Annoying Tech Arrogance

Well hello and welcome back to this edition of The Weekly Geek. It’s great to see you again!

Earlier this month I was touring the desert of SlowServia searching out the ancient city of Mydatastewslow. While digging at the temple of Bloatedfiles I found that a tomb raider had already been there.  While sifting through the sand, the ancient one showed up full of arrogance, praising himself to the local tribe. That was until the ancient one realized he was looking at Adonis himself. As a hush fell across the desert valley, the ancient one looked down at the sand in humble submission and quickly scurried away to perform some menial task at hand.

Calling all Computer Professionals, DO YOUR JOB!

For those who don’t fully understand the story, I was called into a job where a slow server was taking to long to feed information to the client computers and the hard drive was reporting full. The main database for the customer would not run and thus the entire business was literally shut down. The original technology company was not available for one reason or another. While I was at the client’s office a representative of the original company showed up and was a little put out that another technician (me) was there. When I began to question the previous tech about why the server had a single core, non hyper thread 2.4GHz CPU and only 512MB of RAM (this was Windows Server 2003 for you techies out there) with a shared database he proudly stated “We upgraded that about a year ago.” Hello, that motherboard was outdated more than a year ago (Intel 845G), it could support up to a 3.06GHz 533 FSB CPU and 2 gigs of RAM, not much by today’s standards but a lot more than was in the system.

Now let me state that the server and technician were not wrong, just different. Whoever designed the server was spending as little money as possible but the customer / end user is not “budget” type of customer so proper hardware should have been used up front. The database software on the server also needed more horsepower.

The reason I call my self Adonis here is because only arrogance would have a technician think he or she was a know it all do it all (a “Jehovah” of technology). My specialties are my specialties, I am not great at every aspect of technology thus I rely on others who are “gods” in their areas to assist me and in turn I assist others.

Technicians, you do not work for your boss or yourself, you work for the customer. By working for the customer you will get a repeat HAPPY customer (and most likely several referrals) which will keep the money flowing which in turn keeps your boss satisfied. So do the job right the first time and be humble to the customer. I am so tired of your self appointed arrogance. Just because you eat too much and know how to make Windows Server NT dance the jig does not mean you know anything about web hosting or programming in LISP. In my real world example above, the technician was not even a good technician, not only did he not know the real world required hardware but had set up the clients program to incorrectly store data. He was using more space for each file than necessary. Each file should have been between 100 and 150k, the small files were just over 300k and the out of control ones were over 3 Meg. No wonder the hard drive was full.

I could go on about the known dead backup system (the tech knew but the customer thought it was working) and the dead, in warranty, parts that were left on a shelf (apparently waiting for the warranty to expire). I could also talk about the dual hard drives in the server not configured or the software RAID set up for the operating system only, but once again I digress, his methodology was different not wrong. Yeah, right!

For those of you who are not technicians or newbies getting into the technology field, I apologize for this rant. For those of you who are not new to the field (beginning technology experts), you now have been officially told that character, honesty and humility do count. Finally, for those experienced technicians who actually read this through, let it serve as a reminder of our place in the “service” oriented field.

Oh, yeah, I’m not perfect, just ask my ex-wife (or even my current wife for that matter). I am willing to admit that I must give my best to the customer and where I fall short, I need to call in the troops not skimp, “tech-talk” over my clients head or think I walk on water.

Well enough for now, until we meet again, have a virus free week!