Reply to post: Re: HR Fail

Hell desk to user: 'I know you're wrong. I wrote the software. And the protocol it runs on'

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: HR Fail

I definitely never worked as long term sickness cover for a high end retail chain and none of what you are about to read actually happened. I was supposed to travel to branches and train new staff on the use of the company systems including the till and DPA compliant Customer Management Tool. To assist staff the CMT had been developed which was basically a database of customer details for each store. However not only did you need to be connected by VPN to the company system you also had to have the correct password for the server. That was before you got to the log in stage where you needed your personal security password to be able to access the database. All the data was stored on the server to prevent unauthorised access and it worked quite well. Every store had to have access to the full data in case someone came in with a query and hadn't purchased from that showroom. Access was logged though so you could be traced for looking at customer files etc. What I wasn't prepared for was that the sales staff were all on commission and therefore a bunch of backstabbing bastards. Each showroom got a pooled commission and therefore if you could steal a customer from some other store that was fine by them. The only slight snake in the grass was that the system logged what you did. Therefore if you got a customer on to the system first as having visited your showroom that was supposed to indicate that they were your customer and everyone else could piss off. Every entry was time stamped and so if it was on the system that was taken as gospel. Before going out anywhere I made sure I knew everything about the system and one of the things I discovered was a small screw up the developer had made.

Instead of using the server time and date or indeed some external time and date source they'd used the local PC clock for the info. The upshot of this was that you could set your local clock to the day before and the timestamp indicated this. So at the first showroom I visited which was the furthest away from head office there was one member of staff and the manager waiting for the training. I did the training and checked that the new starter understood the importance of good data security etc. Then at the end as a sort of caveat I mentioned that the date shown was based on the PC clock. The manager suddenly became very interested and asked me more about this, I explained the feature fully. Then he calls in various different members of the sales team to learn about this "feature". I was asked if I wanted lunch by the manager which I accepted and I found us heading to the local pub. I said I thought going to the pub for lunch was a big no no with the firm, but heard "We're a long way from head office and we treat that as more of a request rather than a rule". Over lunch I realised that they were looking to poach other showrooms customers by claiming them first by changing the clock time. I realised rather quickly when I was asked not to mention this in certain other showrooms when training. I had a few nice lunches out of that feature, my waistline suffered a bit though.

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