Comment On The Killing Job

This is the second of two stories from the "Pitch a WTF" panel at PenguiCon. It's presented anonymously, only because my notes were caught in a horrific game of "keep away" perpetrated by reprogrammed assembly line robots I forgot to write down the submitter's email address. So if you're the submitter and would like me to 1984 your name back into the story, drop me a line. [expand full text]
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Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:06 • by TheRider
Wow!

As far as I'm concerned, IBM software always thinks, the equipment it is installed on is a mainframe and its software can hog up all resources. Examples? IBM Rational Software

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:06 • by An Old Hacker (unregistered)
[b]NO COMMENTS UNTIL FRIDAY[b]

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:07 • by Robert Hanson (unregistered)
Seriouosly? The guy wrote a POSTSCRIPT program to process his numbers? Where is excel when you need it?

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:07 • by Wild (unregistered)
No comments allowed till Friday

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:09 • by Severity One
It's not unheard of, though. An acquaintance of my once wrote a Mandelbrot set generator in PostScript and ran it on one of the university's printers. The queue was getting a bit long after that as well.

And in my time, I've hand-coded PostScript as well... although I'm not daft enough to put that on my CV.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:20 • by Anon (unregistered)
Bob stepped back like he'd been slapped with Schrödinger's Stupid


Bravo sir! Bravo!

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:29 • by geoffrey (unregistered)
Surely the real problem here is that this guy just figured he could cancel someone's job without bothering to discover the nature of that job or its priority. That's much like someone coming along and disconnecting your terminal while you work. I believe that kind of behaviour should result in you being marched from the building. There is a reason why everyone else was hesitant around the printer - they knew cancelling the job was wrong.

If anyone should be marching down to HR it should be the guy whose job was cancelled without warning. Oh you can add ignoring warning signs to the charges too.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:29 • by evilspoons
I thought changing the idle prompt on the LCD screen of the HP Laserjet 5 in my seventh grade computers class was annoying. This certainly is another order of magnitude of retarded.

(I changed the LCD to say 'ERROR' when it was sitting idle, ha.)

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:30 • by Bobby Tables (unregistered)
I didn't even know you could make a PostScript program.

CAPTCHA: wisi, It's not wisi to make a PostScript program that holds up the print queue.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:31 • by evilspoons
364364 in reply to 364361
geoffrey:
Surely the real problem here is that this guy just figured he could cancel someone's job without bothering to discover the nature of that job or its priority. That's much like someone coming along and disconnecting your terminal while you work. I believe that kind of behaviour should result in you being marched from the building. There is a reason why everyone else was hesitant around the printer - they knew cancelling the job was wrong.

If anyone should be marching down to HR it should be the guy whose job was cancelled without warning. Oh you can add ignoring warning signs to the charges too.


Seriously? The printer isn't FOR running computational jobs, it's for printing. There's a reasonable expectation of availablility for a resource like that. If it's sitting for hours doing nothing, you can safely assume it's broken because no pages are being printed by a device whose sole purpose is to make pages have toner on them.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:31 • by Bobby Tables (unregistered)
364365 in reply to 364361
Printers are for printing. He wasn't printing, his job gets killed.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:32 • by StMarc (unregistered)
Long, long ago I tried to print a document which was generated by an algorithm designed to take data from an x-ray experiment and create a very crude sort of 2-D CAT scan. The highfalutin' LaserWriter (no numbers, no letters - LaserWriter) in the university computer lab would happily accept the print job, then start to choke as its buffer filled. At the time I knew very little about how printers worked, so I just sat there like an idiot and watched it settle into a coma.

After an hour or so the other users in the lab started to complain, and the lab monitor killed the job, let them print, and then let me restart mine.

Same thing. The problem was not in our stars, it was in our jobs. In that the damn job was just never ever going to print.

After a few hours of this, the lab monitor remembered that THAT VERY DAY, an even newer, bloodier-edge piece of tech had come in and was ready to be hooked up.

A StyleWriter.

(This was Apple's first inkjet printer, the equivalent of an HP Deskjet.)

Unlike fancyschmancy Postscript laser printers, this little marvel rendered its prints one line at a time through its driver. (You can't print "part" of a laser print. The whole thing has to be rendered so it can be applied and fused in one go.) So we sent it and, after a few minutes, it printed a line.

Then, after a few more minutes, it printed another.

After an hour and a half, my shadowy blob of output slid neatly onto the print tray. And there was much rejoicing.

Up until now, that was the worst story I knew about jamming up print jobs and screwing other people over. But this is way better. WAY better.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:33 • by Bobby Tables (unregistered)
364368 in reply to 364361
geoffrey:
Surely the real problem here is that this guy just figured he could cancel someone's job without bothering to discover the nature of that job or its priority. That's much like someone coming along and disconnecting your terminal while you work. I believe that kind of behaviour should result in you being marched from the building. There is a reason why everyone else was hesitant around the printer - they knew cancelling the job was wrong.

If anyone should be marching down to HR it should be the guy whose job was cancelled without warning. Oh you can add ignoring warning signs to the charges too.

Not sure if troll...

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:35 • by z (unregistered)
Of all the things "Of all the things the problem that wasn't his was, being not his problem wasn't one of them" was, being a clear and comprehensible statement wasn't one of them.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:35 • by frits
So, based on what I'm reading, some mysterious, unnamed person is tasked at protecting "Job". When Job's protection is relinquished, Job is forced into an existence of destitute starvation. However, Job continues serving his master, despite the circumstances.

The conclusion I draw from this story is that Bob is in fact TRWTF, AKA Satan.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:36 • by StMarc (unregistered)
364372 in reply to 364361
geoffrey:
If anyone should be marching down to HR it should be the guy whose job was cancelled without warning. Oh you can add ignoring warning signs to the charges too.


Dude, if I see a job comprising a few kilobytes (or less) that doesn't generate print output for several minutes, it's a hung job and I'm killing it. It's not my job to anticipate that you're running PS programs on a shared output device. It's my job to get my work done. If HR wants to march me out of the building for using common sense, they will find me extremely willing to march.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:38 • by ThePants999
TRWTF is this sentence:

Of all the things the problem that wasn't his was, being not his problem wasn't one of them.


Seriously. WTF. That sentence could be weaponised and deployed in surgical strikes.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:39 • by geoffrey (unregistered)
364374 in reply to 364364
evilspoons:
geoffrey:
Surely the real problem here is that this guy just figured he could cancel someone's job without bothering to discover the nature of that job or its priority. That's much like someone coming along and disconnecting your terminal while you work. I believe that kind of behaviour should result in you being marched from the building. There is a reason why everyone else was hesitant around the printer - they knew cancelling the job was wrong.

If anyone should be marching down to HR it should be the guy whose job was cancelled without warning. Oh you can add ignoring warning signs to the charges too.


Seriously? The printer isn't FOR running computational jobs, it's for printing. There's a reasonable expectation of availablility for a resource like that. If it's sitting for hours doing nothing, you can safely assume it's broken because no pages are being printed by a device whose sole purpose is to make pages have toner on them.


You are absolutely correct, I agree with you. We have the benefit of understanding the situation however, the guy who just cancelled the job did not.

An unnamed person had submitted a job to the internal reader. You don't just cancel it unless you know it's purpose and it's priority. you just don't. In this case the guy who submitted the job was in the wrong it turns out, but the ends do not justify the means. "Bob" was equally in the wrong here for acting like a maverick and just pulling the switch. In certain situations that might result in disciplinary action. Notice that his co-workers understood this which is why they didn't take any action themselves.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:43 • by StMarc (unregistered)
364376 in reply to 364374
geoffrey:
Notice that his co-workers understood that this guy was a whiny jerk who was prone to throwing tantrums and stealing equipment from shared resources which is why they didn't take any action themselves.


FTFY. HTH. HAND.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:47 • by TheMostBoringManInTheUniverse (unregistered)
Almost all of that story was horribly written, stretching a not very well thought out hook to and beyond breaking point.

But this made me forgive everything: "Of all the things the problem that wasn't his was, being not his problem wasn't one of them." Genius.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:47 • by GettinSadda
364379 in reply to 364374
geoffrey:
evilspoons:
geoffrey:
Surely the real problem here is that this guy just figured he could cancel someone's job without bothering to discover the nature of that job or its priority. That's much like someone coming along and disconnecting your terminal while you work. I believe that kind of behaviour should result in you being marched from the building. There is a reason why everyone else was hesitant around the printer - they knew cancelling the job was wrong.

If anyone should be marching down to HR it should be the guy whose job was cancelled without warning. Oh you can add ignoring warning signs to the charges too.


Seriously? The printer isn't FOR running computational jobs, it's for printing. There's a reasonable expectation of availablility for a resource like that. If it's sitting for hours doing nothing, you can safely assume it's broken because no pages are being printed by a device whose sole purpose is to make pages have toner on them.


You are absolutely correct, I agree with you. We have the benefit of understanding the situation however, the guy who just cancelled the job did not.

An unnamed person had submitted a job to the internal reader. You don't just cancel it unless you know it's purpose and it's priority. you just don't. In this case the guy who submitted the job was in the wrong it turns out, but the ends do not justify the means. "Bob" was equally in the wrong here for acting like a maverick and just pulling the switch. In certain situations that might result in disciplinary action. Notice that his co-workers understood this which is why they didn't take any action themselves.
+1

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:47 • by dpm (unregistered)
364380 in reply to 364374
geoffrey:
There is a reason why everyone else was hesitant around the printer - they knew cancelling the job was wrong.

geoffrey:
Notice that his co-workers understood this which is why they didn't take any action themselves.
You are assuming that. I think it equally, if not more, likely that they hung back because they did not want to get yelled at by a socially-inept bully.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:49 • by GettinSadda
364381 in reply to 364380
dpm:
geoffrey:
There is a reason why everyone else was hesitant around the printer - they knew cancelling the job was wrong.

geoffrey:
Notice that his co-workers understood this which is why they didn't take any action themselves.
You are assuming that. I think it equally, if not more, likely that they hung back because they did not want to get yelled at by a socially-inept bully.
Unfortunately, this story includes two socially-inept bullies

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:49 • by Master Chief
364382 in reply to 364374
geoffrey:
You are absolutely correct, I agree with you. We have the benefit of understanding the situation however, the guy who just cancelled the job did not.

An unnamed person had submitted a job to the internal reader. You don't just cancel it unless you know it's purpose and it's priority. you just don't. In this case the guy who submitted the job was in the wrong it turns out, but the ends do not justify the means. "Bob" was equally in the wrong here for acting like a maverick and just pulling the switch. In certain situations that might result in disciplinary action. Notice that his co-workers understood this which is why they didn't take any action themselves.

I don't care how fucking self important someone is. He has no right to occupy the printer 24/7, I don't care how critical his needs are. If they were that critical, he'd have space on a real mainframe to use.

His tiny-dick-syndrome reactions don't entitle him to anything except mockery, preferably continuous mockery. Hell, I might cancel a few of his actual print jobs just to watch him stomp helplessly.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:51 • by Master Chief
364383 in reply to 364381
GettinSadda:
dpm:
geoffrey:
There is a reason why everyone else was hesitant around the printer - they knew cancelling the job was wrong.

geoffrey:
Notice that his co-workers understood this which is why they didn't take any action themselves.
You are assuming that. I think it equally, if not more, likely that they hung back because they did not want to get yelled at by a socially-inept bully.
Unfortunately, this story includes two socially-inept bullies

WHy is it unacceptable? The job by all accounts was some document or another that had a byte transmitted wrong and was hanging the printer. I doubt it ever crossed his mind that it might be an important financial calculation process, because WHY THE HELL WOULD THAT EVER BE IN A PRINT QUEUE? That's like complaining someone towed your car because it was parked on a sidewalk.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:53 • by Lost (unregistered)
364384 in reply to 364374
geoffrey:

Notice that his co-workers understood this which is why they didn't take any action themselves.


Notice that his co-workers have no brains and are simply following any crazy orders printed on a piece of paper by someone they don't even know.


FTFY

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:54 • by QJo
364385 in reply to 364374
geoffrey:
evilspoons:
geoffrey:
Surely the real problem here is that this guy just figured he could cancel someone's job without bothering to discover the nature of that job or its priority. That's much like someone coming along and disconnecting your terminal while you work. I believe that kind of behaviour should result in you being marched from the building. There is a reason why everyone else was hesitant around the printer - they knew cancelling the job was wrong.

If anyone should be marching down to HR it should be the guy whose job was cancelled without warning. Oh you can add ignoring warning signs to the charges too.


Seriously? The printer isn't FOR running computational jobs, it's for printing. There's a reasonable expectation of availablility for a resource like that. If it's sitting for hours doing nothing, you can safely assume it's broken because no pages are being printed by a device whose sole purpose is to make pages have toner on them.


You are absolutely correct, I agree with you. We have the benefit of understanding the situation however, the guy who just cancelled the job did not.

An unnamed person had submitted a job to the internal reader. You don't just cancel it unless you know it's purpose and it's priority. you just don't. In this case the guy who submitted the job was in the wrong it turns out, but the ends do not justify the means. "Bob" was equally in the wrong here for acting like a maverick and just pulling the switch. In certain situations that might result in disciplinary action. Notice that his co-workers understood this which is why they didn't take any action themselves.


There are two distinct problems here, butting head-to-head. For one thing, Bob's just a little bit gung-ho, and perhaps should have checked what the job was before deleting it, but second, Mister Galloping Asperger should have taken the time to explain what he was doing in the first place, in order to arrive at the compromise which was the reduced-priority job, rather than just play the "I'm far too important to talk to you" card. In fact at that very point, Bob should have consulted either his boss or Galloping Asperger's boss to find out exactly what was going on. The fact that he didn't, and that he allowed the situation to extend beyond that first encounter, has seriously increased his own WTF quotient.

So a two-way communication fail here, brought on probably by gallons of misdirected testosterone. If I were the boss I'd haul both of them into the office for a re-evaluation of their positions.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:56 • by Nagesh (unregistered)
No, do not kill Job. Instead, take away his money, kill his livestock, servants and loved ones, and stick him with some horrible sickness. But be sure to keep him alive. Then lean back and prepare to be Very Offended when he has the audacity to be less than grateful.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:57 • by frits
364387 in reply to 364385
QJo:
If I were the boss I'd haul both of them into the office for a re-evaluation of their positions.

I'd have them leg kick each other until one of them gave up.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 09:59 • by Bill (unregistered)
364388 in reply to 364361
A print job that hangs without printing anything for a significant time is almost always hung. It's pretty routine for someone other than the job owner to kill it.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:03 • by Nagesh (unregistered)
364391 in reply to 364386
(Oh, frits did that one already. Sorry.)

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:05 • by Bobby Tables (unregistered)
364392 in reply to 364388
Bill:
A print job that hangs without printing anything for a significant time is almost always hung. It's pretty routine for someone other than the job owner to kill it.


Don't mess with the SysAdmin.

CAPTCHA: haero. The SysAdmin is my haero.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:06 • by csrster (unregistered)
I'd probably have started by rebooting the printer.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:07 • by C (unregistered)
Yes, but what was the Job doing?

I'm guessing it was something like running the numbers on a DnD sim or something equally humorous and worthless.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:11 • by Hortical (unregistered)
364395 in reply to 364382
Master Chief:
I don't care how fucking self important someone is. He has no right to occupy the printer 24/7, I don't care how critical his needs are. If they were that critical, he'd have space on a real mainframe to use.

His tiny-dick-syndrome reactions don't entitle him to anything except mockery, preferably continuous mockery. Hell, I might cancel a few of his actual print jobs just to watch him stomp helplessly.
The worst thing you can do when in Bob's situation is treat the guy like his feelings are important. Appeasing him only cements the idea that his ire is sufficient to validate his authority.

But I especially liked the idea of pissing him off just for fun later. That puts a smile on my face.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:16 • by trtrwtf (unregistered)
364396 in reply to 364387
frits:
QJo:
If I were the boss I'd haul both of them into the office for a re-evaluation of their positions.

I'd have them lick kick each other until one of them gave up.
But if we selected employees this way, everyone would end up uber-gay. Unless you were trying to make the queer equivalent of the playboy mansion, in which case, as you were.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:17 • by centurijon
364397 in reply to 364374
geoffrey:
evilspoons:
geoffrey:
Surely the real problem here is that this guy just figured he could cancel someone's job without bothering to discover the nature of that job or its priority. That's much like someone coming along and disconnecting your terminal while you work. I believe that kind of behaviour should result in you being marched from the building. There is a reason why everyone else was hesitant around the printer - they knew cancelling the job was wrong.

If anyone should be marching down to HR it should be the guy whose job was cancelled without warning. Oh you can add ignoring warning signs to the charges too.


Seriously? The printer isn't FOR running computational jobs, it's for printing. There's a reasonable expectation of availablility for a resource like that. If it's sitting for hours doing nothing, you can safely assume it's broken because no pages are being printed by a device whose sole purpose is to make pages have toner on them.


You are absolutely correct, I agree with you. We have the benefit of understanding the situation however, the guy who just cancelled the job did not.

An unnamed person had submitted a job to the internal reader. You don't just cancel it unless you know it's purpose and it's priority. you just don't. In this case the guy who submitted the job was in the wrong it turns out, but the ends do not justify the means. "Bob" was equally in the wrong here for acting like a maverick and just pulling the switch. In certain situations that might result in disciplinary action. Notice that his co-workers understood this which is why they didn't take any action themselves.


There are times when you need a maverick, or at least someone to take initiative in a poor situation.

Having a line of people waiting for a print queue (like sheep) is completely unacceptable - especially if the non-print job is expected to take two days to run. The article stated that he tried to find the person responsible for the print job and that person was missing. In that situation I would not have even hesitated to cancel the job either.

Sharing is caring, and number crunching on a printer is stupid.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:25 • by geoffrey (unregistered)
364399 in reply to 364397
centurijon:
geoffrey:
evilspoons:
geoffrey:
Surely the real problem here is that this guy just figured he could cancel someone's job without bothering to discover the nature of that job or its priority. That's much like someone coming along and disconnecting your terminal while you work. I believe that kind of behaviour should result in you being marched from the building. There is a reason why everyone else was hesitant around the printer - they knew cancelling the job was wrong.

If anyone should be marching down to HR it should be the guy whose job was cancelled without warning. Oh you can add ignoring warning signs to the charges too.


Seriously? The printer isn't FOR running computational jobs, it's for printing. There's a reasonable expectation of availablility for a resource like that. If it's sitting for hours doing nothing, you can safely assume it's broken because no pages are being printed by a device whose sole purpose is to make pages have toner on them.


You are absolutely correct, I agree with you. We have the benefit of understanding the situation however, the guy who just cancelled the job did not.

An unnamed person had submitted a job to the internal reader. You don't just cancel it unless you know it's purpose and it's priority. you just don't. In this case the guy who submitted the job was in the wrong it turns out, but the ends do not justify the means. "Bob" was equally in the wrong here for acting like a maverick and just pulling the switch. In certain situations that might result in disciplinary action. Notice that his co-workers understood this which is why they didn't take any action themselves.


There are times when you need a maverick, or at least someone to take initiative in a poor situation.

Having a line of people waiting for a print queue (like sheep) is completely unacceptable - especially if the non-print job is expected to take two days to run. The article stated that he tried to find the person responsible for the print job and that person was missing. In that situation I would not have even hesitated to cancel the job either.

Sharing is caring, and number crunching on a printer is stupid.


I disagree, it's far better to hold off and wait for management to deal with the situation then cancel a job you know nothing about which could potentially bring down the entire company. Hell is paved with good intentions.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:25 • by ceiswyn (unregistered)
364400 in reply to 364379
GettinSadda:
An unnamed person had submitted a job to the internal reader. You don't just cancel it unless you know it's purpose and it's priority.


Yes, yes you do. A print job may be vital for the running of the universe; but if it's not printing, it's not printing, and leaving it there to back up everyone else's jobs is not going to magically make it print, either. The only way to preserve the universe is to kill it and resubmit it; hopefully this time in a form that will actually print.

And I am not going to check whether a print job is actually a print job before killing it, any more than I'm going to check whether an intruder in my house is actually a thief before slinging him out.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:26 • by Robert (unregistered)
364401 in reply to 364361
This is about communication. If you are using resources in a completely obscure way, an email needs to go out informing your coworkers that the printer is in use and why.

It is not the job of your coworkers to read your mind. It is your job to disseminate information that's critical to get to everyone.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:27 • by Anonymous (unregistered)
364403 in reply to 364374
What? The guy who canceled the job already understood enough. A job has been on the queue for hours and the printer is not printing.

Perhaps he should have asked the owner of the job what's going on with it , but that's only when you are in a very good mood and not in a rush at all. That does not happen in offices...

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:29 • by A Gould (unregistered)
364404 in reply to 364361
geoffrey:
Surely the real problem here is that this guy just figured he could cancel someone's job without bothering to discover the nature of that job or its priority. That's much like someone coming along and disconnecting your terminal while you work. I believe that kind of behaviour should result in you being marched from the building. There is a reason why everyone else was hesitant around the printer - they knew cancelling the job was wrong.

If anyone should be marching down to HR it should be the guy whose job was cancelled without warning. Oh you can add ignoring warning signs to the charges too.


Man, I'd be fired so many times by now if this was true - there are *counts* four printers in this building for several hundred users. Here it's the opposite - if you're planning on tying up a printer for even a half hour, you're expected to notify everyone in the area so they can reroute their jobs. If your job is tying up the machine (and not visibly printing)? Bzzt - job goes away and you can resubmit later.

I will give the nut points for trying to offload his work onto a printer. It's creatively stupid, but still creative. And stupid.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:29 • by ceiswyn (unregistered)
364405 in reply to 364399
geoffrey:
I disagree, it's far better to hold off and wait for management to deal with the situation then cancel a job you know nothing about which could potentially bring down the entire company. Hell is paved with good intentions.


Any job that's actually that important will not be running on a shared printer. It will be running on the executives' personal printer.

Also, anyone who troubles a manager with 'can I delete this print job please' will be out of that office within ten seconds with a flea in their ear and instructions to use some common sense and not bother them with trivial issues.

You've never worked in a real office, either? And no, that little muddy space under the bridge doesn't count.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:35 • by anon (unregistered)
364407 in reply to 364399
geoffrey:
centurijon:
geoffrey:
evilspoons:
geoffrey:
Surely the real problem here is that this guy just figured he could cancel someone's job without bothering to discover the nature of that job or its priority. That's much like someone coming along and disconnecting your terminal while you work. I believe that kind of behaviour should result in you being marched from the building. There is a reason why everyone else was hesitant around the printer - they knew cancelling the job was wrong.

If anyone should be marching down to HR it should be the guy whose job was cancelled without warning. Oh you can add ignoring warning signs to the charges too.


Seriously? The printer isn't FOR running computational jobs, it's for printing. There's a reasonable expectation of availablility for a resource like that. If it's sitting for hours doing nothing, you can safely assume it's broken because no pages are being printed by a device whose sole purpose is to make pages have toner on them.


You are absolutely correct, I agree with you. We have the benefit of understanding the situation however, the guy who just cancelled the job did not.

An unnamed person had submitted a job to the internal reader. You don't just cancel it unless you know it's purpose and it's priority. you just don't. In this case the guy who submitted the job was in the wrong it turns out, but the ends do not justify the means. "Bob" was equally in the wrong here for acting like a maverick and just pulling the switch. In certain situations that might result in disciplinary action. Notice that his co-workers understood this which is why they didn't take any action themselves.


There are times when you need a maverick, or at least someone to take initiative in a poor situation.

Having a line of people waiting for a print queue (like sheep) is completely unacceptable - especially if the non-print job is expected to take two days to run. The article stated that he tried to find the person responsible for the print job and that person was missing. In that situation I would not have even hesitated to cancel the job either.

Sharing is caring, and number crunching on a printer is stupid.


I disagree, it's far better to hold off and wait for management to deal with the situation then cancel a job you know nothing about which could potentially bring down the entire company. Hell is paved with good intentions.


You're just grasping at straws now. There is literally no scenario where canceling a print job could "bring down the entire company". And the fact is, this was a common printer. Anyone important enough that you can't cancel their (obviously hung) print job has their own printer and/or a secretary to do their printing for them. You don't print some mysterious document upon which rests the fate of the entire company on the POS laser printer in the hallway.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:40 • by TV John (unregistered)
364408 in reply to 364374
geoffrey:
Notice that his co-workers understood this which is why they didn't take any action themselves.


You could be right, but I get the impression from the story that Bob was the only one who knew how to kill the queue.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:43 • by geoffrey (unregistered)
Wow you would have thought I was advocating world war 3 by the tone of some of the responses! O.K. lets just all calm down and rewind.

The central issue here is that the *printer* is company property, not Bob's property. The job itself is also technically company property since we can assume the submitter is a company employee. Whether to cancel a piece of work - an act which cannot be undone after the fact - therefore should be a management decision, not "bobs"

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:45 • by boog
364410 in reply to 364399
geoffrey:
...it's far better to hold off and wait for management to deal with the situation then cancel a job you know nothing about which could potentially bring down the entire company. Hell is paved with good intentions.
Bullshit. Say, let's all stop calling it "a job you know nothing about", shall we?

1) The job was only a few bytes.
2) It had been running for almost an hour.
3) It hadn't started printing yet.
4) It was holding up everyone else.

On any normal print server, this would be an error state. And if cancelling a tiny blocking long-running non-printing print job could potentially bring down the entire company, you've really got bigger issues.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:45 • by geoffrey (unregistered)
364411 in reply to 364408
TV John:
geoffrey:
Notice that his co-workers understood this which is why they didn't take any action themselves.


You could be right, but I get the impression from the story that Bob was the only one who knew how to kill the queue.


Notice also they did not thank him afterwards. That's because they don't want to be seen as endorsing or encouraging that kind of behaviour and risk being hauled off to HR later.

The real clue for Bob should have been to figure out why all those people were not willing to cancel the job. In life in general this is often the first sign that an action is immoral, criminal or otherwise unadvised.

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:48 • by Lockwood
That's quite ingenious, from a certain point of view.

Captcha:
(That's pretty much all I can add)

Re: The Killing Job

2011-10-25 10:48 • by geoffrey (unregistered)
364413 in reply to 364410
boog:
geoffrey:
...it's far better to hold off and wait for management to deal with the situation then cancel a job you know nothing about which could potentially bring down the entire company. Hell is paved with good intentions.
Bullshit. Say, let's all stop calling it "a job you know nothing about", shall we?

1) The job was only a few bytes.
2) It had been running for almost an hour.
3) It hadn't started printing yet.
4) It was holding up everyone else.

On any normal print server, this would be an error state. And if cancelling a tiny blocking long-running non-printing print job could potentially bring down the entire company, you've really got bigger issues.


Let me throw a curve ball at you. What if the job readout was in error and the job was actually 50 megabytes of important company report - a report which management urgently needs to close the quarter?

Try explaining why there will be mass redundancies to your coworkers standing round the printer next week.

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