Print Story A Day in the Life
Cow-orkers X: Diaper Rash

Not three minutes after returning to the CubeDesk of Hate from having a cigarette I had to leave quickly for another. Tony, who sits across from me, had picked up the phone. When he does this it's to call his wife and kid.

You might think, "What a good father!" Yeah, well... Tony talks to his kid with a high, lispy, baby-talk voice, one which makes the rest of us cringe while looking for sharp objects to stick in our ears, sharp knives for dealing with Tony having been removed from the floor long before I arrived in this office. Tony, like my neighbour Joey, also tries to talk to his kid in English despite his lack of mastery and incredibly bad pronunciation.

And once he's done talking to his kid he talks to his wife. In the same damned baby-talk voice. He does this at least three times a day. He has, on occasion, started speaking to customers the same way if they call within a couple minutes of these exchanges.

x-posted to da brog.

Joey, meanwhile, finally has his nose bent back into shape. He got rather angry because I closed all the fucking windows he'd opened when it was -5°C outside. I was depriving him of his badly needed oxygen and because I was the only one to protest his attempts to make the place comfortable for Emperor penguins out loud, I became the target of his ire, a special anger that seemed to have been fermenting for months as everyone else on the floor (save for Tony) kept closing all the fucking windows he kept opening.

I further smooth things by showing him the book I'm now reading, Fänger und Gefangene, by Landolf Scherzer. It's the story of a journalist who went aboard the "Hans Fallada" in the early '80s, an East German fishing and processing ship which ran 100-day tours of duty. Showing any knowledge and interest in anything DDR is a guaranteed way to calm even the harshest Ossi.

Now that we're on speaking terms again it's back to talking about various areas of SQL knowledge and proofreading PowerPoint presentations and distribution mail for him. This saves both colleagues on those lists and our Thai students from having to read an English presentation written and given by a German which include such gems as "Multiple rows becomes inserted" and "Teh join statements having to be for coming after the nesting SELECT in order that he can decide the choices of subdata". And this is how he's teaching his kid to talk.

And on the fuckwit front? Since November I've been dealing with "Gary" and his file server problem. He changed the machine it was mounted on but didn't change the pointers to it. Not surprisingly, no one was able to access files. He finally broke down and agreed to send logs after rounds of insisting it was our software fucking up. The logs showed otherwise.

In only one machine had he changed a single local reference pointer but not any system preference, which meant he also didn't change any other server's preferences and pointers. Still it wasn't working.

Gary was calling me five times a day trying to get me to talk. Nuh-uh. I don't talk to the clueless. He agreed to send logs again and this time I had to explain how to share a directory and write a fully qualified domain name because he figured every machine in his room ought to know that "FileServer/directory" meant "//machine/FileServerShare". Did I mention this is an AIX administrator?

Yet fixing the FQDN in each reference still wasn't enough. We checked permissions. We checked computer names. The file server machine was pingable but he'd still get read and write errors when trying to access any files.

Then I got that one little piece of information that was so unimportant there was no reason to even mention it. The file server was actually an NFS share. Which they forgot to mount.

A Root Cause: 17-Fuckwit could eliminate half the incidents which our programmers need to sift through.

< Oops I did it again | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
A Day in the Life | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden)
Command of English by Herring (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Jan 25, 2007 at 03:23:35 AM EST
A gem from My Favourite Programmer:

"What means [redacted] haven’t received terminations? By theory, [redacted] can only see the record with "Pending Termination", then [redacted] can terminate this record to set state of "Terminated". Finally [redacted] operator can see "Terminated" state at Manage car hire screen. I just doubt the handling process may wrong."

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

East German by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Jan 25, 2007 at 05:20:26 AM EST
If thats the type of books the Ossis were forced to read, no wonder the Wall came down.

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
They weren't forced to read it. by ReallyEvilCanine (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Jan 25, 2007 at 07:02:20 AM EST
It was a non-fiction book that I got from xGF, herself an Ossi. It's very well-written, interesting, informative, expository (shit like the fucking useless Party Officer who also had to be on-board), and quite funny. The guy managed to get the bureaucracy to let him attend a brief schooling and go on the ship for a full tour and write about it. Not a bad gig. And it's a dirty job.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
Surprised by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Jan 26, 2007 at 04:43:48 AM EST
That they didn't use the Party officer as bait and then sail to Denmark or across the Baltic....

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
I got curious and googled by ReallyEvilCanine (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Jan 26, 2007 at 06:01:52 AM EST
The author is still alive, still living in Thüringen (a 4-hour drive from here), and still writing. It turns out he was a DDR critic and though his books were never banned, difficulties presented themselves. This book happens to be his most famous, and it criticises the mass-production fishing industry (which was directed by both the DDR and the USSR) as well as the economics behind it. It also shows how the absurd the bullshit of the party officers who were on board. I'm kind of surprised this never got translated.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
Baby Talk by ks1178 (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Jan 25, 2007 at 05:48:47 AM EST
I had a friend in college who talked the same way to his parents or sister on the phone.

He would get no end of shit from anyone that heard him, but he still did it.

I fortunately never had the pleasure to meet all of his family in person, but I heard from friends that had, they talked like that even in front of others.

I'd hate to be a girl brought home to meet his family.

But most of all, I'm shocked that this isn't an isolated incident and others actually act like that. Scary.

Awwww by TPD (4.00 / 2) #5 Fri Jan 26, 2007 at 12:16:53 AM EST
Does the widdle doggy like baby talk,
no he doesn't,
paw, paw widdle doggy!

why sit, when you can sit and swivel with The Ab-SwivellerTM
How awful by komet (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Jan 26, 2007 at 08:36:48 AM EST
your colleague sounds like this guy.

<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
A Day in the Life | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden)