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Old 06-04-2010, 08:47 PM   #41
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I'm not sure if this qualifies: Putting non-IT people in charge of IT people. This includes former jet-jockeys.
No, IT people are not completely interchangeable. Was transferred from main frame maintenance to website manager in early '90s. Yes, I am capable of learning, but would a few days of instruction be too much to ask?
Understand this completely -- and it qualifies. After 25 years in IT I reported to a director who had formerly been a diesel mechanic and was currently a "weekend rancher" (the vanity variety with a few acres and a few cows and a big diesel-guzzling pickup truck). Funny, he complained that Exxon-Mobil made too much profit.

He was unable to compose an email consisting of more than one complete sentence -- seroiusly. Most written communication originating from him was "call me".
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:57 PM   #42
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Understand this completely -- and it qualifies. After 25 years in IT I reported to a director who had formerly been a diesel mechanic and was currently a "weekend rancher" (the vanity variety with a few acres and a few cows and a big diesel-guzzling pickup truck). Funny, he complained that Exxon-Mobil made too much profit.

He was unable to compose an email consisting of more than one complete sentence -- seroiusly. Most written communication originating from him was "call me".
I had an ignorant @#$% supervisor who didn't like computers or women (who were out of their place). He always tried to give me low ratings & I finally told him to put his concerns in writing and I told him I would have evaluations sent in from our clients in the field; the !@#$ backed down.

Of course that pissed him off even more.

Just a memo to ignorant misogynists: Don't mess with women that can decode in hex.
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:57 PM   #43
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Had a boss that would call and ask how many new recruits he could expect. If the number wasn't what he wanted to hear he'd say "You know, Keim, a goal should be achievable, but it should make you stretch. I think you can recruit more this week. Stretch. I'm going to call you in about an hour, and I expect you to tell me that you can recruit X number of people this week." This happened weekly, so we soon learned to give him inflated production estimates. Then he'd wonder why the projections he gave his boss were never accurate. When he moved on the new guy couldn't believe how rosy our estimates were. He got burned once by believing them, and reporting them to his boss. After that, he talked with us about giving ACCURATE projections.

Had a boss tell my supervisor that I didn't have a "proper sense of urgency" about achieving our year end recruitment goal. My supervisor passed this on to me. I went ballistic, marched into the bosses office and asked him to detail precisely how I was being lackadaisical, and what items I had missed or not done to his satisfaction in my pursuit of the goal. We talked, and I cleared up his mis-perception. He didn't have one valid suggestion for me. Jack-ass.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:33 PM   #44
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:40 AM   #45
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Since back-up tapes are never used except for true catastrophes they are not discoverable - and this has been held up in a court of law several times.
I suspect you are using the wrong term. Absolutely everything a company or a third party has is potentially "discoverable" unless it is privileged. The question is fundamentally who pays the cost of searching. If it is records you use, the defendant pays the cost. If you don't use the records the plaintiff pays the cost.
pretty good piece at
http://www.craigball.com/What_Judges...-corrected.pdf
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:53 AM   #46
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I'm not sure if this qualifies: Putting non-IT people in charge of IT people. This includes former jet-jockeys.
No, IT people are not completely interchangeable. Was transferred from main frame maintenance to website manager in early '90s. Yes, I am capable of learning, but would a few days of instruction be too much to ask?
I agree that it takes special talent to control IT people . Skill with a whip and a small handgun might qualify. IT people in general hate the idea that they are staff and not line and that they work for other people rather than the greater glory of the IT department. I conducted research for more than 20 years on the role of IT in health care. The same problems occur over and over and over again. Fundamentally in health care you have to keep the end users (medical types) happy, and you have to keep the system running properly ALL THE TIME. It is very difficult to find IT people who understand these concepts, much less how to do it. Add in the complex medical problems of "need to know" and patient privacy and you have an incredibly difficult task. Nothing in the training or experience of general IT people prepares them for the health care environment. Many Many Many companies have entered the field and failed dismally.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:23 AM   #47
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I conducted research for more than 20 years on the role of IT in health care. The same problems occur over and over and over again. Fundamentally in health care you have to keep the end users (medical types) happy, and you have to keep the system running properly ALL THE TIME. It is very difficult to find IT people who understand these concepts, much less how to do it. Add in the complex medical problems of "need to know" and patient privacy and you have an incredibly difficult task. Nothing in the training or experience of general IT people prepares them for the health care environment. Many Many Many companies have entered the field and failed dismally.
Don't get me started. Working with a clinical management system that produces meaningless data and has dramatically reduced the utility of the information we had on paper. Point this out at a big meeting. Supported by bigshot surgeon. All eyes turn to the CIO. "This system is not designed to help you understand what's going on".

WTF is it for, then?
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:56 AM   #48
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Megacorp defense contractor offered everyone an incentive to leave the company before two divisions were combined: Take your accrued benefits and leave.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:01 AM   #49
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Riffing off of Meadbh's WTF.

In the light rail system where I spent 15 years, we used to call the Maintenance Management System --- input only -- no one ever was able to get any useful report out of it. Then it was upgraded to GUI--- same usefulness as before, but now in color.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:21 AM   #50
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In the light rail system where I spent 15 years, we used to call the Maintenance Management System --- input only -- no one ever was able to get any useful report out of it. Then it was upgraded to GUI--- same usefulness as before, but now in color.
I bet you're really gonna enjoy watching Honolulu build a light rail system...
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:48 AM   #51
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I suspect you are using the wrong term. Absolutely everything a company or a third party has is potentially "discoverable" unless it is privileged. The question is fundamentally who pays the cost of searching. If it is records you use, the defendant pays the cost. If you don't use the records the plaintiff pays the cost.
pretty good piece at
http://www.craigball.com/What_Judges...-corrected.pdf
Good article and I may have used the wrong term, but as of last year no judge had ordered that any back-up tapes ever be mined for data.

From the article, since the company has never used backup tapes for any reason other than a true catastrophe then this is the argument that has always held up in court. (see the first 2 points that a judge considers).

I know that for certain (all?) criminal investigations this argument would not be valid. eg if an employee was suspected of being a paediophile and being investigated by the FBI then all his e-mail and browsing history must be produced.

Quote:
The court may want to inquire:

Does the responding party routinely restore backup tapes to, e.g., insure the system is
functioning properly or as a service to those who have mistakenly deleted files?

Have any of the backup tapes at issue been restored in other circumstances and thus
accessible as information in other cases or held by third parties?

Does the responding party have the system capacity and in house expertise to restore the data?

Not everyone has the idle system resources or personnel required to temporarily restore a prior
version of the data alongside the current version.

Can responsive data be searched and extracted without wholesale restoration of the tapes?

Emerging software and tape technologies sometimes make this feasible.

Have you compared your projected in-house restoration cost against the services of so-called
“tape houses” equipped to process large numbers of tapes at competitive prices? “Do it
yourself” is not always cheaper.
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:16 PM   #52
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I bet you're really gonna enjoy watching Honolulu build a light rail system...
Heh Heh, If you think a submarine is a money pit, wait for the light rail, the ultimate black hole. Well maybe a monorail would be close runner up.
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:26 PM   #53
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Heh Heh, If you think a submarine is a money pit, wait for the light rail, the ultimate black hole. Well maybe a monorail would be close runner up.
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:45 AM   #54
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Good article and I may have used the wrong term, but as of last year no judge had ordered that any back-up tapes ever be mined for data.
ZUBULAKE V
Zubulake v. UBS Warburg, 2004 WL 1620866 (S.D.N.Y. July 20, 2004). During an ongoing discovery dispute in an employment discrimination case, the employee moved for sanctions against the employer for failing to produce backup tapes containing relevant emails and for failing to produce other relevant documents in a timely manner. See Zubulake v. UBS Warburg, 220 F.R.D. 212 (S.D.N.Y. 2003). In this latest motion, the employee contended that the employer, who recovered some of the deleted relevant emails, prejudiced her case by producing recovered emails long after the initial document requests. Furthermore, some of the emails were never produced, including an email that pertained to a relevant conversation about the employee. As such, the employee requested sanctions in the form of an adverse inference jury instruction. Determining that the employer had wilfully deleted relevant emails despite contrary court orders, the court granted the motion for sanctions and also ordered the employer to pay costs. The court further noted that defense counsel was partly to blame for the document destruction because it had failed in its duty to locate relevant information, to preserve that information, and to timely produce that information. In addressing the role of counsel in litigation generally, the court stated that "[c]ounsel must take affirmative steps to monitor compliance so that all sources of discoverable information are identified and searched." Specifically, the court concluded that attorneys are obligated to ensure all relevant documents are discovered, retained, and produced. Additionally, the court declared that litigators must guarantee that identified relevant documents are preserved by placing a "litigation hold" on the documents, communicating the need to preserve them, and arranging for safeguarding of relevant archival media.
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:18 PM   #55
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Oh man....why didn't I think of doing stuff like that?
Corporate policies should always be examined for potential entertainment opportunities. It keeps the fun in work, and prevents most managers from taking themselves too seriously.

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Old 06-06-2010, 07:40 PM   #56
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Heh Heh, If you think a submarine is a money pit, wait for the light rail, the ultimate black hole. Well maybe a monorail would be close runner up.
The monorail was one of the options that was being considered. LS what system did you work for? I am so not looking forward to paying for Honolulu light rail system.
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:58 AM   #57
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I am so not looking forward to paying for Honolulu light rail system.
Technically we're already paying for it, and the only question is whether or not the EIS will ever enable one to be built!

I wonder if the $4.5B price tag (or whatever we're calling it this week) should be paid out to Honolulu's commuters, enabling them to ER and get their cars off the road.
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:55 AM   #58
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The monorail was one of the options that was being considered. LS what system did you work for? I am so not looking forward to paying for Honolulu light rail system.
Baltimore. Some fun numbers: The original fleet of 18 cars, 1.8 mill per car, with options for an additional 20 or so at roughly the same price.

These are custom design wide body, with the then governor's lady companion choosing the decor.

Six months after the expiration of the option, the wise leaders decided to buy more. The new price? 2.6 million.

At the public planning hearings everybody lies about the real costs.
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:33 PM   #59
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Got a couple more if we're not tired of hearing how stupid our companies were (are?).

Division director steps up to the podium and begins a litany of cuts and changes "mandated" by our dismal couple of quarters. The usual: no travel (except for mgmt. types), no raises (except for mgmt. types) etc. etc. etc. (the "management types" language was left out but understood by all.) In other words, the usual suspects. Then the zinger. I'll try to quote but I'm sure memory fails.

"We're placing a log by each copy machine on which each copy made must be documented as to the person making the copy and the business reason for making the copy."

This little gem had never been instituted in past "down turns" and I'm assuming everyone of the 200 or so folks in the room thought it was some sort of comic relief after the "believable" but disheartening litany of cut-backs. The 200+ folks in the audience exploded in laughter and were nearly rolling in the aisles until they noticed that the director wasn't even smiling. It got very quiet. He was serious - and went on to explain how much we were spending on copies, blah, blah, blah.

The program lasted for several months until it was quietly discontinued. I'm sure someone determined that it was costing a lot more to document copies than to pay for the few extra "personal" copies that folks now documented as "spoiled"- the official speak for copies that didn't turn out.

Another classic not so company wide, this time. A couple hundred of us lab types got called into a room and were informed that we would all now be randomly drug tested because there was a potential for us to deal with controlled substances as a part of our jobs. This wasn't even close to true as the CS were handled by perhaps 5 of us under strict lock-and-key accountability following bonding, back-ground checks, etc. But that's not the crazy part. We were used to wastes of money for gnat/sledgehammer tactics such as this one. The rest of the story is a lot more interesting. The HR rep who was informing us all of the new testing program warned us in strictest terms to refrain from eating anything with poppy seeds in it as this would give a false positive in our urine tests and could lead to termination. About a week later the HR rep got back to all of us (by email - go figure) that only those directly handling CS would be in the random testing program. She never retracted the poppy seed admonition and I'm sure she was correct that most first-pass tests would pick up opiate traces of those consuming poppy seeds. Still, we had subsequently researched the issue and found that any urine positives would be followed up by more stringent blood tests with GC/MS confirmation prior to terminations.

From then on, the HR woman was known as "False-Positive" Mary. She was soon "promoted" to another company site.

One more.

No specifics (thankfully, I've forgotten most) but our performance appraisal systems were nearly always a (bad) joke, but at least they never got stale. The longest we ever kept the same system was 3 years. I was there so long that "old" systems were reinstituted as new, more fair PAs. We actually arrived at a system which I think was not only fair but even motivating to the employees. Middle management, line supervision, scientific staff and technical staff actually got with the program and supported it. Unheard of. It lasted 2 years and was replaced by a draconian "bell shaped curve model".
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:54 PM   #60
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... our performance appraisal systems were nearly always a (bad) joke... We actually arrived at a system which I think was not only fair but even motivating to the employees. Middle management, line supervision, scientific staff and technical staff actually got with the program and supported it. Unheard of. It lasted 2 years and was replaced by a draconian "bell shaped curve model".
Alright, you peaked my interest. What sort of appraisal system was well received?
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