The smalltown trucker turned sysadmin



  • To jump right in, a network administrator at my last contract was also the town's computer technician (he was also my boss due to his seniority).  One of the people who worked for the company we did had been having some sound problems with his computer; so Rod (the sysadmin/my boss) asked him to bring it in.  After spending an hour messing with every setting he knew - he started lecturing me about how soundcards can burn out and need to be replaced. 

    During this, I turned around from my coding and glanced over his shoulder only to see wav was muted.  I had asked him if he tried enabling wav - to which I was given a stern "No."  Since it was only on my second week at this job; I didn't want to anger him - so I simply asked "why" he hadn't.  I fully knew this gave him another opportunity to preech about what he knew, but he didn't give me anything solid. 

    So I asked him, "humor me, just uncheck the box."  Now I don't know what angred him at this point.  He was fully convinced this wouldn't work - so naturally, I would have thought the allure of being able to tell me "I told you so" would have appealled to him.  Then I realized, he's pissed because he doesn't know...  And he's afraid I might be right.  Well, long story short - I was.  The guy came back to our office to pick up his PC and Rod showed him how he had only disabled the sound and everything was fine.  To this, I remained silent.  As I mentioned before I wasn't out to step on this guy's toes - so I sat quietly.  Unfortunately for Rod, this guy was so impressed; he started spewing about how lucky I am to work with someone with such knowledge, and why this is the reason the whole town brings their computers to Rod.

    I still said nothing.  I did look over at Rod, just to see if there was any shame, remorse or better yet - a hint of respect/admiration in his expression, but there was none.  The look on his face was as if he was basking in some self-realized greatness.  He never onced mentioned that I had assisted him on something to trivial and saved this guy $70 that Rod's diagnosis would have ultimately cost him.  This was the first time I had to work with him on a project. 

    ...A year later, the same guy came back when he had a virus - and I wasn't so silent.  As I was coding, Rod had just finished running your cookie-cutter, grandson solution of spybot clean-up and buying/updating to the latest norton.  Just as I was taking my headphones off, I caught Rod talking to him about safe internet practices and how he can protect himself in the future.  The first being, never click the "X" or "close" in a popup. 

    This had me a little curious.  With him being our sysadmin and the sole captain of our network with both hands on the reigns to our firewall - I felt obligated to ask...  "Why?"  What a proud moment thist was for Rod, to not only be able to grace the farmer with his infalliable knowledge, but the one he considered his protoge.  Yes, if there was ever a true Merlin to apprentice moment in the IT industry, this would be it...  "Well...  If you click on the 'X' or the 'close,' it will fire off javascript events that will exploit your computer leaving it vulnerable to viruses!"

    As you can guess, the farmer was shocked and wanted to know the solution.  Rod, calmy, explain to him that by right clicking the task in the taskbar and closing it there, or just using alt+f4 - he would have nothing to worry about and no malicious code would infect him.

    So you might be asking, where did I pipe in and try to subsidize this delusion?  That would be here.  After a quick mind-twitch resulting from making sure that what I think I heard was what he said; I retorted - "But couldn't anything they execute on clicking X or close just as easily be done in onload?"

    In retrospect, I knew he wasn't prepared for this - but during this conversation; he replied as quickly and as confidently as if he anticipated me asking this all along.

    "yeah, but most hackers don't know about that."



  • Sorry about the early redunancy.  Trying to fix it.



  •  And the trucker bit comes in... where?



  • @GettinSadda said:

     And the trucker bit comes in... where?

     

     

    I think the 'tr' previously replaced an 'f' ?



  • @Pol said:

    @GettinSadda said:

     And the trucker bit comes in... where?

     

     

    I think the 'tr' previously replaced an 'f' ?

     

     

    I think someone found a clever way to remove words like trucker and twitch.

    Now we can insault eachother and the nice piece of forum software will change that f in trucker and the b in twitch and it all sounds much better.



  • @Gnonthgol said:

    Now we can insault eachother and the nice piece of forum software will change that f in trucker and the b in twitch and it all sounds much better.

    Fucker. 



  • @Gnonthgol said:

     

    I think someone found a clever way to remove words like trucker and twitch.

    Now we can insault eachother and the nice piece of forum software will change that f in trucker and the b in twitch and it all sounds much better.

     

    Did you smoke crack before writing this?

     

    WTF?



  • I didn't have a good title to associate with the story, but 3 years before I had started there; he was working as a trucker. The company had paid for him to take night classes.



  • @syntaxeater said:

    I didn't have a good title to associate with the story, but 3 years before I had started there; he was working as a trucker. The company had paid for him to take night classes.
     

    Naturally we should know that.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @syntaxeater said:

    I didn't have a good title to associate with the story, but 3 years before I had started there; he was working as a trucker. The company had paid for him to take night classes.
     

    Naturally we should know that.

    The title told you, didn't it? Except for the 3 years and the night classes bit, of course.



  • @syntaxeater said:

    A year later, the same guy came back when he had a virus - and I wasn't so silent.  As I was coding, Rod had just finished running your cookie-cutter, grandson solution of spybot clean-up and buying/updating to the latest norton.  Just as I was taking my headphones off, I caught Rod talking to him about safe internet practices and how he can protect himself in the future.  The first being, never click the "X" or "close" in a popup. 
    Calling your boss out in front of a customer usually isn't a good idea.



  • @merreborn said:

    Calling your boss out in front of a customer usually isn't a good idea.

    He wasn't a customer. He was another employee of the company we both worked at.



  •  @syntaxeater said:

    @merreborn said:
    Calling your boss out in front of a customer usually isn't a good idea.

    He wasn't a customer. He was another employee of the company we both worked at.

    Customer can be a relative term, co-worker or not.

     Calling out your boss in front of anyone usually isn't a good idea, but sometimes it just has to be done



  • @taylonr said:

     Calling out your boss in front of anyone usually isn't a good idea, but sometimes it just has to be done

     

     Damn right. Yesterday both me and my boss had to step in and overrule his boss ("head of group development" / "complete dickhead") when he was trying to tell our junior dev to do something that was going to cause us a world of pain and give false expectations to a customer (who wasn't there). He tried to argue his corner (he always thinks he's right but unfortunately he is a complete fuckwit), but eventually we got it across and I got the junior to do it again.

    As you say, sometimes it needs to be done. And with a bit of luck they'll appreciate your balls. Or just fire you :)


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