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Old 22nd December 2021, 08:31 PM   #601
arthwollipot
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
It's a fair bet they are pierced. Service Desk live for the pain.
Well, I will say that there are a fair few of us with tattoos.
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Old 23rd December 2021, 03:41 AM   #602
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Last one in the office who is not on the "very important project," so, of course, the effluent outlet is directly over my head

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Old 23rd December 2021, 04:26 AM   #603
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I'm pretty sure some people I worked with had extra nipples but company policy forbade duckings or burning at the stake.
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Old 23rd December 2021, 04:30 AM   #604
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
Because someone paid a consultant at least one hundred times as much as the effort justified to change it.
Duh.
Or the people implementing it made it look like the previous workflow system, because that's what the users were used to, regardless that that was in turn based on the system before that, and actually made it harder to use the system...
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Old 23rd December 2021, 06:09 AM   #605
Filippo Lippi
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Or the people implementing it made it look like the previous workflow system, because that's what the users were used to, regardless that that was in turn based on the system before that, and actually made it harder to use the system...
A bit of that, no doubt.

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Old 28th December 2021, 10:52 AM   #606
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Dear Users.

No your son/grandson/nephew isn't a computer whiz who can do everything I do just because he plays Fortnite or surfs the web all day.
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Old 3rd January 2022, 11:25 AM   #607
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Sigh. Starting off the new year with the same old idiocy. Dearest users, when I ask questions I really need you to read them and understand them before you answer them. So far today I've gotten:

Q: Do you want A or B?
A: Yes

Q: This data has been YTD from 1/1/21, should we move it to be YTD from 1/1/22?
A: Do it YTD from 12/31/2020

Q: Is the calculation in Column G being used, or is everyone getting those figures from the other report instead?
A: Add Trisha Q. to the distribution list please
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Old 3rd January 2022, 11:28 AM   #608
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Anybody else's Exchange Server fail on the morning of the 1st because of Microsoft?
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Old 3rd January 2022, 06:37 PM   #609
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Anybody else's Exchange Server fail on the morning of the 1st because of Microsoft?

Because JoeMorgue didn't provide any context, here's what he's talking about: 'Year 2022' Bug Breaks Email Delivery For Microsoft Exchange On-Premise Servers [slashdot.org]

Originally Posted by slashdot, in turn quoting Bleeping Computer
Security researcher and Exchange admin Joseph Roosen said that this is caused by Microsoft using a signed int32 variable to store the value of a date, which has a maximum value of 2,147,483,647. However, dates in 2022 have a minimum value of 2,201,010,001 or larger, which is greater than the maximum value that can be stored in the signed int32 variable, causing the scanning engine to fail and not release mail for delivery.

The ineptitude of this bug is astonishing. The simply took the date in YYMMDDHHMMSS format and jammed it into a 32 bit signed integer. That's not how it's done! There's a tried-and-true proven way to handle dates on a computer known as seconds since the epoch. You pick a starting date (Unix uses Jan 1, 1970 00:00:00 UTC) and keep time in seconds since that date. A well-defined set of APIs can take that time and convert it to human-readable format, and convert human-readable back to seconds since the epoch. On 32-bit systems this will give rise to the well-known Year 2038 bug, but Microsoft managed to get a bug 16 years before that by using a bone-headed date conversion.

The Slashdot thread on also brought up this gem:

Originally Posted by Shlashdot user xixior
Exchange spamfilter has had other bone-headed design choices in years past: After their in-house testing showed that email send/received outside of typical business hours was statistically more likely to be spam, Microsoft made the timestamp part of their weighing algorithm to classify spam.

However, not only did they fail to account for companies that uses non-traditional office hours, they also failed to account for timezones and centered everything around Pacific Time, where the Microsoft headquarters were located. That meant that if you were in Europe or Asia, the spam detection algorithm would to the exact opposite of what it was trying to accomplish and penalize mail received while you were open and promote mail that was received while you were closed.
Link to this post on Slashdot

And people still use Microsoft products!
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Old 4th January 2022, 09:45 PM   #610
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Dear User: don't tell me your request is supremely urgent ASAP emergency right now now now then, when I ask to have a chat to discuss it, schedule a meeting eight weeks from now. It's a request I could do in eight hours if you just answered a couple of questions to clarify what you want.
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Old 5th January 2022, 06:45 AM   #611
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Dear User: don't tell me your request is supremely urgent ASAP emergency right now now now then, when I ask to have a chat to discuss it, schedule a meeting eight weeks from now. It's a request I could do in eight hours if you just answered a couple of questions to clarify what you want.
A “tentative” reply to that invite should be followed by an eight hour Golden Girls binge.
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Old 5th January 2022, 07:10 AM   #612
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"This is a crisis for you, a 'I'll get around to it when I get around to it' for me" is sadly a pretty common mentality.
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Old 5th January 2022, 07:39 AM   #613
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"This is a crisis for you, a 'I'll get around to it when I get around to it' for me" is sadly a pretty common mentality.
I'm willing to do it now, they just need to tell me some more information so I can start. But they don't want to commit to anything--it's a committee-thinking sort of thing, so they want to talk it over in a meeting and apparently March is the earliest occasion "all concerned parties" are available. And we all know damn well that once the call occurs, 90% of the concerned parties are going to go along with whatever the others say anyway. I could try to do it in an email but I've already tried that, and three people did "see my comments below" and contracted each other. (Seriously: one said 'keep everything the same so it's apples-to-apples to the other project' then the next said 'I agree, but change X, Y, and Z' and the third said 'I agree with both', so we're getting nowhere with email except building a case for why it's justifiable to dump this project on another team.)
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Old 9th January 2022, 11:28 PM   #614
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Well I'm back at work after taking the first week of the year off, as I customarily do, for good reason. Today, the second week back, Tier 1 was presented with 1125 calls, 833 of which (74%) were abandoned. The average wait time was 18:02.

It was worse last Monday, or so they tell me.
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Old 10th January 2022, 06:26 AM   #615
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I'm willing to do it now, they just need to tell me some more information so I can start. But they don't want to commit to anything--it's a committee-thinking sort of thing, so they want to talk it over in a meeting and apparently March is the earliest occasion "all concerned parties" are available. And we all know damn well that once the call occurs, 90% of the concerned parties are going to go along with whatever the others say anyway. I could try to do it in an email but I've already tried that, and three people did "see my comments below" and contracted each other. (Seriously: one said 'keep everything the same so it's apples-to-apples to the other project' then the next said 'I agree, but change X, Y, and Z' and the third said 'I agree with both', so we're getting nowhere with email except building a case for why it's justifiable to dump this project on another team.)
Put the monkey back on their back...

Dear <insert name here>,

If you do not respond to <TM> as requested within 24 hours of submission, your call for urgent service will be considered no longer urgent. Your call will then be closed with the status of "no user response, no action required". Subsequent urgent calls for the same reason will be evaluated taking this lack of response into account. So we urge you to prioritize your response ASAP.

Regards, your Service Team.
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Old 10th January 2022, 10:23 AM   #616
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Put the monkey back on their back...

Dear <insert name here>,

If you do not respond to <TM> as requested within 24 hours of submission, your call for urgent service will be considered no longer urgent. Your call will then be closed with the status of "no user response, no action required". Subsequent urgent calls for the same reason will be evaluated taking this lack of response into account. So we urge you to prioritize your response ASAP.

Regards, your Service Team.
It pisses me off that perfectly sensible and well run projects have to be lumbered with all the Terms Of Engagement documents, Terms Of Reference and all that bumf because of faeces-heads like these. Then they complain IT builds a wall around itself. Yes because we used to have an open buffet but people just kept having food fights and the first one there stole all the chicken.
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Old 10th January 2022, 04:25 PM   #617
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Actually I went ahead and did the whole thing this morning. I was only going to look at the request, but it turned out to be quite simple. So I did it. Now all I have left is to wait until the meeting then convince them that what I did is precisely what they want--or, rather, almost precisely what they want. With this bunch I'm going to do that thing where I leave in one obvious undesired thing so they can have the fun of telling me to fix it. If I didn't, they'd find something else to complain about.
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Old 10th January 2022, 09:52 PM   #618
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Actually I went ahead and did the whole thing this morning. I was only going to look at the request, but it turned out to be quite simple. So I did it. Now all I have left is to wait until the meeting then convince them that what I did is precisely what they want--or, rather, almost precisely what they want. With this bunch I'm going to do that thing where I leave in one obvious undesired thing so they can have the fun of telling me to fix it. If I didn't, they'd find something else to complain about.
I gotta remember that if I'm demonstrating to a difficult bunch.
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Old 10th January 2022, 10:11 PM   #619
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The office whistler is really getting on my nerves today.
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Old 10th January 2022, 10:41 PM   #620
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Actually I went ahead and did the whole thing this morning. I was only going to look at the request, but it turned out to be quite simple. So I did it. Now all I have left is to wait until the meeting then convince them that what I did is precisely what they want--or, rather, almost precisely what they want. With this bunch I'm going to do that thing where I leave in one obvious undesired thing so they can have the fun of telling me to fix it. If I didn't, they'd find something else to complain about.
Find a font or typeface colour that they don't like. Produce the result using those. Complaints ensue. Pretend to fight back. Force them to insist. Give in grumpily. Go get coffee. Provide the result in the font & colour they like.

They win, you win, no added work required.

ETA. You can do they same sort of thing with pointy-haired bosses who like to micro-manage.
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Last edited by Norman Alexander; 10th January 2022 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 10th January 2022, 11:14 PM   #621
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Just had a caller who was literally in tears because she, like about a thousand other people, can't properly connect to network resources remotely. I'm kind of insulated from it through experience, but I experience strong affective empathy (which is another symptom of autism), and calls like that are pretty stressful for me.
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Old 11th January 2022, 02:58 AM   #622
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I start early, so I took it upon myself to check things that ran overnight have worked. Today, I found a job had failed. I didn't recognise it, so I had a look in our utility that cross-references stuff. The job wasn't there, so I knew it went in yesterday...

[rage snip]

I don't think one of our ******* standards had been followed. I was so ******* angry this morning I was shaking.
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Old 18th January 2022, 02:44 PM   #623
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Dear User: if your data could be pivoted upon by more than seven fields, taken in any combination and in any number, then perhaps it would be faster if you just did the pivot you want and let me know rather than asking me to provide a sample of every. possible. pivot. I'm not quite sure how to do the math on that one, but I think it's one of those factorials or permutations or something that ends up being dozens or hundreds of possible ways to do it. More than I'm willing to do, certainly.
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Old 18th January 2022, 03:16 PM   #624
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Dear User: if your data could be pivoted upon by more than seven fields, taken in any combination and in any number, then perhaps it would be faster if you just did the pivot you want and let me know rather than asking me to provide a sample of every. possible. pivot. I'm not quite sure how to do the math on that one, but I think it's one of those factorials or permutations or something that ends up being dozens or hundreds of possible ways to do it. More than I'm willing to do, certainly.
It is kind of funny how many people want to attempt data analysis without learning how to use the tools that make it practical.
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Old 18th January 2022, 03:24 PM   #625
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
It is kind of funny how many people want to attempt data analysis without learning how to use the tools that make it practical.
I don't mind doing their pivots for them, I actually enjoy doing that because it's fun to play with in Excel and I can do colors and borders and things. They just have to have at least some idea of how they want to see the data. Usually I can tell what's appropriate and they gratefully accept whatever I give them, but this particular request they're juggling too many different dimensions at once.
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Old 18th January 2022, 05:37 PM   #626
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I've typed "VoIP EAN Completed" so many times in the last two weeks, my fingers have forgotten where the letters are.
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Old 18th January 2022, 05:50 PM   #627
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Originally Posted by Filippo Lippi View Post
I start early, so I took it upon myself to check things that ran overnight have worked. Today, I found a job had failed. I didn't recognise it, so I had a look in our utility that cross-references stuff. The job wasn't there, so I knew it went in yesterday...

[rage snip]

I don't think one of our ******* standards had been followed. I was so ******* angry this morning I was shaking.
In a hospital, doctors are god. So they get to buy all sorts of janky hardware and software for the latest weirdo systems that they saw at a conference last month, and then they drop it on us without ANY notice and tell us to "put it in the computer room and make it work for me. And please make it ready by 9am tomorrow."
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Old 18th January 2022, 11:13 PM   #628
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I've typed "VoIP EAN Completed" so many times in the last two weeks, my fingers have forgotten where the letters are.
Have you considered putting the text into Notepad and just doing a copy and paste?
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Old 18th January 2022, 11:29 PM   #629
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
Have you considered putting the text into Notepad and just doing a copy and paste?
Yes I have, but in the processes I'm doing I make extensive use of copy and paste in order to avoid typing errors, and I have optimised the order of operations to maximise the efficiency of my clipboard. Copypasting the text could probably be wedged into the process, but my autistic brain doesn't want to.
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Old 21st January 2022, 01:50 PM   #630
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Dear Users: I notice that the more people there are receiving a given piece of work, the less important that particular piece of work seems to be. Back when only 2 people received Vital Monkey Report they lived and breathed Vital Monkey Report. They'd call me about it to discuss it. We'd have meetings. Email chains hundreds of emails long.

A year later, Vital Monkey Report and its now nine offspring reports go to 14 people. One of whom asked for a bunch of changes, and nobody wants to discuss them. I'm pretty sure each of the 13 assumes the other 13 are handling everything. Mr Wants Changes is the only person who seems to care, and he only cares because he wants Vital Monkey Report to be different from what it currently is.

I'm powerfully tempted, when the time comes for the next Vital Monkey Report, to send one real copy to Mr Wants Changes and blank spreadsheets to the other 13 and see if any of them says anything.
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Old 21st January 2022, 02:17 PM   #631
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Dear Users: I notice that the more people there are receiving a given piece of work, the less important that particular piece of work seems to be. Back when only 2 people received Vital Monkey Report they lived and breathed Vital Monkey Report. They'd call me about it to discuss it. We'd have meetings. Email chains hundreds of emails long.

A year later, Vital Monkey Report and its now nine offspring reports go to 14 people. One of whom asked for a bunch of changes, and nobody wants to discuss them. I'm pretty sure each of the 13 assumes the other 13 are handling everything. Mr Wants Changes is the only person who seems to care, and he only cares because he wants Vital Monkey Report to be different from what it currently is.

I'm powerfully tempted, when the time comes for the next Vital Monkey Report, to send one real copy to Mr Wants Changes and blank spreadsheets to the other 13 and see if any of them says anything.

I thought it was a generally agreed principle that if you send out a weekly anything for a while, then you should 'forget' one week, and if you don't get a deluge of e-mails asking where it is (Or one email from the most senior person it goes to) then you can stop sending it?
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Old 21st January 2022, 02:19 PM   #632
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Basically it's a good practice to once every quarter or so just not do a scheduled task to see how long it takes for anyone to notice. It's good data to have.

*obviously ignoring things which nobody should notice if all goes well like backups and updates and all that sort of jazz.
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Old 22nd January 2022, 01:37 AM   #633
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
I thought it was a generally agreed principle that if you send out a weekly anything for a while, then you should 'forget' one week, and if you don't get a deluge of e-mails asking where it is (Or one email from the most senior person it goes to) then you can stop sending it?
Also known as the "scream test." It holds true for older servers and virtual machines as well, although sometimes an old system will have something on it that's run only once a year.
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Old 22nd January 2022, 10:37 AM   #634
TragicMonkey
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
I thought it was a generally agreed principle that if you send out a weekly anything for a while, then you should 'forget' one week, and if you don't get a deluge of e-mails asking where it is (Or one email from the most senior person it goes to) then you can stop sending it?
I have a suspicion that, because some of these people are executives, that they'd be sensitive about getting what they feel they are owed even if they have no intention of using it. So they'd notice if the email didn't show up on time but wouldn't open the attachments to see what's in there. Most of the time they communicate about these things it's to add or remove particular individuals from the distribution list, they rarely mention the work itself.

I bet they each drop these emails into neat Outlook folders and leave it at that.
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Old Yesterday, 05:33 AM   #635
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
In a hospital, doctors are god. So they get to buy all sorts of janky hardware and software for the latest weirdo systems that they saw at a conference last month, and then they drop it on us without ANY notice and tell us to "put it in the computer room and make it work for me. And please make it ready by 9am tomorrow."
Or else a patient will die.
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Old Today, 06:29 PM   #636
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Just had a caller who annoyed me so I got stubborn. In retrospect, it was probably a mistake.

She is a returning staff member with a request in to reactivate her account. The approving officer is away, and she asked me to give her supervisor a call to discuss the process of changing the approver. I replied that for a number of reasons it is preferable for them to call us. Apparently this was unacceptable, and she dug her heels in. Alas, so did I. As a result, the call took longer and was more stressful to both of us if I had just called the supervisor. I might have actually done it if she hadn't been so annoying.

And you know what? We had already called the supervisor, and they were unavailable. That's one of the reasons we prefer to have them call us. One of the reasons. There are others, and I patiently went through all of them. Still unacceptable. She asked for my surname. I declined to give it, and gave her the reasons we don't do that. That too was unacceptable. I was able to give her my boss's name, though, and was more than happy to do so.

One other thing. When they ask for my boss's name, do they really think I'm not going to immediately tell her about the call? She now knows exactly what I said and why I said it, and has my back. She's good like that. I like her.

The upshot of it, and this is something that I wish more callers understood, is that we have a process for a reason. It's not just to annoy you. It's because providing IT services for 21 different government agencies with a client base of over 5,000 staff is a little bit complicated.
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Old Today, 06:49 PM   #637
Norman Alexander
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Or else a patient will die.
That's what they say. So when we ask them what they did BEFORE their new janky system was even thought of, they usually say "Oh, we did <something else>." To which we reply, "Well, do that, until we get <janky system> properly researched, platformed, set up and commissioned. So it doesn't kill patients accidentally the first time you use it because it's a pile of crud right now."
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