A name from the past!!!

Today I got a call from someone that I do work for / help out / rescue now and then asking me some technical questions.

Not really that difficult to answer and in theory put into effect, but with that came the news that it was for someone that I thought I had heard the last of, or at least never have to deal with again!

Now I’m a the middle of a dilemma, do I help out a friend that has been good to me, as I have to him, or do I tell him I won’t do it. I always try and be professional when it comes to my reputation and working with other people. Unfortunately the more I thought about it the worse it made me feel, all the thoughts and feeling came back along with a lot more hatred for the person and the situation they caused and put me through. I have enough stuff going on in my head to deal with at the moment without adding that to the mix!

I think the best way for me to go with this is to do the job if/when it comes up, with the conditions that I do not have to deal with the person in any direct way and keep my contact details well and truly private.

Shit, I hate being put in situations like this!

Black listed, Really? WTF

One of those days today!

I was asked to take a look at a SBS2011 server by someone today as emails were not being sent but were being received.

So I set about sorting through the list of errors in the event log, as per normal there was a to be expected reboot right in the middle of everything!
It kind of reminded me of when I got contacted by my old employer, after they had made me redundant, to look at a problem that stopped their Service Management System working. The idiots that they brought in to oust me had applied all their skill (all 3 of them) to fix the problem and come up with 4 reboots! Yes 4 reboots! Needless to say that after 4 it still wasn`t working. So a quick look through the logs I found the issue and reported back to them.

Anyway, I looked through all the logs on the server, but couldn`t see anything, so I checked out the send connector and see that there was a huge old queue reporting DNS lookup failures.
So I checked that the Smart Host was in DNS. I then checked that I could connect to it on port 25, which I could. I tried a DNS Reset and Flush just to be safe, but it didn`t work.

I disabled the Smart Host connector, created a new send connector and set it up to send via DNS, and the emails left the queue.

I then reported back as to what I had done and asked them to check out to see if they had paid the bill for the Smart Host. Later that day I got a call to say that it was a fault with the Smart Host, apparently the company that provided the Smart Host service had one of their internal desktop machines infected with a virus by an employee and it has spammed out a load of crap! Jesus! Seriously?

I was somewhat surprised that
A) They got infected with a virus!
B) They were sending emails out on a connection that was used as a smart host by a customer (and most probably more than one)!
C) They told a customer exactly what had happened!

A quick check showed that they were on some black lists for sending out spam.
I will leave that a few days before I check back to see if they have been removed…

Apple Mac`s again, no permanent routes

Yet more dealing with Mac`s again today and again another disappointment! So glad I binned my iPad for my Surface RT Tablet.

The set up that had been running fine for a few years had to be changed due to a `security update` that was introduced as a result of the work a few days ago.

Due to expert advice we changed the way that we do things which meant that I had to add some routes to the Mac clients to route network traffic to a different subnet.

All this messing about with adding routes to get traffic to flow where it needs to go reminds me of all the agro I had at my old job. I say agro, it was more me being excluded from being able to access things to change them and make them work. This time the A Team refused to add routes for the 3 additional subnets, mainly because they didn`t know what a subnet was and why they were needed! The subnets were in use by the engineers, Directors and the VOIP phone system. Needless to say I got the grief because the Directors couldn`t get emails and no one got the telephone stats!
Boy do I not miss that shit!

So I had to add a script!? so that the routes were added back in when the machine booted back up. Seriously not sure why that was and I really cannot be bothered to find out the reason, but thankfully the need was short lived as things were changed again so that we no longer needed to add a permanent route.

Another one fixed

Today I done one of the things that I love doing – helping someone out.

I was given a laptop that was knackered and on it was the users personal and company data. Added to the already stressful situation of it being knackered was the fact that there was no backup of the data! Needless to say, they were not in the best of moods and were way from happy.

The situation reminded me of a time at my old company, where some one else was asked to look at one of the bosses computers. I had previously fixed it twice before so was surprised to not do it again.
Anyhow, I sat and watched not one, not two, not three, not four but five people spend time looking at this computer on and off with each other. It took them all day to get it working, well when I say get it working, they said that they installed a dodgy copy of Windows 7 on it and said it would be much better than the operating system that it had on it before?!?!?
Vista may be many things but it was a legal copy and it had been working fine for several years.
I had to have a laugh to myself, while thinking – Idiots!! Any proper technician would not do that, but then …..

So, back to the problem in hand, several hours later I had managed to get all the important and critical data off of the knackered disk and go about setting the laptop back up again.

Its nice to get a good feeling of helping someone out, while kind of saving their life.

End of an Era

Today I finish my job as I.T. Manager for the company that I have worked at for the past 15 years.

I have had a great time while I have been working here.
I have worked with some great people including Proper Boss Man, Matraco, Dick Thick, Doughnuts, Barry, Tasty Stella, DMTH, Bustit, Mrs G, M25, Brown Owl, I Don`t Eat Cheese Ever, BV, Pid, Blakey, Tripes, Hammond, Freya, Polgara, Mi Lady, Aubergine Hair, Patsy, Henry VIII, The Muffin Lady, Derek Trotter, RFER, The Hacker, Smiler, Work Shy, Granny Banger, FatLad, The Hottest Female in the Office, St Wood, The Village Idiot, Cookie, El Tel, Pod, Junior, Brother Brown.

Unfortunately, I have also worked with some not so great people – I won`t name those idiots here as they deserve no recognition at all!

I was asked if I wanted to go out for lunch with 2 of the Directors, as a way of saying thank you for everything I have done in the past and also to say thank you for being adult and mature about the situation – unlike other people I am always mature about things.
I thought about that and took note from what one of my old bosses of several years ago used to say `Never turn down free food`. According to him lots of the business decisions and what software we would be purchasing was decided on how good the business lunch was.

So I headed off to have my lunch with them, it was nice and I got a lot of advice from one of them, while the other one spouted on about him and what he had done and money! Needless to say that part was not enjoyable.

When I got back, I was asked loads of times `What would I be sabotaging when I leave??` Sabotaging – do people really do that?

“Can you make the whole system fail when you leave”, one person said to me
Well the system has not had any money spent on it for over 2 years due to the idiots running it and given who is taking over from me it won`t be long before that happens anyway…..

“Are you going to delete all your documents” said another
No, they are stored in an encrypted drive volume (due to the nature of some of the work I was asked to do) as well as the file system on that volume being encrypted with EFS, as soon as they force change my password, which they should do as soon as I walk out the door, they will not be able to recover any of my files.

“Are you going to take any laptops when you leave?” I was also asked
No, there are no descent laptops, they have all been taken or have disappeared without anyone updating the asset database.

As the day came to an end I finished up my work, well when I say work I don`t really mean work as I`ve not really been doing anything since I got my electronic redundancy letter, I have however been typing a very frank and honest hand over document, well I say hand over document, its more things I can remember, and want to, tell them that they will need.
I also got sent an email by one of the above non mentioned who were taking over from me asking me all kinds of questions that really should have been asked by now. After typing and very loud `Fuck Off`, I deleted it and answered the questions as best I could, after all I am always adult and mature about things. I was honest though 😉

I then zapped my computer, after all it had been running an operating system that was not licensed and as I had been trying for over 2 years to get that and other licensing issues sorted with no joy I wasn’t going to expose the company to any risks that I could get blamed for, even though I have email evidence in my 3 cloud storage accounts to cover me 😉

As I was trying to leave, I noticed that pretty much all of the Directors had disappeared, with the exception of just one, who doubled for the HR Director. When I say HR Director I do mean that in the loosest terms possible! She wanted to speak to me and I just wanted to get out, but I decided to be pleasant. It was suggested to me that I should try and get a job with one of our software suppliers, the same software suppliers that had not been paid for over a year and who were with holding support until they did get paid. Hmmm I don`t think so.
That over, I done the off as quick as I could possible do.

I have no idea what I will be doing next, or when I will be getting another job, or what it will be, but what I do know is that it won`t be the last time that I will be hearing from the company I am leaving today 😉

Goodbye everyone, good luck!

Consultation Meeting

Well today I had my consultation meeting! Well when I say consultation meeting I mean more of a farce than a meeting.

I had the opportunity to take a representative in with me, so I chose to take my friend and college 😉 Patsy. I thought if it all starts to kick off she would be the best person to help me out and wade in.

I only really had 2 questions to ask the person taking the meeting – how much redundancy money would I be getting for my 15 years? and how quick do you want me to go?

Now, given that I had been with the company for that long, surely they would want to extract as much information from me as possible to make sure the company carried on working?
Hmmm no, I was told that I could go whenever I wanted, which suited me perfectly to be honest as i had well and truly had enough now.

As for how much, it was the bare minimum that they could get away with, and not only that they were going to spread it over 4 months as they could not afford to pay me it all in one lump – sounds about right!

The farce came in the form of the person taking the Consultation Meeting, the HR Director, who kept asking my representative about her Accounts job and talking to us about stuff going on that she is doing and other such topics that were nothing to do with the meeting in hand.
Now I am pretty sure that she should not be doing that, I know I am not a HR professional, but seriously….

So I left the meeting, another 54 minutes of my life wasted with the answers to my 2 questions.

I now need to go home and ponder on the following points from the meeting –
1) I can leave as soon as I want.
2) I will have enough money to last me 6 months.
3) There is no other job along the same job spec as I am currently doing as they do not need an I.T. Manager any more.
4) I want out of there as soon as I can.

Not sure there is much thinking to do there to be honest………

Some very useful information

Today I received what I am going to call an `anonymous communication` detailing to me that I will soon be out of a job.

It was made quite clear to me the circumstances that it was mentioned in and the said person or persons are a trusted source to me. I was told under no circumstances not to repeat this information to anyone it would be obvious where it came from, which was fine with me.

So, with that in mind, I have scaled back my job seeking tasks and will sit back and wait for the said deed to happen. I stand to lose a fair bit if I desert the sinking ship now and I don’t really want to do that.

I just need to get on with my job and try and ignore the people who are making it unbearable and hell.

Oh what joy……

Are they taking the piss?

I was called into a meeting today, to be introduced to a couple of new subcontractors that will be working for the company. Was told that these 2 contractors had a huge knowledgebase if I.T. information and experience and that I could call on them for help when I have problems or need to know how to do things properly (Yep I was really told that!!).

Ignoring that I don`t do things properly I welcomed the help as I had been working on my own running the I.T. Infrastructure for several years now and this was the first sign of any help coming my way.

So, putting that vast knowledgebase of information to the test I thought I would ask a few questions

Q) Do any of you have VB.Net or ASP.Net programming experience? As we do a lot of development in apps and websites.
A) No

Q) Do any of you have experience with IIS?
A) No

Q) Do any of you have experience with JRCS and the software that we use for our Service Management Needs?
A) No

I can see a pattern forming here

Q) Do you have any experience with Mitel 3300 and Teleworker VOIP phone solutions?
A) No

Q) Do you have any experience setting up and maintaining Private mobile APNs and the network infrastructure?
A) No

Q) Can you install an operating system?
A) Yes

Thank fuck for that!

I was also told that they would not, and I repeat not, be taking my job. Strange that they should want to tell me that as that….. But I was told that 5 times throughout the course of the meeting, which only made me think one thing ……

As soon as I get home tonight I will be signing up to Monster, Reed and anyone else ….


A-Team  U-need-ta  I.T.  Job