• GTT (unregistered)

    double wtf!

  • Dazed (unregistered)

    Dilbert rules! That is quite superb.

  • MikeyP (unregistered)

    I have tears.

  • kuroshin (cs)

    The pacifier!! It does nothing!!

  • Anonymous (unregistered)

    I don't get this. Why would you do nothing? Even if they gave you nothing to do why didn't you just make something up? Write for an open source project or research a new technology, hone your skills. What's the worst that could happen? You get caught doing something rather than nothing?

  • Frequency (unregistered)

    I jsut choked on my Frito

    captcha:   billgates

  • dai (unregistered)

    this sounds like my last job, except it was a cordless screwdriver. too bad the batteries ran out in the middle of the night and their job hung anyway.

  • b0red (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:

    I don't get this. Why would you do nothing? Even if they gave you nothing to do why didn't you just make something up? Write for an open source project or research a new technology, hone your skills. What's the worst that could happen? You get caught doing something rather than nothing?

    Ha! Having BTDT (Been There Done That), it doesn't quite work like that. An environment like that saps away ALL motivation to do anything. You just stop caring about anything.

  • OMG (unregistered) in reply to dai

    I love that manager's ingenuity!

    But wait - did the FP-VRC have a UPS in case the batteries went dead? We need more information ;)

  • AndrewVos (unregistered)

    Sweet! I would have set up a blow up doll with a nice wig, and a quick mouse movement app, and been doing something worthwile. I mean noones going to come around to your desk and ask for a progress report on your mouse movement or anything?

  • Anon (unregistered)

    "Work smarter, not harder."  That's why he's the manager, and Ryan is the worker.

  • Darron (unregistered)

    By far the best WTF of the year. IMO

  • LaurieF (unregistered) in reply to AndrewVos

    What a waste of money. The real WTF is that it could have been done so much more cheaply.

    Do what I did when I worked in an organisation that had a two-minute screen-saver. To save wear-and-tear on my fingers from continually putting in my password, I got an old-fashioned heavy office stapler and rested it on my CTRL key. The signals sent to the OS from that were all that computer needed to think that I was doing something. And the CTRL key doesn't fill up the keyboard buffer, so it doesn't beep.

  • Autonuke (cs) in reply to AndrewVos

    Someone tell Ryan about Minesweeper, or Simon Tatham's excellent puzzles (http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/puzzles/).

  • Dazed (unregistered) in reply to b0red
    Anonymous:
    Anonymous:

    I don't get this. Why would you do nothing? Even if they gave you nothing to do why didn't you just make something up? Write for an open source project or research a new technology, hone your skills. What's the worst that could happen? You get caught doing something rather than nothing?

    Ha! Having BTDT (Been There Done That), it doesn't quite work like that. An environment like that saps away ALL motivation to do anything. You just stop caring about anything.

    Well I've BTDT as well. And I don't see the problem. Sure, if you're in an environment such as many of those described here, where you have to get something done and every attempt to do it vaguely right gets torpedoed - I can believe that saps all motivation.

    But if you have no commitments? ISTM that no software developer with an Internet connection has any excuse for being bored.

  • SomeCoder (unregistered)

    This is pretty weak as WTF's go.  However... it's freaking hilarious.

     Made me laugh :)

  • jones (unregistered)

    awesome.

     once again man power is replaced by battery operated vibrating machines.

     

     

     

  • Anonymous Coward (unregistered) in reply to jones

    The real WTF is the dupe.

  • Homer Simpson (unregistered)

    It's Homer's drinking bird!

     

    The real WTF is why Ryan didn't think of that first. 

  • Corporate Cog (unregistered) in reply to b0red
    Anonymous:
    Anonymous:

    I don't get this. Why would you do nothing? Even if they gave you nothing to do why didn't you just make something up? Write for an open source project or research a new technology, hone your skills. What's the worst that could happen? You get caught doing something rather than nothing?

    Ha! Having BTDT (Been There Done That), it doesn't quite work like that. An environment like that saps away ALL motivation to do anything. You just stop caring about anything.

    Nonsense.  My second programming job was one of these.  I was in a govt. contracting shop where I was hired with (probably) good intentions and intentionally never given any work b/c (I presume) the tech lead didn't want to give up any job security.  I spent most of my time learning the theory after learning the practical in my prior job.

    Regarding the mouse move - we had to install a screen saver preventer here to allow a third party app to run.  In the process we noticed that the corporate logo was burned into the monitor of a lab machine (not a flat screen, but not ancient either).  The logo is part of our corporate screen saver (or as I call it, "screen ruiner").  I tried to get permission from the IT nazis to just have a blank screen (don't have time to try to figure out how to enable permission to do such simple things).  They tried, but the one-size-fits-all login script sets it right back.  So I have a batch file that deletes the corporate screen saver on every reboot. 

    That's corporate productivity. 

  • newfweiler (cs)

    In a large company, all development work must be billed to some department or other.  Software is an asset and developer's pay must be treated as costs for acquisition of capital assets, i.e. amortized over several years, not applied as expenses in the current year.  Department A doesn't want to spend from its capital budget.  Department B doesn't want to spend from its capital budget.  Etc.  Overhead (pay for doing nothing) and data entry (operations) are expenses.  They come from a different budget.  They reduce profit and therefore reduce income tax.

    Have you ever wondered why the company won't buy you a new energy-efficient computer but lets you keep the old energy hog running all night and on weekends doing nothing?  Computers come out of your boss' budget and the cost can't be deducted all at once.  Electricity can be deducted immediately and is probably paid by Someone Else Somewhere who has no idea who is using the electricity and doesn't really care.

     

  • Lucas (unregistered)

    We had a similar situation where I work.

    We have an SOE with a mandated screen saver timeout. Unfortunately, one of our vendors updated one the laboratory modules, with a bug it in it causing it to crash when the screen saver came on.

    The Lab guys are pretty smart - they put the mouse for the workstation on top of the various vibrating analysis devices in the lab. Constant movement meant no screensaver. Since the application did not require a mouse to use, they could leave it there all shift.

    The module was fixed pretty quickly, but the lab guys still have the mice perched on the lab equipment.

  • John Hensley (cs) in reply to Anonymous Coward

    Anonymous:
    The real WTF is the dupe.

    The WTF is so nice Alex posted it twice

     

  • maht (unregistered)

    if it was me I would have disassembled a mouse and hooked up a motor of some wort to one of the wheels and let that do the work.

    Or something like that.

    My grandad once told me : "if you want to find out the best way to do a job, give it to a lazy man"

  • Anon (unregistered) in reply to maht

    Anonymous:
    My grandad once told me : "if you want to find out the best way to do a job, give it to a lazy man"

    And if you want to know the shortest way to get somewhere, ask the guy with one leg.  That motherfucker's going to know every shortcut.

  • CodeRage (cs) in reply to maht

    Best non-code WTF ever!

  • cconroy (cs)

    That's just priceless.  (Though my first thought also would have been the drinking bird mouse-clicker.)

    Take THAT, corporate security! 
     

  • Ken (unregistered) in reply to Homer Simpson
    Anonymous:

    It's Homer's drinking bird!

     yes!
     

  • GoatCheez (cs)

    That's like the best thing I've ever heard.... EVER.... reminds me of that simpsons episode where homer uses that bobbing thingamabob to keep hitting the Y key.... roflmao...

    of course.... it also reminded EVERYONE ELSE OF THE EXACT SAME THING lol... 

  • lynn (unregistered) in reply to Ken

    Welcome to the Machine

  • Bryan Christian (unregistered)

    Sadly, I've done this.   I'll go a step up on it though.  Same concept, but it was the screen saver that was an issue.  The connection wasn't terminal services, but a shared desktop through WebEx.  The upgrade process from one version to the next of the app was the main product of the company I was working for at the time.  I was being paid consulting rates to monitor a customer upgrade which took about 5 or 6 hours.  No progress bar or other indicator that it was working, and due to Webex, I needed major mouse movements with the session in the forground.  God I'm glad I'm out of that job.

  • gl (unregistered) in reply to LaurieF
    Anonymous:
    What a waste of money. The real WTF is that it could have been done so much more cheaply.

    Do what I did when I worked in an organisation that had a two-minute screen-saver. To save wear-and-tear on my fingers from continually putting in my password, I got an old-fashioned heavy office stapler and rested it on my CTRL key. The signals sent to the OS from that were all that computer needed to think that I was doing something. And the CTRL key doesn't fill up the keyboard buffer, so it doesn't beep.

     

    Was it a RED stapler?

  • Jeff (unregistered)

    Did he have to enter "4, 8, 15, 16, 23, & 42" before he moved the mouse?

  • lankester (cs)

    AWERSOME ... my current job look plain compare to ryan`s job since we dont use toy in our hardware setup !!!!

  • pbounaix (cs)

    couldnt there be an active session on the server for this mission-critical and well thought out task?

     

    they could use %SystemRoot%\System32\mstsc.exe /console which maintains the session when logging in. this way, if the connection drops, the session is still active on the server....

  • Jehtris (cs)

    I gotta admit, that manager is pretty smart....

    Yeah, BTDT.  I worked on a operations floor where the jobs were so critical, you had to have 4 people scheduled at all times to do the work of one.  When I say one, I mean one bored guy who can still read a book every night.

     Those days we had 6 people working were BORING.  I'd read a Tom Clancy book in 2 or 3 days.

  • Interest Declining (unregistered) in reply to b0red

    Being in that spot RIGHT FRIGGING NOW, all I can say is Amen Brother! (err, or Sister!)...

     

  • Jeff (unregistered)

    I had a job like that once.  I was hired right before the company went public, they were on a ramp up phase to bring in a ton of developers - for all of the projects that would be soon be in the pipeline.  Nothing ever showed up, I stayed 6 months (to the day) so my buddy could collect the signing bonus for bringing me on (and I could take my half :) ).  The last month, I never even turned the computer on, just sat at my desk an read,  I was trying to see how long it would take for sombody to notice - nobody ever did.

    captcha: shizzle

    fo' nizzle 

  • Tho (unregistered) in reply to Jeff

    The captcha I got best expresses the sound I made on reading this: "zork".

  • Robert (unregistered)

    In July I was hired on a contract - "two months, possible one month extension" to migrate about 30 web sites from a company's disparate servers on web hosts all over the place to some new dedicated managed servers.

    I costed things out, told the business how much it'd cost (two load balanced webservers, firewall, SQL server). "Oh, that's quite a bit more than we expected. We'll have to get approval."

    So we waited. And waited.

    The company was willing to approve the project but it took time to work its way through the bureaucracy. In the interim they couldn't let me go until it was approved, because while they had approval to hire me, they'd never get it again due to "belt tightening".

    It dragged on and on and on.

    They couldn't let me go and take their chances, because then it really would look bad if they'd paid me as a consultant to "wait for a project to be approved".

    Time dragged on. In September, the contract was extended.

    In October the contract was extended. I was going stir crazy.

    In November, the contract was extended. On November 9, the project was approved, only 4 months and 4 days after I'd been hired to do it.

    Of course the kicker is I'm actually moving to the US in 2 1/2 weeks, so I'm pretty much going to start work and prepare a handover plan absolutely immediately.

    Captcha: awesomeness - getting paid $600 a day to twiddle your thumbs for 119 days.

     

  • Otto (cs)

    He actually got somebody to cover for him? I would have gone to:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=mouse+recorder

    Taken my pick of software, and then taken an *epic* 7 hour lunch.

  • Volmarias (cs) in reply to Robert
    Anonymous:
    Captcha: awesomeness - getting paid $600 a day to twiddle your thumbs for 119 days.


    Please, sir, let me study under you! I'll do whatever you want! I'll code your modules, create your websites, please just teach me how to consult!
  • XMLord (cs)

    Wow, that’s one of the best WTF I’ve read here.

    I don’t understand Ryan though. I would have just picked an open source project and start developing there.

  • marvin_rabbit (cs)

    Well, I was guessing pretty close to the answer.  I was thinking of a story about Thomas Edison.  He was hired as a night operator in a telegraph office.  Once every hour he had to tap out a number to the office down the line.  This was to make sure he didn't fall asleep.  Young Tom, being the rather creative sort, proceeded to take apart the clock and modified the gear works to tap out the number ever hour, on the hour.

    He then went to sleep.  I think he was fired when the supervisor came in to tell him how good he was doing, and found him asleep at the switch.

     

  • Alex Papadimoulis (cs) in reply to Jeff

    Jeff:
    I never even turned the computer on, just sat at my desk an read, I was trying to see how long it would take for sombody to notice - nobody ever did.

    Lucky you. I was pulled aside by my manager at a job a long while back ...

    Alex, I understand that you have nothing to do, but you can't be reading books and websites -- even if they're tech related -- all day. Please limit this to lunch and outside of work. It doesn't reflect well on you or our group.

  • marvin_rabbit (cs) in reply to Alex Papadimoulis
    Alex's Manager:

    Alex, I understand that you have nothing to do, but you can't be reading books and websites -- even if they're tech related -- all day. Please limit this to lunch and outside of work. It doesn't reflect well on you or our group.

    It's even more ironic when they make sure that Solitare is not installed, so you have to bring in your own deck of cards. 

  • LRB (unregistered) in reply to Alex Papadimoulis

    I recently had a contract where I was there for over six weeks before I got a development machine.  Despite surfing the internet and doing massive theoretical design sessions, it was an extremely boring time.  I'm rather be too busy that sit around with nothing to do.  Boring days seem to drag on forever. 

     The real kicker was that the reason for the holdup was a C level approval was needed for the development machine before funds could be authorized.  So the company wasted over 10 times the cost of the PC in fees to pay me to sit around and do nothing productive to their bottom line, to insure that the couple of grand for the development PC wasn't misappropriated.  BTW this was not a small company, they had 90,000+ employees world wide.  Why a $2,000 dollar development machines had to be approved by C level management is beyond me.

  • sf (unregistered)

    I had a roomate who was a chip designer at what is now a big PC chip company back when it was a startup.  After their initial release, and when there were experiencing a lot of production problems, he literally had nothing to do for months with no supervision.  He played Doom all day, 5 days a week.

  • luke727 (cs)

    My current job situation is similar, and I know exactly how this guy must feel.  I have learned to become enthusiastically apathetic.

  • GTT (unregistered) in reply to luke727

    My last job I worked from home.  I had almost nothing to do for about two years straight except collect a paycheck.  I think I worked 40-80 hours total.

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