• Botzinger Gulm (unregistered)

    Later on, this government agency became responsible on the integrity of voting machines in presidential and other similar elections.

  • oldami (unregistered)

    The real test was done by the people watching on the hidden cameras. Too honest to cheat when it is made so easy - you fail. Obviously not real agent material.

  • sir_flexalot (cs)

    Coincidentally, all the high test-scorers had the same last names and similar genetic features to high-ups in the company, but no one who ever reported this kept their job longer than that afternoon.

  • akatherder (cs)

    Make sure the questions are appropriate and keep the test-giver in the room to proctor. Problems solved.

  • randomdreamer (unregistered)

    so close, not the first post...

    If the agents were competent, there will be no work left for other people......

  • Zenham (cs) in reply to Botzinger Gulm

    Please remain seated and place the sign labeled "For Pickup" around your neck. Customer service agents will be with you shortly to discuss your concerns. This message has been a recording.

  • Mikademus (cs)

    So the latest TDWTF fad is government agencies...

    Anyway, couldn't this one partly be attributed to the Janitorial Department?

  • aaron (unregistered)

    I worked for a municipal government for over 2 years and it's disturbing how close to home this is. The person previously in charge of website maintenance (who worked for a decidedly non-IT dept) would periodically send out surveys asking what other dept heads needed on the website. But the questions were ludicrous: "Check all of the following things you would like" and then it listed a 5 or 6 different unimportant things that of course everyone would like to have ideally. The surveys did nothing other than occupy people's time and run around in circles.

  • SomeCoder (unregistered)

    I'm sorry but how is this a curious perversion in information technology?

    This is a major government WTF and we could easily have a site dedicated to those. This is not an IT WTF.

  • Gsquared (cs) in reply to SomeCoder
    SomeCoder:
    I'm sorry but how is this a curious perversion in information technology?

    This is a major government WTF and we could easily have a site dedicated to those. This is not an IT WTF.

    It's a "we'll have IT solve a non-IT problem" WTF.

    Not that management ever expects automation or CRM systems or whatever to solve things like total lack of management skill. Never. Doesn't happen.

    But if it ever did, like in this example, it would, in my opinion, be appropriate to an IT WTF web page.

  • Romeo (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • bstorer (cs) in reply to aaron
    aaron:
    But the questions were ludicrous: "Check all of the following things you would like" and then it listed a 5 or 6 different unimportant things that of course everyone would like to have ideally. The surveys did nothing other than occupy people's time and run around in circles.

    This is a classic IT management strategy used to justify a larger budget. You take the results of this survey and show them to higher-ups and say, "Look at all the things people need us to implement! We can hardly be expected to do it on this budget!" And then you use your new, larger budget to write a new, larger survey.

  • S|ic3 X (unregistered)

    At least the test candidates had good real world problem solving skills.

  • SomeCoder (unregistered) in reply to Gsquared
    Gsquared:
    SomeCoder:
    I'm sorry but how is this a curious perversion in information technology?

    This is a major government WTF and we could easily have a site dedicated to those. This is not an IT WTF.

    It's a "we'll have IT solve a non-IT problem" WTF.

    Not that management ever expects automation or CRM systems or whatever to solve things like total lack of management skill. Never. Doesn't happen.

    But if it ever did, like in this example, it would, in my opinion, be appropriate to an IT WTF web page.

    Yeah, I see your point but I still think this would fit better under a government WTF and not an IT WTF

  • tmountjr (cs) in reply to S|ic3 X

    Yes...reminds me of the test-taking scene in Men in Black...I can just see an NIB candidate at the copier, everyone staring at him..."Y'all wanna get down on this?"

  • Jethris (unregistered) in reply to tmountjr

    No, it was Spy's Like Us. That had the best test taking scene.

  • Zylon (cs) in reply to SomeCoder
    SomeCoder:
    I'm sorry but how is this a curious perversion in information technology?

    This is a major government WTF and we could easily have a site dedicated to those. This is not an IT WTF.

    On the other hand, it's funny.

    So STFU and GBTW.

  • SmashAndGrab (unregistered) in reply to Zylon
    Zylon:
    SomeCoder:
    I'm sorry but how is this a curious perversion in information technology?

    This is a major government WTF and we could easily have a site dedicated to those. This is not an IT WTF.

    On the other hand, it's funny.

    So STFU and GBTW.

    Zackly!

  • Geeb (unregistered)

    So G.R.G. notices a major defect in the way people are recruited to an important government agency, but takes the money to build a (now demonstrably pointless) computer system and leaves them with the real problem still completely intact?

    Way to stiff your country, dude.

  • facetious (unregistered) in reply to Geeb
    Geeb:
    So G.R.G. notices a major defect in the way people are recruited to an important government agency, but takes the money to build a (now demonstrably pointless) computer system and leaves them with the real problem still completely intact?

    Way to stiff your country, dude.

    Who says it was his country? Does the government only ever hire American citizens? Perhaps G.R.G. was in the country on a temporary work visa from a country whose government's agencies didn't need his help.

  • GeneWitch (cs) in reply to Geeb
    Geeb:
    So G.R.G. notices a major defect in the way people are recruited to an important government agency, but takes the money to build a (now demonstrably pointless) computer system and leaves them with the real problem still completely intact?

    Way to stiff your country, dude.

    if someone pays me to do something, and i say "yo, that's not the right way to do it" and they say "do it, and get paid"; I am not bound to argue that much. An old cop adage "if someone waves money at you, just take it"

  • GeneWitch (cs) in reply to facetious
    facetious:
    Geeb:
    So G.R.G. notices a major defect in the way people are recruited to an important government agency, but takes the money to build a (now demonstrably pointless) computer system and leaves them with the real problem still completely intact?

    Way to stiff your country, dude.

    Who says it was his country? Does the government only ever hire American citizens? Perhaps G.R.G. was in the country on a temporary work visa from a country whose government's agencies didn't need his help.

    I personally already fired off an email to DHS re: G.R.G. - Terrorist?

    :-D

  • kjb (unregistered)

    Sounds about right. I worked as a contractor at a DOT(department of Transportation) and was amazed at how much time was spent bitching and blaming everyone else under the son rather than spending the 1 or 2 hours to fix the freaking problem.

  • bramster (unregistered)

    This WTF is absolute BULLSHIT.

    1. A Xerox 9200 was capable of running at 120 copies per minute, and was single-sided.

    2. One would NEVER NEVER NEVER find a Xerox 9200 "below" a cabinet. That machine was at least 15 feet long, 4 feet high, and by Xerox's specifications, needed at least 3 ft clearance all around. So unless the lowest-bidder-cabinet was manufactured by an alien with a poor sense of door fitting && hyperspace-levitating capabilities, this scenario was never going to happen.

    The WTF is what the F is happening the daily WTF???

    So, So sad!

  • Cabbage (unregistered) in reply to Jethris
    No, it was Spy's Like Us.
    The Real WTF is the above comment.
  • Tin in Australia (unregistered) in reply to bramster
    bramster:
    1. A Xerox 9200 was capable of running at 120 copies per minute, and was single-sided. 2. One would NEVER NEVER NEVER find a Xerox 9200 "below" a cabinet.

    So maybe the author was going from memory on that model number. This story was 20+ years ago now. The cabinet may have been set into the wall (I think that was mentioned), and if the Xerox copier was needing 3ft clearance on all sides, perhaps it was 3 ft from the wall allowing walking space to the cabinet. I demote the call from bull%^&* to plain bad description.

  • Ribin (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • eyrieowl (unregistered)

    i may be a bit dense here, but i reread the wtf again, and...how is the xerox supposed to be the perfect way to cheat on the test? if the test is impossible, [insert myriad other problems], how do 120/240/10000 copies of my test get me any closer to a great score? the answer keys seem like a great idea...but it seems like the wtf rules that out... numbered keys/booklets and all? i guess i'm confused on two counts: 1, did they or did they not have access to the answers for their actual test? and 2, wtf does easy access to a copier in the test-taking room do to help me score better on a test?

  • darquan (unregistered)

    I have also worked like this GRG guy. You have to provide a losution, but you can't change the original problem.

    BTW, a real government WTF is where the president of a country states "crime is not out of control". Then he gets a massive security wall imported from another country to put around his house.

  • lodlongs (unregistered) in reply to eyrieowl
    eyrieowl:
    i may be a bit dense here, but i reread the wtf again, and...how is the xerox supposed to be the perfect way to cheat on the test? if the test is impossible, [insert myriad other problems], how do 120/240/10000 copies of my test get me any closer to a great score? the answer keys seem like a great idea...but it *seems* like the wtf rules that out... numbered keys/booklets and all? i guess i'm confused on two counts: 1, did they or did they not have access to the answers for their actual test? and 2, wtf does easy access to a copier in the test-taking room do to help me score better on a test?

    My interpretation was they used the copier to make copies of an answer sheet (not the test) then put it back in the cupboard so that they didn't find any copies missing and so that test-takers could all do it at the same time.

    Personally I think the work-together-to-cheat is better proof of capability than a stupid multiple choice quiz with impossible answers in the first place.

  • Anonymouse (cs) in reply to lodlongs
    lodlongs:
    My interpretation was they used the copier to make copies of an answer sheet (not the test) then put it back in the cupboard so that they didn't find any copies missing and so that test-takers could all do it at the same time.

    But why even bother making copies in the first place? Just grab an answer sheet from the cupboard, use it to fill in your test, put the answer sheet back, and noone will know either. I fail to see how a copying machine helps with that.

  • Monkeyget (cs)

    This would make an excellent board game. It could be called "shift the blame". You'd have the blame token with a big red BLAME written on it. There would also be a timer with a random duration.

    The aim of the game would be to pass the blame to another player as fast as possible in order to never have the blame token in possession when the timer run out.

    At the end of a round the player with the least blame in his possession would win a promotion token.

    At the end of the game the winning player would be the one with the more promotion.

    That'd be a really educational game for the children.

  • S (unregistered) in reply to Monkeyget
    Monkeyget:
    This would make an excellent board game. It could be called "shift the blame". You'd have the blame token with a big red BLAME written on it. There would also be a timer with a random duration.

    The aim of the game would be to pass the blame to another player as fast as possible in order to never have the blame token in possession when the timer run out.

    At the end of a round the player with the least blame in his possession would win a promotion token.

    At the end of the game the winning player would be the one with the more promotion.

    That'd be a really educational game for the children.

    What do you mean should be a game? This game was played in amlost every company I've worked in...

  • TheJasper (cs) in reply to Monkeyget
    SomeCoder:
    Yeah, I see your point but I still think this would fit better under a government WTF and not an IT WTF

    You're right! We should boycot this site from now for not keeping to a strict formula! You get started on that right away, the rest of us will follow along real soon now.

    Monkeyget:
    The aim of the game would be to pass the blame to another player as fast as possible in order to never have the blame token in possession when the timer run out.

    hmm, sounds sort of like advanced hot potato...which probably was developed on the same principle. Still, It sounds like a viable concept. As for educational...some things can only be learned by experience.

  • $name (unregistered) in reply to Anonymouse
    Anonymouse:
    lodlongs:
    My interpretation was they used the copier to make copies of an answer sheet (not the test) then put it back in the cupboard so that they didn't find any copies missing and so that test-takers could all do it at the same time.

    But why even bother making copies in the first place? Just grab an answer sheet from the cupboard, use it to fill in your test, put the answer sheet back, and noone will know either. I fail to see how a copying machine helps with that.

    Because it helps minimise time spent with the answer sheet out of the cupboard. And then you can celebrate your high score by getting some paper-eating practice in...

    CAPTCHA: Tastey... - vanilla paper!

  • Ciaran (cs)

    BTW, has anyone else noticed that today's WTF is written in Arial rather than Tahoma?

  • Puzzled in Peoria (unregistered) in reply to Romeo
    Comment held for moderation.
  • nobody (unregistered)

    Obviously they wanted to candidates who weren't afraid to break the rules to get the answers. That is, spies.

  • KenW (cs) in reply to SomeCoder
    SomeCoder:
    I'm sorry but how is this a curious perversion in information technology?

    This is a major government WTF and we could easily have a site dedicated to those. This is not an IT WTF.

    I'm sorry, but how is it up to you to decide? You're a guest at this site. If you're not happy with the chosen content, go somewhere else.

  • KenW (cs) in reply to Anonymouse
    Anonymouse:
    But why even bother making copies in the first place? Just grab an answer sheet from the cupboard, use it to fill in your test, put the answer sheet back, and noone will know either. I fail to see how a copying machine helps with that.

    But what if you have the actual answer sheet out of the cabinet and the test administrator comes back sooner than you expected? How do you get the answer sheet back into the cabinet then? If you're using a copy of the answer sheet, you're all set; you don't have to put it back into the cabinet when you're finished.

  • Taco Loco (unregistered)

    I don't understand what's so unreasonable about expecting a test taker to know something about tides, lunar cycles, or the color of public mailboxes.

    I wouldn't be terribly surprised if the second test question DID have a correct answer, but G.R.G. didn't know what it was.

    But clearly G.R.G. is smarter than everyone else, and couldn't possibly be wrong.

  • Ancient_Hacker (cs) in reply to Taco Loco

    To clarify, some details got muddled in the anonimization:

    • The copying machine was outside the storage alcove.

    • The test was supposed to be on a particular very specific subject. Knowing about the New England tides and the color of mailboxes in Lithuania were not anywhere near the subject.

  • dolo54 (unregistered)

    Sounds like someone should commission a study to figure out how the test scores are so unusually high.

    Oh yeah, the real WTF is people saying "The real WTF is..."

  • patf (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • VARCHAR3_SP2 (unregistered) in reply to bramster
    Comment held for moderation.
  • freakshow (unregistered) in reply to Puzzled in Peoria
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Feek (unregistered) in reply to nobody
    nobody:
    Obviously they wanted to candidates who weren't afraid to break the rules to get the answers. That is, spies.

    I agree. Did anyone stop to think maybe the paper test wasn't the real test? Maybe that's why question #2 didn't have an answer, and the other question asked about New England tides?

    Computers were starting to become more commonplace, so GRG was hired to set up a computerized "test" to choose the best candidates that could work with this new technology. The WTF comes in where the government blame game caused the root of the international incidents to be identified as this test, not any kind of training to prevent the incidents in the first place.

  • ralph -it-isnt-me klimek (unregistered)

    If I was running a spy agency, employing, well , spies,

    I would give them , an impossible to answere exam, and provide the answeres in a reasonably openable cabinet over a photocopier.

    I would "expect" the successfull candidates to hand me a copy of the answeres and as their prospective spymaster , I would not enquire as to how they got them...(though I could be watching through that one way mirror)

    Real spies are asked "questions" and their actual task is to find answeres...not to allready "know" them.

  • Lone_Wolf (unregistered) in reply to Monkeyget
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to ralph -it-isnt-me klimek
    ralph -it-isnt-me klimek:
    If I was running a spy agency, employing, well , spies,

    I would give them , an impossible to answere exam, and provide the answeres in a reasonably openable cabinet over a photocopier.

    I would "expect" the successfull candidates to hand me a copy of the answeres and as their prospective spymaster , I would not enquire as to how they got them...(though I could be watching through that one way mirror)

    Real spies are asked "questions" and their actual task is to find answeres...not to allready "know" them.

    There is an urban legend about an intelligence facility employing potential recruits. As part of the testing, each recruit was given a letter in an unsealed envelope, but with a big red "CONFIDENTIAL" stamp on it, and asked it to be delivered to a colleauge working on the floor below. The implication given was that it had nothing to do with testing, just a quick favor the recruiter asked from the first free person he found (i.e. the recruit).

    One of the recruits entered the washroom on his way to the colleauge and read the letter. The letter said, "You are the kind of stuff we are looking for. Come back to the person who gave you the letter."

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