• Top Cod3r (unregistered)

    The real WTF is T.C. It sounds like he is an expert at avoiding work, and dumped all his responsibilities on the people in the other groups. Then when they didn't do it fast enough he decided to deride them on Worse Than Failure as punishment.

  • oldami (unregistered)

    This is obviously after the changes to reduce the paperwork involved. Previously, it would have taken 6 to 8 months.

  • Spartacus (unregistered) in reply to Top Cod3r
    Top Cod3r:
    The real WTF is T.C. It sounds like he is an expert at avoiding work, and dumped all his responsibilities on the people in the other groups. Then when they didn't do it fast enough he decided to deride them on Worse Than Failure as punishment.

    More likely that he could be severely reprimanded or had his contract terminated for not following procedure.

  • Anonymous Coward (unregistered)

    You disgust me. Also, these practices disgust me. I can't believe stuff like this actually happens... It sounds more like Dilbert or another comic.

  • anon (unregistered) in reply to Top Cod3r
    Top Cod3r:
    The real WTF is T.C. It sounds like he is an expert at avoiding work, and dumped all his responsibilities on the people in the other groups. Then when they didn't do it fast enough he decided to deride them on Worse Than Failure as punishment.

    Agreed. That could happen at any company on this planet, and the reason it doesn't, is because hardly anyone is as lazy as TC.

  • djork (cs)

    I worked at a Gov't agency with a fellow who went by TC, and would have to go through this exact sort of thing. I wonder if it's the same TC?

  • shakin (cs) in reply to Spartacus
    Spartacus:
    Top Cod3r:
    The real WTF is T.C. It sounds like he is an expert at avoiding work, and dumped all his responsibilities on the people in the other groups. Then when they didn't do it fast enough he decided to deride them on Worse Than Failure as punishment.

    More likely that he could be severely reprimanded or had his contract terminated for not following procedure.

    Especially if a union is involved. My dad used to be a school music teacher and he had to request to the unionized janitorial staff to have music sheet lines drawn on his blackboard. After two weeks of it not being done my dad finally drew the lines himself and then got in trouble for doing the job of a unionized worker.

  • Erik (unregistered)

    Any sufficiently large organization has tasks segmented to this point, to where it's maddening for someone new to try and follow the procedures, especially when no one else really cares if your work gets done or not. After a while, you meet the right people, and you figure out how to get work done efficiently. Also, you NEVER punt the work over to someone who has no vested interest in getting it done and then just wait for them to do something without any further communication. You will be waiting for a very, very long time as they put all of their other work (given to them by people who are either above them or have IMed or phoned them asking for status) ahead of yours.

    It also helps if you're an employee rather than a contractor as well, since many employees tend to distrust contractors.

  • GodLike (unregistered)

    Mmhm, I'm already getting tired by reading this article government jobs / contracts are so boring.

    Even if you're plan / product is selling, they always buy it when the productsupport is cancelled for at least 18 months.

  • Shamus (unregistered)

    The WTF is that we pay these fools salaries.

  • zip (cs)

    If you find this story preposterous, you've never worked with a large institution of any kind.

  • snoofle (unregistered) in reply to oldami
    oldami:
    This is obviously after the changes to reduce the paperwork involved. Previously, it would have taken 6 to 8 months.
    As a veteran of US government beaurocracries, you forgot the sacrificial virgin - and yes - it's really that bad.

    I once had to move a PC to another room (the other side of a wall, actually). The electricians, phone guys, porters, movers, and other assorted unions were militant about procedure, though basically nice people.

    Finally, my boss just said f*** it, and told me to move it myself and that we'd just authorize the union getting paid for the minimum job they could bill (4 hours per task: phone guy to disconnect network, electrician to unplug pc, porter to load pc onto cart, movers to move and unload, electrician to plug pc back in, phone guy to reconnect to network). It took me about 5 minutes to physically move the PC to the next room, and 5 more minutes to snake the cables under the raised floor from one side to the other.

    Kudos to T.C. for not killing anyone while pushing his task through!

  • Bubba (unregistered)

    I worked at a defense contractor once and needed some more memory for 3 machines. After weeks of having to practically beg and having to document the issue of not enough memory by doing screen grabs I finally looked up the price of the memory and explained to everyone that we had already spent many times the amount of money required for the memory on meetings to discuss said memory, lost productivity because of slow machines, etc. I think that was the nail in the coffin for me, although I did get the memory.

  • last resort (unregistered)

    Speaking as a former government contractor, I have to say I'm always disappointed to see someone cut corners like this.

  • Johnny5 (unregistered)

    To those who say that this is outrageous, and that TC is just being lazy, no. Thats the way large organizations work. At least mine. Case in point, I work for a very large company. Our contract on our copiers expired a year ago. (Now we are on a month to month) Since several months before that I have been trying to get our new contract approved with a new vendor. I would think it would be a no brainer, because corporate offices will only let us use one vendor, and the cost of the equipment is much less than we are paying now. Every few months someone will walk up to me or email me asking why we need to lease new copiers (ours are five years old) and if I got quotes from at least 3 different vendors (which I can't because we can only use the one). Then they will ask all these irrelevant questions and pass it on to someone else. I'm still waiting and we have the copier guy in here at least once a week when we only have 7 copiers.

  • jkupski (unregistered) in reply to zip
    zip:
    If you find this story preposterous, you've never worked with a large institution of any kind.

    No, it's completely possible to have worked for a large organization and still find this preposterous--in fact, whatever your work experience, if you do not find this preposterous, something is seriously wrong with you. You might not believe it, but it is still preposterous.

    pre·pos·ter·ous /prɪˈpɒstərəs, -trəs/ –adjective completely contrary to nature, reason, or common sense; absurd; senseless; utterly foolish: a preposterous tale.

  • DavidN (unregistered)

    This is obviously the kind of thing they were concentrating on when they were sitting on the information for my visa application for four months (charging a modest $172 filing fee for the process, I might add).

  • Zack (unregistered) in reply to anon

    It is not a matter of laziness. Big companies want cogs. You hire interchangeable people who do very simple well defined tasks. If one leaves you hire someone else give them the ISO9000 job description and have the replacement up and working in a week. (after the 6 month hiring process)

    A "master of all trades" is a threat to any large organization as you can not replace them easily. I had this issue at past jobs luckily I had a boss who knew how to balence the process vs my skills and I was essentially made into a one man prototype lab.

    If you have one guy set up firewalls, wire the network, configure the server, write the application, and leave you have no one else who knows all the steps and at best you have to hire several people to replace the person who left.

    It may seem silly but large companies/organizations want consistency over brilliance.

    If you are hired as a contractor by a big company/agency they expect you to follow procedure. That means not building your own machine, not moving it from shelf 1 to shelf 2, etc. UNLESS that was what you were contracted to do.

    Following process adds a lot of time, but some people working these governmental jobs are only comfortable with a single well defined task. If you comes in and do it all you are threatening the roles of other groups and probably skipping steps of documentation, communication, etc.

    The larger a organization the more communication is necessary.

    I can set up a new application server (including writing a basic application from scratch) in 3-6 months, but to communicate it and document it through a large organization will take several more months. The larger the organization the more communication and documentation that is required.

    This is very frustrating, but if it is not documented and communicated then it may be duplicated elsewhere and then there are two applications to support instead of one.

  • Zack (unregistered) in reply to Zack

    Read Mythical Man Month for a discussion of how communications in organizations grows logarithmically with size of the teams involved. If you are an exception to this you probably one of the following :

    1. your work only effects a small group of people.
    2. your company does not have documentation of existing projects. (plays into #3 below)
    3. you work at a company that has not matured beyond the point where it will fail if the right 4-5 people left.
    4. your company has instant telepathic communication between all employees and will soon rule the world. (If all the sexual harassment lawsuits are settled without bankrupting the company.)
  • Lorad (unregistered)

    Having been a government contractor, I have experienced some of this pain. It can be real. To move a desktop in 1988 it took 1 form, and someone from the local electrician's union to come unplug the PC, then someone from building maintenance to move the actual PC, and then the same electrician to plug it in. Yes it was just wall plugs and a simple PC.

    I have no clue how this works today with laptops......

  • eric76 (unregistered)

    We used to see something like this when working with AT&T before the breakup.

    I was working for an engineering company in Houston. We decided to install a dialup line to the PDP 11/70 computer for employees to use from other locations or at home.

    We got all the equipment ready and notified the telephone company to install the line.

    For about three months, maybe longer, nothing got done in spite of a number of telephone calls. One day, I was lucky enough to get someone on the telephone line who told me what was taking so long -- they needed the ringer equivalence from the telephone modem that would be on the line.

    Nooone before even hinted that they weren't going to do anything until they got some information from us that they never asked for.

    After that, they installed the telephone line within a week.

  • akatherder (cs)

    I haven't even been in the business that long and it's easy to manipulate the processes and cram them back down everyone ELSE'S throats to get shit done. It's not hard to find someone who doesn't want to get bitched at by their boss when you escalate things.

    When all else fails, create a project plan and make people sign off on it. Then force them to take accountability when deadlines are missed. It sounds futile, but it works.

  • Zygo (unregistered) in reply to Spartacus
    Spartacus:
    Top Cod3r:
    The real WTF is T.C. It sounds like he is an expert at avoiding work, and dumped all his responsibilities on the people in the other groups. Then when they didn't do it fast enough he decided to deride them on Worse Than Failure as punishment.

    More likely that he could be severely reprimanded or had his contract terminated for not following procedure.

    Indeed, in my first contract work at a similar size of organization I discovered the existence of the procedure because an army of employees materialized when I moved a machine myself. Among other things, part of the procedure is to tell the monitoring department not to dispatch a warm body to press the RESET switch when a machine stops responding to pings. (If only they could have been trained to press the RESET switch when a machine stops responding to the NFS, LPD, or Appletalk ports, then my job would have been a lot less annoying.) A long talk with my manager followed.

    Years later, I still hesitate to interfere with someone else's official responsibilities. At times the effects are paralyzing.

    Another part of the procedure is standardized work orders with fixed lead times. If you want a machine moved, you filed a request for the server to be moved and it would be moved 5 business days later. Not 6 or 4 days, it would happen in 5 days and could only happen in 5 days (*). This procedure (with its lead time) was followed even if people were sitting around the loading dock playing cards for 4 days, or if they had to hire external contractors to deal with the end-of-fiscal-year-and-lease-expiry rush (**). Speaking of contractors, only employees can initiate such requests--even if a contractor's job basically consists of doing nothing but writing these requests, they need to find an employee (any employee will do, even a secretary or HR person) to sign the forms.

    (*) A 4th-level manager or higher could approve a request for "ad hoc" services, basically a minimum USD$2000 inter-departmental charge for consulting services that could be used for just about any task from moving a machine across a room in less than two hours, to reprogramming the Internet firewalls. Also, you could defer delivery of your request to the department responsible for doing the work to achieve a lead time longer than 5 days.

    (**) Seriously. 5 business days supposedly allowed the managers 4 days to get on the phone to the local headhunters to hire temporary labor. Your machine might be moved by someone who was hired for just one day.

    As others have pointed out, the usual approach to such systems is to form personal relationships with the people who actually do work, so that you get the maximum amount of good work done that the system allows. At this company, staff turnover and labor pool size were large enough that you'd never see the same responding staff member twice.

    Companies with procedures like this in the private sector have a tendency to correct themselves--the company's stock value today is 99% less than it was while I was working there, entire buildings full of employees have been laid off, and I'm told that procedures have been "streamlined" somewhat.

  • Zygo (unregistered) in reply to Zygo
    Zygo:
    A long talk with my manager followed.

    Years later, I still hesitate to interfere with someone else's official responsibilities. At times the effects are paralyzing.

    Among the army of employees were a number of people from the security department. At the time, recent "unauthorized equipment moves" were performed by an unknown number of unidentified individuals moving equipment from inside the building to unknown locations outside the building. I was new, so nobody recognized me, and it took a while to explain...

    I think the guy was joking about waiving the "usual" body cavity search.

  • Dave C. (unregistered)

    This all-too-plausible story is just why I'll never work for a government contractor (unless foreclosure or starvation is imminent). That does make it harder to find a job in the Washington, D.C. area, but then if I found myself in T.C.'s position, my sarcastic mouth would get me fired eventually anyway.

  • SnapShot (unregistered) in reply to snoofle
    snoofle:
    oldami:
    This is obviously after the changes to reduce the paperwork involved. Previously, it would have taken 6 to 8 months.
    As a veteran of US government beaurocracries, you forgot the sacrificial virgin - and yes - it's really that bad.

    I once had to move a PC to another room (the other side of a wall, actually). The electricians, phone guys, porters, movers, and other assorted unions were militant about procedure, though basically nice people.

    Finally, my boss just said f*** it, and told me to move it myself and that we'd just authorize the union getting paid for the minimum job they could bill (4 hours per task: phone guy to disconnect network, electrician to unplug pc, porter to load pc onto cart, movers to move and unload, electrician to plug pc back in, phone guy to reconnect to network). It took me about 5 minutes to physically move the PC to the next room, and 5 more minutes to snake the cables under the raised floor from one side to the other.

    Kudos to T.C. for not killing anyone while pushing his task through!

    I once got in pretty bad trouble for doing something along those lines: new hire needed a computer for about a week, unused computer in unused office for about 6 months, moved computer to new hire's office, got yelled at for a day because the boss was playing politics with the computer and the office.

    While that was infuriating, the bigger WTF is in DoD work. $6-figure developers sitting around twiddling thumbs for weeks at a time while contract negotiations between Govt. and contractor are resolved. The worst I've seen had 14 developers goofing off for three months. Back of the envelope calculation (including benefits and contractor overhead) is roughly $700k in tax dollars down the shitter. And that was just a single instance.

  • Corporate Cog (unregistered)

    True story from my govt. contracting job: PM asks dev about changing the target installation directory (from the win root to the very modern "program files" dir) in the install for his app. Dev fidgets a bit, then says he'd rather defer that from an upcoming release until the following release. This was par for the course for dev; I'm quite sure he told this story (describing how it would take him less than 2 minutes to accomplish) and many more to his buddies to uproarious laughter.

  • Franz Kafka (unregistered) in reply to Zygo
    Zygo:
    Spartacus:
    Top Cod3r:
    The real WTF is T.C. It sounds like he is an expert at avoiding work, and dumped all his responsibilities on the people in the other groups. Then when they didn't do it fast enough he decided to deride them on Worse Than Failure as punishment.

    More likely that he could be severely reprimanded or had his contract terminated for not following procedure.

    Indeed, in my first contract work at a similar size of organization I discovered the existence of the procedure because an army of employees materialized when I moved a machine myself. Among other things, part of the procedure is to tell the monitoring department not to dispatch a warm body to press the RESET switch when a machine stops responding to pings. (If only they could have been trained to press the RESET switch when a machine stops responding to the NFS, LPD, or Appletalk ports, then my job would have been a lot less annoying.) A long talk with my manager followed.

    As a counterpoint, here's what I have to do to move my desktops:

    1. shutdown the computers
    2. sit them on a chair or borrow a cart
    3. wheel them over to the new location
    4. plug them back in

    for servers:

    1. decide how many of which servers I need and in which datacenters (we have several)
    2. go to the automated tool to request them
    3. if there's not a large backlog (due to other groups needing stuff), it'll be ready in about a week

    I work in a large company that you've heard of.

  • Me2 (unregistered) in reply to Franz Kafka

    I once worked for a contractor who worked for a well known American Car manufacturer. To turn on a water pump, we needed:

    An Electrician A Plumber A Union official A health and safety officer An Energy mamnagement monitor A manager and me.

    OK, it was a 140HP water pump, but I could have done it myself in less time than it took to phone around to identify the requirements.

  • anon (unregistered)

    I work in a well known large IT company. I have to admit that our processes are very much like those described above. The funny part is we sell these processes to our customers and they actually buy them!! How much for a spool of red tape you ask? Send in an RFP, we'll get back to you.

  • The Fox (unregistered)

    Please, please, tell me it's not true. I'm just getting into the business world. In a place like this do you really need an electrician to unplug a computer, and a network guy to unplug the network cable? A few of you have said this, so it must be true. I just want to make sure... so I'm careful to watch out for jobs like that.

  • gygax (unregistered)

    lol

  • WTF_is_fake (unregistered)

    I call fake. Another made-up WTF.

  • Corperate Drone (unregistered) in reply to anon

    As a customer of said large IT company, I can testify that this is true.

    I work at a large telecommunications company, and have lately been trying to set up a simple LINUX webserver (RedHat). So far we have a team of 10 trying to do what I could do myself in 1-2 weeks. 7 of them are vendor employees and three are internal.

    Since there are so many people involved, we spend more of our time waiting on responses than doing anything. No one (including the Project Manager) seems to have a clue how this is supposed to be done.

    I'm predicting that we will have our new server up and running in only 6 months...

  • Code Slave (unregistered)

    Of course, the length of time and the number of people who must be involved depends on the nature of this system (was it his workstation of or a server).

    If it is important enough, you'd better have the procedure down and all your eyes crossed and teas dotted.

    Think back to the big blackout on the East Coast few years ago. A big factor in it was a server involved in their SCADA communications that was rebooted without all the proper procedures followed (e.g., notify such and such that it's been rebooted because it clears the history).

  • Mr Moo (unregistered) in reply to WTF_is_fake

    I think this is entirerly possible. I have worked for a Government Organization and an American automobile manufacturer and have seen things like this. Response times are ridiculous, you have to call everyone and their brother to do anything in these places. Requests get 4 - 7 signatures and get put on hold for many weeks before things get done or moved up to the next chain of command. So I do honestly believe that what was described could happen, maybe a little exaggerated but not entirerly out of this world.

  • Huevos (unregistered) in reply to Corporate Cog

    Re: "changing the target installation directory"

    That should be a trivial 2 minute job, but you would be out of your mind to do something like that on a whim with older software or installer technology... Especially if it wasn't your software.

    All sorts of hard-coded paths and registry entries made by unskilled or lazy people (or by good people told to do a 20 hour job in 5 hours) could be broken, leaving you with a useless crash-bot.

    P.S. Lol... my CAPTCHA test text is "ewww"

  • quake (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward:
    You disgust me. Also, these practices disgust me. I can't believe stuff like this actually happens... It sounds more like Dilbert or another comic.
    You must not be employed in the IT industry. People laugh at Dilbert not just because its funny, but mostly because it closely imitates their work life.
  • Morty (unregistered) in reply to The Fox
    The Fox:
    Please, please, tell me it's not true. I'm just getting into the business world. In a place like this do you really need an electrician to unplug a computer, and a network guy to unplug the network cable? A few of you have said this, so it must be true. I just want to make sure... so I'm careful to watch out for jobs like that.
    There is truth here, but it's not universal. There are jobs with very little red tape, especially at smaller companies. Normally, though, you get paid less at such jobs. Quite frankly, part of why you get paid better at large corporations is because (1) working at big corporations is more painful; and (2) you need more "discipline" to follow all the rules.
  • Carnildo (cs) in reply to The Fox
    The Fox:
    Please, please, tell me it's not true. I'm just getting into the business world. In a place like this do you really need an electrician to unplug a computer, and a network guy to unplug the network cable? A few of you have said this, so it must be true. I just want to make sure... so I'm careful to watch out for jobs like that.

    It all depends on where you work. If I wanted to move a server here, I would send out an email in the morning announcing that the server would be down from 4PM to 6PM (30 minutes to move the server, plus an hour and a half in case the server doesn't start up again and I need to replace it with the spare).

  • Notta Noob (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward:
    You disgust me. Also, these practices disgust me. I can't believe stuff like this actually happens... It sounds more like Dilbert or another comic.
    You are obviously a student or some similar form of starry-eyed, sheltered, small-office, narcissist.

    When you've actually worked in the real world, you will come to realize that some things are simply out of your hands. When you are challeged with working in a structured environment (admittedly not for everyone), you soon come to understand that it is far more efficient to work within the process and multi-task, than to work serially against the process and face criticism, rebuke, and reprimand, despite your results (assuming your results are as good or better as those generated by the process in place).

    It is not logical on the surface to face 10 hours of work for a 5 minute job, but as some previous posters have pointed out, that 10 hours spent now, could save double that time, over time, in future.

    Take a simple route change as an example. Logging in to a router and making a config change is maybe 5 minutes at best; documenting the process, testing and roll-back procedures could take 5 hours. Is it worth it? In many cases, for large organizations, yes. Using this example, proper documentation should:

    1. Outline the change that is to take place
    2. Anticipate potential impacts of the change
    3. Define what tools will be required for the change
    4. Explicitly state the steps required to implement the change
    5. Determine what measure to use to determine if the change was successful
    6. Document how to use the tools/measures to verify that the proper change took place
    7. Determine the process to roll-back the change if it was unsuccessful
    8. Determine what measure to use to determine that the roll-back was successful
    9. Include a process to update documentation with the new network schematic

    Why do all this for a simple change? Because you always have to assume that you will not be the person making the change and that the person who will be has never done it before. Even if it turns out you would be the one making the change, it's nice to have a document to refer to. If you've ever had to work with a 60-minute change window that starts at 0300 and includes updating a dozen routers, it's nice to have a checklist to make sure you haven't missed anything at a time of day when you're usually asleep.

    And like I said at the beginning of this rant, when you've left school or your small little office and started working in the real world, you'll begin to understand that while process sucks, sometimes it's there for a reason.

  • Icarus (unregistered)

    Working on a contract for a well known medium-sized IT company, I've had just enough contact with those processes for me to believe this one and also be grateful I'm not stuck in more of them.

    However, one thing that I have learnt is when it comes to PMs, you NEED to push and push and push and push. After a few weeks, you push not just them but their manager... if that doesn't get a response, you move upwards, to greater and dizzier heights until you get someone forcing the original PM to do their job, or you end up quitting in disgust.

    So far, I've not quit. And the trick is: Make it easier for them to do what you want than to ignore you. Make it be in their interests to help you. Make them understand exactly where the ownership of a task lies. Make them listen. Make it so they jump when they hear your name.

    That's the only thing that TC didn't do right - he could have single-mindedly set out to make sure that the PM had a very urgent reason for resolving this issue, not just for TC, but for himself.

  • Corporate Cog (unregistered) in reply to The Fox
    The Fox:
    Please, please, tell me it's not true. I'm just getting into the business world. In a place like this do you really need an electrician to unplug a computer, and a network guy to unplug the network cable? A few of you have said this, so it must be true. I just want to make sure... so I'm careful to watch out for jobs like that.

    You can greatly reduce your chances by simply avoiding govt. contracting groups

  • Corporate Cog (unregistered) in reply to Huevos
    Huevos:
    Re: "changing *the target installation directory*"

    That should be a trivial 2 minute job, but you would be out of your mind to do something like that on a whim with older software or installer technology... Especially if it wasn't your software.

    That wasn't the case at all. And installation tests would've been done.

  • Michael (unregistered) in reply to Corperate Drone
    Corperate Drone:
    I work at a large telecommunications company, and have lately been trying to set up a simple LINUX webserver (RedHat). So far we have a team of 10 trying to do what I could do myself in 1-2 weeks. 7 of them are vendor employees and three are internal.

    WTF #1: Why not just do it yourself then? It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission.

    WTF #2: It takes you upwards of 2 weeks to install Redhat?

  • Mr Steve (unregistered) in reply to Corperate Drone
    Corperate Drone:
    As a customer of said large IT company, I can testify that this is true.

    I work at a large telecommunications company, and have lately been trying to set up a simple LINUX webserver (RedHat). So far we have a team of 10 trying to do what I could do myself in 1-2 weeks. 7 of them are vendor employees and three are internal.

    Since there are so many people involved, we spend more of our time waiting on responses than doing anything. No one (including the Project Manager) seems to have a clue how this is supposed to be done.

    I'm predicting that we will have our new server up and running in only 6 months...

    This is madness. Pure madness.

    I work as the sole web developer in a small company, thank god. I can do pretty much whatever I like.

    Gees to work in a big place like this, you'd really need to just take the money learn not to give a shit anymore. Being passionate about your work at a place like this must be spirit crushing

  • Cheong (unregistered) in reply to Top Cod3r
    Top Cod3r:
    The real WTF is T.C. It sounds like he is an expert at avoiding work, and dumped all his responsibilities on the people in the other groups. Then when they didn't do it fast enough he decided to deride them on Worse Than Failure as punishment.
    T.C. is not lazy. You can't go doing any real work (i.e. move the server) before you get an approval for walking in the datacenter.

    He's practically blocked by others on task scheduling.

  • Jugimaster (unregistered) in reply to Top Cod3r

    Meetings with the stakeholders?

    • Stakeholders of the.. government? :)
  • Government worker (unregistered)

    I see things like this on a semi regular basis, but only because I actually get shielded on a lot of the red tape that happens at my facility.

    It can be mind boggling to have a bunch of people who don't seem to give a s*** approve your planned action.

    I'm actually doing a several day off-site delivery and installation of a product and I have to fill out at least 3 forms, submit 2 requests, and get approval from 3 people that don't know who I am and probably couldn't recognize me in a lineup. And there's a pretty good chance that there'll be more paperwork for me when I return, and this is NOT including any invoices or receipts either.

    I am now convinced that the definition of bureaucracy is process without reason.

    (BTW, My Captcha is Muhahaha. I love it!)

  • foxyshadis (cs) in reply to quake
    quake:
    Anonymous Coward:
    You disgust me. Also, these practices disgust me. I can't believe stuff like this actually happens... It sounds more like Dilbert or another comic.
    You must not be employed in the IT industry. People laugh at Dilbert not just because its funny, but mostly because it closely imitates their work life.
    The IT industry isn't even largely like this, and many people can have an entire successful career avoiding this pathology. If you work for the state or a fortune 500, then sure, there's a good chance it'll be bad, but you have the choice. Though the engineering industry, which dilbert specifically parodies, is so heavily regulated that it's almost entirely this bad, from what I've been told.

    I can accept process as a means to an end, having worked in several dysfunctional seat-of-pants places, but when process and CYA has calcified to becoming an end itself, the company is dead and drifting. The only time I've worked for one, I left within two weeks and by then it was already obvious that they only continued breathing by collecting payments from other companies in the same bind, too frozen to switch to other vendors, regardless of how much money it would save short and long term.

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