• Prime Mover (unregistered)

    In CFO's partial defence, the last time my wife bought a new computer, it took us a good 5 minutes to find the on-off switch. It had been built into the hinge.

  • solitario (unregistered)

    The real WTF is of course setting up a desktop computer in the server room. Server rooms are noisy and cold and usually also badly lit, which is not a good environment for people to work. If you use a desktop machine there is no reason to have it in the server room, especially if it is separated from your regular infrastructure like a test setup.

  • WTFGuy (unregistered)

    Back in 2001 a "server room" of a medium-sized company may simply have been a converted conference room among the admin offices and with an eclectic mix of 10 or 20 rack mount machines of various vintages and breeds. Plus a couple of headless desktops repurposed as "servers." Not too cold & not too noisy.

    Alternatively, I recall touring the main "server room" of a company towards the bottom of the Fortune 500. So still a big although not ginormous firm. It was a gigantic brightly lit acre-sized basement with raised flooring that had once held a phalanx of mainframes. And now had a couple dozen bays-worth of unix boxes tucked in one corner, with the umpteen-screen workstation for the 3 techs on duty in there about 50 feet away. Not noisy at all, albeit chillier than I would prefer to work in.

  • John Melville (unregistered)

    I'm sorry this isn't a WTF. If we had atta-boy's to give out the CFO would deserve one.

    The CFO knew he was in a server room, which is a high risk environment. The computer was not working "exactly" as anticipated. Rather than "trying to figure it out," he asked for help, risking of looking a little bit foolish in the process. Total cost to the company was about two minutes of time for an IT tech already tasked to supporting the test.

    We all expected the WTF to go the other way -- that the CFO was so clueless that he managed to crash the production server -- wor worse.

    So here's one (virtual) pat on the back for the CFO who wasn't afraid to admit what he didn't know.


  • LCrawford (unregistered)

    I expected the CFO to have grabbed a production keyboard since that's all he could find and follow the directions: "Step 1: Create an empty database..."

  • my name is missing (unregistered)

    The real WTF is having a CFO test anything larger than a Martini.

  • Vilx- (unregistered)

    This went better than I expected. Somewhat anticlimactic even. I expected him to mess up the production environment badly. But it's also a relief he didn't. :) Unless the story continues tomorrow? O_o

  • burner (unregistered)

    "To this day, I do not know if his problem was not being able to find the keyboard, or switch on the monitor." A. All three.

  • Prime Mover (unregistered) in reply to my name is missing

    There is wisdom in the strategy of getting someone non-technical to operate a test procedure. It tests the actual procedure itself, to ensure it is actually idiot-proof and robust.

  • dusoft (unregistered)

    I expected the test server to have access to a live database thus ... the WTF

  • (nodebb) in reply to solitario

    You do realise that is how we make sure the testing goes smoothly?

    Either the tester expires from hypothermia, or announces with expediency that "everything is working fine"

  • eric bloedow (unregistered)

    somehow this made me think of the Honor Harrington novels, and how the people from the planet Grayson worshipped a god that called "the Tester". when things go badly wrong, instead of saying "oh my god", they say "sweet Tester".

  • (nodebb) in reply to John Melville

    Being in a server room doesn't really change the fact that the PC was a desktop machine sitting on a separate office desk. There was prior planning; he was aware of what he was going to do - test the software on a non-production system. I could cut him some slack because he's not an IT professional per se, but then we have to keep in mind that he works for a company who has a strong focus on software, and that today most non-IT people in most offices use computers every day. To become the CFO, one has to demonstrate above average intelligence, problem solving, etc. - qualities that justify his higher than average salary. Sorry, it is a WTF. It's not really a software/programming WTF, but it is a good PEBKAC sorry.

  • Larpem Ipsum (unregistered) in reply to solitario

    When the A/C goes out in the rest of the building, or you don't want to be disturbed, the server room is a great place for a desktop PC. Wear headphones

  • LHPSU (unregistered) in reply to Mr. TA

    This was 2001, not today. It's just a healthcare organization. We've all been through situations where we didn't know how something mechanical worked - say, a door lock or a bottle cap.

  • 516052 (unregistered) in reply to Mr. TA

    He did demonstrate problem solving. Indeed he solved the problem in the best way, the only way that it should be solved. In the way that we all wish people would solve them all the time. He accepted that he does not have the skills and knowledge to solve it him self and called an expert.

    Half the actual WTFs on this site could have been avoided if the people in charge of various steps of project managment had acted this way. This man is a hero.

    And so whilst we can laugh at his ineptitude at using a computer we should NOT derrogate him for doing the right thing.

  • Best Of 2021 (unregistered)

    Haha, funny story!

    But yeah, also fair play to the CFO, better to ask the silly question than thrash about trying to find switches to throw and peripherals to unplug in a server room.

  • muqeet ullah (unregistered)
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  • muqeet ullah (unregistered)
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