Saturday, August 25, 2012

Grown-ups Fail

One of the scariest parts of getting older is coming to the realization that most grown-ups are pretty messed up and don't know what they're doing any more than you do.  At this point I've basically come to terms with that reality, but sometimes I still get let down.

I'm the I.T. gal at work, but my expertise only goes so far.  I rely on a consulting company to send help when it comes to tricky problems or installations.  Their staff are all relatively bright and thoughtful guys, and I've gotten to know a couple of them who are most often assigned to my workplace.

Last week our usual guys were both on vacation, so when I needed some installation work done they sent a guy I'd only seen a couple of times before.

I won't bore you with the technical details, but I had gotten a quote from Infrequent Guy's boss the week before for the addition of some new gadgets to our network.  I hoped/assumed that the boss had downloaded all of his plans to Infrequent Guy before sending him out to do the work.

IG showed up; I handed him the boxes of new equipment; got him settled in the server room; and let him alone to do his work.  When he was finished he stopped by my office to let me know he was on his way out.  I asked him if he could spare a minute to show me what he had done, because I like to keep on top of any changes to our network.

He took me to the server room and showed me what he'd done.  Trust me when I say it made no sense to me.  The idea had been to isolate a certain part of the network so as not to let the traffic generated by our new gadgets interfere with the rest of the network.  The way IG had plugged in the cables and equipment, even to my rudimentary understanding, obviously did not accomplish that goal.  In fact, it accomplished exactly nothing.  Other than adding some more cables to our setup, the flow of data traffic had not been changed in any significant way.

I asked IG to explain what I was seeing.  He agreed that what he had just done didn't accomplish anything.  I said "So basically we've spent X hundred dollars for no reason at all?"  Only then did IG offer to call the head office to get more information.  Turns out he had misunderstood what he was supposed to do, and the phone call cleared it up.  The problem would be solved.

But that doesn't answer this question:  Why would an experienced professional "install" a piece of equipment uselessly, knowing full well he was wasting his time and my money, and not take the initiative to call the head office himself?

If I hadn't asked him to show me his work, he would have cheerfully whistled his way out to the car park and driven off into the sunset.  This from a grown man who looks like a responsible and reliable citizen, who charges a big bucks hourly rate for his services.

Good thing I'm not just some dumb girl, like he was probably thinking.


Warped Mind of Ron said...

It is amazing what stupidity is committed each day...

DarcKnyt said...

I can't tell you what he was thinking, but I can tell you what he wasn't thinking. He wasn't thinking at all, that's what he wasn't thinking.

Good on you for catching it and making him fix it. You're a sharp tack, you are. ;)

Jameil said...

People kill me. DO YOUR JOB!!! I absolutely hate having to check on adults. I don't work with children because I don't want to have to badger them to do things. But I would have more patience with them than somebody being paid to provide me with a service.

Tracy Moore said...

People not doing their jobs properly is a major pet peeve of mine! Good for totally non-dumb girl for catching him up.

Jenski said...

And that is why you have a position of responsibility while others do not.

In his defense, I wonder how many ridiculous requests they get that they just have to do to please the customer? Maybe he thought this was one of them?

Lynn said...

Amazing. I'm glad you straightened that out.

G. B. Miller said...

Job? Whats this thing called "job"?

Sounds like the guy is afraid to take the initiative and question why he's doing something completely irrelevant.

DarcsFalcon said...

Good thing you were the more grown up grown-up! I hope your boss realizes that too. :)

Granny Annie said...

He thought, "She's just a dumb girl and won't know what I've done."