Voyageur

To those who work IT

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On 2/20/2017 at 3:21 PM, TheSaint said:

Darwin Award nominees in the making. I really, to this day, have no idea how people could get that far in life (The DC director had a master's degree for Pete's sake!) and not understand that manipulating energized electrical gear while standing in a puddle of water is life-threateningly dangerous.

It's called The Peter Principal. Very common in upper management. I believe the old saying goes: Those who can, do. Those who can't, manage.

 

Rubbermaid Commercial Products, manufacturing plant, almost entirely robotic controlled. Pallet robots move materials all over the plant, following a wire in the floor. One 'gets lost', heads out the door down the loading dock ramp. Picture this baby cruising through the parking lot, careening off of parked cars, employees running after it, as if they're going to stop it.

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On 19/02/2017 at 10:55 AM, Voyageur said:

Nothing professional, I've just been using a computer seriously since I was about 13. I made due with a retired Dell laptop from my step-grandma's accounting company. Where I work doesn't know that though, they just saw my rank and how long I'm gonna be at the location I'm at, and that the guy who was doing my job before needed a replacement. 

It was more a stroke of luck for everybody else that I've got the knowledge I do, because most of the problems can be fixed in-house and don't have to be escalated, resulting in more time taken for simple fixes.

Is that usual in the military, that people get put on positions they have no background for? It seems everyone caught a lucky break in your case.

 

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39 minutes ago, Camacha said:

Is that usual in the military, that people get put on positions they have no background for? It seems everyone caught a lucky break in your case.

I always joke that I got into computers because I had good handwriting. I was in the U.S. Navy for six years, I was a nuclear mechanical operator, I ran nuclear power plants on submarines. When I got to my first at-sea command, I got there just as they were looking for a replacement to be in charge of the Quality Assurance program for my division. The QA program was designed to control any work that was performed on safety of the ship systems, such as the nuclear plant, high-pressure steam systems, seawater systems, etc. Any time you broke a boundary on any of those systems you had to have a written work package that described the work that was going to be performed, what parts were going to be replaced, what inspections were going to be performed, along with signature blocks for everyone involved to sign that the work was performed as described. When I got to my ship in 1988, all of these work packages were still written out by hand. So since the gentleman who was currently in charge of the program was being transferred, the Chief told the LPO, "Go through the division and find the guy with the neatest handwriting." Well, that was yours truly. The Chief had me write up a work package for a simple filter clean-and-inspect, just to see if I was capable of it. I still remember standing in the Goat Locker while he was reviewing it. He doesn't even look up from the paperwork. He says, "This is really good work. Really good. You know what that means?" I said, "I'm screwed?" He said, "Yep. You're screwed." So I now had twice as much work to do as everyone else did. Woot.

Then, about a year after I took over the program, they decided to computerize everything. We received cutting-edge Zenith laptop computers, and these ginormous Panasonic dot-matrix printers. We wrote everything on WordPerfect running on MS-DOS. It was all very high-tech for its time, and it was my first exposure to IBM-compatible computers. (I'd worked with Commodore 64s and Amigas before, but never IBMs.) I actually became the go-to guy for computer tech support on board, all of the other division's QA guys were getting their butts kicked by them.

After I got out of the Navy, I went looking for a job. I answered an ad from a company that manufactured centrifugal pumps that was looking for a technical writer who could computerize their technical manuals. They wanted someone who knew industrial rotating machinery, how to write complex technical procedures, and computers. Nailed it! While I was there I spent probably half of my time working with the IT folks, and I got my first exposure to computer networking. (Ahh, token ring, we hardly knew thee.... :D) After that I moved to South Africa, where I initially started work as a software technical writer, but ended up parlaying that into a full-time systems administrator position. And, well, the rest is history.

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On 2/23/2017 at 0:42 AM, Camacha said:

Is that usual in the military, that people get put on positions they have no background for? It seems everyone caught a lucky break in your case.

 

99% of the military is comprised of people who enter a field they have no prior background in. Learn as you go and qualify when necessary. It's hard to come by an 18-21 year old with a background in aircraft mechanics, or intel analysis, or nuclear design. 

 

But yeah in my case, the job itself isn't hard at all and as I mentioned before, any gorilla could do it but it just so happens that the learning curve for me is nonexistant and I can just jump right into fixing things.

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On 2/18/2017 at 10:32 PM, munlander1 said:

Can you share the most outrageous please? :)

The easiest way: http://www.rinkworks.com/stupid/

The Computer Stupidities list...granted it's aged, but a LOT of the stories still apply, at least in spirit.

http://bofh.bjash.com/

The "B@stard Operator from Hell" series...

Edited by Xorth Tanovar

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12 hours ago, Voyageur said:

99% of the military is comprised of people who enter a field they have no prior background in. Learn as you go and qualify when necessary. It's hard to come by an 18-21 year old with a background in aircraft mechanics, or intel analysis, or nuclear design.

It might be that the whole set up of the military is alien to me. I always supposed they recruit people with a certain interest or skill set and make those into soldiers (the mechanic or mechanically interested  becoming a military mechanic), rather than to recruit military men and train them to become whatever they need to be (the military man becoming a military mechanic). Though I also imagine this might be done differently in different armies.

I know the military is a bit more about telling people what they should do at what time than civilian life, but at the same time it feels like people that have a certain inclination would be much at their jobs than just a random GI Joe. Then again, the military is run a bit differently than companies are. The former seems to be more about stability and interchangeable people steadily doing their jobs, while the latter often seem more slanted towards peak performance. In both cases, exceptions obviously apply.

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4 minutes ago, Camacha said:

It might be that the whole set up of the military is alien to me. I always supposed they recruit people with a certain interest or skill set and make those into soldiers (the mechanic or mechanically interested  becoming a military mechanic), rather than to recruit military men and train them to become whatever they need to be (the military man becoming a military mechanic). Though I also imagine this might be done differently in different armies.

I know the military is a bit more about telling people what they should do at what time than civilian life, but at the same time it feels like people that have a certain inclination would be much at their jobs than just a random GI Joe. Then again, the military is run a bit differently than companies are. The former seems to be more about stability and interchangeable people steadily doing their jobs, while the latter often seem more slanted towards peak performance. In both cases, exceptions obviously apply.

It's kinda a little of both. You have to remember, the military chiefly recruits people who are coming directly out of high school. So they usually haven't had a chance to develop a lot of life skills. And, in many cases, the military is going to train them in skills that don't really have a lot of application in the outside world, so looking for people who already have those skills would be pointless. But, since we are an all-volunteer force, usually the recruit gets a lot of say in what skill set they get assigned. They should be signed up for an MOS/A-School before they ever get on the bus, at least if they were smart about it. So if they get assigned to a skill that they don't like or aren't any good at, it's usually their own fault.

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9 hours ago, TheSaint said:

They should be signed up for an MOS/A-School before they ever get on the bus, at least if they were smart about it. So if they get assigned to a skill that they don't like or aren't any good at, it's usually their own fault.

This. I was mechanically inclined before I joined, therefore my list of desired jobs were all mechanically-oriented. Just so happened that I was assigned to hydraulic systems on aircraft. But you do have some say for the most part, and as far as the Air Force goes, if you don't choose or you absolutely don't want any of the careers that have openings, you'll be assigned "Open General/Maintenance/etc, which usually puts you in some excrements job handing out basketballs at the base gym, or working the chow hall.

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21 hours ago, Xorth Tanovar said:

http://bofh.bjash.com/

The "B@stard Operator from Hell" series...

Been a while since I've seen this referenced.  Cannot recommend it highly enough.

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