Stories by Anonymous

Get a lift from your next training video

Like a lot of IT departments, ours could do better at training, especially for new deployments, so when we switched the way we booked conference rooms, we wanted to make an effort to better educate our users. We are a global company and decided the best way to do this was to video someone booking a conference room, and we'd add a voice-over explaining what they were doing. Pretty basic stuff.

Tale of whoa

Y2K had come and gone, and in February of 2000 I was summarily laid off with a group of about 150 other folks, none of us aware that we'd been secretly hired as temp help in case Y2K went badly. It was 3 days before my son was born, and I needed a job (I mean, have you seen the COBRA rates?). I took the first thing that was offered and started the following week with an IT consulting outfit. It was a lot more driving than I wanted, and the clients were never closer than 50 miles from me, but it was a job, and I was still looking. After about three months, I had another offer coming together from somewhere else and was looking forward to a change when I was dispatched to a business that was a compound first name. I'll change the name, but it was like "JoeBob." I'd heard the name but was unfamiliar, and after the long haul there, I was surprised to find a big hole in the ground.

Off the Record: Admin hi-jinks

A computer admin at the school I attended bought a new proxy server to stop our file sharing. It was supposed to block "bad" Web sites in addition to filtering out some of the ports that P2P programs use. Trouble was, all we had to do was use a service such as Proxify to get around it.

Ooops, wrong switch!

In 1995, before I began my IT career, I briefly worked in physical security for a national insurance company. I monitored the cameras, logged reports from patrol officers, made keycards for new employees, and generally dealt with whatever came up.

Admin pretends college IT security exists

In 2005, I attended a public gifted school. The school's computer admin decided we needed an update in the software used to select our classes, so he created a simple program where you type in your Social Security number as the password, then select the classes.

Not the usual back-end trouble

In the late 90s I worked for a midsize ISP in the midwestern United States. Like any ISP at that time, we had dialup service, which meant we had a consumer-oriented tech support number. A friend of one of my co-workers was hired for dialup tech support. We'll call him Jake. He had some computer experience but no specific qualifications to do more than what he was hired to do.

Sure, that software's been tested

In the late '80s, I worked at the R&D facility for a PC software company. At that time, it was the largest PC database software maker and the third largest PC software company behind Microsoft and Lotus.

The tale of the opportunist and some code

In the mid '90s, I was working at a regional ISP, covering about half a dozen states as a systems engineer. Everything in the company ran on trouble tickets. Support issues, customer provisioning, even the sales people used the trouble ticket system to handle their order processing.

Captain Obvious and his ship of fools

I work for a company that acquired two of its competitors about a year apart. The first purchase was a company much like us that I'll call GoodCo. The integration was not without issue, but overall, it went smoothly.

IT heroes unwelcome

In the late 1990s I worked for a Midwestern manufacturer. We ran a very small IT shop for the size of our corporation (8 people for a company grossing a third of a billion dollars annually, across 10 locations), and all of us in IT were expected to wear many hats. I was a programmer, analyst and project manager when I wasn't network administrator and tech support. From our corporate office, I was directly responsible for five factories around the Great Lakes area, and I also helped out the MIS staff at our factory just down the road.

Raunchy IMs crash the database

As the person who keeps the local instant messenger gateway server running, I have worked with our DBAs to ensure the database is backed up and regularly purged of old records. With the occasional update and patch, it has been running more or less problem-free for about six months. I usually only have to touch it when HR or Legal needs to pursue a issue.

Congratulations, you have been integrated

I work as a senior manager for a small high-technology engineering firm. We were recently acquired and integration is now being inflicted upon us. One of the early integration targets was corporate travel. For the first time since the genesis of Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, and their ilk, we have a corporate travel agent whose use is mandated for all travel. If there is anything more useless to a bunch of brilliant engineers with Web access and smartphones than an old-fashioned travel agent, it's hard to imagine what it is.

Our security is secretly secure

I make no bones about being a bigot when it comes to routing gear. I like the company that has the bridge on the box. I also manage the world wide WAN resources of a little company that had a few billion dollars in sales last year. Even converted to euros, that's a chunk of change.

Laptop follies

I did tech support for a company with a few dozen account managers scattered throughout the US. Most of them had many years of experience in a business with a multitude of nuance and detail that had to be attended to with the initial contract, and on a continuing basis. Millions of dollars a month were at stake with each account.