Print Story A Day in the Life

I'm in the wrong business.

In order to ingratiate myself to management and colleagues alike, right after our local data center was moved to the UK for "consolidation" I built a local file server. This held various software builds available via resumable FTP. Since Windows Exploder has never been able to move 12GB of data across even a 10 fibre channel connection, this pleased everyone.

Sunny weather poll
x-posted to da brog.

That wasn't enough. I also made directories full of general tools and easy HTTP download menus for my fellow monkeys as well as setting up shares for management applications and data. Once I got my hands on a couple external drives I was able to then offer each monkey 20GB of personal temporary space and set the server up to auto-delete after 14 days. Considering our laptops only had 20-40GB drives, this was seen as a godsend. I was a hero and thanks to automating everything, didn't have to do much except occasionally manually check builds and add some new tools.

But as always happens, the regular availability of such a service was slowly taken for granted. Until, of course, there was no availability. One of the external hard drives with 250GB of builds died and within a week, the video on the machine's motherboard died and wouldn't accept an ISA card as a substitute. Compaq sucks.

Luckily we had one more of this exact model which was working. I was able to swap out the drives and spared myself a full install of Win2K3 and other software. Within four hours I had the system up and running and was once again the office golden boy, if only for a day. The external drive with the builds was another matter.

Both the disk and the housing are shot. We need a new one. Here at $MegaCorp we have to go through a procurement process. My latest manager (I'm no longer under Vera!) ess-plained what we had to do. Knowing how important it is to have builds locally available, he told me to go to the procurement site and he'd approve immediately.

No problem. Once I fought my way in through seven -- count 'em, seven log-ins -- I was on my way to getting a brand-new, shiny external drive. Except that I couldn't find it. Back to $Manager who explained that it's hidden and gave me some keywords to try. Success!

It was shaping up to be a four-banananana day. I got to the page and with only 71 clicks (yes, I counted) managed to order the thing and send off the Procurement Approval Request. A 500GB drive would come in as a cost of almost €300! I can get the same damned thing for about €99 in a local store but we're stuck with this procurement crap.

I figured it was just a matter of that being some sort of internal accounting number, that we'd only actually pay the €82 wholesale but that the €275 was a cost basis to include accounting, shipping, and all the other departmental disbursements.

$Manager asked me to come to his office. No prob. I'm a hero today. I didn't tell any customer to fuck off. My queue is clear. I can do no wrong.

"Did you SEE how much they fucking want for this drive?"

Uh... yeah. But we need the drive and we're not allowed to go out and buy it on our own.

$manager happens to have some private distributor accounts for his own sideline business and did a quick look-up.

"We can't afford this in the budget. Here's what you need to do: Go back, go to custom orders, I'll send you this distributor information and attach it to the Procurement Request. In the notes tell them that we have to go to an outside supplier because this is only 40% of what the standard supply costs are."

No problem. "I'll also add something about the standard supplied model being an unreliable drive and give 'em a link to something too technical to bother reading."

"Good idea."

So the procurement request has gone through and we're waiting for an approval from the HQ Asset Procurement division, undoubtedly something which will require approval from no fewer than five levels of hierarchy. If I get the drive before the end of the year I'll be surprised.

But something wasn't sitting right. How the hell can we be cost-basing a hundred-euro drive at almost three times its value? I asked my buddy in the equipment holding pen in the basement. The guy's a serious troll-under-the-bridge but I've helped him out a couple times so I get what I want and I don't have to appear between 14:00 and 15:15 to get it. I'm welcome down in his cage any time.

"Asset Procurement has contracts with suppliers for stable prices."
"Yeah. We get guarantees for a stable price for 12-24 months on every item. We lock in at the current price and they have to sell us whatever it is at that price for the next year or two."
"Uhh... WHAT?!"
"You're telling me that we're paying 2006 prices for a 500GB drive in 2008?"
"Same for the 2006 model laptops?"
"Yup," he said through his teeth as his lips held onto the cigar stub.
"Where do I sign up to be a supplier?"

Wotta deal. It takes a village to raise a village idiot and that's probably where we found the guy who negotiated that contract. Fuckwit.

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A Day in the Life | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden)
Manager for Asset procurement by anonimouse (4.00 / 2) #1 Thu May 08, 2008 at 03:43:02 AM EST
...was obviously in the gold/ oil/ foodstuffs divisions beforehand

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
Huh? by ReallyEvilCanine (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu May 08, 2008 at 03:47:25 AM EST
I'd like to get any/all of those at last year's prices. Fucking rice has doubled and flour's even worse. But computer parts?

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
Beaches in München? by TurboThy (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu May 08, 2008 at 04:18:35 AM EST
WTF? Where?
Sommerhus til salg, første række til Kattegat.
Well, not /beach/ per se by ReallyEvilCanine (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu May 08, 2008 at 04:31:25 AM EST
But along the Isar are some rocky beach-like things that people sit out on, hold grilling parties at, etc. Many of them naked (though usually not the grillers).

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
naked grilling by wiredog (4.00 / 2) #5 Thu May 08, 2008 at 04:46:23 AM EST
Sounds like a good way to burn your wiener.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Could char your buns, too. by ReallyEvilCanine (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu May 08, 2008 at 05:06:19 AM EST
I learned the hard way about cooking while undressed.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
insert bacon frying story here -nt- by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu May 08, 2008 at 01:28:23 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Common Practice... by belldandi (2.00 / 0) #6 Thu May 08, 2008 at 05:05:31 AM EST
That is what the GSA is for the US Gov't. I go to the Dell site, spec out a server that's on special 30% off, ttl cost of about 6k USD and schedule had it for over 10k USD; I about died.

You should try working for the State by jayhawk88 (2.00 / 0) #8 Thu May 08, 2008 at 07:22:12 AM EST
Here in my neck of the woods we have to order just about every non-MS piece of software via an outfit called SoftwareResellerX. SoftwareResellerX's one purpose in life is to charge you 15% more for a piece of software than you would have to pay if you just went directly to the vendor. I'm convinced that some state senator is making a ton of kick-back money off this company, owned by his brother in law or something like that. Just recently I literally had a situation where the price for a piece of software went from $750 to $825 for doing nothing more than passing through the SRX rep's hands.

That's crazy by duxup (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu May 08, 2008 at 06:45:02 PM EST
Do these people think they're protected from that almighty disk drive price skyrocketing incident back when . . .  um yeah?
Quite by ReallyEvilCanine (4.00 / 2) #11 Fri May 09, 2008 at 12:54:01 AM EST
The only justification I can possibly think of is the occasional fluctuation and spike in RAM prices due to fab problems, shrotages, typhoons, patent cases and the like. But to lock in all electronic equipment prices to even a single month prior is insanity.

The desk lamps, exact replicas of the model which are available across the street for €10 a pop -- cost €143 each. Hence there's no money in the budget for unnecessary things like, say, any fucking proper classroom training. But we have pretty lamps.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
A Day in the Life | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden)