• ^_^ (unregistered) in reply to snoofle
    snoofle:
    Ancient_Hacker:
    A while back I was moved to a position where my main responsibility was: I was supposed to answer any phoned-in questions about Sun workstations at a large university.

    Fortunately for me, it seems all the Sun users had figured out the last guy in my position was a total disaster-- it was better to not call at all than to risk getting him involved.

    So the first day I got in at 8:00 AM and waited for the first call. Funny, no calls all day.

    About three weeks later the phone rang. Wrong number.

    I used the spare time to build a computer, learn Oracle, SQL, Linux, and much more.

    I think the calls ended up averaging about one a month.

    Eventually I got bored and found another job.

    Eventually?

    I have the attention span of a gnat. I wouldn't last a day in a job like that. I admire your patience and self-growth!

    Same here. Today I got the news, that the project to which I was assigned as a code slave, would be dropped (which was good - already the specs we coders had to follow were a WTF). Tomorrow I'm planning on just staying home, because there would be no work for me in the office (and I get paid by the hour, so there's no need for me work full days).
  • Jerry Smith (unregistered)

    Ok, I realize and admit that my post was probably deleted because it only consisted of "first!?" and since it was so quickly after the post was made it probably looked like spam.

    However, the only reason i posted that is because I've been reading TDWTF for a while now and most of the posts I read have 2 or 3 FIRST posts and no deletions.

    I was only curious why mine (and someone else's apparantly) was deleted when others are allowed to exist.

  • (cs) in reply to Jerry Smith
    Jerry Smith:
    I was only curious why mine (and someone else's apparantly) was deleted when others are allowed to exist.
    Because sometimes, things change for the better.
  • peter (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • (cs) in reply to Chris
    Chris:
    Jerry Smith:
    Why was my comment deleted? because i'm unregistered?

    my post consisted of "First!?"

    Yay for the forum software. I've heard of some custom forum software that hides spam from everybody who but the person who posted it -- the people spamming their crap don't know that their stuff is being erased and don't complain or attempt to circumvent the filters.

    I've heard of some really nice forum software that lets the users read the discussion any way they want, and gives THEM the ability to set up spam-filtering or author-ignoring rules. I'm trying to remember the name...think it was called Usenet or something ;-)

    To Jerry Smith: Perhaps if you posted "First!?" followed by a more meaningful comment, it might stay. And then the fools who just posted "First!?" and maybe got in before you will be deleted, leaving your post preserved as the first for posterity. If it bothers you so much.

  • Hank Miller (unregistered)

    My brother was told his job would be like that - overnight system administration. Watch systems designed for 24x7 unattended operation and make sure they stay operating. So long as he always knows what the status of the systems are he can watch movies if he wants.

    Now when (did anyone believe that designed for 24x7 item?) things break he needs to either fix it himself or wake up someone who can fix it. Many nights though there is nothing he has to do, yet he gets a good paycheck. They however encourage him to learn about the systems if he wants. Since my brother is looking for a better job (having a big brother who ears ~twice what you do can be strong motivation) he is using this to get experience, then either they promote him to a real (well paying) position, or he goes someplace that will.

  • Lady Nocturne (unregistered) in reply to Jerry Smith
    Jerry Smith:
    Ok, I realize and admit that my post was probably deleted because it only consisted of "first!?" and since it was so quickly after the post was made it probably looked like spam.

    However, the only reason i posted that is because I've been reading TDWTF for a while now and most of the posts I read have 2 or 3 FIRST posts and no deletions.

    I was only curious why mine (and someone else's apparantly) was deleted when others are allowed to exist.

    Because you should have posted Boobies instead!

    /Fark FTW

  • (cs)

    Somebody may already have pointed this out, but I think that Chris is in fact an incredibly valuable asset to that company. Having had some exposure to big corporations, I have found out one thing: the real communication takes place at the water-cooler or the coffee machine; and being talkative, getting along with most people, meeting up for drinks from time to time, etc. may save you an incredible amount of time, just because you may find out that someone else in the company is working on a problem similar to yours, that some project is coming up that has not been announced officially yet, etc. From the article I get the impression that Chris is acting as a sort of informal information hub/motivator, whatever you choose to call it... There was an article in The Economist about this phenomenon about half a year ago.

  • (cs) in reply to IQpierce
    IQpierce:
    spamparranoid:
    Sounds like a nice position. So this begs the question. How long do they have to wait before they can lay him off? Must be nice, but i wouldn't say that he has job security.
    Until he screws up. Otherwise, wrongful dismissal suit baby!

    Luckily, he has no responsibilities, so it's impossible for him to screw up!...

    Hmmm! I think he might be responsible for the source code used for each release and making sure everybody uses the system properly.

  • rob_squared (unregistered) in reply to snoofle
    snoofle:
    Ancient_Hacker:
    A while back I was moved to a position where my main responsibility was: I was supposed to answer any phoned-in questions about Sun workstations at a large university.

    Fortunately for me, it seems all the Sun users had figured out the last guy in my position was a total disaster-- it was better to not call at all than to risk getting him involved.

    So the first day I got in at 8:00 AM and waited for the first call. Funny, no calls all day.

    About three weeks later the phone rang. Wrong number.

    I used the spare time to build a computer, learn Oracle, SQL, Linux, and much more.

    I think the calls ended up averaging about one a month.

    Eventually I got bored and found another job.

    Eventually?

    I have the attention span of a gnat. I wouldn't last a day in a job like that. I admire your patience and self-growth!

    C'mon, that's the best job ever. A customer support job where you don't have to support customers.

  • test 1 (unregistered)

    test 2

  • ModerationMan (unregistered) in reply to Chris

    This forum needs a moderation system.

  • justme (unregistered)
    since all teams were short-staffed, they couldn't increase the headcount on one team because that would be unfair to all of the other managers
    ?? So any of the teams aren't ever going to get any help because of this?
  • me (unregistered) in reply to Chris
    Chris:
    Jerry Smith:
    Why was my comment deleted? because i'm unregistered?

    my post consisted of "First!?"

    Yay for the forum software. I've heard of some custom forum software that hides spam from everybody who but the person who posted it -- the people spamming their crap don't know that their stuff is being erased and don't complain or attempt to circumvent the filters.

    But that way the database will be filled with "Fist!" posts that no one else except the OP can see... I figure every thread will have at least a thousand, but it really depends on how quickly someone makes an actual comment.

  • (cs) in reply to Jerry Smith
    Jerry Smith:
    I was only curious why mine (and someone else's apparantly) was deleted when others are allowed to exist.
    Presumably you should also be allowed to commit murder because Madeleine Smith got away with it...?
  • nooblar (unregistered) in reply to peter
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Reed Hedges (unregistered)

    Chris is like the anti-Milton....

    Or bizarro-world Milton?

  • (cs) in reply to ModerationMan
    ModerationMan:
    This forum needs a moderation system.
    No it doesn't! It really REALLY doesn't! That way lies cliquedom, insanity, and pressure to conform.

    If you want to just be able to not see comments, you need a killfile. Killfiles work - but moderation systems are poisonous to debate... and really, look around. Do we need any more debate poison?

  • Andy (unregistered)

    The real error by this company isn't the accidental hire: it's the "since all teams were short-staffed, they couldn't increase the headcount on one team because that would be unfair to all of the other managers." Some of these tasks presumably are more important and/or more difficult than others, and should therefore have more people working on them. The managers' manager clearly views the purpose of the employees not as accomplishing useful work, but as adding status via headcount to the managers. "I want to be fair to the managers that work for me", really means "I have no idea of the magnitude or importance of the tasks these managers' teams are working on, so I'll pretend they are equally important and of equal size". If this guy were president, would he make sure we spend exactly the same amount on promoting interstate commerce as on the US armed forces, because it wouldn't be "fair" to give the Secretary of Defence a bigger budget than the secretary of Commerce?

  • frenkieboy (unregistered) in reply to MX5Ringer

    i really disagree with this. i've had a job like this once, first couple of weeks it wasn't to bad but after some time i hated it. there comes a moment when you've surfed the internet, read the blogs and played enough minesweeper/patience/freecell. it gets really boring, and i want some challenges in my job. anyway, i quitted the job, went back to school, suffered a HUGE drop in income and never regretted the choice.

  • frenkieboy (unregistered) in reply to noehch

    ooops... wrong button... my previous post qhould have this quote:

    noehch:
    Why can't every business have a position like that? Do, virtually, nothing; get paid for it; and never worry about being fired..."job security" from nothing...

    Though, I still want to know who f'ed up in HR...

  • /b/ (unregistered)

    a guy that is always there to listen to your problems....he may do more for his money then he is paid for. much more (that is not meant as a joke, he may be rising the productivity very much)

  • Fricking Monkeys (unregistered) in reply to test 1
    test 1:
    test 2

    Yeah, and I bet you write that up as two separate test cycles don't you? Just like the QA where I'm at ... everywhere!

    /captcha:bathe Damn websniffers!

  • dustin (unregistered)

    I saw this happen at my company.

    They were hiring so fast, they put one contractor through the interview process and immediately extended her an offer. Then they saw the interview reports with everyone saying she should not be hired.

    So... at the team meeting the following week, management points out that HR screwed up and she shouldn't have been hired to begin with.

    I had a ring-side seat as she was my boss and having years of more experience knew her job better than she did.

    Things went down-hill from there until about 6 months later she quit.

    Public humiliation is very ugly.

  • Billy-Bob (unregistered) in reply to Andy
    Andy:
    The real error by this company isn't the accidental hire: it's the "since all teams were short-staffed, they couldn't increase the headcount on one team because that would be unfair to all of the other managers." Some of these tasks presumably are more important and/or more difficult than others, and should therefore have more people working on them. The managers' manager clearly views the purpose of the employees not as accomplishing useful work, but as adding status via headcount to the managers. "I want to be fair to the managers that work for me", really means "I have no idea of the magnitude or importance of the tasks these managers' teams are working on, so I'll pretend they are equally important and of equal size". If this guy were president, would he make sure we spend exactly the same amount on promoting interstate commerce as on the US armed forces, because it wouldn't be "fair" to give the Secretary of Defence a bigger budget than the secretary of Commerce?

    I'd just like to second this comment. Too often CEO diktat replaces actual leadership at many companies. This is especially obvious at budget time during a downturn, when the CEO announces a blanket 10% cut (or whatever) to budgets across the board. This isn't leadership - my teenage kids could literally do the same thing. Real leadership consists of determining what budgets could be cut, which ones should stay the same, and which ones should actually be increased to bring in new revenue. However, this would require actually making and defending an informed decision, something that seems to be out of style in the executive suite these days...

  • Bert (unregistered)

    If this is a US company, and he can work his job position into a Sarbanes-Oxley control requirement, then he is set until they repeal Sarbanes-Oxley.

    As "Source Control Administrator" he just needs to guarantee that there is one repository under his control that somehow shows up in the company's financial reports.

  • iMalc (unregistered)

    Well if he was accidentally hired, perhaps they can be real clever and accidentally have him fired too!

  • dustin (unregistered)

    Oh! And one I heard from Wizards of the Coast (yes! I'm naming names!)

    When they were just getting to the "we're so large we need computers to track all this" stage, the HR person walked through the company taking names and all the other personal info so it could be entered properly into their new accounting software.

    A year later, Manager A goes to Manager B and says "Your employee is annoying my team, can you keep him in your area."

    Manager B replies with "My employee? I thought he was yours."

    After some investigation they figured out that he had been in the offices the year before and when the HR person asked him for his info, he just gave it and started collecting a paycheck. He'd been haning out in the offices every day ever since.

  • GrandmasterB (unregistered)

    Sounds like this guy found the gravy train! Good for him!

    It also sounds like he might be more important to the cohesion of their developers than they might think.

  • Zonkers (unregistered) in reply to Jerry Smith
    Jerry Smith:
    I posted the first comment as soon as I saw the story go up.

    I verified my comment was there, then a few minutes later it was gone. Presumably deleted.

    Why was my comment deleted? because i'm unregistered?

    my post consisted of "First!?"

    Hahahahaha! I love this! Hilarious! Yes!

  • Zonkers (unregistered) in reply to dustin
    dustin:
    Oh! And one I heard from Wizards of the Coast (yes! I'm naming names!)

    dustin, you are the proud owner of the first comment that I've ever linked to. Classic story.

  • (cs) in reply to Nik
    Nik:
    I'm curious as to how would Chris fare on other job interviews now, after all this "experience" ad Doghouse.
    If I were him, I'd stay in that job as long as possible and work on Open Source projects in my now copious free time. I'd probably even concentrate on Open Source projects that helped the company I was working for.

    I would love to be able to program on my own terms with no deadlines or stupid marketing people or pressures involving existing architecture that nobody wants to toss. And I know how to make that look good on a resume later.

  • Tom Woolf (unregistered)

    For some insane reason, the company I used to work for hired a non-mainframe guy to lead our mainframe consulting group. He felt the need to have his own types of folks in his group rather than the ancient MF programmers (who actually knew the software and how to make money consulting). One of his new hires was a kid straight out of college with no real-world experience, but paid $50k/yr. The kid, who was a good guy in an awkward situation, probably produced somewhere between $2k - $3k revenue over the next 3 years. Ultimately, somebody found work for him when a new manager started a new line of business, and he did contribute well for his last 3 years on the job.

    And the original hiring manager? Canned in part because his revenue goal one year, which was only 10% of his predecessor's actual revenue, was missed by half. Yep - this genius with his hand-picked team decreased his department's revenue by 95%. The entire business was eventually bought out.

  • Find_Work_Not_Avoid_It (unregistered) in reply to Billy-Bob

    Spoken like two "managers"!

    Andy: Maybe they should find workers who can do the work instead of throwing more workers at the problems, who can't do the work? This applys to managers too!

    CAPTCHA: uselessness ("You will eventually be promoted to a level of incompetence")

  • Tyrannical (unregistered)

    A company I used to work for, we'll just call them the world leader in coated paper to keep things anonymous.

    They paid a contractor that no longer worked for them for TWO YEARS after ending his contract. After noticing the error they tried to get the money back. I'm not sure how well that went.

  • dave (unregistered)

    a.k.a. ship's counselor. :)

  • Alchymist (unregistered) in reply to Ancient_Hacker

    I had a job a bit like this once. I joined a company as an actuarial student and started in a team with two others where we had to specify & test various calculations. Then I stopped being an actuarial student without formally joining IT. The other two on the team were moved to new positions in the company. This left me with no team leader, no departmment and no-one to report to unless I was on a project.

    Until I joined the IT department (a WTF process itself, perhaps for another day), I have never been so bored in my life - this was before regular Internet access. I'd much rather have something to do.

  • that's right (unregistered) in reply to CAPTCHA: pinball

    "Finding DBAs that actually do something is like stuffing toothpaste back into the tube. You can do it... but it might just be easier to get a different tube."

    Our case is a little different. Our dba does not have the abilities to do anything usefull at the database level, so instead decides to have opinions on how code is written. Let's just say that department meetings are SO fun.

  • kiwi (unregistered) in reply to ChrisF
    ChrisF:
    Somebody may already have pointed this out, but I think that Chris is in fact an incredibly valuable asset to that company. Having had some exposure to big corporations, I have found out one thing: the real communication takes place at the water-cooler or the coffee machine; and being talkative, getting along with most people, meeting up for drinks from time to time, etc. may save you an incredible amount of time, just because you may find out that someone else in the company is working on a problem similar to yours, that some project is coming up that has not been announced officially yet, etc. From the article I get the impression that Chris is acting as a sort of informal information hub/motivator, whatever you choose to call it... There was an article in The Economist about this phenomenon about half a year ago.

    Agreed, however that point seems to elude most Accountants or Financial Controller. Unfortunately for Chris, and his workmates, when things get tough the accountants will look at whats on the paper..... no airy fairy feel good factors will be considered.

  • (cs) in reply to Top Cod3r
    Top Cod3r:
    lmodllmodl:
    DM:
    Top Cod3r:
    noehch:
    Why can't every business have a position like that? Do, virtually, nothing; get paid for it; and never worry about being fired..."job security" from nothing...

    Though, I still want to know who f'ed up in HR...

    They do, its called DBA.

    bada-bing!

    Talk about a low blow....there are DBA's out there that acutally do something.

    CAPTCHA: dubya....talk about someone who does nothing!

    Hey... I'm a DB2 DBA, and I do quite a bit. When I took over, the company's as/400 was so loaded down with old duplicate data, and unoptimized code that it looked to be near then end of it's useful life. It takes a lot of work to review 6 years of built up code to find places to improve and tweak, the system is now far more responsive, uses less processor, and far less disk space.

    Granted, even a good DBA can appear to be doing nothing a large portion of the time, but.... even a decent one will more then pay for themselves very easily.

    Wow, this comment got alot of response. I was just kidding anyways, I just like to go down there and rattle their cages sometimes :)

    I was quite short from shouting at you, but then I realized that a) you were probably just joking...

    ...well, and b) me, I'd not call myself DBA - I'd call myself Database Consultant :]

  • Kakis (unregistered) in reply to nobody

    I got a such email too a few years ago. It turned out they had accidently sent it to everyone who applied for the availible posts, regardless of wether they got the job or not.

  • Kakis (unregistered) in reply to nobody

    This qoute was supposed to show up in my above post

    nobody:
    I had a boss once at a former large minicomputer company who said that he received a rejection letter from HR two weeks after he started work there.
  • millionetc (unregistered) in reply to ChrisF

    And how, I worked in a call centre years ago, not IT, more taking credit card numbers. The company had spent a few bills setting up a room off the main area with about 12 work stations. A few of the graveyard employees had been dicking around one night, and the mid managers had 'banned' people from using the room (a brilliant edict which I of course ignored). It was only brought to the VP's attention a few months later when we were having a few drinks once night.He flipped of course. Not that it mattered really. We basically ran a telephone 'chat' system where people shelled out to talk on a party line. Every 'team meeting' I'd bring out how I couldn't believe how people actually paid us money to use our service...

    "Hi, I'm so and so, and I like long walks on the Zzzzzzzzz......"

    I hear Oprah Durden is building an army.

  • millionetc (unregistered) in reply to Alchymist

    This is an interesting phenomenae, when you are stating 'I'd rather have something to do', it somewhat comes across as "I'd like to have someone telling me what to do". You haven't stated whether you have a preference for working on teams mind you. And please don't take this as a negative critique.I just find it fascinating.

  • Tailors Suit Ya (unregistered) in reply to Fricking Monkeys
    Fricking Monkeys:
    test 1:
    test 2

    Yeah, and I bet you write that up as two separate test cycles don't you? Just like the QA where I'm at ... everywhere!

    /captcha:bathe Damn websniffers!

    Hey, as long as it compiled, and works on YOUR machine, it can be documented as two test cycles, or, as you may well put it - a "feature". captcha=burned (I dunno)

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