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The Uninitiated

Posted on 2009.08.17 at 09:50
Current Location: 75070

Its not ignorance I despise. We're all ignorant of things we have no knowledge of - but its those holdouts who choose to either remain ignorant or somehow refrain from knowledge (those who actively block understanding perhaps believe ignorance is bliss and will somehow lead a more fulfilling life) which grate on me the most, because of the obstructionism which invariably follows.

My first joint assignment I was absolutely floored that they put an Army Staff Sergeant in charge of us because he was of higher rank - only because in the Air Force we attain rank differently, that is, under a different set of circumstances than those in the Army do. All of us Senior Airmen had been in for 4-years. Our progression was made up of Time in Rank, Time in Grade, and testing scores of the knowledge of our career field. The SSgt. who was put in charge of us was 2-years out of school, but he'd done really well on his push-ups. Bitter? YOU BET! To this day I say you cannot effectively lead an intelligence squadron based on physical fitness alone.

Same thing with managers. I really respect those of my managers who have a working knowledge of the work in which we do. The others? It has always ended badly. And yet they're the ones responsible for making the decisions. Take storage for example...

Every time I've been involved in a storage solutions sales orientation, sales guys outline their products utilizing the Project Triangle. This assigns speed, redundancy, and cost to each point of an equilateral triangle ending with the statement to the IT Manger to "Pick any two."

Every single time, without fail the manager states, "I want all three!"


Enter the pre-sales tech guy who smart salesmen rarely travel without. The pre-sales tech guy explains in a high-level overview that each of the sides of the triangle are interrelated. That is, for the unitiated, THEY'RE REPRESENTED BY A TRIANGLE FOR A REASON. Any two can be accomplished at any time, which will mathematically result in the third one being omitted. Its not magic, really. Let me explain.

  • I can build you a fast, low-cost system, but it won't be redundant.

  • I can build you a low-cost redundant system, but the very nature of that redundancy will be slow.

  • I can build you a fast redundant system, but that's going to double your hardware costs, and won't be cheap.

And yes, its in this defining moment that the accidental manager looks thoughtful, then replies, "Unacceptable!" And suggests that maybe another vendor would be able to defy this logic as if it were merely a statistical anomaly.

This identical scenario has happened to me many, many times.

The pointy-haired boss is not a myth. He is out there.


Melancthe the Woe, So-Called
melancthe at 2009-08-17 15:18 (UTC) (Link)
The pointy-haired boss is not a myth.

I used to work for this person, only I called him "the Balrog" (behind his back, of course). Never have I ever met a more loathesomely Lawful Evil person. His committment to muscular forearms and rolled-up sleeves only confused things even more.
ehowton at 2009-08-17 18:00 (UTC) (Link)
Forearm porn?
Melancthe the Woe, So-Called
melancthe at 2009-08-17 19:39 (UTC) (Link)
Forearm porn with heavy lashings of evilsauce.
thesweetestnote at 2009-08-17 16:09 (UTC) (Link)
I really respect those of my managers who have a working knowledge of the work in which we do

Me too. There are managers at my place of employment who have no idea of what's on the menu! The GM for shit's sake! Seems he only cares that no one has over time.
ehowton at 2009-08-17 18:00 (UTC) (Link)
Beancounters have their place too. I usually prefer them as managers over other beancounters, however.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2009-08-17 16:41 (UTC) (Link)
I was vain enough to believe that this was a thinly veiled attack on my position on G. I. Joe.
ehowton at 2009-08-17 17:55 (UTC) (Link)
First of all, WOW! Secondly, because you haven't posted your thoughts on the movie, no one knows your position on it yet.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2009-08-17 18:00 (UTC) (Link)
That's odd. I remember you suggesting just the opposite. But I digress.
ehowton at 2009-08-17 18:07 (UTC) (Link)
BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Never go against the grain! Your lack of imagination is unsurprising.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2009-08-17 18:40 (UTC) (Link)
Never go against the grain!
I can't believe that you would be dispensing this advice.

Your lack of imagination is unsurprising.
I'm sorry that you find trite movies entertaining whereas I do not.
ehowton at 2009-08-17 22:21 (UTC) (Link)
I can't believe that you would be dispensing this advice.

Only to you, sir. As you well know its antithetical to every fiber of my being until I've proven through empirical evidence the contrary in which case I then follow the straight and narrow path of my own creation. You however, are a different animal completley, and to that end I wish you luck, though I know your path will be forever fraught with disappointment and frustration.
glodowg at 2009-08-17 17:02 (UTC) (Link)
Seems you have very succinctly explained all my frustration over the last several months. Sadly, I do not see an end in sight as we start trying to come to some type of agreement over how we will proceed with our upgrade/rewrite. Many sleepless nights I am sure.

ehowton at 2009-08-17 17:58 (UTC) (Link)
Ugh. Sounds like you need an architect. Good ones are worth their weight in GOLD.
kat_rowe at 2009-08-17 19:20 (UTC) (Link)

*and Kat breaks out the hug icon*

Bosses, clients, customers; it's all the same, alas.

*hugs you* You can't escape idiots no matter where you hide.
ehowton at 2009-08-17 22:22 (UTC) (Link)

Re: *and Kat breaks out the hug icon*

kat_rowe at 2009-08-17 22:25 (UTC) (Link)
*mutters darkly about how it's illegal to lock them in small crates and just throw in food and water once a day*
qualmsdotcom at 2009-08-18 00:56 (UTC) (Link)
This made me think of my new manager at work, who doesn't seem to know what he's doing. He always comes to customer service to ask me questions about how to do his job -_- Thankfully I leave on Saturday.
ehowton at 2009-08-18 04:05 (UTC) (Link)
When I was thrust into a management position a couple of years ago, I relied heavily on a long-time employee there who helped me get my feet wet. We ended up making a great team.
qualmsdotcom at 2009-08-18 16:47 (UTC) (Link)
I'd like to get along with him, but he's doing more than just trying to get his feet wet. I don't know how to do a manager's job. There are two other managers there most of the time whom he can turn to. Normally I'm very cooperative with new associates, but this guy is simply obnoxious.
hiro_antagonist at 2009-08-18 12:32 (UTC) (Link)
ignorance is bliss, and the higher you get in management, the more blissful you are, rite?
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2009-08-20 05:50 (UTC) (Link)
"The pointy-haired boss is not a myth. He is out there."
Yes, they are abundant at AT&T!!!

My 2 years with the company and lack of integrity and knowledge trump your degree and 13 years with AT&T said the manager to the hard working employee.
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