixed it. Aside from scoring points I don't see any great skill here. Our protagonist is a dick trying to score points and make himself look better.

    Honestly, if you were a developer and you had to do a slightly hacky thing to make something work you'd just say to your boss. Support people really think fixing an Outlook file is magic and all the twat colleagues in support are a hardship. You chose the dregs of IT work and have shown how twaty people are to fuck each other over.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It support is where the basic people stay

      Don't take this personally. I guess you may anyhow. But a lot of people commenting on this article seem to have selective reading ability. Go back, read it again, and tell us who in the story made a request, with violent language, that if executed would damage the clients system?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It support is where the basic people stay

      I bet you even taste bitter.

  28. Chris King Silver badge
    Coat

    My rules of engagement with speakerphones

    (1) Tell the other party you're switching to speakerphone '

    (2) Tell them who else is listening in on the call at your end;

    (3) Check that they're okay with that before proceeding ;

    (4) Assume that the person at the other end has gone to speakerphone anyway and hasn't afforded you the same courtesies, so be careful what you say ;

    Put another way - always assume your audience is bigger than you think it is, and don't make any assumptions about who's listening in at the other end. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt that says "Sorry I can't sit down, my arse just got kicked big style".

    Mine's the one with the armour in the seat region.

    1. elDog Silver badge

      Re: My rules of engagement with speakerphones

      A totally rational view.

      Also assume that any hallway, for-your-ears-only, top-secret conversations will be spread.

      If you're in a business environment, assume that someone will tell someone else. Shit, this even happens at the top levels of government (if you can call the US "governed".) Speaker phones, forwarded emails, IT staff (and other taps) - all is possible.

      Of course the really successful Team Leaders learn this early and have a visceral knowledge of what they should say and to whom. The TL of this story is a walking fountain of bad intelligence. Not to draw analogies to the current US TL situation.

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: My rules of engagement with speakerphones

      When the phone call is made from the client site, you could reasonably expect that the enemy - excuse me, the customer - is listening. Also, you can tell.

  29. Terry 6 Silver badge

    PST

    Being no more than a semi-professional tinkerer ( since the 1970s though) this business of PST ( and Thunderbird "profiles" ) has me very puzzled. Why did the industry choose to package email messages into a single file - for which read single point of failure. If a message gets corrupted you've lost a message. If a profile or PST get corrupted you've potentially lost the lot. The whole kit and caboodle down the Swanee.

    1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

      Re: PST

      Databases commonly are a single/small number of files. Managing hundreds/thousands of files is highly inefficient, difficult to search, and backup.

      A single PST file can be difficult to back up due to its size, although hopefully it is generally used read only to refer to past e-mails rather than being actively updated. As mentioned earlier, Exchange used to have a storage limit for its data store that was easily reached with a small population of heavy e-mail users (still, it's better than its very early versions that didn't include reference counting on attachments, so an attachment storm could down a server..).

      It's not so much that PST files are a bad idea (usually, they're quite reliable), it's that there were few sensible e-mail/workflow alternatives at a price companies were prepared to pay. See also Access databases, which had a cost free runtime free, and worked 'fine' until taken beyond their capabilities or hitting the 4GB file size limit. At least Microsoft eventually lifted the datastore size Exchange could handle in the non Enterprise limit, and released SQL Server Express (whatever it used to be called originally, I forget) for free, to release people from Access shackles.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: PST

        Well, this is the thing. Purely in an amateur, user sort of way. ( I'm sure these things are discussed in Comp Sci courses) it seems to me that data should be stored in a database. But documents should be stored in folders. Which to me would suggest that an email programme's database should be there to index the emails; but the emails should be in a folder. If the database falls over the emails, or at least a backup folder of the emails, would still be there.

        1. J. Cook Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: PST

          *falls out of chair laughing*

          Outlook (and exchange, and most other mail programs) treat mail as data, because storing *thousands upon thousands* of what is ultimately tiny documents (1 per email message!) would have brought most file systems to their knees in short order, regardless of how janky (FAT12!!) or robust (ZFS!) they are.

          Ordinarily, I'm in total and complete agreement. I keep reminding my users that Exchange/Outlook Is Not A File Storage System. And yet, I have users with OST files over 5 GB, and PST files approaching the *30 GB* mark, because they can't be arsed to delete ANYTHING EVER.

          That having also been said, the ESE database engine that Exchange uses is pretty damned robust and puts up with most of the abuse I (and my users) put it through.

  30. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Just wondering

    The boss wasn't Bombastic Bob by any chance?

  31. Paul

    I worked at a company developing a customer facing portal, and we had regular deployments which had to go through some level of formal testing and the deployment by the sysadmins.

    It was just before December and we were late making an important release with features the company felt were really important and urgent. Problem was we were late, and there was nobody around who was able to give formal approval to go live. I was also quite ill, and really shouldn't have been at work that day, and didn't want to take any **** from anyone!

    My manager, X, who had made it clear for a long time that he despised me, rang me and told me to "go live". I sent out an announcement to all the usual people announcing I was making the release, and that X had told me to do it despite not having gone through the usual QA process.

    Just as I was about to press the button to deploy, X rang, and told me "you can't say that!". I asked what he meant and said I was merely repeating word for word what he said, and he again repeated "you can't say that". I feigned innocence and asked if I should deploy or not, or if he would email and reply-all and rescind the order etc, he audibly shrugged, swore under his breath, and said yes.

    My theory is that that X would have claimed all the credit for a successful deployment, or throw me under the bus if the deployment went bad and say it was nothing to do with him, either way he could punish me for not following the usual process.

    Some months later a bunch of us were made redundant, and X was clearly agitated that, unlike the others some of whom were in tears, I was grinning as I left and walked with a spring in my step at being paid to leave!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sounds like they were being encouraged to "manage" you out of their redundancy scheme ahead of the obvious future staffing loss. You dodged that one well.

    2. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

      "Some months later a bunch of us were made redundant, and X was clearly agitated that, unlike the others some of whom were in tears, I was grinning as I left and walked with a spring in my step at being paid to leave!"

      In my first IT job, the Company Secretary was a complete and utter bully.

      I found another job to escape the tyranny, and from the moment I handed my notice in until the point I left he refused to speak to me.

      A result, of sorts, but it's unbelievable what complete and utter bastards some people can be to their juniors.

  32. Angry IT Monkey

    I was once at a friend's wedding where my boss's boss was also attending. He jokingly said my name was mud because the firm was have problems during stock take and I wasn't answering my phone. Bit selfish I know but this was the middle of 2 weeks leave, the bosses knew about the wedding because the bride worked at the firm and it was my birthday.

    Turns out the stock take program crashed and in some attempt to get at the data the IT manager had dismantled the barcode scanner, pressing too hard while unscrewing the back and pressing the hard reset key combination so a factory reset ensued.

    It was still on my desk when I got back along with the notes he'd made chronicling my part in this debacle - "3pm not answering phone". I think you can guess what time the couple took their vows and why I didn't answer my phone.

    The couple are still happily married and I'm happily not working there any more.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2017

    aah, how easy can a migration to O365 be?

    So nice to work with, even use an app on your mobile devices to access your emails, or from a browser or desktop client...the world is yours.

    No need for lots of 'exchange-support', and if something would go wrong with the service, ask MS to solve it....

    It's 2017, why would you install and maintain your own mail servers? Price? Well, in most cases your own infra will cost you more. Be in control? You still have control of your 0365 accounts.

    Ignorance probably?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2017

      Why would I install and maintain my own mail servers?

      Well, for starters, data retention- if it's in the cloud, the data can just evaporate, unless you've taken a backup.

      My company is 90% on prem because we are entirely owned by a sovereign entity and a good portion of that data contains sensitive information.

      Control? If you don't own the servers, you don't have control over them or the data that's on it, plain and simple.

      Anon because _reasons_.

  34. Disgruntled of TW
    Angel

    Rude not to say speaker on

    Generally a positive story with everyone more or less getting what they deserve, however not making sure the belligerent boss was aware he was on speaker was not cricket. The BOFH lost some cred there.

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