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.

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Friday, July 27, 2007


GodDAMN I hate being sick.

All week long, too. What's worse is having to go to a fucking different doctor who I haven't given The Speech to, in which I ess-plain a few things, among them that I'm not a druggie (and don't have time to be one) and that I don't abuse codeine since it's one of the very few meds that works for me. I was too tired and out of it to even try, and it was nearly lunchtime; she wasn't listening to me prattle on when it was about that time to get the last mook out (me) so she could go eat.

Bitch wouldn't give me what I asked for and instead handed me something I'd never had or even heard of. It's new. And expensive. It's called "Arcoxia" and I'm a fuckwit for taking the damned sample tablets she handed me before looking the shit up.

Two hours after I got home I was already feeling "wrong". I did a quick search and fuck me, it was too late to make myself vomit.

Doctors: Arthritis drug Arcoxia risky
Son of Vioxx

That's right, despite the current US regime where certification of fucking dirt tablets as an acne remedy would cost less than a million in bribes, the FDA's balking on this shit.

There was no pain relief whatsoever, and within another two hours my pulse was rising and my blood pressure had rocketed. I could barely function, and due to family medical history this was even more troubling. My BP stayed high for the next 14 hours; I was only able to get to sleep around 5a.m.

After a day and half of high-BP hell I'm getting better, though my stomach is still in pain and I'm coughing continuously. At least I'm able to concentrate a bit again rather than staring at the TV like an idiot, unable to follow the simplest of storylines and falling asleep every couple hours.

An idiot TAR is calling me at home despite German labour laws which are very clear on the subject of working when written off sick being illegal. It's about the Never-Ending Story: $TouchyInsuranceCo and the fuckwits who work for them. I'll deal with it Monday. Or Tuesday. They'll never notice. If the woman I have to deal with was a hooker she'd try to shove her customer's cocks into her left shoe after rubbing them with 40-grit sandpaper, then ask three times who's supposed to pay whom.

Next entry will be a follow-up on last Thursday's fuckwit funfest.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Like Riding a Bicycle

The weather sucks. It's already oppressively hot and humid at 9:00 a.m. and I'm dressed uncomfortably. This doesn't bother me. In fact, I'm in a surprisingly good mood. For the first time in about five years I'm dressed in a suit and it's not to go to a funeral. I got the necktie knot and length right on the first try. Some things you never forget. Maybe it was "muscle memory".

For the first time in almost seven years I'm going on-site. While I'm under considerably more restrictions these days than I was when it was me who was in charge of the company, I'm visiting a customer to tell them what they can and can't do, and why.

I'll be singing the same old song: Citrix doesn't work. This is why it doesn't work. Someone from Citrix will also be in attendance. There will, no doubt, be disagreements between us. I'm stuck spewing the party line although I may be able to get some off-the-record time with a couple people who are important.

$VeryTouchyCustomer is probably paying out of every bodily orifice for me to attend this meeting. Sadly I don't get a piece of the action, but it sets precedent. If I pull this off, manage to calm them down, ess-plain they way the world works in terms that they finally understand and accept, and not do something stupid, it's almost certain that I'll be sent to other customers to do the same thing. Furthermore, once I get my Citrix certs, I should also be sent to customer sites wherever they try to implement this.

I still hate Citrix, but they're the ones who are opening a few doors for me, and that new air I'm breathing is refreshing, especially in this shit weather.

The agenda is:
1) Late start
2) An hour of overview discussions
3) An hour of stupid discussions
4) Lunch (which should be on their dime)
5) An hour of stupid discussions
6) A half hour of summary discussions

So, half a day's work, no stupid tickets (and oh, have I got a few doozies to write about), free decent lunch, and best of all, an air conditioned office (touch wood / cross your fingers / die Daumen drücken). What could possibly go wrong?

Topping it off, I'll get a lot of nice stares from da wimmens as I head over to $VeryTouchyCustomer's huge complex in 10 minutes because, very simply, I look good in a suit.


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Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Between a large Unicode-based project and way too many personal dealings and private problems that don't interest me much less any of the seven of you who read this thing somewhat regularly (thank fuck for trackers because you bastards never comment), it's unlikely that I'll post much (if anything) before the end of the month. OTOH there's enough shit going on that I may well be able to return to daily posts for a while.

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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.