The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Saturday, March 03, 2001

Bitch moan whine

I have been advised that a total outage of network connectivity occurred at around 5:00AM [of the 2nd]. I was not notified of any such incident, nor was our Networking staff. I find no reference to it on the Network Status Page.

Can you clarify what happened that might lead someone to think that there was an outage, when apparently no such outage was noticed in the [department]?

Email from the Boss

I'm sitting here slightly depressed and partly it's because it's too quiet here at The Cheese Shop and I'm paranoid that I might be missing something, like, oh a network outage or something. There's also a concern here in The Cheese Shop (The Cheese Shop. I like that name for our department. It fits, in a wierd way, given the problems of late) that we may not be a department for much longer. One of the monitoring tools we used has been spun off into its own department and we're not sure if they'll be responsible now for monitoring the servers, or if they'll be responsible for monitoring the monitoring tool to ensure it's monitoring and we'll be monitoring the monitoring tool to ensure the servers are up and running. Or something to that effect. Or maybe we'll be reduced to just monitoring the actual network, which is what our Primary NOC does but from another city.

It's enough to make anyone's head hurt.

Several times in the past I have had to address the situation of someone on the [department] staff directly confronting a member of another department with an issue (either personal or work related), when any actions that might have needed to be taken should have been referred to me to discuss with that individual's manager or supervisor.

Such an incident happened again today, and a complaint has been made regarding the conduct of the [department] staff member involved. Additionally, it was noted by the shift supervisor that “I have noticed a couple of the [department] reps coming out to the Tech Support floor to address reps in the past as well.”

You do not have the authority to rebuke, criticize, or in any fashion belittle another employee, more especially in front of his peers. If you feel that such action is necessary in a particular case, then send me the details by e-mail and I will discuss the matter with the supervisor or manager of the individual concerned.

Remember, the [department] is a monitoring and reporting group only. We are not enforcement in any, shape, or form. If you would prefer to be an enforcer, please resign from your position with the [department] and apply to [the security guard] for a position with his security firm.

Further complaints of this nature will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Another email from the Boss to our department

We're also being rebuked for handing issues with other employees directly rather than going through management. For some reason that just rubs me the wrong way. If another employee has a problem with me, I would prefer for that person to come talk to me about it rather than with my boss (or their boss to my boss). That just seems so … childish. Something you would do in 5th grade (“Ms. Crabtree! Ms. Crabtree! Pat's hitting me again!”).

So it's okay for management to rebuke, criticize or belittle employees, but not for us mere peons in non-management.

Okay, that's a cheap shot. I know it. But I just can't shake this feeling of being back in high school and having to respect the authority of the teacher, only now it's the manager but we're still sitting at a desk doing little more than busy work only now we don't get homework and we don't change rooms every hour. The “no homework” is a bonus, and okay, so are the OC-3s. But sometimes I have to wonder …

I'm also depressed because I'm here on Friday night (okay, Saturday morning) and wishing I didn't have to be here. I'm hungry but I'm all sub sandwiched out and there's no other place open this late in Boca Raton (and no, Denny's is not an option). And the selection from the Vending Machines O' Death isn't all that great either. I've already gone through most of the more edible selections there.

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