Cow-orkers VII: Is That a Knife in My Back or Are You Just Happy to Use Me?
Lenny had been playing Chinese Whispers (or "Telephone").
Lenny, Lonnnie and Larry comprised a group we called "Triple Threat" (Trip-Ell Threat -- yes, I know lame it sounds). For a few years they were in my Functional Team. They were a close-knit group and all easily took offence when I fired off an E-Mail about on or another's behaviour or response to a customer. They became indignant as I rewrote their Knowledge Base documents, cleaning them up for style and content. We're not part of Microsoft's marketing and there's no reason that a technical document needs to contain "Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Server Operating System" even once, much less on every single reference.
They'd run off to tattle and cry to the managers at every one of the perceived offences, embellishing their stories wherever possible. They'd likewise sic management on my if I didn't drop everything I was doing to answer their questions immediately. They looked for every possible way of causing trouble, and it all started because I'd once had the audacity to try to help one of them (Lonnie, I think it was) and fix his damned document before it went to PM.
And so ensued a war of sorts for two years, the Cerberus of LLL vs. little ol' REC. I couldn't tell them a thing and learned not to bother asking them for any assistance since the only answers I'd receive were crafted to look right and be wrong. The stupidity and pettiness began to peter out when I visited the London offices for a week and dealt with them in person, calming their egos a bit, but the enmity remained. After Larry left the company and Lonnie moved to a different team, I was only left with Lenny to deal with, and rarely since he worked the other end of the spectrum of our team and our work rarely overlapped.
He was still annoying, demanding full assist credit if he answered a single minor question confirming something like a version number or file directory. Such are his petty ways. He's going for a record on a metric which only has to exist; high numbers of assists neither bring any additional accolades (or money), nor do they excuse your ticket load as one of our locals knows all too well.
To his credit if someone gave him a significant piece of information or more than passing assistance he'd credit the assist. I stumbled over a ticket he'd been working on while looking for something else and saw the answer, a defect which I'd dealt with many times but which the customer hadn't discovered correctly. By that I mean he didn't notice a couple major symptoms and his problem description seemed to be about something entirely different. I sent Lennie a quick note with a test for the customer and the internal bug tracking numbers, saving his ass on a month-old ticket for which he had no direction.
He'd been contacting me by IM or mail every few days for some other freaky problem. The problem was based in
Using the team leader's note in the Prio-1 ticket, Lennie took ownership and sent a response. There's an internal entry for a mail between us a few days later when the customer came back. Right after a response signed by Lennie and copypasta'd from my mail with every warning Lennie didn't see before. And the next activities were the same. All of them.
Now it's my ticket and I got to the root of the problem which turned out to be a very different problem indeed. Because he didn't ask for their network diagram after the first signs of problems (Resonate would only work if it was the first NIC binding). My technotard girlfriend couldn't design a more perverted architecture if my vengeful, technically capable, psycho-bitch ex-girlfriend helped her.
One mail with an architecture correction and new diagram resolved everything.
I'm onto Lennie. Had he been a bit more clever, he could've asked one of the other two Resonate experts to cover that ticket and I might not have seen it. Stab me in the back repeatedly, use me continually, then go on hols and give me a chance to find out?
x-posted from HuSi, with a poll.
P.S. Enjoy a holiday GooTube link.