I can't say some of it wasn't justified, but I take a passive approach when I get frustrated. Like, say I have a project manager who says, "I want you to find all references to PAP/CHAP authentications in these logs." I say, "Those logs don't record such authentications, they record system failures only," and they go, "Just give me every entry you find that has PAP/CHAP authentications." So I generate a report:
Subject: The report project manager IPFreehley requested
Here is my extensive data analysis of all system error logs for PAP/CHAP authentication that Ivan Freehly requested. Normally, system error logs only record system failures, and do not record connection info on any of the clients. An RFC on this can be found here [link] and here [link]. However, Ivan explained that all options must be explored.
Number of error logs searched: 255
Number of days on each error log: 60
Average entries per error log per machine: 12
Total number of errors searched: 183600
Total number of errors that recorded any network issue: 598
Total number of errors that recorded only disconnects: 598
Number of Network Issues that identified authentication: 0
Number of Network Issues that identified PAP/CHAP: 0
This result is in context with the RFCs linked above. A combined log file of all the machines for the 60 day period is available in the common shared folder of our department (4.98 mb). Please feel free to contact me with any further questions.
I always cc department heads as well. This can have two major benefits. The first is if the manager realizes how stupid the project manager's request was, I may not be asked to do something of this nature again. The second is my name gets recognized by higher ups. This leads to the inevitable, "So you're this famous Grig we hear about!" What if I make some guy look bad, and he gets revenge on me? That doesn't happen that often. Thankfully my company is well-educated enough to recognize an idiot when they see one, and so me reporting them only gives them fodder for eventually getting rid of him.
Now if I sent e-mail going, "What a useless piece of [BEEP]! He can kiss my [BEEP][BEEP] if his cankered mouth spews forth more infectious stupidity from the pus of the ignorant boil he calls a brain, I will set fire to his office chair and beat him with closed fists until he bursts like the engorged tick he is to this company!" ... I'd be back doing retail in a week.
Frankly, I don't care if I do "stupid work" versus "important work" because I get paid the same. I write scripts to parse data, generate trend patterns, and give the report a thorough and professional flair. While I am waiting for things to compile, I go on the web and learn something new. My brain is always busy, and I am happy.
The guy kept his job, BTW. I think because he spoke the thuth, and we've all been edgy lately (what with the recent rounds of layoffs). But man, talk about awkward!
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000380.html