• JdFalcon04 (unregistered)

    Don't they know they can just litter the code with Thread.Sleep(50000) commands and then charge the end users later to speed up the process? Amateurs.

  • oldami (unregistered)

    definitely start polishing the resume. There is actually good money to be made keeping legacy dung heaps running. Just be sure to have a good supply of anti-depressants on hand.

  • anoldhacker (unregistered)

    Someone's bucking for a government job...

  • Marty (unregistered)

    Did Paula think of this? 'Coz this is billant!

  • WhiskeyJack (cs)

    So this is basically what we all suspected goes on at all of our IT and support departments... just this one's more explicit.

    Personally, I think this is Microsoft's secret corporate philosophy.

  • Nibh (unregistered) in reply to JdFalcon04

    It could be worse. They could get paid by lines of code.

  • BentFranklin (unregistered)

    I love the smell of extortion in the morning.

  • Drew (unregistered)

    Brilliant. Evil but brilliant.

    CAPTCHA- Persto. I typed away and persto, all the bugs were fixed.

  • HuHu (unregistered)

    Please contact the support desk for the hex key to unlock this comment.

  • MyKey_ (cs)

    The Month End Closing System REALLY needs some refactoring! The process should be automated as follows:

    1. Randomly come up with some "error" message.
    2. Monitor the internal telephone system and "resolve" the "error" 5-10 minutes after the support call. (This even might include some recorded voice saying "Have you tried turning it off and on again?".)
    3. Generate a convincing error report.

    (Don't forget to mention Roy and the BOfH in the credits!)

  • Ramses So let it be written so let it be done (unregistered)

    sssssssshhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

    We need to keep this sort of thing on the down low.

  • Matt B (unregistered)

    Man, companies are fucking stupid.

  • Usher (unregistered)

    As the IT support person for my company,I like to tell my managers (somewhat tongue in cheek) "My job is to keep everything running smoothly 98% of the time. The other 2% is job security"

    Captcha "conventio". Haven't extorted enough extra budget money to go to the whole thing.....

  • Calculator Ftvb (unregistered)

    Aack. Maybe, like, богус? :-P

  • Satanicpuppy (cs)

    Meh. I've dealt with enough COBOL systems, that a system that will actually non-fatally stop and allow you to correct something without restoring from backup seems an incredible luxury.

    Anyway, the inertia surrounding billing/payroll systems is wildly difficult to overcome. You could shout this "secret" from the rooftops and it'd be 10 years before they replaced the system.

  • Calculator Ftvb (unregistered) in reply to Calculator Ftvb

    (or if we want real Russian, поддельный)

    captcha: ingenium

  • Lee K-T (unregistered)

    But going downstairs for a "free" coffee after knowing the truth made him an accomplice! That's the price of his coffee!

  • akatherder (cs) in reply to Lee K-T
    Lee K-T:
    But going downstairs for a "free" coffee after knowing the truth made him an accomplice! That's the price of his coffee!

    Ill-gotten coffee makes it taste that much better. It's like a blood diamond. Who the hell wants cubic zirconium or a lab-made diamond? Mmmmm blood coffee.

  • Patrick (unregistered)

    He should go downstairs and have some of the really great coffee at his ergonomic workstation, begin fixing the code while polishing his resume` and leave the final program with no backups to the broken code as a 'parting gift' to have all the other staff laid off by the next month-end.

  • JimmyMcJimb (unregistered) in reply to JdFalcon04

    Wrong, if you had read the story correctly then you would know that Thread.Sleep is incorrect.

    Below is a copy->paste of the correct way, in VB syntax (may all VB coders die in syntax hell, die die die!).

    'A Pause function
    Public Function HoldIt(Longish As Integer)
        Dim Startof
        Dim temp
        
        temp = 0
        Startof = Second(Now)
        
        Do
            temp = Second(Now) - Startof
        Loop Until temp > Longish
    End Function
    
    

    If i remember right, normal bbcode tags dont work here, so my tags will show this...

    vereor - captcha... Honestly, even i could make an app to solve these obnoxious captcha's, if i get some free time i will do so just to say FU to captcha.

  • JimmyMcJimb (unregistered)

    Me again.

    seems the quote button does absolutely nothing here, was intending to quote first post.

    Also seems my tags did work, so now i test:

    dont use the quote button here, cos it does nothing!

    usitas - yes this captcha would be easily solved. You see, dark text agains a light background = ackground easily filtered out. Then you just left with wavy or angled text, if it is brokn down to individual letters then they are easily recognised, peice of piss anyone here could do. I'm drunk now, but i will do this when i am sobre..

  • Remy Porter (cs)

    Never fix a problem you can profit from. This is one of the issues with having IT departments be billable resources in an organization. Your only pressure on IT to be efficient is to have the business units constrict their budgets, and when there's a mission critical bit of software that NEEDS SUPPORT, well- what's the business going to do?

    "It's a nice database full of financial information we're hosting for you. Be a shame if anything happened to it."

  • Steve B (unregistered)

    I'd get some free coffee and enjoy it while it lasts.

  • JamesQMurphy (cs)

    But you have to admit... the code was well-commented. It told Dennis exactly what he needed to do.

  • rekoil (cs)

    The real WTF here is who names a function "G-A24456"? Oh yeah, the same people who put an intentional divide-by-zero error in the code for job security purposes...

  • filo (unregistered)

    I reckon the Hex Codes may have been trigger phrases. If it ever hits xFF0000 all the users will go ballistic, destroying everything, including the evidence.

    Give me all your money

    Enjoy your coffee Dennis!

  • Anonymous (unregistered)

    An IT company screwing over their customers for support dollars? Well, it may be immoral but it's no WTF - I would say this is business as usual.

    At my company we charge about $4000 per license for our flagship software package. But that's just a drop in the ocean compared to what we make through long-term maintenance and support contracts. For some vendors, maintenance and support are the only things keeping them going.

    Of course, I don't advocate inventing bugs or lying to your customers. But when you value your bottom line above everything else, this kind of thing is going to happen. And let's be honest, most CEOs value their bottom line above everything else.

  • Resistance (cs)

    plz send me teh codez

  • Ike (unregistered) in reply to Marty
    Marty:
    Did Paula think of this? 'Coz this is billant!
    Ahem! You misspelled 'brillant'.
  • Prosthetic Lips (cs)

    Ha! I have long told people that, "I get paid to put the bugs in, then I get paid to take them back out!"

    We laugh that little, nervous laugh -- because there is some element of truth to it. That makes the best humor, don't you think?

  • amischiefr (cs) in reply to JdFalcon04

    Why not simply go down and get some free coffee while on your way to your desk to update your resume?

  • Nexzus (cs)

    For anyone who works in a similar situation - having IT support billed to their departments: how does it affect the day to day helpdesk/desk side support operations?

    Does it cut down on all the bullshit "please reset my password for the third time today because I'm a dumbass" or "please come down and move the CPU thing to the other side of the cubicle because I want pictures there" requests? I reckon if departments were (financially) liable for their dumb users, managers would be more pro-active. Or is it not that finegrained?

  • amischiefr (cs) in reply to Patrick
    Patrick:
    He should go downstairs and have some of the really great coffee at his ergonomic workstation, begin fixing the code while polishing his resume` and leave the final program with no backups to the broken code as a 'parting gift' to have all the other staff laid off by the next month-end.
    ^^ This
  • Quirkafleeg (unregistered) in reply to Ike
    Ike:
    Marty:
    Did Paula think of this? 'Coz this is billant!
    Ahem! You misspelled 'brillant'.
    So… this one's about internal brilling?
  • mike (unregistered)

    This sort of "job security" is garbage. Competent developers have job security because there are always jobs looking for competent developers. We get job offers in our sleep. Mediocre developers who go along with this kind of crap are the ones who eventually get laid off and can't find work.

  • Anonymous (unregistered)

    I know a guy that used to work a t a local chair factory back in the 80's. They had some early welding robots and metal cutters all linked back to a single mainframe computer. The guy I know was their programmer. He eventually left to start his own TV repair business and eventually opened a Radio Shack, but before he left, he made an adjustment to the mainframe. Part of his deal with the company was that he would agree to consult to keep the machines running after he left, so he coded up a routine that would randomly, every month or two, shut the whole system down and freeze the assembly lines. He'd get the call, then go out and spend a couple of billable hours "fixing" things before starting the system back up.

    He also told me a story about a little old lady that claimed her TV picture wasn't as good after he worked on her TV. All he did was replace a power cord, so picture quality obviously didn't change. He came up with a brilliant way to "fix" it. He tells the lady, "I'm going to scroll through images. You tell me when you like the quality." He then tweaks the vertical hold to start that black bar rolling. The lady says "It's getting better. Better. WAIT! Go back!" so he turns the V-hold the other way and lets the bar scroll backwards twice and she says "Perfect! That's better than it used to be." He closed the TV up, added a "tuning" charge to the bill and went on his way. Customer was thrilled.

  • Flash (cs) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:
    He closed the TV up, added a "tuning" charge to the bill and went on his way. Customer was thrilled.
    ...and cheated.
  • Mason Wheeler (cs) in reply to Quirkafleeg
    Quirkafleeg:
    Ike:
    Marty:
    Did Paula think of this? 'Coz this is billant!
    Ahem! You misspelled 'brillant'.
    So… this one's about internal brilling?

    I dunno. Better ask the slithey toves.

  • Massive Debt (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:
    An IT company screwing over their customers for support dollars? Well, it may be immoral but it's no WTF - I would say this is business as usual.

    At my company we charge about $4000 per license for our flagship software package. But that's just a drop in the ocean compared to what we make through long-term maintenance and support contracts. For some vendors, maintenance and support are the only things keeping them going.

    Of course, I don't advocate inventing bugs or lying to your customers. But when you value your bottom line above everything else, this kind of thing is going to happen. And let's be honest, most CEOs value their bottom line above everything else.

    The article implies that this is inter-office billing, not customer billing. They are charging hours to other departments to justify their positions.

    Many organizations, public as well as private, have this problem. A department's budget for the next year depends on this year's spending. If they spend less, then they are given less next time. So, they pad their costs.

  • usitas (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:
    I know a guy that used to work a t a local chair factory back in the 80's. They had some early welding robots and metal cutters all linked back to a single mainframe computer. The guy I know was their programmer. He eventually left to start his own TV repair business and eventually opened a Radio Shack, but before he left, he made an adjustment to the mainframe. Part of his deal with the company was that he would agree to consult to keep the machines running after he left, so he coded up a routine that would randomly, every month or two, shut the whole system down and freeze the assembly lines. He'd get the call, then go out and spend a couple of billable hours "fixing" things before starting the system back up.

    I have a similar situation with a former company. They had major connection issues for the db, but I didn't have the time to resolve them. Instead I set up an automated task to restart the web server every night at 3:00 in the morning (a recycle would allow the system to run for about a week before crashing again).

    I eventually left (because it was slave labor), but before I left I removed the automated task. About once a week I get a panicked call from my previous employer to come in and get it back up again. My replacement is such a dolt that he can't figure out what is wrong.

  • Peter (unregistered) in reply to Matt B
    Matt B:
    Man, companies are fucking stupid.

    Truer words have never been spoken.

  • Bosshog (unregistered) in reply to Drew
    Drew:
    Brilliant. Evil but brilliant.

    CAPTCHA- Persto. I typed away and persto, all the bugs were fixed.

    I had some persto on my pasta... and bugs. Crunchy.

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Massive Debt
    Massive Debt:
    Anonymous:
    An IT company screwing over their customers for support dollars? Well, it may be immoral but it's no WTF - I would say this is business as usual.

    At my company we charge about $4000 per license for our flagship software package. But that's just a drop in the ocean compared to what we make through long-term maintenance and support contracts. For some vendors, maintenance and support are the only things keeping them going.

    Of course, I don't advocate inventing bugs or lying to your customers. But when you value your bottom line above everything else, this kind of thing is going to happen. And let's be honest, most CEOs value their bottom line above everything else.

    The article implies that this is inter-office billing, not customer billing. They are charging hours to other departments to justify their positions.

    Many organizations, public as well as private, have this problem. A department's budget for the next year depends on this year's spending. If they spend less, then they are given less next time. So, they pad their costs.

    Ah, that's a very good point. I often forget the pain that IT people go through when they work for an otherwise non-IT organisation. I've always worked for straight software development firms so have never had to do any of this rubbish, never had to justify the usefulness of my department or role. I feel sorry for those guys who have to cook the books in order to justify their existence to the bean counters.

  • Jay (unregistered) in reply to Nexzus
    Nexzus:
    Does it cut down on all the bullshit "please reset my password for the third time today because I'm a dumbass" or "please come down and move the CPU thing to the other side of the cubicle because I want pictures there" requests? I reckon if departments were (financially) liable for their dumb users, managers would be more pro-active. Or is it not that finegrained?

    Ah, obviously you don't work at an organization that has a union. I've worked places where if you moved a computer yourself, even if it was just from one side of your desk to the other, you got in big trouble because the union contract said only their people were allowed to do this. At one place it was literally against the rules for anyone but a union electrian to stick a plug into the electrical outlet. I'm sure this was justified for safety reasons: You wouldn't want someone who's not a licensed electrician to be messing with this: They might electrocute themselves!

  • Jay (unregistered)

    I can only wistfully fantasize about working someplace where the workload was so little that we had to manufacture fake work to justify our jobs.

  • Pete (unregistered)

    It's great to know my hard work at providing, fast, error free user friendly programs eventually puts me out of a job.

  • Maradona (unregistered) in reply to Flash
    Flash:
    Anonymous:
    He closed the TV up, added a "tuning" charge to the bill and went on his way. Customer was thrilled.
    ...and cheated.
    Cheated? Well, that's a matter of opinion and the only opinion that counts is that of the customer. If you were to ask them "do you feel cheated", they will say "no, I thought he did an excellent job". So have they really been cheated? Clearly it would be valid to argue that they haven't.
  • Ben4jammin (unregistered) in reply to Jay
    Jay:
    I can only wistfully fantasize about working someplace where the workload was so little that we had to manufacture fake work to justify our jobs.

    Amen...does this fantasy island really exist? I wouldn't mind working there for 6 months or so just to catch up on my reading.

  • Krenn (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Tom K (unregistered) in reply to Ike
    Comment held for moderation.

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