Monday, June 29, 2009

Deadlines and Delays

As you have seen me nearly constantly complain, the expectations placed on geeks in the corporate environment are ever-changing.
I see it kind of like one of those awesome Japanese game shows.
There are requirements put on the contestants at the beginning of the show. Then, as the good TV progresses, the people that made those initial requirements ramp up the difficulty by adding restrictions and conflicting requirements to the original ones.
The whole time, some guy is screaming at you in a language you don't understand and the crowd in the studio audience seems almost frothy with hunger for your failure.
At the end, if you are lucky, you get dunked into pudding and are able to make your mortgage.
This weekend, the hard-and-fast, OMG-do-it deadline for the latest Microsoft patches arrived. The people who tested the patches and pronounced them "fine" on Thursday decided on Friday afternoon that they were possibly "not fine". There was no evidence that a problem had turned up, but just in case they went to upper-upper management and forced a delay. They wanted the weekend without reboots.
Upper-upper management granted the delay. Later today upper-upper management will wonder why vulnerabilities are still showing up on our scans. I promise, they will.
Since powerful government types will expect the patches to be in place by Thursday, we get to force them all into place Tuesday and Wednesday night.
We are required to be at our desks a certain amount of time every day. We are limited to working eight hours per day. The patches must and yet cannot be deployed immediately. After hours is acceptable once the restriction lifts, but after hours for who? We have users in Hawaii.
Drive this riding lawn mower over this giant log suspended over a pit filled with grape jelly within the next 45 seconds or we will release the bees.
What's that? We already released the bees?
While you drive across, gather up the bees and place them in this sock. Points will be deducted for lost or injured bees.
Hang on, let me finish dusting you with this pollen.

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