Senior Level Failure – Engineer Zero to Engineer One.

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Field engineering has this habit of humbling senior engineers (or those who claim to be one) and showing them that they don’t know everything.  The engineer scale starts at 1 and goes up to 6.  Most engineers fall between 3 and 4.  When it comes to field engineering, all past experience goes out the window.  If you cannot perform a field task, you’re an engineer zero until you’re trained.  Once you’re able to perform the task without help, you become an engineer one.   When you are the subject matter expert on the task, you’re an engineer hero.

I’ve run into plenty of engineer IVs who claim to have designed the product in the field.  However, when you ask them to perform a simple task, they cannot.  Failure.  They like to remind you how important they are by showing you that they’re an engineer IV or whatever.  They dislike it when you remind them that they’re an engineer zero until they’re capable.  The butt hurt is real.  Tasks competency is binary, either you can do it or you cannot.  Telling people they are zeros until they’re ones, tells them that they must learn the task and past understanding means nothing.  It might contribute to your ability to learn.

Good training guides can explain this up front.  Training people from 0s to 1s is straight forward.

Managers need to be reminded that zeros exist on the team.  It’s also nice to remind a manager that if they cannot perform the tasks that you’re doing, then they’re an engineer zero.  It usually tells people that you’re able to do their job before they can do yours.  It keeps micromanagers in check.

My favorite way to put people in their place is to ask technical questions that are obvious.  Oh? You’re a network engineer?  What’s the port for SSH? 32? WTF!? No.  GTFO!  Humiliation sometimes humbles a person.  When they are over-confident and need to come down to earth, ask a simple technical question.  Watch them squirm.

 

 

Hostile Work Environment – The Vacuum Cleaner

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There comes a time in a man’s life where the vacuum cleaner does more than suck dirt from the floor.  It repels assholes.

The older we get, the more we need to find HR compliant ways to say, “FUCK YOU”.  You can be fired for telling an asshole to go fuck him or her self.  Your best defense is to be as annoying as you can.  You cannot get fired for being annoying.  OCD is a legit reason to run the vacuum every time you want the fuck tards out of your office.  Vacuums are loud and annoying.  Most people bail because you stir up dust.  Even better, fuck up your efforts in vacuuming and spill the contents around on the floor.  You could even vacuum the ceiling. I do.

People get it.  You want them gone and in most cases, they leave.  You’ll find these people will talk shit on you, but you’ve won the war.  You train them to leave when they see you going for the vacuum.  Running the vacuum is another way to say fuck you when they think you’re lazy.  You can make comments such as, “I don’t want to be lazy, so I’m cleaning this dirty floor.”

Hostile Work Environment – Unqualified Managers and Precedence

59944339This post will butt-hurt some managers.  However, this post isn’t to make them happy, it’s to entertain you with real scenarios and offer some humor.

What makes a good manager? Is it someone who ensures that you have the tools to do your job? Is it someone who only approves your time card?  It really comes down to working relationship.  Office humor put aside, the best manager is someone who full-fills the employee’s needs to perform their tasks or duty.   It really depends on the situation and culture.  I might want a manager who has complete hands off while I perform antivirus updates.  I might want a manager who micromanages my time card and ensures that I’m complaint.   Where it all breaks down and the shit hits the fan is when a manager is not qualified and tries to make decisions that would go contrary to the employee’s best advice.

When the product or service requires a manager to understand the technical aspects, it’s best to have a manager who came from that field.  Too often, this is not the case.  We may receive managers, who needed a job or cover, into the position and their discipline fails them.  A good manager will quickly understand the products specs or service details. They may ask the senior engineer or technician their input and let that guide the process.  In my world, I’ve seen it not be this way.  Let’s talk about the unqualified manager and precedence.

Precedence is defined as, “the condition of being considered more important than someone or something else; priority in importance, order, or rank.”  In this case, it’s common sense.

When a manager is not qualified and not seek good advice, they tend to make decisions that negatively affect the employees.  We’ve discussed the scenario before where a system administrator wanted admin rights on a server or network that he didn’t own.   The employee gets the rights and once the community finds out, management thinks it’s a good idea to manage this.  They quickly want status on everyone’s admin rights and who does not have it.  They will create an entire jobs program out of admin rights to a system we don’t own.  There will be the weekly meetings because emails aren’t good enough.  There will be homemade spreadsheets tracking who does not have admin.   Performance reviews will be negatively impacted because we don’t have admin rights to a system that we’re not responsible for.  All of a sudden, there is precedence placed on this non-required requirement that should never have been.  This is all due to the fucking manager who has no fucking clue what he or she is doing.   Not only does the manager push this process, against the wishes of the employees, senior management will think it’s a great idea to track it and report it at a corporate level.  It’ll eventually make it into some policy that was never peer reviewed by the true holders.  Now eat that shit!

Ever ask why we do a process and the source for it? Ever get the answer, “It’s always been that way?”  This is the same bad milk from the fridge.  Managers who are unqualified cannot answer why we do things a certain way.  Before long, this unspoken tribal knowledge makes its way into an office policy document and now you’re fucked.  There is no going back.  Who cares about streamlining? It’s a jobs program.

Surviving a hostile work environment – Office Samurais and the Art of War

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I’m not going to start this post with some bullshit from the Art of War.  Great, we know that military tactics aren’t appropriate in the work place nor does the leader you could become.  There are plenty of leaders who have not read that book.

Anyways, there are many ninjas in the office. These are the fuckers who do shit and deny it.  Who the hell stole my external hard drive power adapter? A fucking ninja! Who power cycled the server and didn’t tell anyone? A ninja.  The only way to handle ninjas is to deploy the Office Samurai.

Office Samurais are a respected class.  These individuals have some form of honor and integrity.  In feudal Japan, Samurais were respected and did the dirty work of their masters.  In the office, Samurais are usually heavy hitters and reliable people.   When the office ninjas start pulling their shit, you need to bring in the heavy duty, samurais.  They’re approach to problem solving is outlined below:

Direct Attack: These samurais will shake the crowd for the culprit and quickly swash the problem. If a ninja continues to complain that they’re unfairly targeted, the samurai will request that his master no longer give the ninja a task or charge code.  This direct line of attack can be challenged by the Emperor or Human Resource Department Leader.  Emperors are here to protect the empire or corporate posture.  Their behavior is pretty much defined and predictable.  Ninjas understand this behavior.  Direct attacks are saved when the negative feedback from the emperors are minimal.

Greasing the Turd: Greasing the Turd is a tactic employed by any office warrior.  The art of overloading your target or distracting them is the goal. Visualize a wet turd hitting the mouth of your opponent.  The more you grease the turd, the more it smears the target.  This can be accomplished several ways.  One is to send an unexpecting co-worker towards the problem.  When there is a roadblock and someone will not move from their position, strength in numbers is helpful.  You hype up your cause and send the co-worker towards the individual.  This influence will either irritate or win.  Whatever the goal is, it takes energy for the receiving individual to deflect the incoming co-worker.  This is quiet annoying, especially if you get trolled by several at the same time.  This will lead the individual to frustration and react.  Another way is also sending an unqualified person to resolve an issue.  This can frustrate the receiving individual and make them rage quit the project or task.  It’s almost like throwing ninja stars.  Sending email request to have the target look up information that really isn’t required is another tactic.  The objective is to overload and get an expected result.

Closing the Fortress Gates:  When ninjas keep touching your shit, you close the fortress gates.  You limit access to the room, computer, or project.  This is to make the program safer.  This will excite the ninjas and make them retaliate.  You’ll want to ensure that you’re fast when pulling up the gate.  Stealth is important.  When a ninja knows that you’re cutting off their access to the fortress, they might open another way or use existing staff inside to access what they need.  Be smart.

Email Etiquette for Fuck Tards – Email Warfare

6d3909618a4e32ae24085177ef4cefe9[1]Office warfare has been around since there was the first employee.  With the invention of email, we’ve seen office warfare move from the type-writer to instant delivery of networked devices.  Preparing your email and deciding who receives it requires precious mental energy.  Reacting to fuck tards via email brings your mental yoga workout to a mental triathlon.

Any normal email should be written to the point.  No flowery words.  We lose sight of the email’s meaning after the first paragraph.  Like any essay, you need to state what you’re talking about upfront.  You may even bulletize the main points so the reader can easily skim.  This is what a professional email should do.  However, we know damn well that fuck tards and ninjas exist in the work place.  Let us break it down.

BCC Ninjas.  You know what we’re talking about.  The fucking person added via BCC.  Most fuck tards like to show that they’re working.  “Look at me!”   Most of the time, the really dumb fuck tards like to just CC everyone.  Fuck, add the entire logistics department when the email has nothing to do with logistics.  “Look at me! I’m important! I write emails!”  The BCC ninjas are fuckers who BCC another party and not even tell you.  When they BCC, you have no idea that they’re lining you up for failure.  You think the conversation is private and WAM!, your BCC precipitant replies.  WHO THE FUCK INVITED them? BCC Ninjas.

After Hours Email Fuck Tards make it a point to write an email late at night.  This gives the impression to their superiors that they’re working late.  I have news for you.  A component person who can work a 8 hour task and complete it in 6 hours is a much better work than someone who does the 8 hour task, taking 16 hours.  Just because you work more hours, doesn’t make you a better employee.  Neither does working after hours.  Normally, 1700 (5 PM for you regular folks) is the time to go home, relax, and drink a half bottle of Scotch because you almost punched someone in face.  It doesn’t mean you continue to work.  After Hour Fucks like to send the email at 8 PM.  “Look at me! I’m so fucking important and I am a dedicated mother fucker. ” There are two reasons for writing an email late at night. It’s either you were in meetings all day and you had no time or you want to look like you’re “willing to stay late for the job”.  No true, competent manager finds value in late night emails. What’s worst is the employee that schedules a fucking meeting at 5 PM.  FUCK YOU.  Just as dumb.

Assembling a Fuck Tard Army, doesn’t make your answer right or give authority to your request.  Sometimes, CCing or adding more people to the email gets annoying.  If the email change is more than 10 people, it becomes very inefficient.   It turns into a big circle jerk and nothing comes from the email.   However, email chains do trump the in-person-meeting-circle-jerk.   Fuck Tards like to add more people because it makes it look like they’re “on top of things”.   Efficient workers like to only talk directly to the people that matter.  STOP FUCKING ADDING MORE PEOPLE.

Passive aggressive email fuck tards are easy to handle.  You can delete their email or use the same language.  When an ex-military officer manager says “I’m tracking you. I got ya tone locked”, you ask yourself if they’re going to fire a side-winder missile.  Real people use real words and phrases.  “I follow you” or “I understand where you’re going with that topic”. STOP FUCKING MANIPULATING THE CONVERSATION WITH SOME PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE FUCK TARD LANGUAGE.  Return the favor by telling them that you’ve got them dialed in or whatever.  The more you use their words, the more they’ll become annoyed and cease to continue the language.

Admin Account Hoarders

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You know the individual who wants an admin account on every fucking system?  These people think that they’re entitled to the administrator account, even when the system they wish to have admin on, isn’t theirs.

Take time to analyze the individual making the request.  Do they have too much shit on their desk? You know, the guy who can’t throw shit away.  They have the original paperwork, from 20 years ago, for their first day on the job.  These mother fuckers have a serious condition that forces them not to throw a damn thing away.  When they’ve collected all the shit and piled it on their desk, they need to collect more.  They go after the power of admin accounts.

I’ve recently been entertained by an individual who said, “For these two systems, I need admin.  I cannot do anything without admin.”  First, the system this individual wanted access to was only used for emails and basic web browsing.  When any of our co-workers require technical support, they call fucking help desk.  However, since the individual isn’t good at his or her job, they try to make up by being personal in other areas.  They also said, “Well, you do need to have the right certs for admin.” Wait, DoD 8570 clearly states that administrator (IAT II) is satisfied by a security plus certificate.  Any asshole can pass this “difficult”cert that you speak of.  What the fuck makes you so damn special? Nothing.  You want people to think that you’re important.

Where it really goes wrong is when you have admin and you honestly fix a problem on the system.  The sheep in the office have no idea why everyone else does not have admin and all of a sudden, you’ve set a fucking presidence.   The, the sheep assholes come asking me for help because YOU’VE had admin.  Before long, management gets wind that we can get one more fucking added capability.  Management driven, everyone must have a fucking admin account on a system that we DO NOT administer.  Two managers up, the fucker puts a bullet on his performance review, “Directed IT to get admins on an account and provide additional support.” Support is code work for busy work for the price of nothing.  The normal operation of support is to ask people to call help desk.  If you have an issue with the system that I’m responsible for, we can work it out, but don’t ask me to support a system that I have no authority on.

Let’s collect admin on all the fucking systems like it’s a badge of honor.  One day, while sitting at the fireplace with your grand children on your lap, you’ll finally say, “You know son, I had admin on that classified system.  I’m so fucking important.  You know, I didn’t do a DAMN thing with the admin, but I was rightfully acknowledge by my co-workers as a bad ass.  Your grand mother or grand daddy was a bad ass.”  Said NO ONE EVER.  STFU and stop applying for admin every you go, you fuck tard.