Friday, September 28, 2007


I want to rant. I won't because if I start to actually think about this current hell I call my job my head will explode just like in Scanners. I've got a massive load of tickets right now and every single one of them was submitted by the kind of person Compaq had to write FAQ 2859 for. These are people so fucking clueless my techno-tard girlfriend can actually say, "Wow! Even I know how to do that." I know this because when I told her about Mook-man's latest fucknuttery, that is exactly the phrase she spoke.

When I tell you four times that there are no trees with deep azure coloured leaves, asking me about this magical tree a fifth time isn't going to get you a different fucking answer. The tree is dead. The blue you see is the sky. Note how very un-leaf-like the sky, in fact, looks. One could say that, if there was a Great Designer, it was probably his intention from the very beginning to ensure that the sky would never look like anything remotely resembling a leaf.

As a result of my refusal to entertain stupidity and give incorrect answers, I'm labeled "arrogant". I can only think of one of my most favouritist bash quotes when I hear this. It's not "arrogance" when I give you a correct answer and refuse to consider your outlandish theories on what might be possible on Planet 10 in the 8th dimension if crickets had long tails. If you ask me a question, do not argue with me when I give you the answer. By asking me you have demonstrated that 1) you do not know the information and 2) you expect that I do. Even if you feel you may have been incorrect in your assumption in number 2, do not forget number 1! You do not know.

I notice it's almost always the ignorant who scream about another's arrogance, whether it be here in third-line software support, first-line help desk, cooking college or fucking arguments over religion on Teh Intarwebs. Being right is not being arrogant. Lording my correctness over you might be arrogance but the simple fact that I am correct is not. Repeatedly telling you that I am right when you question this is also not "arrogance". It is "responding to your question." Unless I rant at you the way I'm doing here which I don't do for the simple reason that, as it says in the disclaimer at the bottom of my blog, I have no desire to make the sky my ceiling nor a bus shelter my walls.

Case in point: Mook-Man's latest:

Mook: We can't install $ReportingStuff! "I am wondering if you may have suggestions to overcome this issue."
REC: Send logs.
Mook: Why send logs? You need to make it install! There are no logs since it didn't install.
REC: Please send me "install.txt" from the $ReportingStuff directory which is created when the installer starts before you even see the first screen. Send me our logs, too.
Mook: There are no logs on my machine. Make $ReportingStuff install!
Mook: 15 minutes later Hello? Are you there? I need an answer!
REC: The logs won't be on your machine. They'll be on the server.
Mook: I don't see install.txt.
REC: Send me our logs and all the Event Viewer stuff.
REC: Please send me the logs I asked for.
Mook: Here are the logs. We want a conference!!
I'd rather pose for the next goatse picture.
A look through the info reveals MSTSC and DameWare. I think I know what's going on here...
REC: Mook-man, did you try and install this over Terminal Server? That's a big no-no.
Mook: No. We use Remote Desktop Connection. CONFERENCE!
REC: Remote Desktop Connection is Terminal Services. Won't work.
Mook: But we always used it before.
REC: It was never supported. It isn't supported now. The fact that you did it anyway explains the problems which have led to you opening more than a dozen other tickets. You must install locally.
Mook: "We have done the install this way in the past, but now we are unable to do so. Maybe you would get a better idea if we do a web conference, please let us know what time works for you."
I see someone went to some sort of Dale Carnegie training sessions.
REC: No conference. It won't work. Read document FOO, Chapter BAR, Page BAZ. It's repeated in Document BAR, Chapter BAZ, Page QUUX.
Mook: We find this answer unacceptable. We have installed with Remote Desktop Connection, not Terminal Server and it always worked before.
REC: No, it didn't work before, as evidenced by tickets (list of ticket numbers). It isn't supported as documented. It doesn't work at all now which you have already demonstrated.
Mook: But there must be a solution. Please set up a conference so that we can demonstrate.
I'd rather blow Tony Blair.
REC: The only solution is to install $ReportingStuff locally. That's it.
Mook: There must be another work-around. "Please let us know when you can set up the conference for us to show you."
REC: No. No conference. No support. No kidding. Ticket closed. Root Cause: 06-Customer (unsupported execution).

And in came the complaint to management the same day. I was not helpful. I didn't listen to his problem. I didn't provide a workable solution. I didn't provide a work-around. I am "arrogant". Luckily Vera has finally seen the light and understands that Mook-Man has enough sand in his vagina to double the Florida coastline. His complaints are as meaningless as the weight of a whisper and the colour of time.

I'm currently dealing with 43 other fuckwits just as dim as he.

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Monday, September 24, 2007


Sunday afternoon I was at Oktoberfest in the Hacker Festzelt. I would've preferred to be in Augustiner but I had 2 chicken and 3 beer tickets for Hacker. We managed to actually find seats and got our first beers within 10 minutes. An hour later there was a commotion at the other end of the table_ I watched as a woman grabbed a full €8 Maß of beer, dumping it on a girl who was in their group. Then I smelled the reason: the girl's satin dirndl had caught fire.

The girl was completely distraught. Not only had she borrowed the dirndl from a friend, it was worth over €800. The thing hadn't gone up in flames and actually looked salvageable, most of the damage having taken place in the area that the apron normally covers. But there she sat; upset, crying, almost in mourning.

After more than half an hour of seeing her crying to one woman in her group after another, I grabbed a napkin left over from our chickens and wrote her a note: "Be happy. You weren't hurt. You can buy material but not skin. Look to your right."

She smiled a bit, then looked left to the next table. A tourist in a tank top was dancing and singing, arms, neck and back covered in keloids, the victim of a vicious burn. Satin dirndl girl smiled again and finally got back to drinking and enjoying herself. While she then thanked me, she couldn't help reminding me that the dirndl cost €800 and wasn't even hers.

I'm earn very good money, I get a lot of paid vacation each year, I have flexi-time, and I can usually spend a considerable percentage of my day reading Teh OMGLOLFunnay on the Intarwebs. The fuckwits drive me up a wall but without them I might have to do real work. I will now send a polite response to two different fuckwits explaining that storing the UTC date in the database is, in fact, a very good idea when correct time stamps worldwide are of the utmost importance to a business, without which said business would be shut down, and that if they want third party applications to access the data then those third-party companies should fucking learn how to deal with time zones.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Go Away! We're Busy!

There are three jobs I can think of that have one thing in common. Knowledge of this common item in each particular field is critical. If you don't know even the basics, you need to find a new job quickly.

1) Ship's captain
2) Sommelier
3) Network Administrator

I'm sure I could turn this into a Teh Riddlar submission but I'm blowing my load here.

Give up?


And so it begins:
unable to telnet with port 23nn
That's because you telnet to port 23, Sparky. Why the fuck are you bothering me with this? Go pester your own sysadmin with this. He's in a better position to use the LART.

I will not let this bother me. I have real coffay today. Actual, honest-to-fuck 10% Arabica espresso roasted and packaged by Lavazza. It came with some jar of spag sauce I picked up last night because I couldn't be bothered to cook. It was a chore to boil water for the damned noodles but the store didn't have anything microwaveable.

Sparky replied in a record 10 minutes and essplained his bad self:
Im not trying to telnet to session just testing $YourBigApp. When I try to telnet to App Server from the Doc Server which is what the Doc Server does to generate reports before it embedding, I get an error "Connection to host lost" immediately. this is the command I am using to telnet from document server to the app server telnet $machinename nnnn
Oh, OK. He's testing connections and they're not working. Not my fault for misunderstanding the problem which was described more vaguely than plans for the Iraq War. But why isn't it working? Firewall, probably. It can't be another application using the port because it's ours. The IANA says so. Who the fuck sticks a firewall between app servers though? Could it be that horrible Windows Firewall?

So I tell him to check the firewall, send me a report from that, and just for shits and giggles, I tell him to dump netstat and "net view" from each server to text files.
When I talked to the unix admin he is telling that $YourBigApp creates its port and it is stopping the connection to that server port. I need your help in finding the root cause of this issue, thanks,
What? No, he couldn't be that stupid. I look at the netstat and there it is, shining like a beacon:


He's trying to connect to the busy port of a fucking production machine which happens to be running at the time, thus making that port... unavailable. Because it's busy. It's already talking to the fucking Doc Server. It doesn't want to talk to him and frankly, neither do I.

Bonus question: Why the fuck this mook is trying to test a working system with a port telnet? That's like reading about a Cat V hurricane in Florida, then hopping a flight to Miami just to be sure it's actually windy there.

I know this day will end in a few hours, but it's only going to pick back up tomorrow wherever I leave off tonight.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Similar Symptoms

We're a big company. The software support section of the $OurBigApp division is some 450 strong, spread around the world. My functional team comprises some 50 poor saps who each take, on average, more than 30 tickets a month. The chances of the same person even seeing your ticket in the queue are slim. The chances of the same person getting your new ticket are generally below 10%.

Ticket numbers are 17 alphanumerics long, not the sort of thing you commit to memory unless you're a savant doing the talk show rounds. Idiots we may be, but most of the monkeys have yet to demonstrate their savant. Submitting a ticket which reads RE: Ticket A-40001H-4F09KC2Y. We need further solution isn't necessarily the method to employ if you want an answer before Thanksgiving.

Someone at $CaliDesign employed this method and was shocked that no answer was forthcomig within ten minutes of submission. "Files are disappearing! Records aren't being stored! The sky is falling! ESCALATE!!1!11"

I had the misfortune of being the Duty Monkey when the escalation came in, so I was forced to track down the old ticket, read all the way through it and summarise the problem. The monkey who handled that ticket has moved on to bigger paychecks and less stress, doing basically the same job but with less than a quarter of the workload. I could do the same if I was willing to move to Indianapolis. There's a reason even the residents call it "India-no-place".

So back to $CaliDesign. The problem they're having has become a sort of specialty of mine so I ended up taking the damned ticket agreeing to do so after waiting for management to demand I quickly find a monkey. My "willingness to assist the team" pleased Vera greatly. I'm learning.

It being a known problem, I sent a standard response: Do $A, check $B, is $OSfolder missing?, test $C and send me results.

"This is a Big Problem! $OSfolder is there but files keep failing!!"

Huh? The OS folder isn't being deleted? We haven't seen that before. Time for actual diagnostics. "OK, Sweetie. Drop FileMon on the server, then check the free RAM and try to add a file that's at least twice that size. Try $foo and $bar while we're at it. Oh, and send me some logs."

"We are trying to reproduce the issue in Test env. Also, we will test the work arounds and find out whether that address our issue. I will post further updates after testing these scenarios. Please hold our ticket open while we test."

A month went by, but every time I sent a request that she update the ticket, I got the same reply back. Finally an update came:

"We tried to use 800 MB file and still could not reproduce the issue. We are making further efforts to reproduce the issue. Pls wait for update"

Another two weeks passed and she wrote, "We have uploaded 800 MB file with "Add File" botton and could not reproduce the issue. The file got uploaded and succesfully. Our business owners are pressing on this to know the root cause and a fix! Please suggest next steps!

"P.S This is the 2nd occurance in production with in an year."

What the...? I tried a different tack: "Is this happening only on certain machines? Only for certain user groups?"

During the week I waited for an answer to this oh-so-urgent matter which had since been re-escalated, I'd occasionally see the ticket in my queue and cock my head slightly. There was something there but I wasn't sure what. Then it hit me...

"Are you able to reproduce this problem? If not it would appear to be an anomaly which could have been caused by any number of reasons, from a disk glitch to a network interruption to a session or activity time-out. It's next to impossible to pinpoint such one-off errors.

"If you can reproduce it then we need the server logs as well as the Event Viewer Application and System logs for the servers and client."

Two weeks later she let me know she'd upload the logs. Six weeks later she did so. Fifteen megs, uncompressed. Thank fuck for grep.

I found the errors I was looking for and explained each one of them. To each of them she said, "No, it's not that. We got shown an error message for that one."

I used the phone to get the damned name of the file which actually failed and only spent 20 minutes on hold. It wasn't referenced in the logs. This is a head-scratcher.

This morning I received an update:

"it occured twice in two years period. I can say it as intermittent. We have not seen the occurance since Jun 07. This is occcuring on different users. Not specific to one user. I have a question though Can a network glitch at the time of file upload be responsible for the disappearance of file?"

This Huge Problem deserving Much Monkey Attention and repeated escalation has occurred exactly twice in two years, both times when there was a "network glitch". And they're absolutely certain it's our fault. Makes perfect sense.

Armed with this new style of logic, the next time I visit my doctor with stomach pain and nausea I'll be sure to demand she first check me for anisakiasis, chikungunya and Ebola and ignore the question if she asks me how many weeks last night's shrimp cocktail had been sitting in the fridge.

Seventeen. Thanks for jacking up my average time to close, Sweetie. The clueless fucksticks here at $MegaCorp have no idea about statistics and refuse to throw out datapoints which lie some 14 sigma outside the fucking norm.


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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

When You've Got Nothing to Lose

I don't do politics here but I can't pass on this one. Lt. Col. Dr. Robert M. Bowman, (USAF, ret.) has a rather "conservative" site over at His open letter to US military commanders left me wondering just one thing: what the fuck took someone so long to write this?!

We find out early on. Dr. Bowman has terminal cancer. At the end of the two-page letter he writes how he remained silent before the US went into Iraq and that he "must not make that mistake again." Fair dinkum, but why did he remain silent? It looks like for the same reason everyone in the Pentagon who might read it has: make waves and lose your pension as well as your position on the board of a contractor once you retire. The only time for action is when you have nothing left to lose. A looming deadline, for example, and terminal cancer sure as hell gives you one of those.

Satish doesn't have terminal cancer as far as I know, but he, too, was running out of options. It started simply enough.
Did install one app server on one windows machine and fileserver got installed in c:\appz\filesrvr

Installed new server on another windows m/c in the same system but then when this server tries to access the filesystem it gives following error message . To facilitate this changed the following parameters pointing to the shared filesystem path for all the components of server 2
OK, maybe that's not so easy, but being able to decode whatever the hell he's on about makes my degree relevant to my job. Satish sent me a list of errors (or "erros).

The path 'T:\uprefs' does not exist or is not a directory. If the problem persists, please contact your systems administrator.

Over and over again for every single component of the system. Pages of these, something like two dozen per user access attempt. If you work in any remotely related field (which you probably do or you wouldn't be reading this), you're probably thinking, "He didn't map the file system properly." That's what I thought.
Hey, Satish. Check the permissions and accessibility of the T: drive for the second server. The errors you're receiving indicate a missing path/directory or incorrect permissions. See KB doc 1AT9003 for all the gory details and bits to double-check.

And that should've been the end of it.
It is all set correctly.. I can map the T:\ drive from m/c 2 and access all the directories, the installation on both the m/c has been done using the same id, also the sharing and security has been given as full control
No, it hasn't. I know it hasn't. If it had been you couldn't possibly see a attmod.cpp(901) error. It's simply impossible. I'd sooner believe that Lyndon Larouche isn't a crackpot thief than I would believe that you set up the system correctly. There is only one way you can get $OurBigApp to throw a mgdir.cpp (097) error: delete/remap/fail to map the fucking path.

Which is more or less what I told him. Less. Much less. And in much nicer and simpler words. Not quite as simple as this explanation of relativity, but certainly something that my cow-orkers' kids could understand and follow.

Satish came back again, his English getting even choppier.
I tell you It all is set correctly..! Our administrator is out of station and I am mapping correctly. drive T:\ is mapping from m/c 2 with all directories access , We are now ask a third once for the solution for this problem that the T:\ is not to be reached from m/c 2.
In case you're wondering, "out of station" is Indian slang for "out of town", meaning I'm dealing with a scared PFY n00b. Worse, his company has entrusted the very expensive process of setting up $our_(very expensive)_BigApp to... him.

I fired up Paint.NET, drew a quick diagram and sent him not only explicit instructions but a load of documentation page references. Bangaloreans seem to love that (more on that in a later entry this week). You give 'em written documentation of an 87-step process and they'll take that over the easy, three-step way you tell 'em every fucking time.

Since I could see that he was having a conniption fit thinking that I wasn't taking him seriously, I also asked him to send me the server logs. All of them. Within two hours I had a 25MB zip of half a year's logs and his acknowledgment that he would continue reading through the docs I'd cited and would get back to me.

I waited. And waited. And waited. Two weeks later Vera was harping on about my huge backlog of no response tickets. I told her I preferred to give customers extra time when it appeared they need it. "It's very good for customer satisfaction." She can't touch me when I say that. It's not just my Get out of Jail Free card, it's my motherfucking Get Off Death Row and Go Straight To Paradise Island card. She can try to get around it but that phrase is golden.

Still, it doesn't behoove me to piss her off so I set to work closing out tickets, first sending a personal note asking about the subject one last time. If it's sorted they'll usually ignore it but sometimes they write back. $Telco was more than a week past the go-live date. The problem had to have been sorted by now. Satish wrote back.

Resolved this issue, by setting the UNC path for the filesystem

Uh-huh. Back up against the wall he finally gave in and did what I initially told him: check the fucking path. I can't help wondering if I'd included a "please do the needful" in my original answer that he might've actually done it. This only makes me wonder more about what the hell he was doing each time I sent an update.

Root Cause: 17-Fuckwit.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Feed Me!

For 17 years I was a vegetarian for a number of reasons, most of them due to a particular girl from Huddersfield who enjoyed my company, said enjoyment requiring the howl of Billy Bragg or other "socially responsible musician" in the background. While the girl and her collection of socialist, anti-Thatcher CDs and cassettes disappeared, my choice of dietary restriction remained, both a blessing and a curse.

I haven't been a veggie for some years now, but due to blood tests showing truly astronomical lipid values, I was temporarily a vegan. It's easy to be a veggie in the US, and not just on the coasts. It's easy in the UK, too. It's a different story here in Germany. Being a vegan here -- where lard is a common bread spread and fatback a "healthy" dinner -- is nigh on impossible. Few of the substitutes and specialty products are available and most of those which can be found are both high in fat content and generally inedible: they taste like my dirty socks smell and have the consistency of lumpy plaster.

One item I remember from my vegan days in the US is Fantastic Foods' "Tofu Scrambler". The stuff tastes nothing like scrambled eggs but it's a nice enough dish which can be whipped up in a couple of minutes, and it fits within the narrow confines of my diet. Finding the stuff here in Europe is another matter, and I'm not planning on any trip to the US to bring back a suitcase full. I went to their site and was presented a form rather than an E-Mail address:

Do you have any importers here in Germany or elsewhere in Europe? If not do you sell and ship products such as Tofu Scrambler in bulk packaging (for personal use, not for resale)?


Simple enough. Three days later I got a response:
Dear REC:

Thank you for taking the time to contact Fantastic World Foods. Sorry to tell you we do not ship out the United States.

Thanks again for your inquiry. We hope that you will continue to enjoy Fantastic World Foods products!

You hope I'll continue to enjoy your fucking products when I can't get them to begin with? Pay attention to your fucking boilerplate, you fuckwits!


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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Another Day in the Life

The coffee's out. I just set another pot to brew.

There's a retarded man walking around the floor watering all our plants. He does this once a month. Maybe it's once every other month, I'm not positive. He's one of the people you don't really pay attention to and I'm not in the office every day even when I'm healthy. The plants are in these enormous pots which are segmented and have huge reservoirs. The reservoirs aren't big enough to keep any plant alive for the duration of time between the retarded man's visits. We know this because the ficus between me and Tony half-died from drought.

There's a woman here today. I don't know if she's retarded but all things considered I hope she is. She's currently polishing the schefflera across from me. She's polishing each leaf. This is a live plant. The recovered ficus (almost 3m high) is next. She's making faces as she notices the odd dead leaves buried deep within its branches. She continuously inspects her work and returns to one branch after another like a bower bird to re-polish each stalk of leaves until it meets her exacting criteria, whatever they may be.

The yellow on some of the schefflera leaves causes her consternation. It's natural in this variety; only the newest leaves are solid green. They quickly become two-toned and after about a year, half of them start to display yellow blotches. It makes for a more interesting looking plant.

The top manager just walked by. He briefly looked over at me and nodded. More than one of my colleagues has called him a psycho. Seems nice enough to me though I rarely see him. He almost never leaves his office. He's been named as the cause of more than one manager quitting. More than just a run-of-the-mill control freak, only his ideas are acceptable, and the only appropriate response in meetings with him is agreement with whatever he says. Or so I've been told. He doesn't give a damn about what I do and that's fine with me. Occasionally he's here late. When he walks by and sees someone still here working at 9pm he'll often hand over a little USB stick or some other useful bit of $MegaCorp swag. The last time it happened, Joe got a 512MB USB stick. I was also here that night until midnight. My mistake: going to the supermarket to get a can of dinner since I'd be here all night. The big boss was gone by the time I'd returned. Fucker.

The woman is now polishing every leaf of the Benjamin ficus. I have a special love/hate relationship with Benjamin fici. My ex- had one and left it with me when she departed. She'd said she'd tried to kill it for years, long before she met me. She'd dump coffee in the pot, butt out cigarettes, it just wouldn't die.

It took five years alone with me to do the trick. I hadn't watered it for a few weeks before leaving on a three-week holiday. The girls who took care of the cats forgot to water my plants. When I got back home even the cactus was shriveled up. The ficus, despite green leaves, was history. I finally threw it out months later after it had shed all its leaves and stood in the kitchen, just some dead twigs sticking out of a red clay pot.

The only plants I have these days are herbs in the kitchen. I've given up trying to grow them; I just buy fresh plants when I use up the old ones... or when they've dried out because I forgot to ever water them and I need fresh stuff. Dried cilantro has no flavour and fresh bay laurel is amazing stuff.

Another two High-Prio tickets have come in. In the next five minutes LookOut will signal a mail from the Duty Monkey and one from the Team Manager informing us of this. I know the issues and who'll take them. Within five minutes of receiving the two mails a flurry of replies will come in with certain brown-nosers announcing that they've taken the tickets, followed by further mails of thanks and collective back-patting.

The coffee's ready. It tastes like piss. Hot, brown piss. It's also foamy. I think there's something funny going on with the water here in Munich. The testbed server I just set up is back down; the only thing to do is to send an update to the customer that testing his problem will take longer as I wait for network operations to reset the rack.

My little Lunix box, built on an old Dell desktop that the equipment room guys let me have gave up the ghost during my absence. The install was borked anyway. Maybe they have another stored machine built after the turn of the century.

I allowed Firefox to update. Upon restart it hung. I killed the process, tried to restart it and got the message, "firefox.exe is not a valid Windows application". I had to download the latest version, install it, and rebuild everything. All my session, link and password information was gone.

The retarded man is siphoning water out of a ficus pot on the other side of the room. The woman's finally moved on to my other Joe's philodendron. She pulled a lot more leaves off the draceana than was necessary. She should've focused some of her stripping intentions on the ficus. I think I want that plant gone, replaced with a "real" plant. Anything but the standard indoor office greenery comprising draceana, philodendron, braided ficus, dieffenbachia... and I think we have a musa or two on the floor. Anything but those.

No need to watch the clock. It's getting later in the day and as soon as all my updates have been sent out, I can leave. Maybe I'll check my personal mail or write a comment on some other site, but I'm almost free. Until tomorrow morning when it starts again and I have to make a fresh pot of shitty coffee.

It's just another day in the life...

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Headbanger's Ball

The my-shaped-dent in front of my keyboard is getting deeper and deeper. They're all so fucking stupid I don't know how the fuck these assmonkeys remember to breathe, and frankly I wish they'd stop already. It'd sure make my life easier.

$TouchyInsuranceCo is back. They've stopped scraping the bottom of the barrel to find IT employees and have headed over to the sewage pits with a few buckets. The current "Windows administrator" doesn't know how to copy files from within Explorer.

Here's the E-Mail and ticket update exchange. I'm not making this up, as Mini-Me can confirm.

Twaticus: We would like to know what is the maximum size limit on file system folder. Currently the size of $ABC folder is 80 GB. When do we decide to move to new file system folder?
REC: No limit. Add volumes if you want. No need to move the file system unless you have more than two billion actual files.
Twaticus: If we create new file system, do we need to create all the sub folders from Old file system to the new file system?
REC: If you insist on moving it, just move the entire file system parent directory and structure over from the old system to the new. There's nothing else to do besides update the path the cfg files.
Twaticus:You mean we need to create just the structure like [complex structure redacted]
REC: No. Just more the parent folder, the one called "FileSystem".

OK, it's coming. The part you won't believe. I sure as fuck didn't. I checked the audit trail to see if Mini-Me or someone else was fucking with me and changed what this fuckwit actually wrote.

Twaticus:So we should not copy the files which were existing under these folders in the old file system. Pls advise.

[Second mail 13 minutes later:] Moreover if we only mention the new file system path, how the users will be able to open old attachments?

Gobsmacked, I tell ya.

REC: Do not create anything. Copy over the entire File System root directory WITH all the subdirectories AND all the files contained within from the old location to the new.
Twaticus:There is a difference between What you suggest and what is written in the System Admin documents
REC: What are you talking about? Please cite the book, chapter, section and page number.
Twaticus:[Citation provided]

So I read through this big long section which, in essence, says what I did but does so over three pages. This document was clearly written by some outsourced contractor being paid by volume, not content.

REC: It says exactly what I said but includes more complicated directions for moving the file system when the system isn't taken off-line and when you're over 2 billion files and Windows isn't able to store more files in that directory.
Twaticus: What tool exists for to move the files to the different drive?
REC: ... *THUNK*

Motherfuck how can anyone be so fucking stupid? He reminds me of this guy in boot camp who was kicked out of our company inside a week because he was unable to march even when the drill instructor was screaming out "LEFT! RIGHT! LEFT! RIGHT!" Incredible. It's a special kind of stupid that lets you get confused over which foot to move next. Twaticus has drunk deeply from that well.

While I want to close the ticket with a Root Cause: 17-Fuckwit, I'm still waiting for its implementation. I did find an error in the documents he mentioned though -- a holdover from about 7 years ago -- so we close this as a Defect and make my metrics prettier. But the real defect here isn't the documentation...

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Good Start

Hot coffay? Check.
Cold soda water? Check.
Mail? Checked. Nothing important.
Let's see what we have to deal with today:

Hello Support,
Hi there.

We are seeing strange behaviour with data and time zone.
OK, what kind of problem is it exactly?

Our DB and operating systems are set to operate in Atlantic Time Zone. We found some discrepancies with time stamps on tickets created by people in EST. In many cases the created date/time is larger than resolved time.
Right. I can think of only two things that you did wrong to cause this and it should be pretty simple to fix. I can probably explain everything in a single-page mail. Did you send me screenshots or logs?

I would like to speak with support in this regard. Please call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx. [signed, Sanjay]
Not a fucking chance. Instead of doing this in writing so that I can spell everything out for you which you can then print out and follow carefully, you want to get me on the phone to listen to you droning on, repeatedly asking the same damned questions while ignoring anything I say. You'll forget half my answers and confuse the other half. This will result in you destroying your production system, the blame for which you'll lay on me as you call up screaming to escalate the issue while I'm asleep. Your company even has pull and might be able to get some VP to wake my sorry ass up at 3:00a.m. to groggily try and walk you through all the fixes your complete mess of a system will then need.

I'll leave this one for smart-assed n00bs who'll look through our Knowledge Base, figure it for a cherry, take it and then slog through for a couple of weeks. At some point said n00b will ask me for help. I'll send an answer earning me an Assist, sometimes better than racking up another ticket.

Metrics sorted, colleague assisted and no aggro from another fuckwit. What a way to start the day. If only the coffay wasn't absolute shit.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Persian Cats are Ticking Time Bombs

If you know of anyone with a Persian cat, tell that person to have the cat checked for PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease). I've learned w-a-y too much about this disease in the past 72 hours and it's pretty fucking horrible. It's genetic, it's incurable and it's fatal, completely destroying the kidneys. Anyone with a Persian cat should only feed it specially formulated stuff which has lower protein and phosphorus, easing the load on the kidneys. All cats, really, but especially Persians.

I can't concentrate at work right now and I sure as hell don't feel like ranting except at the fucking vet in the US who never bothered to check the fucking cats for PKD during the seven years my mother regularly brought them in for check-ups, despite the fact that at least 1/3 of all Persians have this disease thanks to it being caused by a dominant gene, those fucking incompetents. Oh, and also the fucking breeder who never did any follow-up with owners and kept sending out litter after litter of these poor beasts born with a death sentence reading "End Stage Renal Failure within nine years" for $400-$5000 a pop. I've got her name somewhere and I'm calling the CFA.

For the record I despise breeders and their genetic "purebred" freaks; my mother wanted the damned cats for some reason, probably to keep her busy. When she died I inherited them and quickly grew very attached to them despite the high maintenance that defines the fucking breed. And now I'm losing them.

PKD info starting points:

This sucks, Beavis. I may be back in a couple days.

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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.