Friday, December 24, 2010

A short Christmas ITG giggle

This is a conversation I had with my missus the other day, she was proudly showing me the powerpoint presentation she had been working on for a meeting in the office. I asked,

     "Are you going to use a projector in the office to present this?"

     "No, to do that I'd need to move it onto another computer, I'm just going to print off a heap of copies because I don't know how to put a USB on it"


Then I get into trouble for laughing at her!

Merry Christmas, The ITG

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

First week back at work

After the fire incident I ended up taking a week off and then working from home this following week. (I'm actually back in the office for the first time today... w00t) I've spoken about being able to work from home before, I consider myself very lucky that I can do this. If you consider how many occupations can actually work from home nearly full time without their work suffering you'll probably find its a minority. My boss is good to me though and is probably a little more flexible than he could be if he wasn't as happy with my work. I heard a quote in a show on TV the other day, where a successful businessman was talking about his life, that stuck with me. He said "I've been pretty lucky, but I've found the harder I worked the luckier I got." 'nuff said.

So, Today I bring you two "I can't believe they did that!" stories from the last couple of weeks. The first one takes place on the Wednesday after the fire. My face was still very swollen and the skin on it was mostly black. My lips were huge and whenever I tried to talk the skin on and around them cracked which made it very difficult to communicate. I had battled through changing my voicemail message to say that I was off sick and unable to take calls, I went on to say that for urgent matters they would need to contact another member of the IT department, but if they left a message I would get back to them the following week.

So my phone rings, I know the number ... it's one of our remote offices. I let it go through to voicemail and the person leaves no message. No more than 30 seconds later it rings again, same number. I work under the assumption that the person heard my greeting and decided not to leave a message but then changed their mind, so I let it go through to voicemail again. No message. 30 seconds later it rings again, now I'm getting annoyed. The person on the other end of the phone has now twice heard that I am off work sick and has decided that whatever problem they are having is soooo important that I need to tend to it in my ill state. I angrily answer the phone ready to give this person a spray and then realise how hard that is when you can't talk very fast. She leaped into her problem (a pretty minor problem at that) and went on to say that she could not contact any other members of the IT team.

You might be wondering why she would repeatedly try to call me as opposed to one of the other guys. Well it goes back to what I was saying earlier about hard work. People in my company have come to rely on the fact that I get things done. I've had people message me to say "Hi, I saw you allocated my IT form to you, thanks for that!" ... and better still, "Hi, I see my form has been allocated to someone else, is there any chance you could do it". I'm by no means the most talented person in our team, there are at least a couple of people here who I would put above me in a 'technical' ladder. People who in a disaster I would prefer on the job than me, but we all have our strengths and our weaknesses. My strength is that I'm a people person, the non-tech staff feel they can easily talk and relate to me, they are confident the job is getting done as I speak a language they understand and on top of that, I nearly never take a job and don't do it, which unfortunately can't be said about everyone in my team.

In the back of my mind I knew that is why she was calling me over and over, she started the conversation with "I know you're off sick ... but... " This made me more angry, at this point I was still clinging on to some hope that she hadn't heard my message. I explained to her that 4 days earlier I was burnt in a fire. i had no use of my left hand, I could not walk and my face was swollen making it hard for me to speak, which she could hear by the way I was talking. As opposed so saying "oh I'm sorry, I thought you had a cold, I'll let you go" she continued to rant about her IT issue. I had that 5 second moment where I thought about hanging up on her but true to ITG form I sorted out her issue. I shouldn't have but I did. See, sometimes I'm Dennis Leary but sometimes I'm a nice guy...

The second 'I can't believe they did that' moment came last Friday night. It was our office Christmas party and it was the first time I had seen everyone since the fire. The only obvious signs from the fact I was burnt by then was a few marks on my face, a shaved head and a bright red hand... my foot was still pretty bad but without taking off my shoe they wouldn't know. Everyone seemed to be having a good time and by 10pm I was well and truly on the road to being drunk. One of the managers came up (he had called me about this a couple of days earlier) and handed me his mobile phone.

     "Hi ITG, sorry about this but my phone has stopped receiving emails, are you able to have a look and fix it for me?"

My reaction wouldn't have let on that I was annoyed, I was seeing three phones when he handed it to me. 20 minutes, and a beer later, despite my best efforts I just couldn't find the setting I was looking for. I handed it back to him and said,

     "sorry mate, I'm just too drunk to do this, can I look next week"

He was ok about that and gave me the phone today, took me 35 seconds to fix it.  I just wonder why he thought the Christmas party when I was well beyond half cut was the best time for me to do a little bit of IT support. I guess at the end of the day some just look at the IT people as the lowly support staff who are there at everyones beck and call. /TheITG sighs...

OK, this will most likely be my last post before Christmas so I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a great Christmas (if that's your thing) and a nice break for those of you who are getting one. I'm actually working straight through .. worst case scenario I should get some nice stories for the blog!

I'd also like the take the chance to thank people who have been reading, this blog has been running under 4 months and the other day i passed by 1000 page views. I really didn't expect people to read it. I hope you're enjoying it and for first time visitors, if you do enjoy my stories I'd love for you to keep coming back.

Cheers, The ITG.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

twitter

Hi All,

Quick update to let everyone know I'm doing fine, mostly healed and things are getting back to normal after the fire. Even put in a week of work (from home) and had one or two stories come from it that will make their way into a post soon.

Wanted to let everyone know that The ITG is now on twitter:
http://twitter.com/itguyspiel

It will probably only be used to alert people of new posts but if i get some followers i might start using it to pop up little gems from my day to day work that aren't substantial enough to make for a proper blog post.

Cheers, The ITG.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A picture is worth 1062 words

Hi All, i know i said I'd get back to posting about IT related stuff soon but seeing as i haven't been working this week i don't have a lot to report. I thought I'd give you an update on my condition and bring you an incredible picture of a man on fire that i didn't know existed until yesterday.

Those of you who read my blog will know that i was burnt last week trying to start a fire with petrol. It's been a week of ups and downs. Mostly ups when the drugs kick in and then downs when they start to wear off and i have to wait until I'm able to take some more again. My face turned black, then the black skin peeled to leave some very red skin exposed. After nearly a week this new skin is starting to look a little more normal (normal being a relative term). I'm still "stop and stare" but not so much "mummy, is that man dying?"

My hand unfortunately seems to be going backwards, it's very ugly. Skin peeling off, big blisters, i cant bend my fingers. It's mostly bandaged and Ive been going to the doctors every 2 days to change the dressing, which mainly involves rubbing it down with antiseptic and then cutting away the dead skin... it's about as much fun as it sounds.

There is also my foot. In the hospital on the weekend they told me "Burns can take up to 72 hours to declare themselves" which i thought was a bit of an odd term, you think if something burns you then you'd know about it. They discharged me saying that my foot was fine. True to the term though my foot decided it'd wait a day or two and then declare the hell out of itself by going bright red, i had a blister on it when i went to bed last night about the size of an Oreo cookie. It actually burst early this morning while i was sleeping. I'm typing this while i wait for the drugs to kick back in so i can go to bed.

I'm going back to the burns ward for a follow up appointment in the next couple of days so hopefully its all good news and by the end of next week i will be good to go (for my offices Christmas Party!) One of the great things about being an ITG is that you are able to work from home where needed, which is what i plan to do next week. Only about 10% of my company is located at the office where i work so for the other 90% they don't know if I'm at home, in a cafe or sitting at my desk. This has actually lead to me accruing quite a lot of sick leave over the years and although I've used a few this week i think I'll still have around 2.5 months owing.

OK... down to the good stuff, as i said earlier i didn't know until the other day but my mate that was there the other night was taking a picture as i lit the fire. This is a transcript of our conversation:

<mate> i have a pic, like just after the fireball
<mate> i havent shown anyone
<ITG> oh really
<ITG> send it !
<mate> because i didnt think it was right
<mate> your hair is on fire
     he sends me the pic
<ITG> thats awesome
<ITG> i was secretly hoping you'd filmed it
<mate> yeah, me too
<ITG> how big was the fireball ?
<mate> seriously
<mate> massive
<mate> you were fully engulfed
<mate> waaay over your head

So, here is the pic. Its a bit difficult to make out at first but once you realise what you're looking at i think it's quite amazing. You can see the fire being sucked back towards the chiminea as it searches for oxygen post fireball. You can see the fire from the vapour that is all over the floor (where the pavers im stanging on are burning). You can also see the fire lapping at my right leg and foot, which goes some way towards explaining the blister that popped last night. Also, true to my mates word if you look closely you can see my hair is on fire. Feel free to share this pic with whoever you want i just can't stop looking at it!


fireball!
It needs to be viewed in full size to fully appreciated (click on the picture or here to get a better look). Keep in mind that not one bit of fuel landed or splashed outside of the fireplace so all of fire you see there (apart from the bit inside the chiminea) is just burning vapour. For those of you with a keen eye, don't worry ... my bike was fine :)

Finally, even though i haven't been working this week I've still had occasion for users to piss me off, I'll post something early next week about that.

Cheers, The ITG

P.S. my last post was 1062 words long, hence the Title of this one.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Goodness gracious, great ball of fire

I spent Saturday night in the hospital, after deciding to have some friends over for dinner. To be completely honest i can't believe how one thing lead to another but here is my attempt at explaining it.

A few weeks ago i decided i wanted to have a crack at making a rabbit stew. I love to cook, i genuinely think that if i wasn't in the IT field i would love to be somehow involved in food, maybe working as a chef or owning a small deli, i just seem to enjoy food more when I've cooked it. I caught a part of a Rick Stein show where he was in someones restaurant and they were showing him how to cook a 'rich rabbit stifado', Rick Stein said something along the lines of "i consider myself to be a bit of a connoisseur of rabbit and this is just about the best rabbit I've ever tasted". Unfortunately it was those words that made my ears perk up so the cooking process was long gone. I explained to a mate that i really wanted to try this and we went on the hunt to the recipe. Countless google searches bore no fruit so we started sifting through back catalogs of Rick Stein shows which is where i came across 'Rick Steins Far East Oddosy'. This showed him traveling around the Far East and cooking mostly different Asian seafood dishes. I started getting excited about fish and seafood and was talking about this excitement to my friend when he declared the coming summer as "THE SUMMER OF SEAFOOD".

(as i side note i did find the rabbit recipe on 'Rick Steins Mediterranean Escape'. I cooked it, and it was brilliant... if anyone wants a great recipe for Rich Rabbit Stifado [which is an onion based stew] email me and I'll be happy to pass it along. The story of the rabbit however is no where near as good as the opening of the summer of seafood, so I'll get back to that)

I happened to be at a family gathering a week ago and one of my Uncle's was talking about how he had caught more snapper than he could possibly eat and asked if i wanted one, he didn't need to ask me twice and i was around his house the next day to pick up a beautiful 3-4kg fish. I called up my mate and asked him if he had plans for Saturday as i thought we could kick off the summer of seafood with BBQ'd snapper & beers in the back yard. I was informed that this ticked all his boxes so we booked it in.

Dinner went off without a hitch, fantastic snapper (which i stuffed with onion, garlic, butter, lemon & tomato, then seasoned, wrapped it up with foil and stuck it in the closed bbq, 20 minutes on one side, flipped for a further 10. Made a great white wine sauce, that i also got from a Rick Stein show. After dinner (and a few drinks later) we decided that it was a nice enough night to head into the backyard to continue to drink. Outside i have a cast iron chiminea (like an outdoor fireplace) and it was already filled with wood, I thought it'd be a great idea to get it going, and quickly, so petrol was decided on as the best propellant. I poured petrol in the top then set the can down (right next to it ... this was my second mistake - the first being the decision to use petrol). I recall getting a little bit of petrol on my left hand and saying to my mate.

"you better light it, i got petrol on my hand"

"nah, you'll be right, just light it with your other hand" was his response.

In the hospital burns ward they told me, due to the fact it was a warmish night and the chiminea being cast iron it probably retained some of the afternoons heat, most of the petrol that i poured into the top opening was probably turned into vapour and would have completely surrounded me well before i tried to light it. My mate told me that he lost sight of me for a second or two, i was completely engulfed in flames. I ran around the corner of my house and all i could smell was burnt hair. My hand was still on fire and i managed to get it out quickly. I screamed to my friend that the petrol can was on fire and he managed to extinguish it before an explosion that probably would have lead to my house catching on fire. I ran straight to the shower and stood under the cold water for about 25 minutes.

Long story short... a very painful car ride to our local hospital, an ambulance ride from there to a larger hospital, lots of morphine, burn gel and vomiting, i ended up spending the night in the burns ward in incredible pain but i was very lucky. Doctors called what happened to my face, hand and foot as 'superficial burns' although they felt anything but superficial to me. They expect everything to heal with little to no scaring and no needs for skin grafts.



So what have we learnt here. I'd say mostly stuff i should have already known and most people probably do. Don't try to start a fire with petrol, there is no need for fire on a warm night, don't go near fire when you have petrol on your skin, your judgement is a little impaired after a few drinks and its much harder for an ITG (or anyone for that) to type with just one hand.

I've got a week at home in a bit of pain before i have to go back to the burns ward for a follow up, my left hand is completely bandaged up, It hurts to put weight on my right foot, a bit of my hair is missing (I'll need to shave my head), and my face looks like a patchwork of black and missing skin. I'm a sight!! I expect to make a full recovery and get back to posting IT related stories soon.

I'll keep everyone updated with how I'm doing, thanks so much for reading.

Cheers, The (slightly singed) ITG.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Telescopes don't use electricity

Being an IT guy i often get asked for advice with things related to technology. It's not unusual to be invited for dinner somewhere and when you get to your mates house for him to say "after dinner do you reckon you might be able to have a quick look at my computer?" Quick looks don't really exist, normally if its something 'quick' people manage to sort it out on their own, I normally get my own back by enjoying watching them squirm by showing them just how easy it is to locate their hidden porn folder(s). Last time i was asked to have a quick look at someones computer i spent 3 hours after dinner fixing something for them.

At the end of the day you tend not to mind doing this for good friends and family, it generally nets you a case of beer or nice bottle of wine here and there anyway. You also end up with lots of credits in peoples favour banks. My boss once told me he got a fairly large discount off a car he purchased from a dealer cause he fixed a problem he was having with their printer. Surely they could have got someone out to look at it for one tenth of the saving he got.

The thing that i find most amusing is that some people seem to think that seeing as i work in IT that i know everything there is to know about anything that uses electricity. I often get a dinner invite when someone buys a new TV or (and more recently, especially) digital tv recorder. I've had a couple of funny ones, like when someone didn't know how to use their new oven or only last week showing a family member how to use their central heating unit. If it has buttons apparently it's in my realm!

Yesterday was a first though, i was out to lunch with a few people and one of the girls there pulled me aside as soon as she saw me and said "i need to speak to you later" and when seeing the look of 'what about?' on my face she said "its a technical question". I just assumed she (like so many before her) had decided to buy their first apple laptop and after years of only using windows got confused what to do three seconds after turning it on. This wasn't the case here though. Later in the afternoon she took me aside again and told me she wanted to buy a present for her boyfriend but really didn't know all the ins and outs of what to buy. I assumed she was talking about an ipad, a laptop, a printer or perhaps even a tv in a stretch but nope, she wanted to buy him a telescope.

She wasn't exactly sure what all the technical specs meant and before i could get a word in i had already been queried on things like focal length/ratio, dawes limit and aperture. I have no idea and told her as much, said that i really had no experience with telescopes and would assume that the more zoom the better but apart from that i was at a loss. I even explained that the only time i'd ever used one was when i was a kid and we went to my dads mates house down the beach, he had an apartment that overlooked the foreshore (and the people laying on it) ... wow that was a lot of fun. She didn't seemed phased by this though and kept on going with her questions, i suggested if she knew someone that was into photography perhaps they'd be more useful than me. In the end she walked away from the conversation looking defeated, almost like I'd chosen not to give her the info she needed. Ahh well, i guess there is a limit to the ITG's ability after all.

Hope he enjoys his telescope.

Cheers, The ITG.

EDIT: someone has already pointed out to me that some telescopes do use electricity, the fact i didn't know that shows just how little i know about them! also ... shortly after posting this my blog received its 500th page visit :) didn't expect this many people to be reading, thanks heaps!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday afternoon funnies

I received two rather frantic sounding IT forms yesterday afternoon within a minute of each other. They both informed me that a whole team of people (about a dozen) were offline in one of our offices. I could see the office was online, i could log into the server, so i knew it wasn't a site issue. As I've said before Friday arvo's are normally fairly easy going and it was already late in the day, the last thing i felt like doing was on Friday afternoon was troubleshooting a major network issue over the phone with someone on the other side of the country! Ahh well, this is what I'm getting paid to do so i picked up the phone.

I called up one of the managers that the request related to and started working through the problem with her. After only a few seconds i realised that there just wasn't the sense of urgency in her voice which i expected with 12 of her workers sitting there twiddling their thumbs.

     "sorry mate, when did all you guys get knocked offline?"

     "oh, no, its not everyone, it's just me"

    "Hmm, the forms said no one in your team was able to get online though"

     "yeah, sorry about that. I was offline so i popped my head out of my office and asked 'is everyone else offline?' and they all responded yes, even though they weren't"

     "do you have any idea why they said that?"

     "no, sorry, i don't"

The thing that i found the most worrying was that she didn't even seem to think this was unusual, or care that they had all confirmed they were unable to work when in fact they could. Top managing there!

For those of you at home keeping score, she had unplugged her network cable for some reason and forgotten to plug it back in. All this happened close enough to beer o'clock for me not to care.

Happy Weekend! The ITG.

Monday, November 22, 2010

this is what mouse movements look like

I found this cool little application called IOGraph, you can get it for free from their website here.

It tracks your mouse movements and graphs it for you.

Here is an image created from me running it for a full day of work:

Click here to see it full size

From what i can tell, a black circle is when your cursor sits idle (the bigger the circle the longer it was idle) and a white circle with a black dot is if it doesn't move for only a short time.

Thought it was kinda cool and wanted to share.

Cheers, The ITG

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Take my wife, please.

Fridays at my work are generally pretty easy going. Friday afternoons even more so. I guess if people come across IT issues on a Friday they tend to think it'd be best to leave them for Monday. Even though this makes Monday mornings crazy (which are already busy because of all the people who have killed just the right amount of brain cells over the weekend to forget their passwords) it means that Friday arvo's are nice and cruisy. This gives me a chance to play catchup or plan for the next week. Last Friday wasn't like this. It was uncharacteristically busy and most of the issues that were coming through were stupid. I don't really mind stupid requests that much, they sometimes make for good stories but generally they are quick fixes. I'll often tell a user when they say "oh sorry, you must think im so blond!", "no stress at all mate, these are my favourite kind of requests".

With Friday arvo being a bit of a chore i was really looking forward to getting home to have a nice relax and not have to deal with any more stupidity, this was not to be the case.

As i was getting ready to leave the office my missus called me and asked what time i was going to be home as her Dad was coming up and she was cooking dinner. This was welcome news as I do most of the cooking in our house and was in a 'I'm going to order take away and have a couple of drinks because i really cant be bothered cooking' kind of a mood.

Once i got home she realised we were out of Parmesan for our pasta so decided to pop up to the shop with her dad to buy some, the bottle of Canadian Club Whisky on the shelf was begging me to drink it but I had nothing to use as a mixer so i asked her to grab me some dry ginger.

Upon arriving home I was handed a small Jar of 'Garlic Steak Seasoning' when she said:

     "they had no dry ginger, will this be ok?"

I was baffled, i must have looked at her for a full 30 seconds before my brain rebooted. OK, I'm pretty sure i said to her i wanted to drink some CC&dry but i completely understand that not everything i say in my head makes it out my mouth. Lets assume i didn't... even if she thought i wanted some Dried Ginger pieces what confuses me the most here is that she had already cooked dinner, it was basically done, firstly what did she think i needed ginger for? Secondly, if the shop didn't have the dried pieces of ginger that she thought i wanted why did she think a mixture of Garlic, salt, pepper and herbs would be a good substitute? The best bit was i already had a jar of this stuff in the cupboard and like 3 full heads of garlic in the fridge.

I asked her all this, she just laughed and said:

     "I don't know"

She's a strange one alright.

Cheers, The ITG

Thursday, November 18, 2010

If your soap pump doesn't kill you, your tap will!

I've been seeing a lot of TV commercials of late advertising a hand soap dispenser with a motion sensor in it. The pitch being that your soap pump has millions of invisible and disgusting germs covering it that you should never touch. With this particular pump all you need to do is wave your hand in front of it and it will spit out a little bit of soap for you. Now i had a look at one of these, they cost considerably more than a standard pump and on top of that they spit out quite a bit more soap that you actually need so you end up buying more soap than you require.

The two area's i think this advertising campaign just decided to gloss over here are:

  1. Even though you might need to touch your death causing germ covered old soap pump to dispense soap, you're about to wash your hands with their fantastic soap that kills 99.9% of all germs. Where is the problem? You don't exactly dispense your soap then put your hands straight into your mouth. If you are doing this, please stop.
  2. What about your tap? you have to turn your tap on with your hand. Surely your tap (like everything else in your house) will kill you if you dare touch it. The most worrying part of all is that once you finish washing your hands with your nice soap that you didn't have to risk your life dispensing, you then have to touch the death tap to turn it off.
I told you i think too much.

Cheers, The ITG.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just like Denis Leary, I'm an asshole

The other day i got to the office, the first thing i said to one of the users made her cry. I don't normally make people cry during my morning greetings but i really felt like this particular user deserved it.

That morning i was riding my bike to work when i felt my phone vibrating in my pocket, this is not a particularly unusual occurrence, especially seeing as i normally head into the office when most people are already working. Obviously answering a mobile phone whilst riding a motorbike is near impossible so i did what i always do, keep on riding. A minute or so later my phone rings again, once again i ignored it. Then again, and again, and again. The thought crossed my mind that this must be an emergency, i didn't want to get to the office to find out that a family member was in trouble so i pulled over on the side of the freeway and got my phone out. As i took it out of my pocket i had just missed another call. To this stage i had 7 missed calls, all from the same number ... a very annoying user.

Tip to the wise, as a member of the IT department you'll probably be one of the few employee's in an organisation that at some stage or another has contact with nearly everyone in your company, I generally like to know who is calling me before i answer but putting hundreds or thousands of mobile numbers into my phone is out of the question. What i like to do is put a few key people in. CEO, CFO, Managers etc so i don't miss out on an important call, on the flip side i also enter the phone numbers of the most annoying users who i work with. This way i can easily ignore what i know is going to be a call that will lead me to want to stab myself in the face, with a .. um ... lets say... shovel.

The person who was calling me that day was just this kind of user. More annoyingly than the borderline insane repetition of the calls was the fact that on not one of these calls had this user left a message, so i had no idea what kind of issue she was having, if it was something that i could have helped her with over the phone, if it was something i could call another member of my team to help her with etc etc. Also, in our company when someone has an issue they need to lodge a request via an online form. They are all told that if they have no access to their computer, or cannot load the form that they need to ask someone else in their office to lodge on their behalf. The main reason for this is that there are always a few people watching the helpdesk so calling me with "crazy lady" repetition when I'm unable to take the call will generally lead to longer wait times than if they had just lodged a bloody request in the first place.

I decided not to take this call because i most likely would have said some stuff that could have lead to me losing my job. I put the phone back in my pocket, jumped back on the bike and continued my journey towards the office. In the time it took me to ride the rest of the way she called me another 3 times. That's right ladies and gents... 10 in total. If i could also add, depending on congestion and traffic lights it normally takes me somewhere between 15 - 25 minutes to get to work, that day it would have been no more than 20. Meaning that she's called me on average, once every 2 minutes and not once did she leave a message.

As i came around the corner from our reception area into the consultants cubicles (which unfortunately i need to pass to get to my office .. oh how i long for a secret passage) She was standing there in a spot that she knew i had to walk through, phone in here hand. I'm really hoping she heard me say hello to the receptionist and jumped out of her chair, as opposed to spending the whole morning standing in a spot she knew I'd pass. It reminded me of the Lord of the Rings scene with Galdolf and the Balrog "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"

Now i didn't swear at her, i didn't even raise my voice. This is the lecture that i gave her (pretty close to) word for word:

     "mate, when you call someone, if they don't answer the phone you should leave a message. If it is urgent say in the message that it is urgent. the person will call you back as soon as they can. As you know the best way to obtain IT support is to fill out the online form, and assuming at the moment you don't have access you should have asked someone else to fill it out for you, more than likely one of the other IT people would have taken your job and already fixed your issue"

At this point i could see that her eyes were starting to well over but i hadn't actually gotten to the bit that i really wanted to say and i knew if i went for the knock out blow she was going to lose it but at this point i didn't care. I didn't think her behaviour was normal and i wanted to tell her.

     "I can see you're upset, you're obviously very busy and whatever issue you are having is probably causing you some stress but i find the fact that you kept calling me over and over again quite rude. I pulled over on the side of the freeway to check my phone as i assumed there was some kind of emergency, and you're computer not working is not an emergency. If I didn't take your call there was a reason for it, in this case it was because i was riding a bike. What you did was very poor phone etiquette."

Once i finished my lecture she lost it. She started balling in front of a few people and ran out of the office. I had to go and explain to her manager what had happened and what i said just in case it got back to her that i had upset her staff member. I also gave my boss the run down of the morning's events in case it got back to him. Everyone seemed to agree with me that i was dealing with a crazy person.

Rehashing the mornings events in my head, it's clear to me that she's a crazy lady, but i still made her cry, which made me feel like an asshole.

What would you have done?

Sidenote: check your ITG's phone, see if your number is in there. If it is there are 3 options:
  1. you guys are good mates.
  2. you're a very important person in your company.
  3. you're a pain in the ass.
I guess 4 could be "all of the above"

The ITG.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

ok, now I'm starting to get out of control.

I work in a 12 story building on one of the upper levels, today i got in the lift and pressed my floor, then noticed a man rushing for the lift talking loudly on his phone. Being a decent human being i held my arm in front of the doors to stop them from closing so he could make the lift.

The first thing that annoyed me was that he didn't step completely into the lift, he realised that he would probably lose reception and his call would drop if he let the doors close so he stood in the way of the doors for what felt like 12 minutes, but was probably closer to 20-30 seconds, so he could finish his phone call.

He pressed floor 2, this is another thing that kinda peeved me off, i wouldn't imagine I'd be taking the lift over walking up 1 or 2 flights, but in our building i find I'm often waiting a minute or so with someone for a lift and then they press 1. they could have been up and down twice in that time! Lets not call this strike 2 as some people hate stairs (I've been known to say that i consider typing exercise so we'll let this one slide)

Doors open for floor 2 and he stepped out and then stepped back in and says:

     "oh, this isn't my floor, I'm not sure exactly what floor I'm on"

He then proceeded to press 3, 4 and 5, then he gave me a look like "gee I'm an idiot", i felt that with the look that i already had on my face, if i had of replied with "yes, yes you are an idiot" there probably would have been a scuffle, he wasn't a particularly small man and had one of those looks like he'd been in a fight or two. If this is the kind of regard he shows for other people I'm not surprised.

After the doors opened on floor 3 he looks out and says.

     "Yep, this is it"

He gives me another stupid look and then walks out. No "sorry about that mate", he just walked out. I was then stuck to watch the lift open on 4 and then close, then again on 5. To rub salt into the wound there was a rather attractive young lady that i see from time to time waiting for the lift on level 5. I felt like she was thinking "look at this idiot who doesn't know how to use a lift"

By the time i got up to my level i was fuming, i felt like you could have lit a smoke off my face. I once heard the comedian Dylan Moran say "the rage I'm feeling right now, you could bottle it". This is exactly how i felt... Now i think that most people in my situation would have probably felt a little annoyance at what had just occurred but the problem I'm having is just how angry i was. The reality here is that instead of taking 1 minute to get to my office it took me 2-3, where is the big deal. I cant imagine the ITG of 10 or even 5 years ago getting this angry over something like that. I think we've all had that "why am i so angry" moment when driving a car and someone cuts us off but was i now experiencing "Lift Rage"? I hope not!

I'm going to continue my theme of making personal pledges (started in my Mobile Etiquette post) and promise to chill more. Is being held up a minute or so worth an early grave? The (new) ITG thinks not. Want to join me?

Cheers, The ITG

p.s. I should probably mention that i was holding a freshly toasted 12 inch sub and heading back up to the office to eat lunch. Take note .. a hungry ITG is an angry ITG.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

ok, things are starting to get out of control

I was giving someone instructions today over the phone about how to do something on their computer. When i needed them to right click something to get up the context sensitive menu and click on properties, i asked her to do just that:

"Ok, click on Start, then right click on 'my computer' and choose 'properties'"

to which i received a response that i never in a million years expected...

The user went on a rant about being left handed, and how right click for her is left click. She seemed genuinely offended by my assumption that she used her mouse with her right hand. Is this a joke ?

I've offended someone before for assuming their kid was a boy when it was in fact a girl, I've offended someone before when assuming they were pregnant when in fact they were just a little tubby, I've got someones nose out of joint for assuming that they agreed with my political or religious outlook but this is certainly a first.

Now maybe this particular user was having a bad morning, maybe her boss was hammering her for something else and  my right handed assumption was just one too many straws on her camels back but i think we need to take a good long hard look at ourselves as a society if we're going to start taking offence at someone as menial as this!

ok, that's me for today, just popped in for a quick spiel and to say "harden up" before i go off and offend someone else.

Cheers, The ITG

Friday, November 5, 2010

Does your mobile contract come with manners?

Right now I'm sitting in a hotel room on a weekend away and instead of connecting my laptop up to the hotels wireless network (and paying a few bucks and hour for the privilege) I've tethered my iphone via bluetooth to share it's Internet connection. Now i know this isn't exactly new technology, i remember using windows mobiles Internet sharing quite a few years ago to connect my laptop up to my o2 mobile but this did get me to thinking all the wonderful ways that we can use our phones to stay connected these days... but then i got to thinking how annoying this technology can make people.

The other night i was sitting at a dinner table with 9 other people and at one stage during the evening it occurred to me that 5 of the 10 of us weren't involved in the ancient art of conversation but were on their phones. Two iphone users were playing angry birds and comparing notes on how to get the most stars, another person was proving to a non iphone user how awesome they believed doodle jump to be, a forth was talking on the phone and the 5th was sending an email via his blackberry. I looked around a bit startled and thought to myself that only 7 or 8 years ago (when most people already had phones) this kind of thing would have been considered rude and unacceptable, i could imagine that if i were talking on my phone at dinner with other people someone would have pulled me up on it, let alone how rude it would have been considered if i was sitting there with my gameboy (ok now i feel old) playing supermario world. When exactly did this kind of behaviour become acceptable?

Remember only a few years ago (ok, I'll say a few to make myself not feel so old, it might have been a bit longer than that!) when it was considered perfectly acceptable to smoke a cigarette at a dinner table? I remember being out to dinner when we would wait for people at our table to finish their meal before we'd light up a smoke (completely ignoring people sitting at the next table munching down on their bruscetta ... how rude!) but this kind of table behaviour would be considered epically unacceptable these days, it occurs to me we may have just traded one terrible habit for another (and if you believe what some people have to say about mobile phone useage, the new habit could be as deadly as the first in the long run).

So what is to be done about this, there are countless articles, blog entries and opinions which will tell us that we're addicted to technology. I even heard a news story the other day about a family group who are urging people to have a 24 hour technology blackout, basically targeting young people they believe spend too much time on twitter or facebook. If you've ever ready my blog before you'll know my thoughts on facebook but seriously, i don't think i need to be ranting like this about facebook and i don't think we need groups of people pleading with us to ban them (or even need me to write this mobile based post) if people were sensible about the way they used this stuff. I know I'm as guilty as anyone, i am an IT Guy after all. i have 5 monitors on my desks at work, two mobiles, two desk phones and that doesn't count all the shit i have scattered throughout my house but I'm pledging here that I'm going to make a conscious effort to give people who I'm spending time with all of my (non technology using) attention. I think the more people that did this the better place our communities would be.

We shouldn't need to be told to be sensible, and more importantly we shouldn't need to be told what is sensible and what is not, 5 people sitting around a dinner table using their phones instead of talking to each other isn't sensible and surely I'm not the only one of the 10 of us at dinner that night that thought this, am i?

Cheers, The ITG

p.s. seeing as no one who reads this knows me in real life I'll have to keep myself accountable to my above pledge. I also think i should point out that i realise writing this from a hotel room whilst on a holiday instead of stepping out into the sunshine is just a little bit hypocritical.

/me heads outside to enjoy the sunshine... oh, it burns ... the humanity!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Things you say and do that IT hate

Today the part of "The IT Guy" will be played by "The Angry IT Guy"

Working in the IT industry for the best part of the last 10 years I've encountered some fairly hard to deal with users. I work in a relatively small IT department which has its pro's and con's, the main con being that for someone of my experience i have to do a lot more user support than I'd like to. Over the years I've developed a list of things in my head that users do or say that really drives me mad. It's about time i got some of them down in writing... so here goes.

1. Introductions:
Do not introduce yourself to your IT guy like this:

"Oh, you're the IT guy?? Computers hate me, i really have no idea what I'm doing. I'm going to be speaking with you a lot!!"

We don't think that's funny, we just instantly find you annoying, we've just mentally put you in the "this person is a pain in the arse" database and we will avoid you wherever possible.

2. Obtaining Support
If your particular IT department has a process that you need to follow to obtain support (like filling in an online form, or emailing a particular address) follow it. Don't assume your problems are more important than everyone else's and circumnavigate the rules that everyone else follows. I can speak from experience when I say this kind of behaviour will generally lead to longer wait times for you to receive support.

3. Password Issues
Your IT department should be understanding when you forget your password, with the amount of passwords, pins and codes we need to remember these days it can happen to all of us. If your IT department is doing its job correctly you should also be forced to change your password regularly and it should have some kind of complexity requirements that you need to meet (like having upper case, lower case, Numbers and even symbols). So by all means, forget your password... occasionally.

Don't forget it EVERY BLOODY MONDAY MORNING... what are you doing over the weekend that you lose that many brain cells that your password has to be reset every Monday? Perhaps you should try and set it to something that isn't so hard to remember? I applaud you for setting your password to "G&f%12../DFs212" but what is the use of it if you forget it straight away... no use at all.

Don't write your password down on a post it note and attach it to your screen, if there was a way to stab people in the face remotely, this such situation would be a good time to do so. the IT department does not make you set a password so that anyone who sits down at your desk can log in by just reading it off a post it note.

4. Lying (we generally know when you are)
When someone who is full of shit forgets their password, the first thing they say is:
   "I haven't forgotten my password, i put it in correctly three times, but it still locked me out"
BULLSHIT! is how i would like to reply but i generally say:
   "Ok sure, what is your password"
9/10 it comes back as something that they couldn't possibly have set it to because it doesn't meet our minimum complexity requirements.

Don't tell us that you don't know what happened to a document, it just disappeared on its own. This doesn't happen, It cannot happen. I couldn't count the amount of times that someone has told me that they didn't do anything but a whole folder of documents has been deleted only to find out they moved it into another folder themselves.

When we ask you "have you rebooted" or "have you logged off and back on", don't say yes if you haven't. It still surprises me that people continue to do this, i think its because they don't believe rebooting will actually solve their problem, and to them the basis of that belief means that it actually wont. (as a sidenote... rebooting your PC really will take care of an unbelievable amount of IT issues)

5. Terminology
Do not tell us that your server is down if you cannot access google.
Do not refer to your 'computer' as your 'hard drive'.
Do not refer to your 'monitor' as your 'computer'.

6. Importance
When you tell us how important it is that your issue is fixed straight away, that doesn't help your cause. Some people like explain to their IT support person just how important they are, and point out how devastating it is to the company that they cannot work. Trust me, the IT guys know the pecking order. They know who is a priority and who can wait. You telling them you are important isn't going to speed things up at all.

7. Trust your IT department to do IT stuff
I once worked at a family business and we had the car park outside out building concreted. A man came in and quoted us $300 to paint the lines in the car park. My grandfather thought it best to save the money and paint them himself, he measured how wide a car was and made the lines that far apart. It obviously didn't occur to him that people liked to open their doors once they'd parked. Would have been $300 well spent!

If you take an Idea to your IT team, and they say something like (and let me quote here):
      "I think that is a great idea in theory, and i think it would be fantastic if we could achieve it, however from an IT perspective it is not something that is practical. It will be too expensive and impossible to manage".

This does not mean that the only obstacle standing in between you and your idea being put in to place is the IT team. Do not start scheming to undermine your IT guys and try force them into implementing your idea. You'll just end up painting your lines too close and making a mess!

We know what we're doing, we want to see the company do well, we will act in its best interest.
....

ok, i might stop there... i think this post is making me sound a little more angry and bitter than i actually am, most of the time i love my job, i do!

Cheers, The (angry) ITG.

p.s. please feel free to leave comments about things that IT do and say that you hate!

Friday, October 8, 2010

blood, sweat and piss

This morning as i walked from the train station to the office i saw a bus driver get out of his vehicle, crouch down next to his bus and pour a bottle of piss into the gutter. My first though was "could that be any more disgusting?" but then i started to think, how often would this guy get an opportunity to leave his station and take a piss? This lead me to consider myself lucky that I've never had a job where not being able to go to the bathroom as often as i needed was an issue (which is brilliant for someone who drinks as much coffee as i do) but there was that one time ... the blood donation up sell... where i nearly pissed myself whilst sitting in a comfortable chair amongst a room full of strangers.

A while back when i was giving blood one of the nurses gave me the big up sell from donating 'whole blood' to donating 'plasma'. Basically when you donate whole blood they suck about a pint of your finest straight out and into a bag, which they are happy for you to part with every three months. When donating plasma they take about 50% more but no red cells, they pump out your blood, it goes through a piece of equipment, called a centrifuge machine, which separates white and red blood cells, then the red goes back in. Depending on your size they can take up to around 3/4 of a litre. The benefit being you can front up again 2 weeks later to do it all again.

More than anything i was interested by the machine and wanted a closer look at it in operation so i decided (even though it meant I'd be at the blood bank for closer to 1.5 hours than the 25 or so minutes I'm normally there) that I'd give it a go. The nurse stressed about how much water I'd need to drink and how it's especially more important for a plasma donation than whole blood.

It was about a month later that i showed up for my appointment and i could hear my stomach swishing from the amount of water i drunk as i walked down. Whilst i waited for the lady to call me into the interview room i had to make to preliminary deposits of liquid in the bathroom! Then on to the interview, once again she stressed about how much water i needed to have drunk so i grabbed another glass on the way out. By the time i sat in the chair and was hooked up to the machine i already needed to go again, but i knew there was no stopping now... how bad could it be? I'm not an old lady, surely i can hold on for an hour.

For the first 10-15 minutes i was mostly preoccupied by the machine, it's really quite amazing watching it suck out your blood, seeing the white cells go into a bag and then the feeling of the cooler than normal blood getting pumped back into your vein. This actually happens in cycles and from memory there were about 5 for me, netting about 150ml of plasma on each run. Half way through the second cycle (and only about 15 minutes into my required 60 or so) ignoring the fact that i needed a bathroom break was becoming increasingly difficult.

Seeing as it was during business hours i thought i would try to take my mind off my pressing issue (pun intended) by doing some work. Since apple added support for VPN connections to their 4.* ios, with the aid of the Jaadu RDP application there isn't really much of my job that i cant do from anywhere with my iphone. So i upped my PPTP tunnel, remoted into the laptop sitting on my office desk and started to take some helpdesk calls. By the time i had connected a printer for someone, and told 2 other users to call me back if a reboot didn't fix their issue (i know its a popular cliche but this seriously fixes nearly 1/2 of the issues that make their way to me) i could no longer concentrate on anything. My legs were starting to shake, i was beginning to sweat and experiencing real pain, something that had never happened to me before from needing to relieve myself.

I called over a rather attractive, young nurse to enquire how long was left, when she said that the plasma was nearly fully collected but I'd then have to sit there for about another 15 minutes while they put 500ml of saline back into me i nearly started crying, more bloody water is the last thing i needed at this point. I explained that i really needed to go to the bathroom but tried not to let on just how bad. She asked me if i could wait. I said yes, even though i was pretty sure i couldn't. If she had been an older unattractive lady i probably would have insisted she take these tubes out of me straight away! I'm pathetic, i know.

The feeling of cold saline going back into your vein is even more strange than the cooler than normal blood, its a difficult thing to explain, and believe it or not it's an experience that i had twice in a month when i ended up in a hospital emergency room with severe dehydration from a very persistent flu... As a side note, if anyone takes a day off from work and comes back the next saying "i was off yesterday with a bit of a flu" I'm going to slap them. This is something I've said in the past, but it was clear to me as i lay in emergency, I'd never previously had the flu, but i digress.

When about 90% of the required saline was pumped back in i was about to lose it, literally. I was certain that i wasn't going to make it and started to contemplate the logistics of going home to get more pants before going back to the office. I completely understand that at this point i should have asked for assistance but i think its a male "I'm not asking anyone for directions, I'm in full control of the situation" thing, even though it was clear to me that i was not! I think at this stage the nurse either saw the look on my face or the beads of sweat gathering on my forehead. Rushing over she said "do you need to stop?", without hesitation i responded "YES", the next few minutes of being unplugged, and this rather large, comfy mechanical chair lowering back into a seated position felt like 18 months, i was nearly there. All i had to do was navigate my way to the bathroom, about 20 meters or so. I recall thinking to myself once i got out of the donation area "you can piss yourself now, at least the pretty nurse won't see you" ... once again, pathetic, i know.

In the end i made it, the sense of relief was like nothing I've ever experienced and i didn't need to go home to get more pants. What a relief! I ended up walking back into the main area to thank the nurse and the conversation went something like this:

"you bloody guys, I've had to cut the program short a few times for people to go to the bathroom and it's nearly always young men"

I tried to defend myself by explaining "last time i was here another lady was banging on about how important it was to drink so much water, and it was even more important with a plasma donation, clearly i overdid it"

She started laughing and said "not really, just a glass or two, with plasma we put 500ml of water back in so its probably less important than with whole blood"

Man i felt like an idiot... On my way out i was keeping an eye out for either the lady from last time or the one from my interview that morning but neither were anywhere to be seen, lucky for all of us i guess, i had embarrassed myself enough for one morning.

Cheers, the ITG.
_______________________


(I'm going to get preachy in this post script... so if that's not your thing, please feel free not to read on!)

p.s. something that i found quite interesting whilst talking to the nurses at the blood bank was just how dire the situation is for them. The desperate need with which they require blood is almost inconceivable. Plasma is a great way that this need can be addressed as you can essentially make a donation over 20 times a year as opposed to 4 with whole blood. One thing that stuck with me though was when she explained that there are particular products made from plasma that (among other uses) help treat burn victims, people who suffer from various cancers (such as multiple myloma and leukemia) and help with clotting problems patients can have after various organ transplant surgeries. She went on to explain how many millions of dollars our government spends each year importing these treatments (sometimes at many thousands of dollars a pop) because we just don't have enough people donating.

In 2006 a local university study found that only 3% of people regularly donate blood. I would like to stress that i believe if you are eligible to (unlike Jimmy from the UK who probably has mad cow disease ;) you should at least try it. People are dying because of the issue of a shortage of these products. If, like me, you are lucky enough to be in good health i would urge you to consider giving back a little to the community.

 I'd like to think that the government should step up to the plate here as well. I know in other countries people get paid a fee to donate blood but that doesn't happen here at all. I'm not saying I'm in it for some kind of reward, i personally had someone close to me die after a long battle with cancer and during her battle she relied on many treatments that were the result of people donating blood. This was the catalyst for me to return to the blood bank after many years. I will say though, you do get an amazing feeling from knowing that you are helping people which in itself is a reward. I'm not talking about a reward here though, I'm talking about an incentive to get more people through the door.

Surely even from a fiscal point of view ... people not dying is good for the country, and not having to pay many millions of dollars a year to import these treatments from overseas can't hurt either. This subject has come up in conversation a lot recently for me and one thing that I've thought about was how whenever you make a financial donation you get the benefit of a tax deduction. Why cant this be the case here, surely they can put some kind of financial figure on dropping a pint of blood, if people were allowed to claim this on their tax return (even something as little as $30 or so a donation) i think we'd have all the blood we need. What do i know though, I'm just an IT guy!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

can you trust your IT guy (or gal)?

I guess that is a bit of a funny question to be asked by an IT person but i'm not completely sure most users out there have any idea just how easily any, or all, of their information (and the company's info for that matter) is readily available to members of most IT departments. People at the company that i work for occasionally make a joke over lunch about how the ITG can read their emails but i don't think they realise just how often it happens.

Let me clarify here, i don't go reading people's email for no reason but some of the more interesting things i've ever had the pleasure to read were in other people's emails. To explain further, we have a system where by if an email is sent that contains words on a blacklist the email will not be delivered but will get dumped into a quarantine somewhere. Occasionally you get a request from a user asking why their email was quarantined (you could imagine how interesting the conversation is when you have to tell Beth her email was quarantined because she called her husband a fuckface ... it never ceases to amaze me that people don't realise this themselves!). I also sometimes just browse through the quarantine for fun, and there is lots of fun to be had. I often marvel at how many people don't mind pointing out in a company email to a co-worker or friend just how much they hate their job, boss or life in general.

Even though i don't go around reading your emails for shits and giggles trust me when i say that lots of IT people do, i have friends in the industry who love to point out over a beer the funny things that they've turned up. More worryingly is secret company information that can be uncovered, i had an IT worker point out the salaries of most of the managers in his company once. From what i could gather, he had looked it up just because he could.

Your IT guy will generally be able to look up any site you've visited on your work computer (whether you did that in the office or sitting at home using your own network connection), he'll have access to any file on your PC or network drive on your server. He'll have access to all your emails and more often than not your salary info... so i'll ask you again ... can you trust your IT guy?

My tips for you are:
  1. if you have sensitive info that you don't want anyone else to see, don't store it on your work computer. Use your gmail/yahoo/hotmail email address for your personal emails. These days with how long people stay in a job before moving on, why would you want to give out your new jsmith@company.com email address to everyone? surely your iphone beeps in your pocket every time someone sends an email to joesmith1975@hotmail.com anyway? 
  2. Domestic arguments shouldn't take place over email full stop but if you must have a big back and forward "you make me sick, i don't know why i ever married you" over email: see tip 1.
  3. Make friends with the IT guy, he's a good person to  have onside (or i am anyway) they generally have a good idea about what's going on in a company. Information (through legit and non-legit channels) often makes its way to IT first, i know i've had many "off the record" information sharing conversation with my boss. Being friends with someone who has this info at hand can come in quite handy.
  4. It's never a good idea to put it down in writing anywhere how much you hate your boss, with the possible exception of your resignation letter.
  5. Don't piss off your IT guy (i'll be going into more detail about this, and the most common ways people get their IT department offside, in a latter post)
Most importantly i think management need to pay attention to this information when hiring IT staff, pick people that seem to have integrity,  responsibility and experience... not the cheapest joe off the street. Educate yourself on ways to limit IT's "access all areas" pass or in the very least ways you can put in IT checks, it's very possible but most managers just don't know about it. Who is going to tell them? the IT manager? ha, not bloody likely!

After all is said and done though, the answer is 'you can trust me', i promise, take my word for it.

Cheers, ITG

Thursday, September 23, 2010

facebook

A while back one of the users (and from this point forward, please understand i mean 'users of IT systems' not 'users of me') came into my office wanting to debate the merits of being able to access facebook, and some other social networking sites, at work. You see for quite an extended period of time the office i work in was the only one in the country where gen pop could access facebook, this wasn't something i planned and certainly wasn't my doing, for reasons i can't really be bothered explaining it was just the way it was.

Right before i made the changes to bring our site up to speed with the rest of the country i found myself wondering who exactly, if anyone, would come and complain. I recall my boss musing that it would be interesting to see who made the most noise as that was probably the person who spent most of their time facebookin' on the companies dime. I didn't even have to wait until we severed their lifeline for the noise to start.

Somehow the masses got word of how it was about to be and in she walked. She was complaining about how it was unfair that we were taking facebook off them, she even quoted an article which pointed out how social network sites can make workers more productive. The whole argument reeked of desperation, she reminded me of a junky who was coming to the realisation that her fixes were about to get a little bit more few and far between. This is one of my issues with facebook ... the addiction. We truly are addicted, we need to know what everyone is doing all the time and more importantly tell nearly no one that cares, what we're doing. As a side note, I realise that I'm punching my thoughts into the keyboard to an audience of 0, the hypocrisy isn't lost on me here.

The addiction isn't even my biggest gripe here, its the sense that you NEED to have facebook. I've got the odd funny look here or there from people when they hear me say "sorry, I'm not on facebook".

I actually had an interesting interaction with a friend once who had a go at me for not going to a get together, "where were you!?!?" ... read the tone. It turned out that the invitation was only sent to people in her facebook friends list, of which i obviously was not. I think I'm starting to know what it must feel like for the last few people in western civilisation who don't own a mobile phone, or if we want to skip forward a hundred years, the last person on earth who doesn't want to give up his credit card for a chip implanted into the back of his hand. facebook bullies .. who needs them.

Having said all that, If you must have facebook, here are my rules:

  • When your parent, grandparent, child or grandchild signs up ... its time for you to go. One generation at a time please! (i heard two old ladies on the tram use the word 'facebooked' as a verb... i thought to myself, her grandson can't be too happy about that.)
  • Add your friends, not people who you used to work with, not people who you used to go to school with, not friends of your friends and certainly not people who if you saw them walking down the street you'd pretend you didn't see them because you really have nothing to say to them. Here is the basic rule, if you bumped into someone on the street and would go out of your way to say hello and have a chat on a regular basis, add them, otherwise leave it be.
  • Don't tell people where you are all the time, especially if you're one of those idiots who adds every person they've ever met. Apart from the fact that it's annoying, can you really trust everyone who can see your status with the fact that you're on vacation and your house is empty for 2 week?
  • One status update a day is enough, actually that's probably too much, but i don't need to know your bowel movement, i don't need to know when you're eating, when you're leaving for work and when you get to work.
  • Don't forget that not everyone has, or wants facebook. Don't force your religion on others, people don't like it when followers force Christianity on others so why do they have to hear about how they NEED facebook.
OK, I'm bitter, i realise that. I've just spent years trying to cull the number of people i need to speak to, i really don't need to set back all my hard work 10-15 years.

So, in my office (as with the other 25 or so around the country) facebook drifted quietly (read: noisily) into the night .. good riddance i say, who bloody needs you!!! (apart from the masses)

Cheers, ITG

Welcome ... to anonymity

Hi all, so here I am ... decided to move across from another blog where I had roughly 1.3 readers (on and off). On that blog I was just posting conversations that took place between me (as the IT support guy) and users. Some of them are funny and some are just downright frustrating but a few people knew who I am there so I feel like i couldn't speak my mind.

This blog is really for me, to put down my ideas, to pay out on people who annoy me, to explain some of this shit I have to put up with, to vent .... the (ever changing) list goes on.

I'll probably keep posting over on that other site, short and sweet encounters that point out just how daft some users can be but that's not what this blog is for, at least that's what I think. We'll see i guess.

I'll get cracking soon.

ITG