If a single-point-of-failure person under notice had "not been available" to hand over a business-critical system to me, I'd be getting the company to apply a lot more pressure (e.g. termination due to gross misconduct; because it's unprofessional, and would damage the company). So TRWTF is Jackie allowing it to get to Brian's last day without having received a handover, and having only raised the issue to management once.
Jackie definitely should have escalated this again when Brian said "Let me finish some refactoring first", which (for a single-point-of-failure person leaving the company) should be setting off all kinds of alarm bells.
That was my thought too. The last thing I would want to hear from someone about to hand me a bunch of code because they are literally leaving the organization is "Let me finish some refactoring first." Now if its "here's is the code as you can see we have pretty good test coverage, I am not on any projects so I'll create a branch and do some refactoring that is been needed and you merge what you will when you are ready." that is is different.
Just "Let me finish some refactoring first." in the best case means here I'll turn over the project to you after having introduced a number of mysterious bugs.
Yeah, the WTF is not going to your boss repeatedly and say that Brian hasn't been in contact with you, he keeps putting things off, and let THEM deal with it. Not wait until the last minute and then hope he tells you, because at that point you're being thrown into the deep end with literally nothing. And yes, "let me finish some refactorings" when the code isn't readily available to see what is being done is a HUGE red flag.
Depends on the terms of the termination. Employee may have been fired for (insert reason here), and they disagreed with the reason and/or were victimized into resigning. In that case, I sure as cotton wouldn't want to help with my replacement. Tell me how replaceable I was, boss.
Or shoot, I'll help on a contractual basis, $(weekly income) per 8hr day, overtime extra, minimum one day paid in advance; and ensure I spend at least a few weeks "helping" them.
And then... what? At least finish the damn story! :(
Also, I agree with what has been said: If I where to take over some projects from a guy who's leaving in 2 weeks, I would do just about anything to get in conact ASAP. If said guy is never available, doesn't respond to emails or phone calls, I sure as hell would involve the bosses. And not only once, if the first "hey, Brian still hasn't been in contact with me" didn't have the desired result... it's ME who's responsible for everything after Brian is gone, after all. And if I'm responsible I want to know what exactly I am responsible for.
The entire thing is a WTF before we even hear the final answer (I'm guessing Stored Procedures, SSIS, and SQL Server Jobs). It makes no sense.
"Jackie returned to his desk to examine the library. Its codebase lacked comments. It contained an if-statement body that failed to fit vertically on his 23" monitor. But worst of all, there were no test cases to be found.
"There are test cases for the application that also cover the library," Brian revealed in the bathroom some time later. But access to CONLAB's application code remained out of reach."
So if the application code is out of reach, WTF was he looking at in the library that had "codebase lacking comments" and the huge IF ?????
From what I understand, there is a codebase for a library (accessible, but undocumented), and one for the application (not accessible, and probably not existant at all).
My vision for the second part: the application never existed, and Brian spent his time hidden to try to develop in a rush an application for he was doing by hand all this time. So in next episode, Jackie will discover that, suddenly, a full new application, timestamped on the day Brian left, will appear in the serverl, badly written, not working, not documented, and blah blah...
There is no more to the damn story. Instead they finish with (what they think is) a cliffhanger, hoping for our imagination to fill in the best, or worst, to make it more than the original material warrants.
Unfortunately, that's quite the pattern on this site (with various authors).
"HR is pleased to announced the resolution of the recent IT issue involving Jackie and Brian, and the exciting launch of a new auxiliary website! Turns out, all that was needed was to replace an O with a U and a N with a M!!! Corporate expects great things and all prospective team members may participate by showing up at the 3rd floor men's room anytime day or night."
that part about "updating the databases manually for years" reminds me of an older story, i think it was called "the fully automated manual system": the company had hired someone to copy their files onto a different format or type, using their "secret automated system"...which turned out to be a bunch of minimum-wage workers copying everything BY HAND! what gave them away? too many typos.