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Old 4th August 2021, 02:01 AM   #121
Mongrel
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Especially since if you open your non-default browser, a little message generally pops up saying "This is not your default browser. Would you like to make it your default browser?"
Now though it takes you to the Windows 'Default Apps' page and you have to change the setting manually.
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Old 4th August 2021, 08:15 AM   #122
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Mgmt: We're looking to shift to this system in a month. Do some UAT to see if it's ready.

UAT: This is not by any definition ready.

Mgmt: Alright it's go time!

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
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Old 4th August 2021, 11:00 AM   #123
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Dear User: if you ask the database two separate questions looking for different things, then the results of each are probably not going to be identical. I do not know why you think they would or should be the same. If you go to the restaurant and order a burrito and a pizza do you get confused when you are not brought two identical items?

Also: we can't really code to exclude results based on certain future events which have not yet occurred. You'll need to query a database on Gallifrey for that sort of thing.
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Old 4th August 2021, 11:07 AM   #124
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It's amazing how many users requests boil down to nothing more than "Can you make my job exactly easy enough so that I don't actually have to do anything but don't make it obvious so I'm not replaced with a small script program or drinking bird toy that pecks the keys."

I mentioned earlier that is seems my users all way a magical process where they press a button and everything just happens exactly as it should with no input from them and don't get if the process could be simplified to a button press it would be literally no more work to automate the button press and get rid of you entirely.

I honestly do want to ask people sometimes "If we got rid of all the parts of your job you don't want to, what we would be left over to pay you to keep doing?"
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Old 4th August 2021, 11:30 AM   #125
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Some people don't understand that they are the built-in obsolescence.
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Old 4th August 2021, 01:16 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
We refer to "clients". I was told many years ago that some people objected to being called "users" (despite the TRON reference) so for a long time I avoided that term. I think people are less precious about it now.
I always preferred the term "lusers". Well, not out loud or in any official communication, but in my head.
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Old 4th August 2021, 09:04 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
It's amazing how many users requests boil down to nothing more than "Can you make my job exactly easy enough so that I don't actually have to do anything but don't make it obvious so I'm not replaced with a small script program or drinking bird toy that pecks the keys."

I mentioned earlier that is seems my users all way a magical process where they press a button and everything just happens exactly as it should with no input from them and don't get if the process could be simplified to a button press it would be literally no more work to automate the button press and get rid of you entirely.

I honestly do want to ask people sometimes "If we got rid of all the parts of your job you don't want to, what we would be left over to pay you to keep doing?"
In my last role we were really trying to do this in a good way--we were a small analyst team but we spent most of our time maintaining reports that had started as an ad-hoc analysis but then were requested to become a recurring published result.

We were SUPPOSED to be using the reports to analyze trends, point out challenges and opportunities, and recommend actions. But we never had time to do that until there was serious effort to automate the reporting. We were still struggling to expand that available time when I wound up in a new role.
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Old 5th August 2021, 12:33 PM   #128
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"I see that Jane Doe was fired on the 1st, but her account wasn't disabled until today. Terminated employees accounts have to be disabled the day they are fired."
"Yes I'm aware. HR literally sent us the e-mail that she was being fired an hour ago. I disabled the account 55 minutes ago."
"Her account was enabled for days after she was fired, that is not acceptable."
"I agree. HR needs to tell us when they terminate people."
"We just can't have accounts associated with fired employees for that long."
"Then remind HR to let us know when they fire people. You guys have almost 800 employees and we don't know if you fire them unless you tell us."
"I just need you to make sure that you immediately disable the account when an employee is..."

(And this just went on for about another 10 back and forths, her never seeming to actually get that we had disabled the account literally 5 minutes after we became aware that the user had been fired and that HR just didn't tell us they were fired Monday morning until like noon today.)
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Old 5th August 2021, 06:09 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"I see that Jane Doe was fired on the 1st, but her account wasn't disabled until today. Terminated employees accounts have to be disabled the day they are fired."
"Yes I'm aware. HR literally sent us the e-mail that she was being fired an hour ago. I disabled the account 55 minutes ago."
"Her account was enabled for days after she was fired, that is not acceptable."
"I agree. HR needs to tell us when they terminate people."
"We just can't have accounts associated with fired employees for that long."
"Then remind HR to let us know when they fire people. You guys have almost 800 employees and we don't know if you fire them unless you tell us."
"I just need you to make sure that you immediately disable the account when an employee is..."

(And this just went on for about another 10 back and forths, her never seeming to actually get that we had disabled the account literally 5 minutes after we became aware that the user had been fired and that HR just didn't tell us they were fired Monday morning until like noon today.)
You should have disabled your interlocutor's email account, that that would stopped the exchange quite satisfactorily.
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Old 5th August 2021, 06:50 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"I see that Jane Doe was fired on the 1st, but her account wasn't disabled until today. Terminated employees accounts have to be disabled the day they are fired."
"Yes I'm aware. HR literally sent us the e-mail that she was being fired an hour ago. I disabled the account 55 minutes ago."
"Her account was enabled for days after she was fired, that is not acceptable."
"I agree. HR needs to tell us when they terminate people."
"We just can't have accounts associated with fired employees for that long."
"Then remind HR to let us know when they fire people. You guys have almost 800 employees and we don't know if you fire them unless you tell us."
"I just need you to make sure that you immediately disable the account when an employee is..."

(And this just went on for about another 10 back and forths, her never seeming to actually get that we had disabled the account literally 5 minutes after we became aware that the user had been fired and that HR just didn't tell us they were fired Monday morning until like noon today.)
Part way through, I would have been asking: Excuse me just a moment. Do you know which department you are currently talking to? This is not HR. We do not fire people. And we are not mind-readers for HR either. Here, let me get you their number. You can then tell them what you have just been telling me. Because that's THEIR job, not ours.
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Old 5th August 2021, 07:35 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"I see that Jane Doe was fired on the 1st, but her account wasn't disabled until today. Terminated employees accounts have to be disabled the day they are fired."
"Yes I'm aware. HR literally sent us the e-mail that she was being fired an hour ago. I disabled the account 55 minutes ago."
"Her account was enabled for days after she was fired, that is not acceptable."
"I agree. HR needs to tell us when they terminate people."
"We just can't have accounts associated with fired employees for that long."
"Then remind HR to let us know when they fire people. You guys have almost 800 employees and we don't know if you fire them unless you tell us."
"I just need you to make sure that you immediately disable the account when an employee is..."

(And this just went on for about another 10 back and forths, her never seeming to actually get that we had disabled the account literally 5 minutes after we became aware that the user had been fired and that HR just didn't tell us they were fired Monday morning until like noon today.)
Don't know if it would have knocked any sense in, but my impulse would have sent the conversation this way:

"Let's back up, I think we're talking around each other. What exactly do you want us to do differently?"
They'd say something like, "Terminate the employee immediately next time."
"You want me to terminate an employee before we receive notification from HR? How do we get the name?"
"..."

Thinking that might derail their circular thoughts at least.
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Old 5th August 2021, 11:44 PM   #132
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Nah, gotta be explicit.

I'd try to change the documentation so that rather than "disable the account after employee is terminated", it became "disable the account after notification from HR".
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Old 6th August 2021, 02:01 AM   #133
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"I see that Jane Doe was fired on the 1st, but her account wasn't disabled until today. Terminated employees accounts have to be disabled the day they are fired."
"Yes I'm aware. HR literally sent us the e-mail that she was being fired an hour ago. I disabled the account 55 minutes ago."
"Her account was enabled for days after she was fired, that is not acceptable."
"I agree. HR needs to tell us when they terminate people."
"We just can't have accounts associated with fired employees for that long."
"Then remind HR to let us know when they fire people. You guys have almost 800 employees and we don't know if you fire them unless you tell us."
"I just need you to make sure that you immediately disable the account when an employee is..."

(And this just went on for about another 10 back and forths, her never seeming to actually get that we had disabled the account literally 5 minutes after we became aware that the user had been fired and that HR just didn't tell us they were fired Monday morning until like noon today.)
If this is email, I would be copying in both mine and their manager at this point.
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Old 6th August 2021, 04:02 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
If this is email, I would be copying in both mine and their manager at this point.
It sounds like the person knew they were talking to IT not HR but were uncomfortable about being the one who had to complain to HR about HR. By persisting they were hoping IT would eventually volunteer to do it for them, without being directly asked. Social anxiety, not stupidity.
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Old 6th August 2021, 04:48 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
It sounds like the person knew they were talking to IT not HR but were uncomfortable about being the one who had to complain to HR about HR. By persisting they were hoping IT would eventually volunteer to do it for them, without being directly asked. Social anxiety, not stupidity.
Perhaps you're right, murder really is the wisest course here. Murder doesn't solve every personnel problem, of course, only most of them.
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Old 6th August 2021, 04:52 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Perhaps you're right, murder really is the wisest course here. Murder doesn't solve every personnel problem, of course, only most of them.
Even better if someone else does it for you without your explicitly asking. Who will rid me of this turbulent user?
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Old 6th August 2021, 05:59 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Perhaps you're right, murder really is the wisest course here. Murder doesn't solve every personnel problem, of course, only most of them.
Arson.

Just saying.
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Old 6th August 2021, 07:55 AM   #138
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"If you're asking me to not to follow the documented process I would prefer if that were confirmed in email cc:ing HR."
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Old 6th August 2021, 08:00 AM   #139
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For the record the person I was talking to is REAL bad about repeating herself in discussions, so anytime you talk to her involves the same thing repeated a lot. She has that weird "If I don't say it 5 times I don't think you'll remember it" quirk.

My best guess is that they had multiple terminations Monday morning (these were all temp employees that had been brought onboard for I think 3-4 months to knock out a backlog of some kind) and they sent us 3 of the termination notices and forgot one. I remember seeing 3 terminations notices in our queue first thing Monday morning, and then this one pops up with all the same dates on it middle of the week.

But as you can imagine our policies are firm, we don't disable accounts without an in-writing notice from the client company's HR (if they have been fired) or a in-writing notice from our Cyber-security team (if it's security/hacking/compromise/whatever related.)
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Old 6th August 2021, 08:15 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
It sounds like the person knew they were talking to IT not HR but were uncomfortable about being the one who had to complain to HR about HR. By persisting they were hoping IT would eventually volunteer to do it for them, without being directly asked. Social anxiety, not stupidity.
Either way, I would be copying both managers to get them to sort it out. Somebody wasting my time by trying to get me to something which is not my job and is probably theirs is something my manager needs to deal with.
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Old 6th August 2021, 09:30 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Either way, I would be copying both managers to get them to sort it out. Somebody wasting my time by trying to get me to something which is not my job and is probably theirs is something my manager needs to deal with.
She e-mailed the IT group, I just happened to be the one who responded, so my boss is at least in the loop.
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Old 6th August 2021, 11:41 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Perhaps you're right, murder really is the wisest course here. Murder doesn't solve every personnel problem, of course, only most of them.
And that is why there's a roll of old carpet, sacks of lime and concrete mix and a couple of folding shovels in a corner of the bottom car-park level.
The one with the dodgy cameras and lighting.
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Old 6th August 2021, 11:49 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
And that is why there's a roll of old carpet, sacks of lime and concrete mix and a couple of folding shovels in a corner of the bottom car-park level.
The one with the dodgy cameras and lighting.

<== <points at custom title>
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Old 6th August 2021, 11:51 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
My best guess is that they had multiple terminations

With extreme prejudice?
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Old 6th August 2021, 11:52 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
With extreme prejudice?
It is legit weird that that's like the standard terminology used.
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Old 7th August 2021, 09:41 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
<== <points at custom title>

Though I suppose you have a PFY to help? Carpet is surprisingly heavy....

Anyway my personal solution involves a stretch of coastal cliff with easy vehicle access to 50m of the edge and deep water, a roll of medium mesh garden netting, an ice-pick and a couple of breeze blocks. Better for the environment.
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As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
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Old 7th August 2021, 02:05 PM   #147
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So today I spent an hour and a half doing fifteen minutes of tech support for my elderly mother. Her habit of only writing down part of each user name and password for everything really makes things tricky. "I didn't think I needed the numbers part" she explained helpfully.
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Old 7th August 2021, 04:34 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
So today I spent an hour and a half doing fifteen minutes of tech support for my elderly mother. Her habit of only writing down part of each user name and password for everything really makes things tricky. "I didn't think I needed the numbers part" she explained helpfully.
For some people that might not be a bad strategy. If they just need a reminder to remember the whole password it keeps it more secure than writing the whole thing down. That relies on it being enough to stir the correct memory though.
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Old 8th August 2021, 01:40 AM   #149
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So after a long time doing job that didn't involve dealing with customers I just finished a secondment at a major national institution and I was handling phone calls. I soon remembered one of the basic rules, everyone thinks their call is urgent and must be escalated. No one seems to understand that if everyone's is urgent and high priority then no one is high priority.
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Old 8th August 2021, 05:43 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
So after a long time doing job that didn't involve dealing with customers I just finished a secondment at a major national institution and I was handling phone calls. I soon remembered one of the basic rules, everyone thinks their call is urgent and must be escalated. No one seems to understand that if everyone's is urgent and high priority then no one is high priority.
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Old 8th August 2021, 11:51 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Another day, another hell client who was suddenly a lot less hellish when I was speaking to them.

This may be my superpower.
This hell client called us again today. Our boss noticed.
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Old 9th August 2021, 09:16 AM   #152
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Dear User: yes, I could send you 4.5 million rows of data in Excel. The question is should I? What are you planning to do with all that? If for some reason you wish to read each and every row yourself and it takes you one second per row, then working 40 hours a week with no pause it will take you 31.25 weeks to read them all. Perhaps it would be more efficient to tell me what questions you're trying to answer using this data and I could get the computer to do the work. The computer likes that sort of thing, and we're friends so I'm pretty sure I can convince it.
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Old 9th August 2021, 09:18 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Dear User: yes, I could send you 4.5 million rows of data in Excel. The question is should I? What are you planning to do with all that? If for some reason you wish to read each and every row yourself and it takes you one second per row, then working 40 hours a week with no pause it will take you 31.25 weeks to read them all. Perhaps it would be more efficient to tell me what questions you're trying to answer using this data and I could get the computer to do the work. The computer likes that sort of thing, and we're friends so I'm pretty sure I can convince it.
Listen the only way to find out what Nedry did to the system is go through the computer's code line by line. It's the only way to get Jurassic Park back online.
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Old 9th August 2021, 09:30 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Listen the only way to find out what Nedry did to the system is go through the computer's code line by line. It's the only way to get Jurassic Park back online.
He should have commented his code. "--change X to Y in this block to undo cataclysm"
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Old 10th August 2021, 09:34 AM   #155
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I so hate office politics and no matter how much you try you can't stay out of it entirely.

A few weeks back a large corner office for an executive position that got... made redundant got converted into a office with 5 cubicles. Right now two of the cubicles are occupied by two women who are bitter they no longer have their own office (and I sorta get the impression they don't like each other which doesn't help) and I was just given a ticket that another user was being moved into one of the 3 remaining cubicles in about a month. I went in there to just put eyes on the basic setup (power, network drops, etc) to kind of start getting a mental plan in my head and dear God the tension off of those two when I told them what was happening.
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Old 10th August 2021, 10:59 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I so hate office politics and no matter how much you try you can't stay out of it entirely.

A few weeks back a large corner office for an executive position that got... made redundant got converted into a office with 5 cubicles. Right now two of the cubicles are occupied by two women who are bitter they no longer have their own office (and I sorta get the impression they don't like each other which doesn't help) and I was just given a ticket that another user was being moved into one of the 3 remaining cubicles in about a month. I went in there to just put eyes on the basic setup (power, network drops, etc) to kind of start getting a mental plan in my head and dear God the tension off of those two when I told them what was happening.
At one of my former employers there was a lady who clawed her way up the totem pole, making many enemies along the way, and got herself a nice big office with windows and everything. It was especially galling to her foes because this particular lady's job meant she was only ever in that office a couple of days a week, the rest of the time she was elsewhere at other sites. But that nice big office --in a building with few offices-- was mostly unused...

...at first. It quickly became the room people would duck into when they needed to fart. The lady never understood why there was so much giggling when she was in the office.
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Old 10th August 2021, 11:25 AM   #157
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One of these two originally had her own office at an entire other site and I'm honestly about 99% sure she's angry because she literally doesn't do anything and now has to pretend to work.

Like I've been providing this company IT support for almost 3 years now and I've got the general workflow and what people "do" in the broadstrokes pretty down pat even if the details are still so much Greek to me. And I have no idea what this lady does. And not in the sense that I know what she does but I don't understand it (this is a cancer clinic with a research department, like 99% of what they do falls into this category for me) but seriously on a functional level I don't know what she... like does.

She's in her late 60s and obviously been in this organization for a while so I'm assuming she yet another case of someone who was here before was a single business. As I've mentioned before the place I contract IT work for started out as about 7 or 8 independent cancer doctors who started a partnership and then finally formed a single company and every once in a while I run into one of these "You don't fit into any normal business hierarchy/workflow as I understand it, you don't belong to any established team or group, and your position doesn't exist at any of the other sites" people and I'm assume they are redundant/obsolete positions from the old days when these were all separate practices that somehow managed to stay employed. They seem to survive just by wedging themselves in as an extra step into other processes, never actually doing anything beyond being the "final approver" rubberstamp in this processes or a "Let so and so review it before sending it to so and so" step in this other process or stuff like that. The buck never even slows down near them, but always has to go past them if that makes any sense.

I've ran into a few of these types since I've worked here and they tend to be fairly problematic as users because they know on some level that they have to maintain the image of being important because they really aren't so they just show up and invite themselves into every process for face time and looking busy purposes and generating a lot of IT busywork is always high on their list of things to do. They are just always "there" but never doing anything but being in the way and putting their two cents in.

Like when the pandemic was real bad and most non-essential frontline care workers were being encouraged to work from home, they freaked out and fought it so hard because working from home it would become super obvious that they don't do anything. Like they have no metrics they can point to for what they do so they have to depend on their "presence" and that's way harder to do remotely.

The thing that kind of makes this almost a given fact to me is every time one of these "types" finally retires/leaves it's always the same. They make a deal about how they will miss them and how hard it will be to replace them and how all that... but then they don't replace them. Their jobs just got away and nothing changes. What few actual concrete duties some of them have have just get given to other people who can easily do them as a collateral.
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Old 10th August 2021, 12:51 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
At one of my former employers there was a lady who clawed her way up the totem pole, making many enemies along the way, and got herself a nice big office with windows and everything. It was especially galling to her foes because this particular lady's job meant she was only ever in that office a couple of days a week, the rest of the time she was elsewhere at other sites. But that nice big office --in a building with few offices-- was mostly unused...

...at first. It quickly became the room people would duck into when they needed to fart. The lady never understood why there was so much giggling when she was in the office.
Probably why she can truly say when she's there "My door is always open."
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Old 10th August 2021, 04:59 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
One of these two originally had her own office at an entire other site and I'm honestly about 99% sure she's angry because she literally doesn't do anything and now has to pretend to work.

Like I've been providing this company IT support for almost 3 years now and I've got the general workflow and what people "do" in the broadstrokes pretty down pat even if the details are still so much Greek to me. And I have no idea what this lady does. And not in the sense that I know what she does but I don't understand it (this is a cancer clinic with a research department, like 99% of what they do falls into this category for me) but seriously on a functional level I don't know what she... like does.

She's in her late 60s and obviously been in this organization for a while so I'm assuming she yet another case of someone who was here before was a single business. As I've mentioned before the place I contract IT work for started out as about 7 or 8 independent cancer doctors who started a partnership and then finally formed a single company and every once in a while I run into one of these "You don't fit into any normal business hierarchy/workflow as I understand it, you don't belong to any established team or group, and your position doesn't exist at any of the other sites" people and I'm assume they are redundant/obsolete positions from the old days when these were all separate practices that somehow managed to stay employed. They seem to survive just by wedging themselves in as an extra step into other processes, never actually doing anything beyond being the "final approver" rubberstamp in this processes or a "Let so and so review it before sending it to so and so" step in this other process or stuff like that. The buck never even slows down near them, but always has to go past them if that makes any sense.

I've ran into a few of these types since I've worked here and they tend to be fairly problematic as users because they know on some level that they have to maintain the image of being important because they really aren't so they just show up and invite themselves into every process for face time and looking busy purposes and generating a lot of IT busywork is always high on their list of things to do. They are just always "there" but never doing anything but being in the way and putting their two cents in.

Like when the pandemic was real bad and most non-essential frontline care workers were being encouraged to work from home, they freaked out and fought it so hard because working from home it would become super obvious that they don't do anything. Like they have no metrics they can point to for what they do so they have to depend on their "presence" and that's way harder to do remotely.

The thing that kind of makes this almost a given fact to me is every time one of these "types" finally retires/leaves it's always the same. They make a deal about how they will miss them and how hard it will be to replace them and how all that... but then they don't replace them. Their jobs just got away and nothing changes. What few actual concrete duties some of them have have just get given to other people who can easily do them as a collateral.
A person in that situation CAN be valuable, if they desire to be--if they actually make sure they are a bridge between groups that don't have a lot of contact, if they take the time nobody else does in order to document institutional knowledge and genuinely promote best practices. But they will get nowhere if they aren't the real thing, if they're just inserting themselves without adding value, trying to preserve their position.
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Old 11th August 2021, 01:16 AM   #160
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
... They seem to survive just by wedging themselves in as an extra step into other processes, never actually doing anything beyond being the "final approver" rubberstamp in this processes or a "Let so and so review it before sending it to so and so" step in this other process or stuff like that. The buck never even slows down near them, but always has to go past them if that makes any sense.

I've ran into a few of these types since I've worked here and they tend to be fairly problematic as users because they know on some level that they have to maintain the image of being important because they really aren't so they just show up and invite themselves into every process for face time and looking busy purposes and generating a lot of IT busywork is always high on their list of things to do. They are just always "there" but never doing anything but being in the way and putting their two cents in.
Back in the day I used to teach an MSc course in my faculty on the audit of business and IT processes and I used to fill it with these kinds of examples. They are frighteningly common in organisations that have grown by merger and accretions.

My favourite example was in a big big company that hadn't so much grown as congealed. One guy who'd been around since forever was responsible for approving all IT project budget requests over a certain amount for the whole EMEA region. In reality after sitting in in silence on numerous conf-calls he would keep the folders on his desk for a while and then sign them off without looking because the business-sector and country IT leads would have already reviewed and approved the requests. And at the same time the global CIO could choose to block any project for any reason at any time. So he contributed nothing but did have a beautiful company Mercedes convertible and a lovely chalet in the mountains.

And, as JoeMorgue would suspect, his position was discreetly abolished after he retired.
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