I'm in a strange way doing end-user support again, as Director of Networking Operations in an 8 person company. Yes, I know-- I swore "never again" when I left MIT Center for Cognitive Science in 1990 and moved to California. Those of you who know me better have probably heard the T-shirt story. The summary form: I realized that I should leave when I was tempted to go to one of those "custom lettering while you wait" T-shirt places and get identical shirts printed up, one for every day of the workweek, saying in huge block letters, "I don't care why you can't print." That was a clue. I went back into consulting and made sure that the closest I ever got to a user was another sysadmin who needed infrastructure support. But, here I am. And it's okay, as we grow this will become someone else's problem and I can leave the world of recalcitrant PCI cards and odd .h file nested link dependencies and go back to building huge kick-ass scalable service clusters. But I digress... Given that I have not dealt with Actual Users in many years and that many folks in the company come out of academia, it seemed useful to come up with some guidelines to remind the user community of its half of the social and professional obligation. It was also a good quick test of StarOffice. :-) Someone recently sent a list of "work rules" to an employee alumni list, and it inspired me to create the one included below. The list I received was very funny, but in general was too insulting to actually use at work-- "I see the stupidity fairy has visited us again" is a typical quote. Rule 5 below is the only one taken from that list-- wish I had an attribution for it. Feel free to borrow my list, just include my email addr on it if you do. It's somewhat optimized for working under many hats in a tiny startup in a large bull-pen like office in a warehouse, at a desk which is only a few feet from the main conference table and whiteboard space. Was I digressing again? Nah, just background. :-)
Strata's Rules to Live By
1) I'm not being rude, I'm just pretending that this is an actual workplace, and trying to get something done. 2) Moral and technical support cheerfully offered, especially if you stand still long enough to describe the problem. 3) Telepathic requests for technical assistance and/or bugfixes will be ignored. Ditto for loud grumblings. "Oh by the way..." is marginal. SMTP traffic happily accepted. 4) Intelligibility may be inversely proportional to genius and/or artistic talent, not must be. Please re-read the spec. 5) No, my powers must only be used for good.
Thanks for visiting Networking Operations!
Have a nominal, non-marginal day!
_SRC PS- I prefer the smiley gif, but that's not Lynx-compatible!


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