jecook: (Default)
[personal profile] jecook posting in [community profile] techrecovery
In a shameless attempt to revive this old, dusty place, I want to know what your crowning moment of WTFery at the workplace you've experienced. I'll start.


I've been at $company for nearly ten years. This is somewhat strange for this particular industry (Tribal Gaming) as usually people get fed up with management, fed up with the pay(1), or just want a change of scenery.

I think the worst WTFery I've seen was last summer. We had seen a couple incidents of Cryptolocker poking around, and I had taken initiative to lock things down via a group policy so that I didn't have to spend several hours every couple days restoring department shares because some turkey borked their machine.

The CIO commended me for doing this. My direct boss forced me to undo those changes a few days later because I 'didn't perform a full risk assessment of the effects of locking down the machine's ability to install harmful software.'(2)

The fecal matter hit the fan shortly thereafter which ended with the CIO ordering me to re-implement my changes after a final infection damaged one of the front of line applications and took it offline for several hours before a weekend.(3)

Haven't seen a single instance of cryptolocker affecting the systems since.

Your turn!


1. The company has a *lot* of cash for buying pretty shiny hardware; not so much for retaining the talent to drive it.
2. Boss's way of saying "You didn't say 'mother may I' before taking steps to maintain system integrity", the buttplug.(4)
3. I don't *think* that final incident cost us any revenue, but it gave the boss a nice black eye.
4. And that's being insulting to all buttplugs. At least those don't drive people to mental breakdowns in front of their co-workers.

Date: 2016-03-21 02:42 am (UTC)
falnfenix: (Skydancer - Rainbow Brite)
From: [personal profile] falnfenix
at my last workplace, my now-husband was told to replace a power supply remotely by our dept director.

this was moments after being asked what a switch was by that same dept director.



at that same workplace, my boss decided he didn't like having women on his team, and made a point to punish the three of us with the wrong genitalia.
1 - one of us he refused to let work on Mac calls - she was hired specifically to take those calls, and was forced to take Windows calls instead. she had little experience in Windows.
2 - another of us came in as a programmer. she was forced to take level 1 inbound calls. she was never permitted to work on her specialty.
3 - i was forced to deal with all of the Mac people after a short 4 months working for an Apple contractor.

it was a bad time.

Date: 2016-03-21 10:03 am (UTC)
falnfenix: (Skydancer - Rainbow Brite)
From: [personal profile] falnfenix
i just don't understand why some managers enjoy taking their stresses out on the female members of their teams. we're just as capable as the boys. trying to tell us we can't play is ridiculous.


i did get to enjoy knowing my boss at that former workplace pissed off SO MANY higher-ups that they completely bypassed the grievance system set up by the institution and just terminated the entire position to get rid of him quickly. just pissed i couldn't give him my 2 weeks notice...of course, if i HAD been able to give him that, i probably would have told all of my coworkers and all of the other managers first, and let him know the last day of my 2 weeks.

he was an asshat...and he ended up selling carpet because no one else would hire him in the same position after he'd been fired from a number of jobs in a row. he's now working in a lower position than i am currently. karma's a bitch.

Date: 2016-03-21 08:04 pm (UTC)
jamoche: Prisoner's pennyfarthing bicycle: I am NaN (The Prisoner)
From: [personal profile] jamoche
Rampant insecurity - they're probably also Dunning-Kreuger poster children.

Date: 2016-03-21 09:46 pm (UTC)
falnfenix: (Skydancer - Rainbow Brite)
From: [personal profile] falnfenix
hah! probably.

Date: 2016-03-22 03:41 pm (UTC)
melstav: (Explosive Runes Cryptogram)
From: [personal profile] melstav
my now-husband was told to replace a power supply remotely by our dept director.


Colo facilities offer "remote hands" services for a reason.

But I'm guessing this machine was in an internally-owned facility without an on-site support staff.

Date: 2016-03-24 12:36 am (UTC)
falnfenix: (Skydancer - Rainbow Brite)
From: [personal profile] falnfenix
the hardware was in a patient care area. we had just moved our IT dept offsite to another institution-owned campus. he didn't want the hubs to leave site - didn't think he'd do the work.

Date: 2016-03-22 03:52 pm (UTC)
melstav: (Explosive Runes Cryptogram)
From: [personal profile] melstav
my now-husband was told to replace a power supply remotely by our dept director.


Colo facilities offer "remote hands" services for a reason.

But I'm guessing this machine was in an internally-owned facility without an on-site support staff.

Date: 2016-03-21 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aaronstmour.livejournal.com
I noticed the IT admin at my school where I work has one password and username for everything.

Username: xxxxschool
password: 123456

For the free wifi (publicly posted btw), for the passwords on our computers, and amusingly and much to my delight.. I found out yesterday that's the same information for the router.

Oh dear..

Date: 2016-03-21 06:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] canray.livejournal.com
Here's one I shared here on the day it happened, so many years ago...

I was a Tech Monkey, er, Support fellow for a US Cable TV company, supporting Cable Internet and basically telling people to reboot their modem and pay their bill.

This one lady couldn't figure out why her service was not working (don't remember the exact reason for it, but odds are nonpayment), and started screaming at me and how I and the company were a bunch of racists and blah-blah-blah. I had already had more than enough before that call started, so attempted my one shot at disarming the situation...

"Miss, you're a voice on a phone and so am I, I do not know your race, and there is no way you could know mine."

"Well, you're obviously white! You sound too intelligent to be black!"

My brain went TILT after that one.

Date: 2016-03-21 06:32 am (UTC)
jamoche: Spock: That's illogical, you raving fucktard (Spock logic fail)
From: [personal profile] jamoche
QE files a bug: Add a second virtual disk to a VM, it comes up saying it can't be found.

This should not happen, of course. After much back and forth, the true sequence of events is:

Them:
In the Finder, dive inside the VM bundle, which is a bundle for a reason.
- basically, you have just aimed your gun at your foot
Throw "Virtual Disk.vmdk" in the trash instead of using the "remove device" UI
Open the VM. It complains that it can't find "Virtual Disk.vmdk". Hit Cancel on the dialog.
- now you're saying "why yes, I do want to shoot myself in the foot!"
Add a new disk through the UI. It, of course, sees that there's no file with the default name, so it creates "Virtual Disk.vmdk".
You now have two virtual disks devices, both thinking they're going to use the same file.
Power on the VM. One of the two devices gets that file, the other one complains that it can't be found.

Me:
Close bug as "user error". Complain to manager that QE should not be filing bugs that get closed as "user error"

Date: 2016-03-21 10:38 am (UTC)
azurelunatic: funny t-shirt: "I am a bomb technician: if you see me running, try to keep up." (bomb tech)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
You know, I missed the opportunity to interoffice mail the bundle of sawed-off pool noodles to the new developers as an officewarming gift. You know, the new hires who I think are going to be sitting within walloping distance of QE?

Date: 2016-03-21 04:14 pm (UTC)
jamoche: Prisoner's pennyfarthing bicycle: I am NaN (The Prisoner)
From: [personal profile] jamoche
It's the remaining QE that'll need the pool noodles - they have eventually figured out what the product does. And some of them are actually CS engineers, but were they asked to join the replacements? Ha.

Yeah: the untoppable WTF moment - replace an entire team with a bunch of new hires. Complete loss of institutional memory, anyone?

Date: 2016-03-21 08:03 pm (UTC)
azurelunatic: funny t-shirt: "I am a bomb technician: if you see me running, try to keep up." (bomb tech)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
60 days is totally enough time to transfer 130+ years of institutional memory to some new hires...

Date: 2016-03-21 08:09 pm (UTC)
jamoche: Prisoner's pennyfarthing bicycle: I am NaN (The Prisoner)
From: [personal profile] jamoche
Gotta love analysts that have no clue what they're analyzing. At a previous company we got dinged by a code coverage team because there was no way to hit a particular section via any code branches - it was a hardware failure signal handler. It's chip design software; we had lots of "fail hard" cases because it's better to crash than to write bad chip files.

Date: 2016-03-21 10:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaberett.livejournal.com
My (STEM-focussed) university has a range of IT systems that are very, very picky about whether you log in as USERNAME or username.

The instructions are always bafflingly vague.

This would be frustrating but manageable if there were only two options, and if one failed you could try the other.

Unfortunately (a) there's actually a third type of prefix/form of the username that might be required, (b) at least two forms of suffix, and (c) in one particularly impressive case whether you log in as USERNAME or username affects which functionality you can access.

Date: 2016-03-21 08:02 pm (UTC)
azurelunatic: funny t-shirt: "I am a bomb technician: if you see me running, try to keep up." (bomb tech)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
!!!

Date: 2016-03-22 01:47 pm (UTC)
delta_mike: (BSOD)
From: [personal profile] delta_mike
I do believe I used to work there. :) Ah, the joys of Active Directory and Microsoft's creative interpretation of the Kerberos protocol...

(And the occasional need to prefix your username with DOMAIN\…)
Edited Date: 2016-03-22 01:47 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-03-21 10:34 am (UTC)
azurelunatic: funny t-shirt: "I am a bomb technician: if you see me running, try to keep up." (bomb tech)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
Complain about turnover, and how departments don't cooperate with each other, especially not disparate groups of engineers or any engineers and User Experience.
Come up with ineffectual schemes to increase inter-department socialization (ask managers to set up lunch dates for their teams) on the grounds that all inter-department cooperation is based on personal relationships (which is true as far as it goes).
Impede personal relationships by never rehiring to replace the team maintaining the working infrastructure, and implementing new and "awesome" infrastructure that doesn't actually structure. (Skype for fucking Business, I ask you. But not the voice calls, just the text.) (The people who are likely to have a Windows machine are Legal and Sales. Dev likes their Linux boxes, except those who prefer Mac. Design prefers Mac. Skype for Business on Mac doesn't have persistent group chat.)
Replace a transparent ticketing system (which engineers can search for precedent to self-service their own problems) with an opaque ticketing system (which engineers cannot search).
Complain that several groups of engineers have started cooperating with each other and the User Experience department (for the purpose of bringing down the new ticketing system and documenting the failures of the current MS Office suite).
Presumably as a cost-saving measure, start hiring contractors to staff several layers of the IT department, as well as department assistants at all levels.
Keep the good ones as long as they'll stay (as contractors).
Observe with some alarm the lawsuits around companies who are abusing their contractor privileges by permatemping.
Rotate contract manager companies to use one that doesn't give their people paid health insurance until they've been there a year, while instituting a one-year-max policy.
Don't bother to take on any of the IT contractors as permanent (apparently).

I am not there anymore to see in person what the hell is happening after the Great Culling, and I'm not sure whether contractors in the non-US offices were culled as well. I don't imagine that good things are happening now...

Date: 2016-03-21 04:18 pm (UTC)
jamoche: Prisoner's pennyfarthing bicycle: I am NaN (The Prisoner)
From: [personal profile] jamoche
19 invites to the same all-hands meeting, without the "don't want responses" flag set. That admin's email must be overflowing by now.

Date: 2016-03-21 08:01 pm (UTC)
azurelunatic: funny t-shirt: "I am a bomb technician: if you see me running, try to keep up." (bomb tech)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
That's the sort of mistake that happens once.

Apiece.

Per new contractor.

I hope they have fun next year...

Date: 2016-03-21 12:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fragbert.livejournal.com
That one time in 1996 when all upper management were issued brand-new laptops.

And loss prevention require the laptops be permanently attached to the desks.

Date: 2016-03-21 01:45 pm (UTC)
wibbble: A manipulated picture of my eye, with a blue swirling background. (Code Eye)
From: [personal profile] wibbble
I've been quite fortunate ever since I left what we referred to as 'The Bad Place', which was so bad that it got its own DailyWTF article.

I think the biggest WTF I've seen in my current gig is from our PCI DSS auditor. In order to do a security scan of our system, we have to have it respond on the bare IP address (normally we return 444 for anything that doesn't match our hostname, as a small extra layer of security). So in order to be certified for PCI compliance we need to manually reduce how secure our system is, then turn it back up after the scan.

But I'm sure that's about the least WTFery people have had to do for PCI compliance.

Date: 2016-03-21 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/hub_/
But did the CIO fire the boss? That's the outcome that should have happened.

I guess not...

Date: 2016-03-21 03:40 pm (UTC)
digitalraven: (Default)
From: [personal profile] digitalraven
$university has a central IT team; individual schools that do a lot of heavy IT work (CompSci, Engineering, Physics, etc) all have their own IT teams that look after their infrastructure. Central deals with people who use bog-standard machines for Office, Outlook, and Chrome; admin and finance and those schools that don't really need computers like English and Linguistics and Philosophy. We in the school IT teams deal with people who have more exacting needs (ask me about getting vendors to fight over who can give us a better deal on Tesla cards; I nearly got two of them going at it with switchblades in the car park).

I've just been informed that as of September:
  1. Only the Office/IE running noddy-boxes that central IT deals directly with will have any support — not just answering user questions, but things like "adding drivers to the build image so you can install Windows" and "packaging and deploying software to machines".
  2. They're formally removing support for Windows on VMs and telling people not to use Windows VMs at all (a lot of our bigger workstations run Windows in a VM for Office and shit while the real work is done by CentOS on the bare metal).
  3. School IT teams will no longer have any admin rights to our devolved areas in AD, despite increasing the amount of stuff we will need to do on these devolved areas.
If we need them to do anything, we have to submit a ticket, changes subject to their "sanity check", with a 3-day SLA. What would be two minutes and a gpupdate will now take three days, if the idiots in central even understand why it needs to be done at all. They're treating senior Windows sysadmins like children, forcing us to play mother-may-I to actually do our jobs. Naturally, when something isn't done (or takes too long) it's us that the excrement falls upon, not central.

Needless to say, I have pointed this out and have so far been ignored, leading me to declare that I am now very much a rabbit of negative euphoria.
Edited Date: 2016-03-21 03:41 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-03-21 04:27 pm (UTC)
jamoche: Prisoner's pennyfarthing bicycle: I am NaN (The Prisoner)
From: [personal profile] jamoche
Dev team orders shiny new Mac Minis to make sure we run on their state-of-the-art hardware.
Shiny new Mac Minis come with the only point-release of the latest OS that can run on them pre-installed.
IT grabs Minis, installs the corporately-blessed OS version on them. Said version is a full release number below what the Minis can run.
Minis are now bricks.
No problem, hit the recovery partition process.
Apple's recovery download server is not whitelisted. (Double fun because installing on a VM from the recovery partition is an upcoming feature, and we've been requesting whitelisting for it for *months*.)
Minis are not just bricks, but to un-brick them requires taking them to the nearest Starbucks.

Date: 2016-03-21 07:58 pm (UTC)
azurelunatic: funny t-shirt: "I am a bomb technician: if you see me running, try to keep up." (bomb tech)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
Holy mother of fuck.

What year was this?

Date: 2016-03-21 08:03 pm (UTC)
jamoche: Prisoner's pennyfarthing bicycle: I am NaN (The Prisoner)
From: [personal profile] jamoche
2012 or 13, because that's when we added recovery partition. At that point our manager decreed that all hardware came directly to us, unopened.

Date: 2016-03-21 08:05 pm (UTC)
azurelunatic: funny t-shirt: "I am a bomb technician: if you see me running, try to keep up." (bomb tech)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
Which would probably explain the subsequent TopTrack scenario...

Date: 2016-03-23 01:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lunatic59.livejournal.com
Even after the big red warning about logging in over an unencrypted connection, doofus "admin" (and I use the term as loosely as the prep for a colonoscopy) opens a VNC session from a public terminal on a production server with root credentials.

The result could be the plot for the next Vin Diesel movie ... "Hacked in 60 Seconds" (okay, it was more like 6 hours, but if I hadn't seen it and taken it offline immediately, it might have been up for a week or longer.)

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