Work… Alas, Work

All day, I’m working hard to set people up with their new Macs, and meet the deadline I set for myself: Get all the booth artwork to the vendor tomorrow. Tons of shit to do, all of priority.

Person One: Hey, uh, Gary. I’m having some problems with the support contract tool.
Aside: It’s a web-based tool to keep track of project-specific work, logged against support hours purchased by the customer. It’s not all that spectacular. Having said that, it—apparently—provides more flexibility and functionality than a standard project engineer can fathom.
Me: (sigh) What’s wrong?
Person One: Well, for [project] there are three event entries which consume three hours. It started with 30 hours, but it shows that there are 29 hours left. 30 minus 3 is… 27. I think something’s not working right.
Me: (bigger sigh) Someone must have edited the contract data.
Person One: Huh?
Me: (pissed) For administrative purposes, such as instances like… um… THIS ONE, you can edit the contract’s original hours purchased, as well as the number of hours consumed. But when you do that, you should log an admin. event to reconcile the mathematical disparity.
Person One: Really? Okay, but I’m wondering how that could have happened.
Aside: I know what you’re thinking (or at least what I was thinking). Maybe someone put in a zero-hour support event, then went back and changed its hours-consumed value. I’ve accounted for that in my code, but thanks for playing.
Me: (browser up) See? Click the “Edit Contract” link, change the 1 to 3 in the “Hours Consumed” slot, and click the “Make Changes” button. All fixed.
Me: (inside voice) Now go away.

I don’t particularly like Person One. Person One is lazy, skates by, and doesn’t take “ownership” of their responsibilities at work. Therefore, I’m less than pleased when Person One inconveniences me, especially when it’s completely un-fucking-necessary.

Person Two is in the process of testing a software release where the only real interface is the one I wrote in Zope. Sure, there’s command-line access, but we don’t encourage that sort of behavior in our customers… or even our engineers. That product was specifically designed to provide a web interface… enough said.

Thing is, though, that the version of Zope we’re using has a problem whereby if your system has a hostname set, and DNS services aren’t available (for whatever reason, there are many)—or the name/IP of the box’s config. don’t jive with that from the nameserver—it will attempt to start, but will die on an host error.

So, we fixed that problem once. Then it happened again. I re-check the config., and everything seems in order. Oh, wait.

Me: Let’s go ask the hardware/software compatibility guru.
(walking together)
Me: Hey [guru], sorry to interrupt you, but will [program] version 2.4 run on an old 1U chassis?
Guru: Oh, hell no.
(insert mobo/bios/framework explanation here)
Me: (obscure movie reference in a Greek accent) So there you go.

Even though Person Two’s interruptions were initially frustrating, Person Two is a “team player”, and does their best to adhere to the rules we set forth at work. And, I was happy to finally nail down the hostname/DNS issue.

My third backup is now done (seconds ago), so now I’m hauling a good 2U system back to work for Person Two to use in their testing, switching out drives, and coming back to write an update on the hockey season.


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