Do you nod in agreement during conference calls? This is something I noticed today. I was sitting in at a table in a conference room along with bunch of other people listening wand watching a live demo of an online time+expense product. I was there mostly to set up the hardware for the presentation and conference call and ask dumb technical questions that no one else in the room wouldn’t care about – like “what are the minimum requirements to run it”, “what kind of databases does it support”, “does it use SSL” and etc.
This is what I noticed during the presentation. The guy on the other side of the line describes a feature on the screen, talks about it for a bit and then says “right?”. At that moment we all nod in unison as if the guy could see us. Look for this next time you are doing one of these remote conference things. It is endlessly amusing to catch people doing it – and pretty much everyone in the room will do it at one time or another.
15 minutes into the meeting they pull me out because one of our consultants just popped in bringing back a test machine on which they installed the Pointsec hard drive encryption suite. He was turning over the machine to me, and wanted to run me through the administrative side of things, and I had some question regarding pricing, licensing, and technical details. So I sit down with him, and I get a call from the front desk that Verizon people are here.
Verizon was supposed to be here on Wednesday, but I guess in Big Teleco&tm; world Wednesday morning means “whenever we fucking feel like it”. So I leave the guy with the laptop in the office and run down to deal with the phone people. Of course it turns out they are even more confused than me, they are on the phone with their office to verify they have the right equipment, and that this is the right address. Ugh… The DSL provider (Covad) who dispatched them seems to have their shit together – they are on the ball, and with it. Verizon on the other hand is like – it’s like friken special olympics. Everyone is retarded, no one knows which way is the finish line, and they all expect to get a medal just for showing up. Geez…
So I dispatch my own low competence employee who doesn’t give a flying fuck about anything – the Janitor – to deal with them and give them access to the phone box. He has a habit of just standing there closely watching all the outside maintenance people, while asking dumb questions and giving them even dumber suggestions. Yes, he will stand there and interrupt them every 5 seconds. He actually once told me (twice) that I need to replace a toner in the printer while I was in the process of replacing said toner.
Thanks chief. Good thing you reminded me. I would have never figured out that I need to do this thing that I’m doing right now if it wasn’t for your timely suggestion. This is what you get for not getting here on time – an annoying janitor named Hans who will tell you what you ought to do as you are doing it.
I go back upstairs only to find out that there are 3 people with critical emergency computer issues on hold for me. Emergency my ass. They don’t even get a fucking ticket in the system for these problems – that’s how critical they are. I just don’t have a category for “I’m to dumb to use a computer” issues.
I just wrapped up with the pointsec guy and sent him on his way, sat down and ordered some sushi for lunch. Boss liked the seamless encryption so much that he wanted to put it on our servers today. Cause, you know – who needs testing when dealing with mission critical hardware. Wohoo!
Until someone explains to me what is the exact procedure for restoring an encrypted system from backup tapes, how does the pontsec deal with the Windows DFS Replications, and probably most importantly with RAID arrays no one is touching these servers. The consultant had no clue, and promised to get in touch with the vendor to find out.
It seems that things are slowly winding down. I peeked into the conference room and it seem that it had ended at some point when I was busy running around LART’ing people upside the head in the morning. I guess I’ll have to gather up the equipment from the room and email the demo guys some questions that I didn’t get to ask during the presentation.
I still have about 5 documents to go through (people are waiting for them sending me nasty emails all day), bunch of stupid support messages to respond to and around 5 tickets in the queue that are not getting resolved today. I’m either waiting for the replacement parts to come in, or waiting for the users to develop some clue and actually write down an error message when they get one. I shit you not – this is directly from my ticket system:
Problem Description: User encountered an error while booting windows. He was unable to provide any other details related to the nature of the error, the message displayed, or which stage of boot-up did it occur in.
Troubleshooting Steps: Advised the user to wait and see if it happens again, and then write down the exact error message as it appears.
This is what I deal here on a daily basis. I write user because they get to see those tickets. But in my mind I always prefix the word user with an l. :mrgreen:
Oh, and I also need to finish up some PHP coding by early next week. I need a vacation.
[tags]pointsec, madhouse, time and expense, verizon, covad, dsl, retards, stuff[/tags]