Justice Served: Richard's Servers



A bit of info first: I started working there last July in the summer break. It's a company that sells and trades diesel oil but has a small store for boats as well including a small dock where boats can get diesel oil. I work in the small store on Saturdays since I am a college student. Like I mentioned I began working in the summer break.

Now I study business IT & management and I have 6 years of work experience in IT and on my first day I noticed their IT was in dire state.

There had been a power outage and since their IT was managed by just one man (I'll call him Richard because Richard is long for Dick, how do you get Dick from Richard? You ask nicely), who happened to be on holiday for three weeks.

So they kinda put the job on me and the first thing to fix was the website.

Within in ten minutes I found out that, even before the power outage, stuff didn't work. The guy never made any documentation for the whole network and only he had all the passwords. The IT was very very basic. A small server, a small database and some basic networking. The website itself was hosted locally on a unix server. This was because Richard advised this. I called Richard an idiot because hosting it somewhere else costs less than upholding a server and losing customers because the website is down.

It became very clear in the next few days that Richard was pretty fraudulent, I had since called the company that did our maintenance and delivered the servers, and they said that even though the frames were what was delivered, their contents were not. Richard was using the company's IT as a hobby and personal hardware bank, switching new things for old and then took the new things home. While I consider this stealing, my boss told me that I was only 25 and that Richard probably knew better than I in this situation.

He also held the monopoly on all systems because he was the only one that knew the passwords and hardware information. He, on purpose , made no documentation and if he ever left, well, we had to rebuild the entire network. He did this because it was apparent that no one in their right mind would hire him as IT consultant and he was aware of this; no diplomas in IT or certificates and only brought on because he was a friend of the financial manager.

Carolanne 009dBut every time I said something about it, it was waved away as 'Richard knows what he is doing.'

Two weeks ago, half of the company was sold. The store and the docks were kept. And half my coworkers were let go, including Richard. Now here it is by law that if you sell your company, you also sell your staff, unless they accept the new owners laid off bonus (dunno how it is called in English). The bonus is four months pay plus a percentage on top off that, accept it and you accept that you are fired.

Richard didn't know this and happily accepted the bonus until he realised that he accepted his resignation.

Since then he tried to show the new owner that he was needed by crashing the website, removing photos from the website. Making the database roll back by two weeks, crashing the camera system.

What Richard doesn't know is that on Saturdays I have been making myself known with his systems; he had a password list and I copied it.

So I have the same control as he did, and everything he crashed, I bring back up.

I love it, it was like watching a toddler having a temper tantrum.

Some other coworkers were let go too, but they were mostly needed because Richard's automatic systems did not work so they had to do stuff manually. I think they'll find new jobs where they can grow easily.

But I am so happy, fuck you Richard.



I.T. Hell: Attack Of The Killer Stapler


Jason 0501From Goober

We have over a dozen stores. I provide IT support for all of them, to varying degrees. Some are rather more successful (and busy) than others. One is especially noteworthy, as our busiest (and most profitable) store, partly because it is in very wealthy area, with zero competition anywhere nearby, and partly because it is run by an outstanding manager who runs a tight crew. Well, outstanding at keeping sales up, anyway. Other areas of running the store, it varies. Not the most clue-full person when it comes to computers. And this is a company that will forgive you for lighting babies on fire on live television, if it doesn't affect sales.

This is the store that wanted a fan in the office, one hot day, but all the outlets were in use. So they unplugged something completely at random to plug in the fan. What they unplugged was a network switch that handled *all* the computer traffic in the store.

So I drove down there to plug it back in. Sigh.

The most memorably moment, though, was when I got a call from his assistant because the office computer wouldn't boot. She said it was making a horrible screeching sound, and even tried to imitate it. Kinda sounded to me like a hard drive that had crashed, hard, and the head was scraping on the platter. Rare, but it happens. So I headed down to pick it up and bring it back to the office to rebuild it.

When I got there, before I even walked into the office, I could hear the sound. It wasn't a continuous screeching sound, it was more of a very rapid, high pitched beep-beep-beep. I recognized it immediately as the sound a Dell motherboard makes when it has a keyboard error.

So, without saying a word, I walked into the office, took the stapler off the keyboard, cycled the power, and walked out. Both manager and assistant had the decency (and self awareness) to turn as red as their shirts.

Now, again, this is one of our best managers, and we all know it. Mostly, because he reminds us regularly. But when he gets a little too cocky, all I have to do to bring him back to earth is say the word "stapler."