Unqualified people...


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    ...are not limited to IT.

    Once or twice a month, I have a meeting with one of my clients where they have all of their department heads in attendance. Like they would have their CIO/CTO. One of the people that always attends is their HR person, who thinks she could be an IT person. People who don't know shit about a subject, but want to act like they know everything, annoy me. Immensely. Every time she tries to "speak geek", it just sounds like, "I will use Visual Basic to create a GUI interface to track the IP address." All the words are there, and individually they make sense, but in that grouping they are utter nonsense. She is also unsurprisingly the type of woman that absolutely cannot stand being proven wrong.

    A little bit of background: My wife is an HR executive. Technically her title is "VP of talent management and recruiting", but due to her legal background in employment law, she is also the person who has to handle high-risk terminations. Making sure that if they have to terminate someone who is a member of a multiple protected classes and likely to sue, that all proper paperwork and documentation is in place to limit liability. The stories she tells of people who need to be fired but they cannot, would make your blood boil.

    This morning in the meeting, Miss HR/IT makes a recommendation that is objectively wrong. It will open up my client to a heaping shitload of liability. And she is a member of multiple protected classes.

    I hear this, my laptop is open and I fire off an email to my wife with the details. Moments later I get a reply that could be summarized with, "You have to be fucking kidding me? That is a horrible idea, and here is why:...That would be a violation of Title X, Y and Z not to mention employment laws in this state such as..." It is not my place to bring it up, but if said client gets sued out of business my income goes down, not to mention I consider the partners to be friends of mine. So I speak up and line it all out. The business partners know that my wife is an HR exec, Miss HR/IT does not, so she starts in about how I obviously do not know what I am talking about. Yada yada yada. I offer to get a conference call with my wife after the meeting.

    We do the call, Miss HR/IT is fuming the entire time. Absolutely livid. My wife lines it out for the partners, "I don't work with you, so I cannot tell you not to do it but there is no possible way that I would allow anyone at one of our entities to do it. This woman is over 40, she is [redacted ethnic group], she has [redacted medical condition] and if you term her she will likely be malevolent and if she tries to sue do you think a judge or jury in the world would not find her story compelling? I am not saying that you shouldn't term her (there were serious performance issues), you should. But you better have the documentation to back it up because the likelihood of you being sued over this is very high and when you go to court any judge will see you as greedy people who want to get the [redacted medical condition] patient off of your health coverage to keep your premiums down, not to mention the case she could plead for ageism or racism. If you want to term her, you are going to need documentation such as...going back at least X months."

    I looked like the hero, even though I am just married to the hero of the story and had enough common sense to write an email. Now, I have to convince my wife to do some consulting as they now want a second resource to sanity check Miss HR/IT, instead of just replacing her with someone competent...and likable.

    I am guessing that I will not be getting that warm and fuzzy feeling from Miss HR/IT ever again.

    Sorry, long diatribe, but I needed to vent.



  • Everyone thinks they're better at IT than they really are (see: this forum).

    Here's where it goes south:

    @Intercourse said:

    She is also unsurprisingly the type of woman that absolutely cannot stand being proven wrong.



  • @Intercourse said:

    I will not be getting that warm and fuzzy feeling from Miss HR/IT ever again.

    From your description, it seems to me that you probably never got much warm and fuzzy from her in the first place.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    I always say, "You don't know what you don't know until you learn it." It is sort of nonsensical, but the thought is there.

    Every year I think I have this IT thing down pretty well, the following year I realize looking back just how wrong I was. ;) But I learn quickly, I admit when I am wrong and I know business and leadership really well. I hire people to fill in my weak spots and have never been afraid to hire people smarter than I am.



  • "Unknown unknowns"


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @HardwareGeek said:

    From your description, it seems to me that you probably never got much warm and fuzzy from her in the first place.

    I was still annoyed when I wrote that, so I paint a much more vilified picture. Honestly, until today I was ambivalent about her. She annoyed me at times, and other times it was pleasant. Net zero on that acquaintance. But she had one trait that annoyed me immensely. She thinks she is more important than she is.

    Case in point: A while back there was an intermittent issue with internet connectivity. One of my guys had ruled out everything but the ISP (Comcast, which means that it was almost 100% likely to be them), or the UTM device that we use as a content filter (because they prefer to block FB instead of hiring people who are going to work while they are at work, also they forgot that people have cell phones that have internet access). As a troubleshooting step, we bypass the content filter that works as a transparent bridge for a few days.

    One day I am in there for some issue and she gets on my case because she had just noticed that FB was no longer blocked. She says this to me in a tone and mannerism that suggested that she was above myself and my business on the org chart. I let her finish and then explain to her that it was done as a troubleshooting step, with the full knowledge of the partners of the business and they knew all about it. She was dumbfounded that she was not apprised of the situation.

    Well, because it was none of your fucking business and you work in HR, not in technology or policy making. When it comes to org charts, you are here and I am 23 miles away in another fucking org chart.

    No, seriously, I just explain to her that Partner A and Partner B were informed of my decision and yada yada yada. OH! This particular exchange also occurred while Partner A and Partner B were away to a conference. So basically the two big dogs were away and all of a sudden Miss HR/IT thinks she is a policy maker.



  • @Intercourse said:

    One day I am in there for some issue and she gets on my case because she had just noticed that FB was no longer blocked. She says this to me in a tone and mannerism that suggested that she was above myself and my business on the org chart. I let her finish and then explain to her that it was done as a troubleshooting step, with the full knowledge of the partners of the business and they knew all about it. She was dumbfounded that she was not apprised of the situation.

    You should have told her that you were aware of this, but could not tell her why, since she doesn't have the privilege to know that information. I bet she would have loved that.



  • @chubertdev said:

    Everyone thinks they're better at IT than they really are (see: this forum).

    timidly raises hand

    Oh, wait, that implies I know I'm a crappy developer, which means I'm even worse than I thought. Yikes!



  • TRWTF: The bullshit you have to go through to fire someone.
    Although, I would feel equally shitty about someone getting fired over taking a sick day.
    Things are shit.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @cartman82 said:

    TRWTF: The bullshit you have to go through to fire someone.Although, I would feel equally shitty about someone getting fired over taking a sick day.Things are shit.

    You have no idea just how bad it is. Most people hear anecdotal stories every once in a while about such things. I hear about it nearly every night when she gets home.



  • I have a friend who is a lawyer whose job it is to defend the USPS against stupid ass wrongful termination claims (among other things). My favorite was one woman who disappeared into some BFE part of Mexico without phones, etc, without warning, for several (3-6?) months. She claimed to have had a high risk pregnancy, which was news to everyone who knew her. When she came back, she looked healthy and had no baby. No doctor's note ever materialized. Pretty sure she got her job back.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    My dad defends against disability claims. He could go on for hours about people claiming they couldn't work a desk job but who signed up for skydiving classes and the like.



  • I really hate people, after reading stories like these.



  • @Yamikuronue said:

    My dad defends against disability claims.

    At least he hasn't had to defend against an able-ism complaint though (TRWTF is HR idiots who get into such hot water.)


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Intercourse said:

    You have no idea just how bad it is.

    You just need to get Dale Gribble working for you. (Couldn't find an apposite Youtube, but I did find a funny one with Boomhauer talking normally.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said:

    I have a friend who is a lawyer whose job it is to defend the USPS against stupid ass wrongful termination claims (among other things).

    coyoteblog.com talks about some of those from time to time. California: the state where if a business owner tries to tell the bureaucracy someone is claiming unemployment while not being eligible, they'll threaten to sue the owner. Or where he had to make working through lunch a firing offense, because no matter how many releases you have people sign saying they are not being forced to work through lunch, they can still sue you after volunteering to do work through lunch.


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