• AP (unregistered)

    fIRSt

  • (nodebb)

    Jay does seem to be willing to work very hard to avoid changing the broken link to be unbroken. OK, I get that some people are beyond merely "stupid", but Jay seems to be into "comatose" territory.

    Anyone willing to bet that the broken link is created programmatically, and the programmatical part is the worst ball of mud you ever saw?

  • meg (unregistered) in reply to Steve_The_Cynic

    now i really want to see how that link is created

  • Greg (unregistered) in reply to Steve_The_Cynic

    Might be that he's fruitlessly and cluelessly attempting to get it fixed in older versions of the software (assuming it's a desktop app). Still a WTF though.

  • Paco (unregistered)

    Jay should fix the link in the program and the users, who already use the software, should be able to make an update. Of course this fix should be added to the release notes.

  • Jonathan (unregistered)

    The story is a bit of a laugh, but I have some serious career advice if you feel you relate very much with Mike.

    Bill is somewhat clueless in regards to IT, Jay is incompetent at development, but Mike appears to have pretty poor soft skills. The whole conversation would have gone much better if Mike would take just a little more time to senstively discuss the issue in more depth with Bill.

    Lots of people in IT / Software Development see soft skills as completely unnecessary, but unless you're able to compensate with The Big Short's Christian Bale level of intelligence, and very few people can, career wise you're really shooting yourself in the foot.

    You don't have to learn to like sports, or how to have random conversations with people you share no interests in common, but it is possible to learn some very basic soft skills which would allow you to deal way more effectively with other people, which makes them feel you are more helpful and thus you are more likely to have your value within the organization recognized.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Jonathan

    Sure, I mean my soft skills are oriented around crap jokes. I've actually been credited with increasing the overall number of crap jokes from other employees in my office.

    I'm guessing Mike is fatigued by his workplace. I kind of relate from my previous workplace. In trivia, I finally snapped when I got an anonymous complaint (i.e. passed through management) about not doing my senior's job for him. I should have left sooner but my mental health was generally poor and I wasn't making decisions efficiently.

  • jgh (unregistered)

    The soft skills seemed to be being used quite well in that conversation. He carefully walked the questioner through the queries, prompting the questioner to think through what was being asked for, and explaining what the answers involved.

  • Little Bobby Tables (unregistered) in reply to jgh

    Yeah, right. Doesn't matter how good a job you do, you can do the best job in the universe, some expletive deleted will have a go at you for being rubbish. Aha, I get it, Jonathan is Bill's real name.

  • 04012018 (unregistered) in reply to jgh

    I guess Jonathan is expecting more from Mike. Well I've also had conversations like this, and my patience only goes as far as Mike's. Some people like Bill and Jay just refuse to do things the right way and will defend their wrong way because it still "works". No matter how nicely you explain it to them.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Jonathan

    Soft skills do improve things, yes. In most cases. This doesn't seem to me to be one of those cases. The only real criteria I see in the stated problem is, "Change the link. Do it without modifying the software." How would you do that? You can't. And if you insist upon applying your soft skills to press the point that the only practical solution is to fix the software, you will be labeled "not a team player" because you're not helping them work toward their goal.

    Addendum 2018-07-05 02:04: Soft skills cannot overcome an unreasonable goal.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Jonathan

    The problem wasn't with Mike's soft skills, but with the fact that he was forced to use them on the wrong person. He could have talked all eight legs off of Bill about the whys and hows of what would and wouldn't work until Bill understands as much as Mike about the idiocy of the request, but Bill isn't Jay.

  • Dave (unregistered)

    If you haven't achieved what you set out to achieve, you can rant all you like about the idiocy that stopped you, or you can use the right techniques to deal with the idiocy. In this case, I think I'd prefer the ranting.

  • Artyr (unregistered)

    That story made my day hahahaha!

  • Kashim (unregistered) in reply to Jonathan

    I agree with Jonathan, in the story as written, Mike didn't handle this well. He operated under the assumption that Bill would know a ridiculous idea when he heard it, and was thus frustrated when Jay presented a ridiculous idea to Bill, that Bill then presented to Mike.

    Instead of "Well, let him try it, and come to me when it doesn't work." which wastes a ton of Jay's time, he should have a) held a meeting with Jay and Bill, and explained it to them both at the same time, or b) drawn a quick diagram for Bill, and educated him as to why it wouldn't work. Better to let them both know at the same time though. It isn't like this was a super-technical concept; a small amount of training and knowledge would explain to everyone involved why that plan wouldn't work. In the same meeting, force Jay to explain why he is willing to put so much effort into not just fixing the link.

    This shows that a) you want to arrive at the best solution, b) you are willing to give your coworkers the benefit of the doubt, c) you are willing to handle things in a way that doesn't waste the company's time, d) you aren't afraid to let someone else know when they are wrong, but e) you are professional about it.

  • (nodebb)

    I feel sorry for Bill. I've been in his shoes trying to get things moving when two people from different teams refused to work together and I had to jump in without knowing what the request exactly was about nor why it was rejected.

  • Vic (unregistered)

    While stupid, there is a circumstance where a redirect would work, and if Mike had asked one question, he could have explained why neither a redirect nor an error page on his server would fix the problem.

    A redirect would work if Jay's incorrect URL was addressed to Mike's server. If he asked that one question, "what is the incorrect URL?", and it went somewhere other than the WAS HTTP server, he could have explained to Bill that the browser sends the request to the server in the URL, and since the URL isn't addressing Mike's server, neither a redirect nor an error page on Mike's server would see it.

    Bill could learn something basic, and have the knowledge to tell Jay that he's an idiot.

  • Talis (unregistered) in reply to Kashim

    Option b) was exactly my spontaneous idea as well: When the user clicks a link in his browser, pointing to an IRS domain, Mike's server is not part of the communication. 3 boxes, 1 stick figure, 1 arrow.

    Mike didn't do bad, there are several food lines of his in the dialogue. But a picture is worth a thousand words, after all...

  • HK-47 (unregistered)

    TRWTF is incompetent people holding menagerial positions and hiring morons with whom you have to deal with and fix their fuckups on a daily nasis.

  • David Mårtensson (unregistered) in reply to Steve_The_Cynic

    My guess is that the link was email'd out so it cannot be "fixed" :) because its stored in the recipients inboxes.

  • Sameer NotGonnaWorkHereAnymore (unregistered)

    Sounds like it’s time for a meeting with the Bobs.

  • Tim! (unregistered) in reply to Shoreline

    Crap jokes like groaners or crap jokes like jokes about poop?

  • Robert (unregistered)

    Sounds like Jay is trying to get around an expensive re-code and all the things that come with it. It wasn't coded correctly in the first place, but he would rather avoid the real issue and do it the right way.

    Mike handled it about average. Not terrible, but not well. He should have been more concise with Bill and perhaps, got Jay on the phone or scheduled a meeting to discuss the requirements. Instead, he got frustrated with Jay's misunderstanding of HTTP and Bill's inability to tell the difference. So, he did what a lot of exasperated senior techs do and simply caved in, pushing him through the queue while knowing full well the solution be effective. He let Jay drown and waste time for being incompetent in hopes it would be corrective.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Watson

    Untrue. Mike could have very simply explained to Bill that the wrong link is handled by the IRS server and there is absolutely nothing he can do about it on his side. That's not hard to understand even for a non-technical person. Instead he chose to make Bill feel like an idiot for no apparent reason. Now, we don't know the context, of course. Bill might have had a history of incompetent behavior which made Mike behave this way. But without this context, Mike not only seems soft-skills-challenged; he seems like an actual asshole.

  • Kerta (unregistered)

    I feel disappointed that management wasn't just told to try logging into the IRS webserver to implement the changes directly.

  • OlegYch (unregistered)

    Mike is an incompetent 455hole

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