Today, I had to deal with a product that backs up files for servers. That's one of my jobs. The company that makes it is Veritas, which got bought out by Symmantec a while ago. The quality of the tech support used to be pretty good, you'd get English speaking engineers who could diagnose what was going wrong within minutes, and have a solution for you without having to call you back.
Not so much anymore.
For the last week, I have been tasked to find "Orphan backup files," which are backups that failed, but still hang around the backup storage area. Imagine that you want a printout of some huge book, and the printer dies, forcing you to reprint the whole book after the printer gets fixed. What do you do with the first, unfinished printout? Most people would throw it away or recycle it. But imagine you didn't have any trash or recycle bin to toss it, and you had to leave it around the printer area. Imagine this happens a few times a month. With dozens of people using the printer. After a while, the area around the printer would be filled with useless paper from failed jobs, and it would be hard to get to the printer, not to mention it would present a serious fire hazard.
Now imagine you want to put in a recycle bin, and get the janitor to clean out the bin once a month. Good idea, right? Now imagine you present this to management, and they send you to the printer guy, and he says, "That won't work. You need some sort of recycle bin and a janitor who can clean it out, and I don't support that." You'd probably be confused at that response and assume the printer guy wasn't listening.
And you'd be right.
Now imagine you press the issue, and the printer guy says, "I cannot be responsible for the printers anymore if you let people throw stuff away in the recycle bin, and have a janitor empty that. That is not in my job description, and if you do that, I will refuse to fix the printer."
Symmantec is my printer guy, the printer room is a huge network storage area (called a SAN), and the unfinished printouts are backup files that got corrupted and are not cataloged for automatic deleting when they expire. My janitor/recycler program is a script that will delete these orphaned files we've been hand deleting all this time (and it takes hours of lookups). And Veritas is not listening. The last two e-mails told me that they couldn't write me a program to delete these files, it's not Symmantec's problem, but they can hire a tech to come out and "look at the problem." No. I want a program that simply lists the catalog. I have a list of 86 command line tools, which one should use? I had to keep trying each one. I ejected the tape drive by accident, and almost reset all the date pointers another time. But I found, through no help on Veritas, that "bpcatlist.exe" was what I wanted.
And you'd probably end up arranging the recycle bin/janitor idea anyway, knowing the two would never cross paths, and that's what I have done with my scripts, but the bureaucratic idiocy of this is staggering.