Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's hard to write a blog post after having been whisked away to Vegas for a surprise party. What am I going to write about after that? The answer: work. Sorry.

Work has been unintentionally hilarious this week. Not hilarious in the knee-slapping way, more in the face-slapping way.

For the last couple months we've had a Very Angry Customer in Singapore. Somebody gave them some bad advice a year ago, and since then it's spiraled completely out of the land of sanity and reason. Management keeps making ominous noises that someone is going to be sent to Singapore to sit next to the customer for a while. Now, don't get me wrong, I'd love to visit Singapore, I just wouldn't want to spend my trip sitting in a computer server room with an angry customer glaring at me and tapping their cane of punishment in anticipation of my failure.

My boss, Scott, sat on a teleconference earlier this week with multiple levels of management. Scott stayed quiet through most of the call, listening to various smart people say ridiculous things in the name of pleasing the Very Angry Customer, who was apparently demanding that we make our software run 5 times faster. After 30 minutes of this Scott finally spoke up, explaining that we couldn't possibily begin to make our software run faster without knowing why it was running slowly in the first place. He explained the technique our team typically uses in these situations.

There was silence for a few moments until the Executive Vice President spoke.

"Scott, that's the first smart thing I've heard anyone say about the Very Angry Customer. We need you on the ground in Singapore now."

And so the back-pedaling began. Scott wove a tale of remote-access-this and tele-that. Eventually the executive VP relented and offered to send one of the field engineers to Singapore instead of someone from our team.

"For how long?" the field engineer's manager tentatively asked

"Forever!" the VP replied.

So, now, some poor sap is being sent indefinitely to sit in a server room in Singapore while my team thinks of smart things for him to do, say, click, and maybe pantomime. Then, each night, he'll attempt to circumvent the Very Angry Customer's security so that he can send us the data files that we'll need to remotely solve the problem.

Poor bastard. I can only hope that the USB drive he uses is smooth and smaller than his sphincter.


Avery Gray said...

Ah, anal jokes. Good times.

Tell the poor sap to invest in some jade jewelry. Not that he'll necessarily get to see the Western world again, but if he does, it appraises much higher here. And it appeases the wife. Win-win!

Mike said...

I don't know what would lead you to believe that some random software engineer has a girlfriend, let alone a wife. Just because I defied the odds doesn't mean they all can do it.

Sue said...

It seems that software companies (and Web-based companies) abound with stupid upper management and sales teams that promise a lot, with out knowing what the hell they'r talking about (not to mention not funding the engineering team). Ever seen Code Monkey? Or did I get it from you...

Mike said...

Hey Sue. I know and love Code Monkey, but had never seen the video before. Thanks!

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