Tunnel Rat posted on December 19, 2008 13:45

My latest contract is winding down, and I my hours got cut to three days a week starting in January. So I really have nothing to lose by going out with a bang and letting my team of shitbirds know how I feel about them.

After 6-months in that snake pit, I knew my days were numbered and that I might not even make it to the end of December without getting thrown under the bus by the inept FTEs (Full-Time-Employees) that make my life a living hell.

BTW, we contractors hate FTEs. In know, the feeling is mutual. We make more money, know more, and don't have to suck dick and brown-nose all the time to stay gainfully employed. FTEs, on the other hand, have stale skills, bad grooming habits, and generally are addicted to hacking. Hacking is known by IT professionals to be an addiction, and once picked up, hard to break. Every single damn FTE I have ever worked with is a hacker. Every one, except maybe former contractors forced to take a full time gig.

Yeah, I was an FTE for at most 18 months and as little as a week. I hated it. The stupid office politics, the shitty computers, the bad chairs, and the constant battle to keep your dignity amongst a pack of back-stabbing jackals. I call being an FTE time "In The Box", which is what they did to Cool Hand Like after the dogs and jailers caught up to him.

So after a particular nasty week where the FTEs in charge of the database stuff made a major clusterfuck of a new build to a prod website, I decided to get even.

All my web code was fine, pushed live, and ready for UAT. After sitting around for two hours watching these monkeys attempt to get the data warehouse working, I went home.

I'd seen these Chinese fire drills before (funny, one of the database guys is Chinese -- there has got to be a reason it's called a Chinese fire drill and not a Hungarian or Irish fire drill).

I didn't want to stay around all night watching the gay dba and his gang of clowns have another one of their circle-jerks trying to get the prod database up and running, so I told them that I had better things to do. I said I'd be online at home in an hour and I'll check things then.

The other contractor on the team, the most-likely-in-the-closet-homo database guy, looked at me like I had just cum in his mouth without giving him a hint.

He wrinkled his nose, got all wide-eyed, and said "Uh, ok, what's, ahh, your number?"

"666," I replied.

The team laughed. You gotta keep the morale up in times of stress.

I gave the guy my phone number and left.

I checked my voicemail a half-hour later, and it is my boss, freaked out. Supposedly nothing is working on the web site, and gay dba says it’s all my fault.

Now, my boss is a good guy, one of the best, but his team of FTEs feeds him full of shit to cover their ass. So this was just another case of "Gang-Bang the Contractor."

And I was ready.

Man was I ready.

I called him back and let him know my web stuff was golden -- it is all backend crap that didn't get deployed or is broken. Nothing I could do.

"But [gay dba] said that it was all your fault," the boss tells me.

"That's fucking bullshit," I said. "I'll look into it, but it’s the usual crap. They screw up the database deploy, and blame me. Not to sound defensive, but it happens with every build." I went on and on, letting him know in no uncertain terms that I did not appreciate being the scapegoat for this fiasco.

"Ok, let's just get it figured out," he said.

"I'm here for you man, no worries. I'll send you an email as soon as I find out what's up." I hung up.

Sure enough, an entire set of database changes was not scripted and run. Plus, about four people on the team were updating the same code, the same tables, and someone was pushing dev builds of the site to PROD. All without letting anyone know.

I got hold of the bimbo Persian FTE. "I gotta figure out what the deal with the prod site is. You haven't made any changes, have you?" I asked.

"Uh, well, I did try to fix something and deployed the web site from my machine to prod...but, it, uh, didn't fix the problem," she said, fessing up. I told you all FTEs are hacks.

"Hey, you cannot be doing that," I told her. "That is dev code, untested, and now it is prod. I gotta get that rolled-back off the web farm and figure out what is going on. Stay off the servers. Please." I hung up.

Finally, I restored to build, pushed a couple of procs to PROD, and suddenly THE SITE STARTED WORKING.

It was 10 PM and I was pissed. I figured my boss would blame me for the botched build and believe the shit the FTEs were feeding him.

I'd be fired the next day, or so I thought.

I went in early and walked by his office. He was on the phone, and waved at me. Huh, I guess I lived to fight another day. Now, time for some payback.

First I verbally took the head off of the Chinese guy that was updating the entire prod database (without emailing anyone) at the same time I was trying to stabilize the site and troubleshoot the problems.

FYI, Asians don't know how to use email. It's something about how effective it is to communicate things, and that is against their nature. You, know letting people know what the hell you are doing is something that they refuse to do. They are in their own little world, and there is no translation in any Asian language for the term "courtesy call." Something like the whole "saving face" thing.

"Next time you want to make changes to the PROD db in the middle of a web roll-out, let someone know," I said. Loudly.

"Wha, wuz da big deal?" he mumbled in Chinglish.

"The big deal is that 4 people were trying to figure out why shit wasn't working, and they didn't know you were jacking with the db." By now I was livid. Pissed.

I fired off an email to the database folks. I didn't copy my boss, because this was just between me and them.

I am going to step out of the way and let you folks do any and all database changes. The code is a complete and utter nightmare, and I give up.

Once I wade through hundreds of lines of in-line sql and find queries calling functions that call functions that call stored procs, my brain shuts down.

Plus nine times out of ten, I find that whatever is wrong is the result of someone using the databases as their own personal sandbox. FYI, there is a button in Outlook to create a new email message to let people know you are monkeying around with the back-end. You folks should take advantage of it.

Unfortunately, QA doesn’t know the difference and assigns defects to me and all my boss sees is a bunch of issues that have nothing to do with my code, but have my name attached to them.

And you guys should get together and fix that darn busted client/business unit logic that is causing me to put so many hacks in the front-end, and still causing problems because it is the logic in the stored-procs that is not only unreadable, but wrong.

So, expect some OnTime defects assigned from me because I am done making database changes, deploying database objects, or trying to figure what all those nasty stored procs do.

Happy Holidays

Then I went back to my desk and prepared to take out the gay dba. I went on-line and printed some bus schedules.

I went to his desk and threw them next to his computer.

I got in his face. "Next time you want to throw me under the bus, here's the schedule so that you know what times they run."

"What's your problem?" he said. He looked mean. He was always non-confrontational, to the point of being a pussy, and I didn't trust him.

"I'm tired of taking the hit for your mistakes," I told him, getting closer.

"Well, let's go talk to [boss man]," he said, standing up. He started walking, maybe running, to the boss’s office. Like someone who was a little bit scared that he may be about to get his ass kicked.

"I got better things to do," I said, but followed him anyway. I started this and I was going to finish it.

It was a short meeting. I looked at the dba, and in front of my boss, said that I knew for a fact that all of his fuckups botched the build. And that I knew for a fact that I knew that he told my boss it was all my fault.

I was calm, firm, and didn't give shit what happened next. "Find someone else to blame," I said.

The boss told the gay dba to leave. He looked at me and said "I can't have you doing this! I saw this email you sent the database folks, and you can't do that!"

Ah, so some FTE had forwarded it to him, probably with a whiney little note (ie, "see, mr. bossman, the mean contractor sent me this and my feelings are hurt").

And then I dared my boss to fire me. "From what I could tell, you were going to shit can me after last night, so I am ready to go if you want," I told him coolly.

"No, oh, no, that's not what I mean. I could never do that to you. I value your skills, and I need you around. We had a deal -- you are here until January."

I shrugged. "Well in that case, I guess I'll stick around."

"Good. How's this sound? Go home today, work from home the rest of the week, and bill 40 hours, whether you work it or not. We'll talk Monday."

"Thanks, I appreciate it." My boss is a pretty good guy, he just didn't have the budget to hire good talent or the balls to fire Asians, Indians, women, or gays. Lawsuits scare the shit out of him.

A white boy like me, however, is fair game. So I gotta do what I gotta do to survive.


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