Tunnel Rat posted on June 26, 2007 17:16

I Predict a Riot. I couldn’t get that song out of my head.

For days I had been driving into work at TCTSRN, listening to that Kaiser Chiefs song about hooligans and condoms. And I was starting to sense that something was building.

...I Predict a Riot…

Mr. Whiteboard had started to give me the stink eye after I mocked his habit of changing code in stored procs and rolling them straight into production. We weren’t really seeing eye-to-eye on the whole Charlie debacle, either. I had show him the HR paperwork after I wrote Charlie up for sitting on his ass instead of resolving a major production break, and he had done nothing. I started to sense that he was up to something, but couldn’t figure it out.

...I Predict a Riot…

Because when a shitbird IT manager starts feeling pressure, they tend to resort to all sorts of tricks to protect their turf. That is how, in spite of overwhelming evidence of their incompetence, they manage to retain power for years. And they don’t like to be threatened with exposure of their incompetence.

...I Predict a Riot…

And I had threatened Mr. Whiteboard.

TCTSRN had a Compliance Department and it was their job to ensure that the company was not playing fast and lose with patient data. They audited things and responded to confidentiality issues. But most importantly, they said it was the responsibility of all employees to report privacy violations.

When the last prod break happened, Mr. Whiteboard should have notified the Compliance people and at least given them the heads up that there might have been a breech.

But he had done nothing.

...I Predict a Riot…

Man, I was ready to stir up some shit.

At my next meeting with old shovel face, I asked if he had done anything about that HR paperwork I had given him.

He looked at me. Blankly. “You mean that CAR form you wrote up for Charlie?”

“Yeah, isn’t it supposed to go to HR or something?”

“I’ll take care of it.” He didn’t sound too convincing.

I picked it up a notch. “You know, we had some privacy issues on that last production break.” I leaned forward, lowering my voice. “Do we need to notify the Compliance folks?”

He knew what I meant – I could get him fired. He stared at me. Blankly. I thought I could see my reflection on his forehead.

“I’ll take care of it.”

The meeting was over.

...I Predict a Riot…

So, I had dropped a veiled threat to my boss, and was working on getting one of the turds on my team fired. The rest of the boys needed some attention. They just weren’t getting the hint.

Projects were undone, trouble tickets three months old were still open, and they still hadn’t given me any documentation detailing the applications that they thrown into production over the years. Bastards.

With the atmosphere thoroughly polluted by Mr. Whiteboards foot dragging and Charlie’s belligerence, I had nothing to lose. I was going to fire things up a little bit.

...I Predict a Riot…

The morning of my weekly staff meeting, I dashed out to the local Blockbuster video store to pick up a special movie. I found it on a rack of older titles – Casino.

I got back to my desk a few minutes before the meeting and loaded the DVD into my portable player. I queued up the scene where DeNiro is about to chew out the redneck who was running the slot machines. I was getting tired of my team insulting my intelligence, and nobody could make that point better than DeNiro…

Oh, shit, I just lost my train of thought…My manager just snuck up on me while I was blogging…wanted me to sign my termination letter…it’s my last week at this gig…

…Damn, I have to finish this up later, maybe after I leave my current contract in a few days. I don’t know why I should even worry - I turned down their offer to go perm and have been, for all intensive purposes, sitting around for the last two months…having to smell Bababooey’s lunch and trying to look busy, blogging, maybe even doing a little bit of moonlighting on their dime…

…Fuck it – what are they going to do, fire me on my last week?

…Let the blogging continue in earnest…



My team shuffled in to the conference room. Charlie and his dingy white shirt and bell-bottom slacks. God, he looked like he belonged in the motherboard aisle at Fry’s. Mr. Coffee and his, um, Starbucks cup. The TAC, probably still trying to figure out how to stream HTML out from a stored procedure. And Burning Man, with his lavender hair and old Doc Martins.

“Hey guys, I have little treat today. It’s a scene from one of my favorite movies.” I turned on the DVD player. “Now this movie is rated R, so you guys don’t mind if there is some adult content, do you?”

Burning Man looked scared. “Like what, Nazi stuff?”

Geez, what a fuckin’ hippie. What is it with people like him? Why, if you have hair cut about your shoulders, and dress fairly conservatively, and show up on time, and also happen to be a white middle-aged male, you're assumed to be a fucking Nazi?

“No, just a little cussing, that’s all.”

I rolled the tape…


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