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Dealing With an IT Bully

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the griefers-are-everywhere dept.

IT 521

jammag writes "'"You are an idiot." That was how I was greeted on an already gloomy, rainy Monday morning.' Eric Spiegel offer his a first-hand account of dealing with a tech world geek-gone-bad and presents some ideas for coping. 'These bullies are quick to aggressively divert blame for any problem back to someone else, because they couldn't possibly be responsible. Some are passive aggressive, where they will subtly lay blame behind your back. Others enjoy getting in your face and being as confrontational as possible.'" What experiences have others had that defied all logic and possibly made you want to start looking for rifles and bell towers?

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Slashdot ID... (4, Insightful)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069644)

Second, you may be able to win a bully's respect by showing off your knowledge on a tough IT topic.
Dude, that greeting line is typical for a slashdot user whose user ID is between 10,000 and 50,000 (ask any decent HR department if you don't believe me).

Had you mentioned it, you would have made a friend forever (at the risk of becoming someone's best and only friend, though).

BTW: "You are an idiot." may sound like an insult, but from time to time it's just an accurate diagnosis :-)

Re:Slashdot ID... (5, Funny)

Venture37 (654305) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069700)

BTW: "You are an idiot." may sound like an insult, but from time to time it's just an accurate diagnosis :-)
Totally, the world is obsessed by the war on terror, when is the war on stupidity going to start?

Re:Slashdot ID... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069752)

A War on Stupidity will be as effective as the War on Drugs. You can't combat something that grows naturally.

Re:Slashdot ID... (1)

Venture37 (654305) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069810)

so sit back & suffer?? I dont mean drugs!

Re:Slashdot ID... (0)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070388)

I dunno, large amounts of incendiaries dropped from the sky seem to work on both, but using it on neither is politically popular.

Re:Slashdot ID... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069726)

Your ID is >1M, I don't believe ANYTHING you say.

Re:Slashdot ID... (2, Funny)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069798)

Your ID is >1M, I don't believe ANYTHING you say.
Actually my other account has a great low ID, but I wanted to get 1111111 as well (for a bet). Obviously I miscalculated.

True story.

Re:Slashdot ID... (1)

Venture37 (654305) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069916)

Your ID is >1M, I don't believe ANYTHING you say.
So you had to post to tell me that. :)

Re:Slashdot ID... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069782)

I'm logged in as "Anonymous Coward", but I can't tell if my user ID is between 10,000 and 50,000; How do I check???

Re:Slashdot ID... (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069982)

The internal AC UID is 666, so yea, you're all l33t and crap.

Re:Slashdot ID... (1)

fishdan (569872) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070048)

Um -- AC has UID of 1 I think. Unless things have changed since 2.2.5 :)

Re:Slashdot ID... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23070118)

Cum Taco is 1. http://slashdot.org/users.pl?uid=1 [slashdot.org]

IT != Dev (1, Informative)

fishdan (569872) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069988)

You're certainly not going to win any friends by telling the dev team they are part of IT. It might be splitting hairs to the SUITS, but all the people who can set up their own internet connection should understand that dev, database, ops, QA and IT are COMPLETELY different. Now -- sometimes one person has to do all these jobs -- that's what a start up is. But if your company is big enough to have 2 vice presidents, I suspect there is separation. Besides. who besides dev ever thinks that having QA and dev performed by the same people is a good idea?

Re:Slashdot ID... (1)

ShinmaWa (449201) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070310)

Dude, that greeting line is typical for a slashdot user whose user ID is between 10,000 and 50,000 (ask any decent HR department if you don't believe me).
Oh good, my UID for my original account's UID is 7577. My current one is 449201. I just missed the danger zone on both ends :)

Re:Slashdot ID... (5, Funny)

jefftp (35835) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070404)

I do not typically use "You are an idiot" as a greeting. I prefer to use that phrase as a goodbye.

Sensitivity (2, Funny)

FatalTourist (633757) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069682)

...rifles and bell towers?
Too soon!

Re:Sensitivity (1, Redundant)

UltraAyla (828879) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070178)

...rifles and bell towers?
Too soon!

You're right, but only if you're moving in geologic time. The referenced event was the University of Texas sniper [crimelibrary.com]

Re:Sensitivity (3, Funny)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070284)

...rifles and bell towers?
Too soon!

You're right, but only if you're moving in geologic time. The referenced event was the University of Texas sniper [crimelibrary.com]

I'm guessing grandparent poster knew that, and was using a tactic known as "humor". You may want to look into the concept.

Confront him outright (5, Insightful)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069704)

Seriously, most people are so afraid of being confronted directly, just flat out say they are wrong and they are attempting to divert the blame and to get out of my face.

Keep eye contact but just say what everyone already knows but are too afraid.

Society really has taught us to be wimps in that aspect lately, everyone is frightened of any sort of confrontation. Pick your battles but honestly call him a duck, or more likely an idiot.

Re:Confront him outright (5, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069890)

You should read the article. The guy that he's referring to was very abusive, refused to actually have dialog, and made the insults personal at every juncture. He was also the CTO, which means that I would get the fuck out of that company as soon as I could. C-level execs should be a pretty good barometer of the management at all levels, since they'll promote people like them and were chosen and kept on for a reason. The only way to deal with certains kinds of assholes with power is to not deal with them.

And that's what the author ended up doing. Personalities like that are a serious hindrance. I've seen my share of people who divert blame or refuse to admit they're wrong, and usually it's because they receive more blame than they deserve, and usually someone else is in the wrong (and that person is in a position to never have to be wrong). A lot of people in IT are there because they're extremely talented and are right much more often than they're wrong. It creates a lot of potential for misunderstandings.

I think there's also a fundamental difference between a bully who's a normal coworker and a bully who's above you in the chain of command. There's a big difference between the stress of dealing with and unfriendly person of equal power and the stress of dealing with an unfriendly person who has a lot of power over your company, and management can forget that. I had a boss like that and it was sometimes hard to work with him because he didn't realize that insults weren't appropriate from someone in his position.

Re:Confront him outright (3, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070122)

I think they're both to blame, frankly. On the one hand you have the CTO who is just pushing his crap product out the door on Friday and scoffing at the idea of training his support people.

And then you have the support guy who is passive aggressively telling his staff to badger the developer staff (in effect, throwing off his frustration with the CTO on them) and then failing to hash out the issue with his boss on Monday. It's his ass on the line! He needs to either stand up to his boss, he needs to go over his boss to his bosses boss and get him to assert some control over the CTO, or he needs to quit.

It's certainly doing his career prospects no good, and "It's not my fault" only goes so far for both of them.

I think he had it coming, really (4, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069708)

Read the article again from the understanding that the author is either a VP at this organization or at least a peer to VPs, not just some low-level worker getting beat on by upper management. Then notice:

1. The support team that the author manages didn't get trained on the new version before it went into production.
2. They didn't know how to support it or even talk properly about the issues.
3. They didn't follow up properly in documenting the case.
4. They woke up the VP of software development at 3 AM without having good data for him.

As the manager of the support team, then, the VP-level person presumedly in charge of making sure his team is properly trained in both the company's product and the troubleshooting processes, the author didn't deserve to get yelled at... why again? I mean, sure, more diplomatic language is probably called for, but at the same time the implication I get from the article is that the author fucked up in a fairly serious way and now is mad that the VP in question wasn't polite enough about it.

Then there's the other stuff: Complaining about use of the word "fuck"? Trying to start a conversation about Battlestar? What the hell? You're supposed to be an upper-level guy at this company, for pity's sake! You really expect the CIO to waste his/her time getting you to play nice?

I guess where I'm going here is that I'm having a hard time seeing this as 'IT bullying'. Rather, my reaction is that the author doesn't have any place in management and should move back to a position that better suits his tendancies -- a job were units of work are handed to him and he does them versus a position that requires initiative or, God forbid, a little bit of toughness.

And they went live on a Friday evening. (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069832)

I mean, isn't that just ASKING for problems?

I'd have preferred early Monday morning so EVERYONE would be awake and on-the-job if/when problems arose.

Re:And they went live on a Friday evening. (1, Redundant)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069940)

That's what I was thinking, though it does sound like the support guys were just funneling the calls straight to the developers, which is pretty passive aggressive.

I think someone needs to sit them both down and knock heads. You can't have two halves of the team doing this sort of snippy crap; it impacts the customers, and that just can't be allowed.

I could see that on a Monday. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069996)

As long as both groups where in the same local area.

The developers field the support calls ... while the support guys watch over their shoulders and listen to the calls. Until the support guys are up to speed on it.

But yeah, over the weekend? Straight to the developers? That's totally passive-aggressive.

Re:And they went live on a Friday evening. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23070370)

no, its actually somewhat traditional to go live on friday evening, because it's when most products/systems have the least load. It does, of course, usually involve the QA team being in all weekend making sure nothing breaks and the dev guys being on call.

That said, TFA's author sounds like a real treat to work with. I couldn't help but laugh looking back and forth between the line where he bitches about the other guy's smirk and his smarmy mugshot at the top of the page.

Trying to defuse a workplace argument by asking the other person if they watch the SciFi channel? Or worse, by interjecting that you wrote an article?

If I had to work with this guy, I'd probably call him an idiot too.

Re:I think he had it coming, really (0, Offtopic)

avandesande (143899) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069878)

you can tell too that this guy has never been married ....

Re:I think he had it coming, really (5, Informative)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069912)

Maybe you missed the second page... I'll quote the first paragraph for you:

Granted, there was much pressure from top management to get this release out by Friday and thus documentation and any internal training were pushed aside. That being said, it turned out a major bug was in the new release and the on-call support engineer had run a baseline test, but couldnâ(TM)t put the results in context with the new reality introduced by this new bug. His only recourse was to escalate, and do it quickly.

So:

  • Senior management was more interested in making the release date than getting documentation in place beforehand.
  • The support team didn't have the knowledge to document the problem properly.
  • Our "VP" (Eric - the author of the article) used a previously agreed upon procedure, they escalated to the developers by first notifying their manager (Eric) who then tried to notify the development manager (Dirk).

From the details given, I'd like to know what you expected Eric to do differently. Management pressed for the release, even though they knew the support staff wasn't ready. When an issue happened, the support staff tried to follow process to document the issue, couldn't, and followed a proper escalation process.

Re:I think he had it coming, really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23070100)


        * Senior management was more interested in making the release date than getting documentation in place beforehand.
        * The support team didn't have the knowledge to document the problem properly.
        * Our "VP" (Eric - the author of the article) used a previously agreed upon procedure, they escalated to the developers by first notifying their manager (Eric) who then tried to notify the development manager (Dirk).

From the details given, I'd like to know what you expected Eric to do differently. Management pressed for the release, even though they knew the support staff wasn't ready. When an issue happened, the support staff tried to follow process to document the issue, couldn't, and followed a proper escalation process.


Our boy Eric should have grown a pair on fracking THURSDAY (earlier, actually) and escalated the fact that they weren't ready to go live on Friday. Allowing code to go live when one of the major pieces required (support team bring up) isn't in place is a major management screw up. And the manager who was responsible and should have put a stop to it was ... Eric.

I'm thinking he is an idiot.

Re:I think he had it coming, really (4, Informative)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070116)

You're still reading this like he's some low-level guy. He's not -- he's a direct report of the CIO and a peer of the company VPs. That makes him 'upper management' in my book. At that level, you're responsible for your area even if the things you need to do are hard to accomplish.

If a new release is coming, it's his job to find a way to get his staff trained to support it and to make the others in management understand the necessity for staff training ahead of the release.

The release didn't just happen out of the blue. His staff didn't get trained because he didn't make it happen. The same goes for his staff being unable to follow the support procedures -- regardless of the reasons, it's ultimately his job to make sure his organization's procedures work.

Re:I think he had it coming, really (4, Informative)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070182)

From the article, I can't make that judgement. Perhaps he had pushed to make sure training and documentation were in place before the release went live. I'm working from the information in the article, and trying not to assume anything. All we have is that senior management pushed for the release date, so that was above Eric's call. We don't know much he did or did not push to hold back the release. Secondly he, and his staff did follow proper support procedures. Its right there that they can go directly to the engineers for a major issue if the managers are notified, which they were.

Re:I think he had it coming, really (2, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070306)

Not to put too fine a point on it, but if you're a VP-level employee in charge of support of a production product and your people are not trained in the new version, it's your fault. At that level of management, your very basic responsibility is to get the things your people need to do their job -- in this case, training. The author clearly did not do this.

Again, it's important not to think of this as a low-level guy. He's a direct-report of the CIO, or in other words he *is* upper management.

Re:I think he had it coming, really (3, Insightful)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070488)

I guess we'll just have to disagree on this point. I read it that the release was pushed from above Eric in their management structure. He may or may not have protested this, I don't know, that point isn't clear to me. I realize he was not a low level guy, but he wasn't the top guy either. As I see it, the release was forced before it was ready, Eric had to deal with the fallout, and did, by following the procedures that had been agreed upon.

We could go into quite a debate on if he could/should have held the release back, but there's not information there for me to really go there.

Re:I think he had it coming, really (3, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070372)

Secondly he, and his staff did follow proper support procedures. Its right there that they can go directly to the engineers for a major issue if the managers are notified, which they were.

My impression is that the procedure assumed a good faith by the support people to clear the problem, and that Eric, instead of digging in his heels on the deployment and lack of training or coming up with an alternative training plan, decided to play it as "OK, if you're not gonna let us train, then there's nothing we can do but take everything directly to you."

Re:I think he had it coming, really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23070378)


All we have is that senior management pushed for the release date, so that was above Eric's call. We don't know much he did or did not push to hold back the release.


All we know is that if he DID try to hold the release, he failed.

He's incompetent either way.

If the VP of support can't stand toe to toe with senior management and explain risks and costs associated with aggressive go-live schedules then he doesn't belong in the job.

Re:I think he had it coming, really (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069946)

As the manager of the support team, then, the VP-level person presumedly in charge of making sure his team is properly trained in both the company's product and the troubleshooting processes, the author didn't deserve to get yelled at... why again?

That is a factually accurate summary, but does slant it somewhat. There are some potential justifications (not close enough to know if they are true).

1. The support team that the author manages didn't get trained on the new version before it went into production. 2. They didn't know how to support it or even talk properly about the issues.

He claims that the dev. team shipped it Friday afternoon, and went home claiming that the support team could "figure it out". If true, that's shitty on everyones part.

3. They didn't follow up properly in documenting the case.

I have mixed feelings on this. Yes, they should have documented the case. But it sounds like they had an emergency procedure (involve the guy who wrote the article, who was allowed to skip the red tape) which they invoked. It's worth noting that it wasn't documented over the weekend. It still should have been written up ex post facto, but that was after he would have had the altercation.

. They woke up the VP of software development at 3 AM without having good data for him.

The VP-esqe support guy woke up a developer, and notified the VP of software development that he was contacting his employee. The support guy called his VP. This seems like the least offensive thing one could have done.

Complaining about use of the word "fuck"? Trying to start a conversation about Battlestar?

He complained that had the word 'frack' been used instead of 'fuck' it would have given them a nerdy laugh because of Battlestar Galactica. I don't think it was the profanity that bothered him as much as the lack of ability to make a stupid joke. I agree that is retardded however.

I guess where I'm going here is that I'm having a hard time seeing this as 'IT bullying'.

Yeah, the other guy seemed like a jerk, but hardly worth all this fuss. The author did seem too thin-skinned for that kind of position.

Re:I think he had it coming, really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23070230)

Complaining about use of the word "fuck"? Trying to start a conversation about Battlestar?

He complained that had the word 'frack' been used instead of 'fuck' it would have given them a nerdy laugh because of Battlestar Galactica. I don't think it was the profanity that bothered him as much as the lack of ability to make a stupid joke. I agree that is retardded however.

Umm, guys? He's writing for a public website that discourges the use of the word "Fuck". So he substituted "Frack", but then chose to elaborate that this wasn't the actual word used to add color and readability to the article. Get a grip.

If you want to bitch, bitch about how his solutions failed to work in this situation, and might not ever work. Did he ever raise the issue of this VP's abusive personality to HR or the CIO? Complain about the poisonous atmosphere this guy's personality was causing?

Re:I think he had it coming, really (4, Informative)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069954)

The support team that the author manages didn't get trained on the new version before it went into production.
The author had requested it, but the release was pushed too fast for non-technical reasons.

They didn't know how to support it or even talk properly about the issues.
It was a major bug that needed to be escalated immediately. He followed procedure and the other guy didn't.

They didn't follow up properly in documenting the case.
Again, major error. When there's a big enough error on a production server, sometimes you don't document the problem. Sometimes you have to get up at 11 am and figure out why 30 leads are getting created every second by the same ip address and it's bringing down the server. As a tech support engineer (which I'm not, but assuming I am), at this point I can do one of two things: I can keep digging and documenting, or I can escalate. The author didn't tell us what the issue is, but he did say it was major.

They woke up the VP of software development at 3 AM without having good data for him.
They called, he never answered.

I could continue, but I've got to ask: were you reading the same article I was? It's possible that the information that was given was wrong and biased, but there wasn't anything in the article that the author did blatantly wrong.

Re:I think he had it coming, really (3, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070210)

I could continue, but I've got to ask: were you reading the same article I was? It's possible that the information that was given was wrong and biased, but there wasn't anything in the article that the author did blatantly wrong.
We read the same article, but from different perspectives.

Again, remember: We're talking VP-level here, a guy who reports directly to the CIO. At that level, your job is to get out there and accomplish your responsibilities, not to give excuses.

His actions do not sync with that level of responsibility. A guy at his level should have either found a way to get the basic training accomplished or gotten the release held up -- if the others in management don't understand the importance of getting support caught up, it's his job to make them understand.

This might sound unreasonable if you're used to thinking from a low- or mid-level management position, but at that level its basic to your job.

Well actually (2, Insightful)

mveloso (325617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069976)

"had discussed in past management meetings that when the production system goes down, immediate verbal communication between engineers was acceptable to expedite the issue -- as long as the managers were notified."

If a system dies over the weekend and it's a production system, you get the guys who know on the phone immediately. Basic troubleshooting steps in this case are problematic for two reasons: (1) in general, you want to get the system up as fast as possible, and (2) if the problem was easy to fix, it shouldn't have happened in the first place.

The problem really isn't that Dirk is a prick. The problem is Dirk doesn't care about his customers. Why can I say that? Because he's droping crap into a production environment and doesn't care that it doesn't work. The second problem is that the overboss feels the same way.

When this stuff happens to you, drag the customer (or the customer advocates) into the picture. You can bring this point of view all the way to the CEO if you want to. Nobody gets fired for arguing on the customer's behalf, unless the organization it a complete scam from top to bottom. If it is, then you either quit (because why would you want to work there if you actually care about what you do) or be a prick to everyone else in return (which is what most people do, I think).

Re:Well actually (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070016)

how about the other option- let the bug sit till monday and let everyone enjoy their weekend

Rifle and Bell Tower? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069716)

Eric Spiegel offer his a first-hand account of dealing with a tech world geek-gone-bad and presents....
What experiences have others had that defied all logic and possibly made you want to start looking for rifles and bell towers?


Dealing a with slashdot article grammar?

Ya gotta be careful (3, Insightful)

taustin (171655) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069718)

Sometimes, it'd very difficult to distinguish between an IT guy who says "You're an idiot" to divert blame for his own failures, and an IT guy who says "You're an idiot" because, well, you're an idiot.

Especially if you're the idiot.

Re:Ya gotta be careful (5, Insightful)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070008)

Whether you are an idiot or not, it is wise to take note that calling other people "idiot" is not a productive thing to do. Just avoid trusting an idiot to do things that requires brains, and you'll be better off.

Re:Ya gotta be careful (3, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070248)

Nothing you say to an idiot is productive.

-Peter

Re:Ya gotta be careful (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070462)

Knowing that, who's the greater idiot: the idiot, or the idiot that goes out of his way to waste everyone's time confronting and insulting the first idiot?

As in many things, it takes two to idiot.

And yes, verbing nouns like "idiot" is a perfectly cromulent thing to do.

Re:Ya gotta be careful (3, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070222)

In either case, your subject would be the idiot. That's just not the way to conduct yourself in the workplace if you want to get any collaborative work done. Insults simply shut relationships down not to mention setting up the subject for passive and active attempts at retribution.

Re:Ya gotta be careful (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070294)

I think a lot of people are idiots, that doesn't mean that it's right to call them out on it. I wouldn't call my customer an idiot, thats no way to act in the professional world. If you in IT your job is to support the customer becuase A) thats your job and B) you know more than they do about IT. You shouldn't let that make you feel superior.

Re:Ya gotta be careful (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070338)

If I call you an idiot, you can be pretty sure you're an idiot.

And yes, I'm talking about you, Mr. Notwork engineer who designed a 10/8 notwork for a company of 3000. Who claims to have a CCNP but unfortunately can't show any certificates because "Cisco lost my certification results". Who only kept his job because... well, we have no idea why the CIO kept him around, but it is widely suspected that he had photos. I personally saw the CIO take him aside one time, after the CIO made a decision against Mr. Notwork engineer's wishes, and apologize to him, saying that it was not personal, blah blah blah.

My Cable Tech Support Call Yesterday (4, Funny)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069720)

Me: My Cable is Out.
Broadstripe: Sure enough it looks like there are several places in Seattle experiencing some outages. Crews are out. Is there anything else I can help you with.
Me: Yes. My Cable is out and I'm pretty sure that it's mostly unrelated to those outages. It's been out for a month. It was out yesterday. It was out the week before that. A cable guy came out to turn on my neighbor's cable... and the same day when I got home from work my internet was down. ... Pause as I assume this is the point where I'll get a scheduled service call...

Broadstripe: If the cable is out across parts of Seattle how can you conclude that your problem is unrelated.
Me: Because I assume that most of Seattle hasn't been without cable for a MONTH.
Broadstripe: We can send someone out between 9am and 6pm on Monday.

(Yeah sure I'll just take a day off from work to wait for the cable guy. Thanks but no thanks.)

Re:My Cable Tech Support Call Yesterday (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069880)

Me: My cable is out
Comcast: Okay! Let's do some testing! Did you try reseting your modem/router/computer/oven/dishwasher?
Me: Yes. Still not working.
Comcast: Let's see... can't connect to your modem.
Me: Because my cable is out. There was a storm last night, and I found my cable in the street. Could someone come out and hook it back up to the house?
Comcast: We'll can schedule a time to come check it out. You'll need to be home and waiting for the technician.
Me: Really? Because it's clearly a problem outside. They can't just come hook it up?
Comcast: Nope!

Schedule time, person comes, doesn't actually talk to me, cable still out.

Me: Hi, my cable is still out.
Comcast: Let's do some testing!
Me: Been through that, technician came by. I found my cable in the street after a storm, and while he seems to have picked it up off the street, he didn't actually reconnect it.
Comcast: Let's schedule another time for a technician to come out! We don't have anyone available for a week. Been lots of storms in your area lately...

Ever consider... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069724)

That you are an idiot? Just sayin'.

because they can (1)

doublefrost (1042496) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069738)

IT people tend to be jerks. Why? Because they can.

Aspergers too (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070060)

Quite a few geeks seem to have Aspergers and other issues which make them socially inept.

But there's nothing special about IT or whatever. If someone crosses the line, then tell them. This is particularly true of Aspergers folk who will often appreciate the feedback.

Re:Aspergers too (3, Insightful)

Arccot (1115809) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070450)

Quite a few geeks seem to have Aspergers and other issues which make them socially inept.
Lately, I've heard that thrown around more and more as fact. Are there any studies indicating that?

googoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069746)

> What experiences have others had that defied all logic and possibly made you want to start looking for rifles and bell towers?

Can't say I've ever had it that bad. Maybe I've wanted a stiff drink at the end of the day to take the edge off, but not more.

99% of Slashdotters need to read this. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23069750)

Mod me if you dare, I don't frik'n care!

Re:99% of Slashdotters need to read this. (-1, Offtopic)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069780)

Big words for an Anonymous Coward. I bet that took you 5 minutes to work up the courage to post it!

2nd BOFH story in one day? (1)

notnAP (846325) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069754)

This is the second [slashdot.org] IT versus Luser story recently.

Cowboyneal's serving out community service?

Newsflash! (1)

Psmylie (169236) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069768)

There are jerks in every profession!

The article is a little sparse on advice. This "Dirk" guy just sounds like someone who's going to be an ass no matter what. If your boss won't back you up, and you can't handle working with this guy, quit. It's better than snapping one day and breaking his jaw for him.

Re:Newsflash! (1)

Dan93 (222999) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070460)

Which, according to the article is exactly what he did.

Give him presents ... (2, Interesting)

mochan_s (536939) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069778)

One thing the IT guy loves is little electronics.

Give him a fancy USB hub that you can buy for $10 or give him a laser keychain or LED toy or a microsoft branded frizbee or just some funny printed looking DVDRs.

You'd have to go to some bad-english Taiwan, Hong Kong websites to get this stuff cheap but it's useful to slip him one of these everytime he helps you out with a problem.

Re:Give him presents ... (5, Funny)

Dmala (752610) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070190)

If that doesn't work, you could always try the "Daddy's got your nose" game. That gets 'em every time.

Due to a bad past (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069784)

These bullies are quick to aggressively divert blame for any problem back to someone else, because they couldn't possibly be responsible.

Or maybe it's because a lot of us were made fun of in High school and this is our way of doing to others what some did to us. (Subconsciously)

Oh my past haunts me so!

An Old Story... (1)

cynicsreport (1125235) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069814)

Nothing new here; this has been an issue for decades. For some amusing anecdotes about passive-aggressive/aggressive IT guys, see the BOFH [iinet.net.au] articles.

I like to settle these things professionally... (5, Funny)

diskofish (1037768) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069816)

I like to settle these things professionally...by challenging them to a fist fight. I even let them choose the fighting ground.

Are you an idiot? (4, Insightful)

ivanmarsh (634711) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069836)

I don't feel the need to take responsibility for having to dig chocolate cake out of a DVD ROM Drive... but was asked to.

I don't feel the need to take the responsibility for being asked to diagnose a machine that won't boot up that smells UNMISTAKEABLY like cat urine... but was asked to.

I don't feel the need to explain why I deleted your iTunes directory off of my server that was taking up 30gigs of storage space... but was asked to.

I'll be the first to tell you that about 80% of the people that work IT these days have no business doing the job, but there's good reason that even some of the good ones are more than a bit on edge from time to time.

(What is it, bash IT day?)

he should be so fired (4, Insightful)

spirit_fingers (777604) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069896)

As any IT person who supports users directly will tell you, idiots are EVERYWHERE. That said, any IT support person that says that to a user's face would be shitcanned immediately, if s/he were in my IT department. That sort of behavior is inexcusable. IT people need to realize two things: A. in-house IT departments are not typically profit centers, and that makes you disposable. You're there as a problem solver, hand-holder and wet nurse. You're not there to judge, and if you don't like it there are plenty of other IT candidates and outsourcing firms out there who could do your job as well or better; and B. grow up. You're not in high school any more. Stop talking smack about hapless users. Everyone is an idiot about something--even you. And you probably would be a total idiot if you had to do their job.

Re:he should be so fired (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070170)

I believe this was the lead developer. Not a sysadmin.

Geek-gone-bad? More like Geek-becomes-PHB (5, Interesting)

KiltedKnight (171132) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069918)

The author did right to leave. He wasn't going to get anywhere as long as the CIO and the development management weren't going to cooperate. However, after this fiasco, I would've considered writing up a new policy and trying to get it through the CIO... one that says, "No training or documentation? No upgrade." There is no other way to deal with this situation, unless you want to escalate above the CIO... but if you do that, you need to have documentation in order to show that the other people and those you skipped around are incompetents and are the cause of the problem. Even if you do have all of your ducks in order, be ready to look for a new job as well.

I've been lucky enough to not have had these kinds of situations... but then again, I've also been on-call when my software upgrades have gone in AND had a good working relationship with the operations staff. When the few problems happened, they were able to call and get a quick and friendly resolution to the problem without all the name-calling. Almost like we had a system in place........

Well what I have done (1)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069920)

I had one person try this with me, I stood up, stood in their personal space and eyed them down all the while having a nice smile and pleasant tone.

Then I casually mentioned all my years in martial arts, fighting, and lifting.

Never again had another issue with them. People who try to bully are weak mentally and can easily be broken.

Now if you yourself are timid then you need to work on that.

Re:Well what I have done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23070258)

Way to go John Rambo. Very mature.

Re:Well what I have done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23070312)

That is great advice. Also, in a situation where someone tries to eat the food from your bowl you should snap your teeth at them or even bite them. Growling can also help.

They usually back down and wait their turn.

Dear Slashdot, (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069932)

"What experiences have others had that defied all logic and possibly made you want to start looking for rifles and bell towers?" Respectfully yours, DHS

My noob-hire mistake (2, Funny)

chriscoolc (954268) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069966)

I created a temp directory on the root of my group's file server, which so pissed off the server admin that word started to get around about what I'd done (almost as bad as not putting the new cover sheet on a TPS report, I guess). I swear she gave me the evil eye for the next 8 months.

Man Up! (2, Insightful)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069980)

Tell him to fuck off right back, he failed to deliver a complete product on time (an release without any documentation is not a full release) and when he's ready he should e-mail you with some suitable documentation and a proposed schedule for updating the support team on the features, like he was meant to in the first place.

Depends on who you're dealing with (4, Insightful)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 6 years ago | (#23069992)

You deal with different people in different ways (obviously). It's not just a matter of what kind of aggression level they have, it's also (if anything, moreso) a matter of where they stand in relation to you in that company.

You've got a few main categories:
1. Peers
2. Someone who works for you
3. Someone who works for one of your peers
4. Your boss
5. People your boss reports to
6. People who are senior to you but you don't actually work for (eg, Client Services Manager or some such)

In all cases though, there are a few guidelines. First, don't ever let the tone and content get condescending. Don't fight fire with fire, simply refuse to even discuss the issue unless they're willing to treat you with respect. This holds true for just about any of the relationships. Obviously you'll have cases where if you don't get a paycheck your kids don't eat, and then you take all kinds of shit if you have to, but that aside, don't let anyone abuse you, even if they own the company.

Second, be good at what you do. When people frequently need to come to you for help, they tend to be much more forgiving when things are your fault.

That's about all I got right now.

idiot (5, Insightful)

trb (8509) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070018)

When person A calls person B an idiot, it doesn't indicate that person B is an idiot. It does indicate that person A berates people.

Re:idiot (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070322)

When person A calls person B an idiot, it doesn't indicate that person B is an idiot. It does indicate that person A berates people.

That may be, but it seems to work for Dr. House. He says, "You're an IDIOT!", and the target will generally express any of a number of different emotions ... and never bother House again.

Re:idiot (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070340)

When person A calls person B an idiot, it doesn't indicate that person B is an idiot. It does indicate that person A berates people.

Unless person B has repeatedly ignored A's polite feedback.

Pfft (1)

Anonymous Cow herd (2036) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070066)

As a Slashdot user with a relatively low UID, I feel entitled to say "Man up, nancy-boy". SERIOUSLY.

Call in sick? (1)

jciarlan (1152991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070074)

You heard me, I won't be in for the rest of the week. ... I told you! My dog beat me up! ... No, it is not the worst excuse I ever thought up.

Forrest Gump (2, Funny)

Digi-John (692918) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070082)

"The IT department is like a box of chocolates... there are a lot of nuts, and you can never get what you want." -- My coworker

Billy Corgan? (1)

mc900ftjesus (671151) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070128)

Who knew he was a tech columnist?

Simple (1)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070140)

IT him back shout "No IT BACKS!" and run like mo' fo'!

Thanks for playing, try again (4, Informative)

bockelboy (824282) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070160)

One of the best things my boss has taught me to do out of college is to listen to people. Sometimes a person gets whiney or edgy (and if I got a call at 3am, I'd be bitchy too); listen to them, filter out the abusive parts, and find the parts which you need to listen to.

Finally, if there's anything which needs to be addressed, let them throw their tantrum, and bring it up again later on.

Don't know about this case, but it works 90% of the time for me.

Hey, I've _been_ that guy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23070206)

[anon for obvious reasons]

No, really, that totally used to be me. When I was much younger, I absolutely _was_ the yelling, passive-aggressive, chip-on-shoulder asshole developer who wants to make _good and goddamned sure_ you're aware he's the smartest guy in the room. I've made people cry. I used to take _pride_ in making people cry.

You know what fixed me? Aging ten years. Nothing else was going to do the trick. Some dudes are like that.

Not exactly IT, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23070236)

I can relate, somewhat.

Last term, I bailed out my software eng team by rewriting most of the 40-page paper after it was formally rejected by the client. I didn't make as many changes to their parts beforehand because I was told it was 'good enough'.

Two weeks into this term, I haven't heard anything from the project lead for a while, but I'm stil working hard on designing an architecture for an ARM emulator, a core part of our project.

Then, during an informal meeting with the instructor, I'm told that I'm now on a separate team that will develop this 'core' for the original team.

The next day I'm told by the 'client' that I'm now going to be working on the UI. I explain that I already have a good bit of what I was originally working on done, he asks to see code within a week or two.

The next two nights solid were spent in a caffeine-induced coma, and after writing around ten pages of complex bit-mashing C code from the specs I had, I show my team a mostly complete implementation of a central part of the project, even though there were still some loose ends in the design. Guess they didn't like it or something, next day, literally on my way out the door to rewrite parts of it to make it easier for them to follow, I'm told by the instructor that I'm off the project entirely.

A month later he gave me some cop-out project that's basically a MPG-to-animated-GIF converter disguised as a research tool, and as of now I haven't even started it, not knowing exactly where to begin, or what he even wants specifically, or if I'm still technically in the course, or if I should even bother.

This is all well before going into industry - I'm _paying_ to be screwed right now, and not the other way around.

It's happened more times than I want to remember, all throughout college, high school, etc., but usually the instructor lets me finish the entire project myself. I'd really like to know how it happens to begin with - how to avoid this cloak-and-dagger type of stuff, how to not piss off teammates to the point where they blame me behind my back. (I'm assuming they were pissed off, I still don't even know what happened.) Or maybe it's just that I let it happen, or maybe I should just shut up and do my work and stop whining anonymously on slashdot.

I wonder, though... (3, Interesting)

lysse (516445) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070264)

My brother-in-law recently had to change jobs as a result of workplace bullying himself, and the common thread is that the bully themselves might be surmountable, but if the employer consistently enables the bully it makes the situation impossible to deal with. For him too, walking was the only feasible option. So from that perspective, I thought the article rang true. And sadly, sometimes it's hard to make the distinction between someone whose social issues are a result of having no interpersonal skills and someone who's simply antisocial [wikipedia.org] .

However, I took a look at one of Mr Spiegel's other articles (this one [earthweb.com] ), which made me wonder whether he might have been reaping what he sowed. That article ends with the line "Now I wonder if Susan will come back to my team? Would you?" - and having read it, my answer would have to be "Not a chance in hell!". Admittedly, I'm biased - a night-owl myself, I'm habitually hours, rather than minutes, late for work - and yes, the expectations of a public-facing role are of necessity a little different. But someone who is unprepared to make small compromises to a rule they believe to be bad anyway in order to keep an exceptional team member is someone whose own priorities could use some work... and the fact that there were other parts of the company in which Susan's timekeeping wasn't an issue suggests that his insistence upon the rules was frankly pointless, soul-sucking pettifoggery.

(If you want to argue about that, go for it. I don't care, and I won't be responding - I simply don't understand people who put arbitrary rules above individual differences, I never will, and I don't even want to.)

I'm a developer (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23070280)

If I talked to our support team the day that Dirk is alleged to have done, I would be fired and would completely deserve it.

As a developer, it is my responsibility that the software works; and if the support team escalates to me it is my responsibility to take charge and resolve the problem for the customer. Afterwards, we and the support team can hold a post-mortem and go through the "if you see something like this next time, here's what you can do to resolve it for the customer; or failing that what you can do to prepare things for me when you escalate."

It is also my responsibility to see to it that the support team is trained:
  (1) on what they can resolve in my product without escalation
  (2) on how to prepare things for me when escalating
  (3) on how to know the difference between a (1) and a (2) situation.

I, personally, would rather be called in unnecessarily in a (1) situation than to deal with the consequences of the support team failing to escalate when they should have (and thus making the situation worse).

I do NOT want the support team to be afraid of escalation. If they don't know what to do, that is a matter of ignorance; and as such is easily curable once identified.

Stupidity, on the other hand, is expecting the support team to guess at what to do because they've been too intimidated by having developers call them names. And that stupidity is on the part of the developers, not the support team.

In case it isn't obvious, I find Dirk's behavior, if accurately reported (we are only hearing one side), to be reprehensible.

so, it's not 'their' fault, we let them damage US (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23070282)

of course there has been PLENTY of deception involved in US being bushwhacked/taken hostage. let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

It turned out that nothing worked with Dirk.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23070302)

I think that not being an idiot would have worked with Dirk.

There's only one way to deal with such a bully ... (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070328)

You gotta pwn his home BSD box. It works every time. ESPECIALLY if he's running OpenBSD. He'll never call you an idiot again.

Simple (1)

ReallyEvilCanine (991886) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070386)

Refuse to talk to him. Tell him to mail you his complaints and walk away. If necessary mention that you have to synchronise his boss' RAM. The mail will either be considerably more polite or you'll have written proof of his unacceptable behaviour and he'll be gone in short time. That's my strategy unless I'm in a position where I can tell him directly to fuck off with no repercussions.

CIO was probably trying to get the author to quit (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23070400)

When the direct manager (the CIO) supports this behaviour, it's usually because he's behind it.

I think it's pretty obvious they were trying to get rid of the author, and acting this rude was how they did it.

It's a technique I've seen used in quite a few workplaces, because firing people can be rather difficult.

Sounds familiar... (3, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070410)

...like the client I had for five years. They finally got me out of there, despite my boss assuring me he had my back, no problem keeping the contract, blahblahblah. My first meeting with the incoming brand-newly-created CIO started off with him explaining that he would be replaciong me with his own staff as soon as humanely possible. It took him 5 months. His second in command was a true class act, once agreeing to a plan, changing his mind, forcing a completely untested and foreign solution. All in one two-hour meeting. Only I objected, and he left it that I should not be surprised, after all my ideas had all failed. This was a *new* project. I hadn't screwed this one up, as it hadn't gotten past the design stage before he dismembered it...

My only solace; I heard 3 years later that he and the CIO were *escorted* from the building by Security. Probably they got caught taking kickbacks from vendors. That's what happened at their last place, where they were allowed to go quietly in the night rather than 'disgrace' a government agency.

The article got it right. Sometimes you gotta just go. He was up against a dev team manager that was an asshat, a CIO that tolerated that style, and nowhere to turn for sanity. I suspect the dev team was spectacularly unproductive there...

I was treated like a dog-first IT job(literally) (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23070418)

So, i switched from social work to IT... After taking a few classes i was snapped up by a small recruiting firm in Portland..

My pay was very low for IT, but i was new so I took it. So for $15/hr, i was their database administrator, web designer, network/systems admin and lone support personnel.

It was bad enough that I was "thrown in the fire", but the owners were complete ignorant assholes, making my job MUCH harder...

So, after installing software on the boss's computer, I made the HORRIBLE mistake of not placing a shortcut on his desktop. For such a minor issue, what did he do? He hit me in the head with a rolled up magazine, and told me "don't let it happen again". Not unlike jerks "teaching" a dog not to mess in the house.

This was my first IT job, and as such, very crucial to my new IT career. I bit my tongue and said "yes sir". However, 2nd time he did it(for a different minor reason), I informed him that he should get off his ass and learn more about his computer and NEVER do it to me again. I left soon after for a job with a 50% pay increase. On my last day i was informed that reason I was not respected was...because they paid me TOO LITTLE. Wow, just WOW.

To this day I wish I'd punched him out. I decided i would NEVER again let a supervisor or owner treat me like that...what a scumbag.

I agree, but the corprate speak hurts my brain (1)

PoderOmega (677170) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070434)

I agree that this guy sounds like a jerk and I'm not sure how he made it up to VP, but the corporate speak in this article hurts my brain.

"verbal communication": How about "phone call"?
"knowledge transfer": If someone even asked me for knowledge transfer I would have laughed them off as well. Try "training".
"I asked the CIO to broker this support issue...": This guy sound like he needs to be slapped around by a superior, not "brokered". No need for the sugar coat.

Use Emotion, Luke! (1)

parabyte (61793) | more than 6 years ago | (#23070496)

In a situation when someone acts like an asshole the best thing is to make this person to understand that immediately and without any chance to get it wrong.

Human are in possesion of archaic communication channels that get directly through and can not be ignored.

It is called emotion, and in such a situation it is appropriate to get just frantic. Take a deep breath and start to cry out as loud as you can that you are fed up with such an selfish and antisocial behaviour, and call this guy whatever actually comes into your mind.

Many people, especially geeks have problems to show their emotions and consider it a weekness, but emotions are a very powerful and efficient mean of communication and immediate persuasion.

We are beeig told to be cool and stay calm, and talk things over, but there are situations where you can talk for hours and you just don't get through. You state you irrefutable arguments over and over again, but the other person lives in a different reality and filters or bends off everything you say.

But then, if you show true emotions, you will get through, no matter how hard-boiled or ignorant the other person is. He does not even need to speak your language.

However, it is a good idea to practise a bit, to learn not how to suppress emotion, but how to let out controlled burst of varying intensity. With mastering three or four different levels between "beeing normal" and "totally freaking out" you have enough granularity to master most situations without excessive collateral damage.

You should also try to observe how you react to emotions of others and how hard or impossible it is to ignore them.

p.
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