Monday, July 14, 2008

Careful Planning

In I.T., intentions rarely count for much of anything.
On Friday (the first Friday since my family joined me in beautiful South Carolina), I was informed that a group of servers would fail an audit if certain changes were not made to them before this morning. Changes which required testing without a test environment and access to the servers themselves which I do not have.
So all weekend I hung out at work, hacking my way into our own machines, applying patches, removing features, changing registry settings and complaining that work on a weekend sucks a lot since there is no one in the cafeteria to make the whole wheat pancakes which fuel most of my days.
Most of the changes broke something or another. While my job description is centered around I.T. security (and browser-based game testing until that part gets noticed and deleted), I'm also called upon to put positive spin on things from time to time.
Telling the auditors in the 4pm meeting that all the servers were "screwed up in new and different ways, each more horrifying than the last" would be bad. I can't send auditors red flags on purpose. I mean, I'm allowed, of course. I'm actually required to tell them, but if I can quietly make things better in the background it makes less work for everyone and all the problems are just as fixed.
The phrase I chose for my report on why it took almost 14 hours to fix about 10 servers is that "each server is a beautiful and unique snowflake of compliance variables".
See? Much better.
And in the end there was only one server which I had to recommend turning off and wheeling down the hill into a gully before covering it with gravel and mulch.
This afternoon I'm going to sign the paperwork on the house. I spent lunch with Shana and Gwynyth hanging out in a bank setting up an account and talking them into breaking the rules about when they can issue a cashier's check against our newly deposited funds.
When the person setting up the account asked for an email address for someone who would be managing the account online I pointed to Shana and spelled out her address, explaining that I hate computers.
Then the guy asked what role I had at work and I had to tell him. "Monitoring Flapjack Quality", which may actually exist as a job title here.
This afternoon I'm also going to return Shana's GPS to her, since I won't need it anymore after finding the attorney's office for the signing.
I've had quite a lot of fun with it.
Being from Houston, my average commute was about an hour and fifteen minutes each way to work.
In Columbia, I've had trouble inputting an address with more than 15 estimated travel minutes displayed from wherever I am. This includes traffic, so I tend to be early everywhere even after three months of trying to get used to it.
"Mandy", the voice of the GPS ("Please make a u-turn", "Please make a u-turn", "Please make a u-turn", "When you get a chance, please get back on the paved road") was pretty lousy company and I'm thrilled to have my family here, even though I'm now seeing the hours at work start to pile up on me.
Shana told me that when she was leaving Houston one of the neighbors finally asked about the "For Sale" sign in the yard and what Shana and Gwynyth were doing.
"It is time for us to move," she told the lady,"We haven't seen Garrick in months."
The awesome part is that the neighbor took that to mean that I had just fled to Mexico to start a new life or something instead of that they missed me and were coming to join me.
I'm not sure if Shana corrected the perception, but I would not have in the hopes of scoring some free "pity brownies" or something.


Jane said...

Shana also implied to me that she didn't bother to correct this woman...Frank and I said, "Wouldn't it have been awesome if she'd started trashing Garrick? Saying things like 'Good riddance, he was a total asshole.'"

Garrick said...

She probably would have, but we can't fault her for honesty.

And I'd guess her brownies would suck anyway. She always seemed like the type to make screwed up brownies.

Darrell said...

If she's just now getting around to the for sale sign odds are the "haven't seen Garrick" comment still hasn't reached her yet. :)