I’m An Asshole by John Cole| January 1, 20227:26 pm| 118 CommentsThis post is in: Open ThreadsFacebookTweetEmailI completely forgot about the Zoom and slept through the entire thing. I apologize.
You are good people, Cole.?
There are few front pagers that we can immediately identify by post title. This one was easy.
Who among us hasn’t slept through Zoom meetings?
You weren’t there?
How did I not know?
Yeah, but only after signing on first.
I think we mentioned something about your absence.
At least you didn’t abandon them for PormHub.
@Baud: We have no evidence of that…
And 2022 is off and running.
@Spanky: You jest, but I actually did this in a telecon. It was a celebratory telecon for some sort of thing I’d done, but at some god-awful time in the morning (b/c East coast attendees, sigh). So I got up, signed on, exchanged pleasantries, and then got back into bed and propped the phone to my ear. Next thing I know, I wake up, the phone is still there, and the line is silent. I later learned that I’d started snoring and they had to hang up and switch to another conference number.
We had fun without you.
@Chetan Murthy: Hahaha! Well done! :)
@Chetan Murthy: Yup, when I saw the title on the sidebar, I wondered why Cole was an asshole.
It’s the first day of the year and we’ve already achieved peak Cole. You get your rest JC, you deserve it. Thanks to all you and all the other front pagers do everyday.
Could have been worse. You might have shown up and thrown a Toobin.
Ha! We missed you.
We talked a lot about musical theatre. You would have hated it.
@Spanky: Yes, good point.
@Chetan Murthy: Hilarious. At least no one can call you a glory hog.
@Baud: You are correct, I was thinking of adding that.
@John Revolta: i always disliked these celebratory meetings, where the managers get to say puffery and we all waste time listening. Just gimme the damn bonus check and lemme get on with it, I always felt.
In 2000, there was a new product out, and this one consultant K. was going around showing customers how to use the various features. And …. boy howdy were these customers suffering. We made a cottage industry of going around to customers after he’d been there [more precisely, their installations would blow up, eventually it’d come to us to fix it] and undoing his advice, showing customers how to live without his bright ideas. Eventually there was a big sale to a gynormous e-commerce customer (this was 2002 by then) that K. had advised to set up the product in a certain way — use certain features — and it was horrendous, just horrendous. So I showed them how to use the product without those features, got ’em all going straight on the road and such.
So “the engagement team” got a Chairman’s Award, and since I’d cleaned up the mess, they included me. On the celebratory call, the VP in charge congratulated me and all, and I replied with:
Coulda heard a pin drop. It was said of this guy K., that the room wasn’t big enough for both him and his ego. I never met him personally — so he might actually have been a lovely guy in person — but geez, he should be kept away from all computer systems, that’s for sure.
How do you think job creators create jobs?
@Scuffletuffle: Were you able to get on the Zoom call? (I wasn’t there.)
John you misssing the zoom (as did I) is the perfect distillation of what makes this place what it is.
@Baud: You’re not half-wrong there. I remember I asked a somewhat well-known software guy who was working for a startup I was working with, why they didn’t use any of my (big) employer’s software. He said that at his last company when they did so, it required an army of consultants to install and program the system, and by the time they’d gotten all that done, they’d exhausted their budget and they hadn’t even really started on the project.
He was an adamant opponent of all my company’s offerings. And I didn’t blame him.
I once asked (via email) Jim Gray (famous transaction-processing guy) about a company he’d founded, Tandem, back in the 1980s. From reading their papers, it seemed pretty clear to me that they were one of the best enterprise I/T companies around. So I didn’t understand why IBM, Microsoft, and so many other companies had beaten them. He replied with a very astute observation:
Tandem’s software and systems did not require a lot of people to configure and operate. These other companies’ products did require a lot of people. Those people needed specialized training, and that meant that they had a commitment to those product lines. So they evangelized for them, where Tandem didn’t have as many evangelists — simply by fault of fewer numbers.
Job creators, indeed!
@Chetan Murthy: I cannot begin to tell you how many consultants have been brought in to tell us how to do our jobs to be more efficient. With their new “systems.” Inevitably, after millions of dollars, surprise, the tools we were already using (mainly Excel) were found to be superior.
One consultant flat out told me “oh, if that is your process, this won’t work for you.
Company went ahead with it. I quit shortly thereafter. I assume they’re back with Excel.
@eclare: Actual quote from a former manager: “It only looks like criminal fraud; it’s actually excellent salesmanship”.
@Chetan Murthy: My ex SIL worked at Tandem. She loved working there. She worked there until it shut down.
@Chetan Murthy: Sounds about right.
Hey, at least you weren’t lubin’ your Toobin.
@surfk9: I read a -ton- of the Tandem papers from the 80s, and it’s clear to me that they achieved a level of capability that was not-again-attained until Google in the early noughties with Chubby/Stubby. Just remarkable that even though it was all published, nobody else in the industry bothered to replicated it for 15-20 years.
@eclare: Back in 2015, I was laid off from a company that was moving its data to a new system, because they’d used all their budget.
Monday week I start there again to help them move the same data to a different new system…
@Timill: Wow. Hope the company backed up the cash truck for you!
@Chetan Murthy: Was working on a project for my agency to upgrade our database software from Lotus Notes. The bullshit the consultants spewed versus what they delivered was criminal as far as I am concerned
@mrmoshpotato: yes, thank you so much!
@surfk9: Large projects always have a project manager. Eventually I figured out that if you wanted to find the source of all evil, the source of all the “overpromise, underdeliver, and never get punished”, the place to look was in the project plan, and specifically the way the project manager worded all the deliverables.
A good project manager can make it look like the plan delivers everything promised, while in fact commits the vendor to doing zilch. Zilch.
@surfk9: If I can ask, when was this? And what was the replacement supposed to be? I have fond memories of Lotsu Nots in the early days. Sigh.
@Chetan Murthy: It was around 2012. We had been using the system since the early nineties. In case you were wondering, this was the State of CA.
@surfk9: Did they try to sell you Lotus WorkPlace ?
“It only looks like criminal fraud; it’s actually excellent salesmanship”.
That’s not a quote from the Theranos trial?
Dorothy A. Winsor
@Chetan Murthy: My colleagues used to tell me that I was sometimes rude at meetings. But you? Chef’s kiss
@Mark Regan: Uttered by my manager in 1995, verbatim.
@Chetan Murthy: Some people actually enjoy and respond well to public praise.
@Dorothy A. Winsor: In The Wire, the Major calls McNulty a “gaping asshole” b/c he actually wants to do the job he’s supposed to do, and not just go along to get along. For most of my professional career I’ve been that kind of gaping asshole. I just find it difficult to tolerate being associated with an unprofessional job.
Eventually, the various execs in my company got so tired of me bringing back detailed and damning reports of how shitty their products were (along with plans for fixing them) that they told my management (in Research) to forbid me from working with customers. Hilarious, b/c of course there was pressure on all researchers to be “relevant to the business.” I spent the next 3-ish years in bliss, not touching products at all.
@Chetan Murthy: McNulty: what the fuck did I do?
@eclare: Reminds me of an early-mid ’90s online software store that I occasionally frequented when I was using OS/2 and hoping against hope that it wouldn’t be crushed by Windows. The owner guy was convinced to greatly expand his business (become a much larger distributor) and convert to some big database and Lotus Notes (IIRC – it was a long time ago). His store went offline for a few weeks and I kinda wondered what was going on (not knowing that the transition was underway). When his store was finally back, he had a huge array of offerings, but the site was unusable. Took forever to do the simplest things, etc.
As you might imagine, the store went under shortly thereafter.
It wasn’t a good omen.
I’m kinda amused that MS seems to be trying to reinvent Lotus Notes with MS Teams. No, make that kinda annoyed (because it’s so slow and convoluted to do anything, while they make it difficult to get any information you put in it back out…)
@Another Scott: Heh, since you say “site went offline” I assume it was a website? Maybe he converted to Lotus Notes Domino [webserver grafted onto Notes]? Man, that sucked.
I actually liked Lotsu Nots [sic] as groupware. It had its pluses. But for transaction-processing? Fugeddaboudit.
@Chetan Murthy: I got there in 99 and Lotus Notes was disappearing. During the 2000″s the agency had no money to upgrade. We got along with a spit and bailing wire approach. We had a contractor who was a LN programmer, that made a lot of money off of us, but was very competent. After he retired, it was almost impossible to find Lotus Notes programmers as nobody was using it.
did over a dozen ERP installs/upgrades in the late ‘80’s to early ‘aughts, from the users end.
No joy in Mudville.
The biggest issues I found were:
Mgmt had zero clue how the users, used the software or data.
Salesmen and Consultants had zero clue, and promised the moon with patches and scripts,
the people writing the patches and scripts, had no clue, but were semi competent, but the message that the 2.1 upgrade would wipe out all past patches and scripts, never made it up the food chain.
Gin & Tonic
Funny (in the ironic sense, not the knee-slapping sense) how a post entitled “I’m An Asshole” becomes a discussion of Lotus Notes.
I’m beginning to think, maybe there never was any mustard…
James E Powell
I used to have a New Yorker cartoon on my desk with a young attorney type saying to a couple of senior partner types, “Did I say unethical? I meant complex. Legally complex.”
Gin & Tonic
Completely O/T, but it’s been that kind of day, and this is funny (to me, anyway.)
Okay, this is new. I’ve seen (HAVE NOT VERIFIED, DON’T @ ME) that the LAPD released a statement yesterday that they had “ruled out foul play” in Betty White’s death, and I just even can’t. Or can’t even, whichever.
@Chetan Murthy: Yes, it was a website. Domino may very well have been involved and tickles a few neurons, but I really don’t recall. ;-)
I’m also reminded of one of my temp jobs after grad school (while waiting for my ship to come in). I worked for a little company that wrote banking software and they were just starting to investigate using hypertext for help screens and so forth. I was tasked with typing in the stuff and trying to convert the banker-ese into English. It was running on Windows 2.x on a ‘286 and was ungodly slow. I mentioned the performance issues to one of the managers and he said, “Great! We’ll just sell them faster, more expensive machines!!”
It sort of confirmed that that line of work wasn’t for me. ;-)
@p.a.: The mustard was inside all of us all along.
@James E Powell: I worked for years in tax at a big public accounting firm. “We make our money in the gray areas.”
@Gin & Tonic: Hahahaha
Villago Delenda Est
As your penance, Cole, you must chop down the mightiest tree in the forest with…
Villago Delenda Est
@SiubhanDuinne: Someone is trolling.
@Another Scott: Background FTP transfers under OS/2 didn’t slow down whatever else I was doing, because of the miracle of preemptive multitasking; under Windows 3.1, fits, starts, and jerks because cooperative multitasking, which Microsoft said was perfectly fine and decent god-fearing coders would implement conscientiously and what people knew in their hearts was all that was needed. Naturally, I predicted OS/2 would best Windows. Yeah, not so much.
@Villago Delenda Est:
Yes, but WHO??
@eclare: Sort of – it’s more complex than that. They’re paying me way more than I make now, and way more than they originally agreed back then, but only a bit more than I actually got from the agency. I don’t know if the agency spoke to the company back then.
@Timill: I hope it works out!
You know who wasn’t an asshole? Betty White.
But she was the funky Godmomma to Janet Jackson
I saw that too, but it was mild boilerplate because the police responded to a call about the death. Apparently someone called them instead of (or in addition to) her doctor or the EMS. Snippet with video here.
I would be interested in the problems you have. My company uses it exclusively, but my team doesn’t really use it for more than chatting. We do have a way to contact the developers though.
@SiubhanDuinne: I read the same thing. I think it was on the TMZ site.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
A thread about assholes? so this is on topic
How much you wanna bet the stalwart young anti-woke (whatever teh fuck that means) Marine’s name is Todd
This has been the story of computing since the beginning. My grandfather was in the Army, stationed at Ft. Meade. My mother got summer jobs there in the late 50s. She spent one summer in a Quonset hut, entering data which was spit out onto a paper tape. The next summer was spent in the same Quonset hut, entering the same data, this time with punch cards as the output.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
A short thread on Ron De Santis
I’m not a doctor, but just about every bit I’ve read about those more vulnerable to Covid mentions people undergoing cancer treatment. I genuinely wonder what her doctors are thinking right now.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yeah, it’s not the military ever tells you to do shit. As my supervisor has said “these people…”.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: The stupidity is eye-watering level.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: As I said on Twitter the other day: The army used make me get haircuts. If only I had known it was tyranny. Also all the fucking vaccinations.
New year, new blog post.
Happy New Year, watercolor on paper
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: If you think the “net effect” of everyone getting a vaccine is anything other than “reduced virus spread, reduced severe illness, and reduced death”, you’re really too stupid to be allowed to tie your own shoes, let alone be an officer in the US military.
Or, at least, that’s the standard we would have in a more perfect world.
I figured it was probably something like that. It just seemed odd, given that there was (AFAIK) never the least suggestion that foul play was ever a consideration in her death. To deny it only draws public attention to the possibility.
@Urza: I honestly don’t have a lot of experience with it, other than the chat features. But when I’ve tried to do something like use the built-in copy of Excel, it’s been really, really slow. And the Wiki seems incredibly limited and opaque on how to use its features (not obviously discoverable), let alone how to get stuff out of it. And the web interface has quirky differences from the Windows app (and vice versa).
Ours is part of a huge deployment that is still being rolled out in stages. Maybe it will get better…
Though I’ve mentioned Lotus Notes, I never actually used it. I’m going on (possibly faulty) recollections from ads back in the day.
HTH a little.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Assholes? J. M. Vance? Works for me!
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I see most of the replies aren’t having it.
I never played with Care Bears, unlike Carvel here.
@Another Scott: We used Notes for email, but that’s about it.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I just wonder why his spox devoted so much time and effort to artfully saying nothing about his whereabouts. How hard would it be to say something like “The Governor is taking personal time during the holidays to be with his wife as she undergoes a medical procedure.” The way his staff bungled it, the narrative is set that DeSantis has something unseemly to hide.
@schrodingers_cat: Very pretty!
Duplicate. Superfluous. Redundant.
Deleted. Obliterated. Consigned to the nether world.
@SiubhanDuinne: Well, he’s clearly trying to get his wife killed. Is that unseemly in Florida (at this point, I genuinely don’t know where the bar is set down there).
ETA: I wonder if he has a big life insurance policy taken out on her. Or is she an heiress and he’ll get the money if she dies a horrible cancer+COVID death?
@SiubhanDuinne: The old saying is that the cover-up is always worse than the crime. That may not apply here.
Speaking of assholes…
EDIT: sorry. Forgot the trigger warning.
The reason I brought up Notes is that my recollection is that Lotus was selling it as an all-in-one solution for communications, database, file sharing, etc., stuff. MS seems to want to do the same thing with Teams – do everything inside their app family, store your stuff on their cloud, make your phone calls and video calls inside their app, etc., in addition to all the Office-type stuff (that admittedly Notes didn’t have on its own).
Everything is reinvented again (often poorly) 20-30 years later. ;-)
(“Who sees that Notes is still out there and supported.”)
No, it may just be ineptness and stupidity.
@sdhays: She’s a grown up. She can make her own choices. How do we know she isn’t just as big a nut job as he .
Eta: She has to be.
@sdhays: I wonder if DeSantis would get a sympathy bump if his wife dies of COVID after he takes her around unmasked to parties as Omicron slams Florida and the rest of the US.
@SiubhanDuinne: In some locales, a homicide investigation is required if the deceased was not under the care of a doctor who can say how they died. I know this was the case in DC when an elderly relative who hadn’t seen a doctor for decades died. Luckily the detective took the word of the priest who had been visiting her to give communion and try to get her to see a doctor. This was allowed as someone who had seen the progression of her disease.
Presumably, Betty White has a doctor who knows what presumably killed her. Also, from a play I saw “Above 90, no one dies unexpectedly.”
@MagdaInBlack: I assume she is as big a nut job as he is. It’s always easier to off people who don’t need to be convinced to place themselves in danger.
Yes, I’ve read too many murder mysteries.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Some fuckers won’t be satisfied unless they can remain “he-man” knuckle dragging Neanderthals their entire lives. Of course, they also tend to insist that everyone comes down to their level as well.
@Yutsano: Da fuck is wrong with that boy?
@Feathers: My understanding is that in California, the medical examiner has to determine the cause of death if the person dies while not under the care of a resident physician. So, if someone dies at home in their sleep at 99, the LA County Medical Examiner would have to examine the body.
Canada needed at least one pile of shit.
Beautiful. Happy New Year! ??
I’m an asshole too. Poo-tee-weet. So it goes.
@schrodingers_cat: I like that very much.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: HCA nominee?
@schrodingers_cat: Nice, but makes me feel cold.
James E Powell
You are correct, sir (Ed McMahon voice)
California Government Code 27491
James E Powell
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
This is all to serve the “Democrats hate the troops & the troops hate the Democrats” narrative that Republicans have been pushing – with the support of the so-called liberal media – since the 80s.
The media are going to bury the percentage of military personnel who are vaccinated – 98% of active army had at least one shot on December 16 – because, to them, “troops support Democratic policy” is just unpossible! Blasphemy!
@James E Powell: Ah, so not a serial killer stalking the cast of Golden Girls, as one might imagine from the police statement.
(Admittedly one would need a fairly weird imagination, but we’ve just finished a year when thousands gathered in Dallas in the belief that JFK Jr. would appear and announce that Trump is really president, so I’m no longer assuming any limits.)
The Babylon Bee is a right-wing “humor” site. I believe they faked the Ted Cruz tweet as part of the “joke,” because it doesn’t appear in his Twitter feed.
Mai Naem mobile
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: the two of them are probably lying about her treatment for cancer or that they’ve both already gotten COViD several times and are vaxxed and boosted so unlikely to get sick. They’ve got 3 young kids. I wouldn’t be surprised if her cancer was caught early with a short treatment plan. They announced her diagnosis back in October. DeSantis lies so much why would one trust him over this?
Also, another chef’s kiss for the perfect 20 year anniversary blog post.
From me in Canada, thanks for all you and your people do to help remind the rest of the world too that there are sane Americans, with a bonus real sense of humour to boot.
Hunter Thompson remarked somewhere, prolly about Nixon, re the correlation between one’s sense of humour and one’s sanity, and those humourless, stunted fascists working on their coup are the full flowering of that idea.
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
When I worked in pro sports we had 4 – 1 hr weekly phone meetings because about half the staff worked on the road and might come into the office once or twice a year. It actually was a good idea and worked. Except the one time I was driving to the office and had my phone live and someone cut me off and almost caused a massive accident. I might have sworn just a bit, forgetting that the phone was there. I was less than a minute from the office so I went in, opened the door to the meeting and about half the staff ran out laughing. It did make for a better meeting atmosphere after that. Ripped the stuffy right out of the building.
It was fun of working with the public and not being able to actually tell someone what they needed to hear.
How much time and space do you have?
Because naming all that is wrong with TC is likely to take a post the size of an entire set of the Encyclopedia Brittanica. Either that or use enough swear words in one long paragraph to make a priest go immediately deaf.
@Chetan Murthy: I went to work for Tandem in 1990. After being bought by Compaq, merging with HP, and splitting off to become HPE, I’m still with NonStop systems. Probably retire from there in a couple of years.