Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Stupid Questions

"What could possibly go wrong?", I asked rhetorically. And as Cloaked user pointed out, it was a question I shouldn't have posed because I damn well should've known that was only an invitation for hell, but I was in too good a mood to notice. All of my monkey klaxons should have been sounding. I knew that most of what I'd be saying at the meetings would be "not supported" but I still had hopes for a decent day.

It all started when trying to find $VeryTouchyCustomer at #144. there were half a dozen buildings with $VeryTouchyCustomer'S name. At #142 there was a big entrance area. Building #144 is next door and requires a keycard which I can't have because my contact's name isn't on their list, nor was he answering his cell phone. Luckily the drinks delivery guy was struggling to get a stack of cases in #144's door so I managed to get inside. If only I hadn't.

x-posted to da brog.

After wandering around to the offices I finally found a secretary who was helpful. Nope, "Dieter P." wasn't listed in her directory. I ess-plained what I was there for and showed her the E-Mail print-our. She asked me if this was IT-related and then directed me up a couple flights of stairs.

Where I found more empty halls, open windows, hot air and few people. Upon finding one occupied office I went through the same routine, except that this time they knew who Dieter was but not where he was. So off we went looking for him, all around the floor, in every office and conference room. No luck. So back downstairs we went and did the same thing and had the same results.

My guide then made a couple phone calls and Dieter was probably in another building which actually has air conditioning. Thank fuck! And as we walked outside, we bumped into Dieter who claimed he'd been looking for us. And back inside and all the way upstairs we went. We waited in a sysadmin room and chatted briefly and then went to the first conference room in which we'd looked.

No A/C. No cool beverages. No coffay (at least I'd had the forethought to bring my own). I was the only one in a suit and tie, the rest of them wearing considerably more comfortable clothing. After 20 minutes of yammering I had to loosen my tie and shirt.

So, was my estimation right?

1) Late start
Check. 15 minutes.

2) An hour of overview discussions
3) An hour of stupid discussions

Check, although it actually ran over by about 10 minutes.

4) Lunch (which should be on their dime)
Check. Overcooked strips of pork liver in an unidentifiable brown sauce.

5) An hour of stupid discussions
Check, but two hours

6) A half hour of summary discussion
Check, but 45 minutes.

And that wasn't the worst of it, because as CitrixGuy and I went outside for a smoke, Dieter accompanied us. "So you'll have support for $Platform around, uh, the end of the year." I almost exploded but before I could say anything CitrixGuy answered him harshly: "No! He said there will not be any support."

"Dieter, we don't support it now and we have no plans to support it in the future. We had no reason to support a server OS for use as a workstation platform. With this issue in mind there's a case to be made for doing so now but we currently have NO SUPPORT for it and we have NO PLANS to do so."

"Oh. OK. I see."

I got home, peeled off my suit, jumped under a cold shower for 15 minutes to cool off, then wrote a fucking two-page summary detailing every single point which was made, sending copies to all the participants and all of our management. It basically reads:

You asked about $ABC. Might work, not supported.
You asked about $XYZ. Not supported.
You asked about $ABC-XYZ. Can't work.
You asked about $XYZ-ABC. Probably won't work and not supported.
We discussed $AXBYCZ. Not supported.
We then looked at your architecture which violates all our design specs. Not supported.
We looked at your blade farm set-up. I've seen better designs done in fingerpaint hanging on a refrigerator.
You asked about $Feature. Can't work and not supported.
You asked about $ABC again. Might work, not supported.
You asked about $XYZ again. Not supported.
You wanted to discus Bug Report #A2-33C-06. Not a bug: we don't support Citrix.
You wanted to discus Bug Report #B2-0AF-03. Not a bug: we don't support Citrix.
You wanted to discus Bug Report #AE-5C8-07. Not a bug: we don't support $Platform.
You asked about $ABC again. Might work, not supported.
You asked about $XYZ again. Not supported.
You asked about $XYZ-ABC again. Probably won't work and not supported.

Management responded within an hour: Good Doggie!

The rest of the people at the meeting were actually quite competent and I enjoyed talking with them. The fuckwittery they came up with was due to Dieter's insistence on designing things a certain way which he was just sure had to be the right way, all our documentation to the contrary be damned. I even told them a bit more than I should have in order to let them better understand the situation and they got it. Not Dieter, that fuckwit.


Blogger AAhelp pulled out a crayon and scribbled:

So, are you going to support $Dieter?

31 July, 2007 18:20  

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