Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Holy Cow!

Andrew is a born-and-bred deep Bavarian with the thick accent and dialect. His language is quite colourful in a completely different manner of "colourful" than is mine here. I like the guy, even when he stacks the team event dodgeball team in his favour.

Andrew likes idioms. He uses idiomatic phrases all the time as is his language's nature and from time to time he tries to spread his wings a bit, often with ensuing hilarity.

Translated from the original German:
From: Andrew
Subject: holy cow

How do you translate "holy cow" into German? Is it "Holy shit" or "Holy haystack" or something like that? Also, how do you say "Heilige Kuh" in Englisch?

I can see where this is going. I will be amused.

From: REC
To: Andrew
Subject: RE: holy cow

"Holy cow" is an exclamation which can mean, "Wow!", "Holy shit!" or "I don't believe it!" depending on the context.

The German "Heilige Kuh" is what we call a "sacred cow" in English, but the context you used it in makes no sense. A "sacred cow" is something that no one may criticise for any reason, for example the current (useless) "extra security precautions" in US and UK airports."

And that should've been the end of it. But it wasn't. It never is.

From: Andrew
Subject: RE: holy cow

o scheiße

He should've sent me the question an hour earlier. Before his conf call. The one with a customer whose native language was also not English. The one which he kept telling said customer that a table's primary reference key is a "holy cow" and can't be changed. Over and over and over.

x-posted to HuSi with a poll.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

In a Nutshell

I don't really like to post nothing entries but I've got a tight schedule right now and this video pretty much sums it up.

Update: big thanks to Reepr for finding a repost which works.

The video's called Helpdesk i middelalderen, or "Medieval helpdesk".
Official version from NRK
The Norwegians are quite proud

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Yersinia Enterocolitica

I've been out sick for almost two weeks. I can't sit in a chair for more than a couple minutes at a time. I should be back at the orifice next week and posting will resume.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

This Frog's For You

From: Configuration Duty Monkey
To: SysAdmin Duty Monkey, REC
Subject: area change


New ticket in from $FrenchBank. This looks like a typical REC issue :-))
Can I move this to SysAdmin?


I oughta call this A Minute in the Life. Cold turkey was a bad idea. Lunch made me feel even worse. Details inside.

Summary: uncorrect behaviour on W2K3
Description: We plan to deploy $YourBigApp for remote access through citrix.
Resolution: THAT'S the "uncorrect behaviour" you fucking morons.

Click on the ticket, hit control-M to send mail, click on the correct template dropdown, click on boilerplate folder in Quick Launch bar, double-click "citrix_suxorz.txt", select the section appropriate, control-C, alt-tab to the mail, control-V, alt-S to send, click user-visibility enable, select status: Answered, alt-down to commit and go to next ticket.

I really should be able to script this. Easy numbers and another Root Cause 17: Fuckwit, but this is getting tiresome.

In other news, it seems perhaps I should not stop drinking entirely. I've said this before but it's now actually having an impact on my life outside this place. I've been sloshing back booze continually for far too long and it seems to have caught up with me. I decided not to drink at all last night while moonlighting and serving booze. Bad dog! No-sleep dog.

I have many of the standard symptoms, including nervousness, tension, lack of concentration, nausea, insomnia and agitation, though the latter is most definitely exacerbated by the work I do. So I have to again try to moderate myself further down, not a pleasant thought when I intend to be getting ratted with a lot of other people in about four weeks' time. And then there's the alcohol-centered event every other Wednesday.

Do not come to work when you are still sick with the flu and proceed to cough at me all day long. I have to be in court on Friday morning and I'm moving next week.

When I order the "Chicken Curry Sandwich", I have no problem finding a piece of lettuce on there even though you plan on jamming it under a grill. My problem is that your "chicken curry" consisted of about two cups of mayonnaise mixed with cheap-ass curry powder, chopped carrot, pineapple, some peas, and NO chicken, slathered onto what otherwise might've been very tasty bread. Zero chicken. Vegetarian.

I really feel ill but just below the point where my body might forcefully reject the mealtime offering. I know there are solutions, but no one ever takes Ipecac a second time. Not willingly, anyway.

x-posted from HuSi where there's a poll.

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Friday Fuckwit Festival

It's been a veritable cavalcade of cunts, cocksuckers and incompetent crackheads, made worse by my having to be the Duty Monkey this morning.

Mini-me has been out all week on training, checking in only a couple times a day during breaks. One of his tickets came from some fuckwit who wanted to confirm that the full packages he loaded were indeed the full packages and proceeded to send in a list of every subdirectory in the installation, asking if this was all he needed. Paul confirmed. The customer came back asking the same thing, but this time about the patchset. Paul confirmed.

In my mailbox came an urgent request, CC:d to Paul's manager and mine, stating that the customer's called twice demanding to talk to Paul but unable to get through. The fuckwit switchboard neglected to check the availability chart and put the customer through. The fuckwit manager demanded I do something. Paul happened to be on-line at the moment and after telling him the fuckwit reasoning why we're expected to make calls to idiots, called the fuckwit... who was at home and for whom the call wasn't actually urgent.

I had to stay almost an hour longer last night hour firing off a missive to Product Marketing. It seems they've been getting so many requests to support Citrix that they decided to do something about it. "OK," the note began, "We've been using terminal services internally in our own data center and Citrix is just TermSvcs on steroids so we should probably go ahead and support it." Without actually running it through QA. Despite Product Defect reports. And with no licenses or copies of Citrix software so that we can actually do testing.

I let him know about all the problems last summer and that, despite coming up with a patch, six months later Citrix is again telling customers that it's our fault. And Microsoft's. But mainly ours. I reminded him of the reasons we never supported them to begin with. I told him where the problem lies. He's the PM and I'm just a monkey; he knows no better.

In my mailbox this morning was: "Oh. So what do the customers do when you tell them that?" Probably the same thing that I do: piss and moan some more about Citrix.

And it continued throughout the day.


We only have around 30,000 contacts and 19,000 Accounts but our database is 42GB. Is this normal?

Only if you attached a couple full-length porn films to each of those contacts.

Our Default Time Zone shows "(GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada); Tijuana". But our system has the setting for "USE_DATABASE_GMT=TRUE". We're based on the U.S. east coast but we have users all over North America. Should I change the server default and user defaults to UTC?

Only if they all move to Reykjavík. He may have looked at the fucking Knowledge Base but he thumbed through it the way a three-year-old thumbs through Encyclopedia Britannica. Sherlock doesn't understand the difference between how time is stored in a database and how it's displayed to users in different regions. His job: "AIX administrator". There is a serious shortage.


We have a problem again with pop-up windows freezing on some of our Citrix servers.

(signed) -- $BritishCityCouncil

Filed last night around 7:30pm to try and avoid having me take it. Hoping that someone would tell them what they finally want to hear. All the monkeys laughed, for all the monkeys around the world know there is only one here who will step into the Citrix cesspit.

$BCC: But only some of the Citrix servers have the problem!
$REC: Because only some of those servers run PS4.
$BCC: How do you know that?
$REC: Because we know the problem happens with PS4 and not PS3
$BCC: But we have to have the servers at PS4!
$REC: Why?
$BCC: Because it's newer and does more!
$REC: It does more?
$BCC: It's faster and better and more efficient! Citrix says so.
$REC: Uh-huh. And do you actually notice any real speed difference?
$BCC: Well, according to the numbers our bandwidth is down by more than 1%.
$REC: So you have to use PS4 because it's supposedly better and cuts bandwidth usage by mind-boggling one percent, but in actual fact, what you need it to do -- run $OurBigApp -- is exactly what PS4 is entirely incapable of doing.
$BCC: But we've already upgraded!
$REC: Why?
$BCC: Because it's newer and better...
$REC: Is there anything you run which requires PS4 and won't work in PS3?
$BCC: Well, not as such...
$REC: So downgrade works, upgrade doesn't. It's your call.

Throughout this day of fuckwits was a continuing conversation via mail and IM with a woman, with whom any attempt on either of our parts to, say, increase our knowledge, has more or less resulted in disaster of various degrees, most of them severe. Despite our inability or unwillingness to find a way to get our squidgy bits together, our discussions about various sexual activities and how they relate to a mutual acquaintance could put the Marquis de Sade off his dinner and probably even make Bob Guccione blush. Apparently MsMutual is a bit confused about how the rôles in certain over/under situations work.

It's getting late but the fuckwittedness hasn't let up. It's Friday and there's a «checking»... full moon. I was hoping to write something smarmy like "38% gibbous moon out" but them's the breaks.

Hi, we're a developer and we need to know how to take your company logos out of $YouBigApp. We think ours should be there since we're developing it. Also, we'd like our company name to be written in the logs and reports.


Oh boy! More mail! Judy, our orifice manager and Keeper of the Office Supplies, is going on holidays next week. To inform us of this she sent everyone a 2MB mail, full of animations. She finds it impossible to write more than four consecutive words in a mail without adding a cute, animated GIF to help make it look happier. And yes, every few months she has her heavily-infected computer re-imaged.

But Judy is nice, and such mail doesn't come often. It's just how she is, and in small doses I can take it. What I can't take are the five -- count 'em, five -- fuckwits all dumb enough to REPLY-ALL with the entire previous content quoted and their own added in, blocking my mailbox for 30 minutes due to excess bandwidth usage on a single mail account as I tried to mass-delete and LookOut insisted on mass-opening upon highlighting.

The my-head-shaped-dent in front of the keyboard is almost deep enough for soup, but I'll keep at it. I got my new apartment yesterday and beat out the competition when the building owners saw my monthly pay stub. They're not worried that I won't be able to pay the rent. I never mentioned the grand piano and guitars.

x-posted from HuSi where there's a poll.

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In compliance with $MegaCorp's general policies as well as my desire to
continue living under a roof and not the sky or a bus shelter, I add this:

The views expressed on this blog are my own and
do not necessarily reflect the views of $MegaCorp, even if every
single one of my cow-orkers who has discovered this blog agrees with me
and would also like to see the implementation of Root Cause: 17-Fuckwit.