Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Giving the IT Finger

Hierarchy of Blame

Depending on what you support (or use) you may not have this same list of folks to blame for problems with your system.

User Error
Is there any subset of humans more troublesome than users? They are either ignorant, stupid, or both. You know how whenever you call a help line (which makes YOU the user) they always start with the most fundamental of questions? That is because the first to blame for your problems is you. Some users are so good at being wrong that the only way to set them straight is to look over their shoulder as they recreate their “problem.” If something goes wrong then the first finger is pointed at the user.

If you can’t do something in the system then it must be because you don’t have the proper access; access that most certainly should have been figured out and applied to your account well before you ever wanted to use it. The security team will try to confuse you with whatever nomenclature applies to your system: permission lists, query trees, security search records, row level security, component interfaces, web libraries, yada, yada, yada. They are like magicians, distracting you while they do some “magic.” Once you get past the triage that is the help desk then the second finger is pointed at security.

Working As Designed
You may not like how it works. You may not agree with how it works. You may be confused and bewildered by how it works. That is how it works. Get over it already. The third finger is the middle finger. Brought to you by the designers of your system.

Production Support
There are folks who are responsible for knowing how everything works. They test. They design. They develop. They troubleshoot. They document. They educate. Sometimes they suck at it.  You know where to put that fourth finger.

DBA’s (or equivalent know-it-alls with access to everything)
You notify the DBA’s of a problem and they will immediately forward it to someone else. You know that old comic Family Circus? With the ghost-like “Not Me” who breaks things and screws things up? “Not Me” is who the kids blame when the parents ask who did something. “Not Me” is what the DBA’s say. Only after the problem has been redirected multiple times will the DBA’s take a serious look at it. Fifth finger pointed.

You have a problem? Is it legitimate? No worries, just sit back and let the hierarchy of blame runs its course. Enjoy the ride.

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