Thursday, June 21, 2007

Difficult Decisions

$CarCorp has run into a problem. A few problems, actually, but one requires a special patch from us which allows certain new and basic software to work with ours. Said patches are still in QA. We have a sooper-seekrit pre-release version for certain noisy and powerful customers who insist on patching today and not in two weeks, maybe three, almost certainly by August. Almost certainly.

Under pressure from Sales and Accounts our engineering department has grudgingly agreed to make the pre-release version available, but only as a TAR release. That means the customer has to have a Technical Account Rep who must be on-site for the patching since Bad Things could happen. Codswallop I say, because the overwhelming majority of our TARs are incompetent fucks with the mental acuity of cold spaghetti, but that's what Eng is demanding.

$CarCorp has no TAR. They used to have one, and I know this because it was one of the very precious few TARs who could not only find his ass with just one hand but was even capable of wiping it without assistance. So why do they have no TAR anymore? He wasn't let go for being able to do his job, it was a simple matter of cost savings.

They're trying to roll out a new workstation image for a couple thousand users worldwide and have a code freeze coming up on a date at least two weeks prior to our earliest QA release. If they don't get the temp fix, the current image will only be an interim image and they'll have to do a full month of testing again once we release.

Fair enough. That's a good business case, made even stronger by the projected cost of a second image and testing running in the neighbourhood of €500K. So what's the problem? They won't shell out €5K for a TAR to come on-site.


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