Trawling through some old
folders, as you do, I found a document with an intriguing title, so I opened
it. It was something I’d written in 2016 when Axel Wireless was firmly under
the boot of Cobham plc. Something I’d written trying to express my frustration
with all things “corporate” and all that supercilious bollocks.
Well, four years later and the world of Axell Wireless has turned into a very different place, anyway, maybe reading this will make you chuckle, unless you are one of those corporate bollocks people, in which case let me just say “Going forward…”
Once upon a time we didn’t have
computers in the workplace.
The company (Aerial Facilities Limited at this point) grew. Then we did have computers, we had computers to make our jobs easier and to help us be more efficient.
The company grew some more. Then we had an IT guy to keep the computers working properly to make our jobs easier and to help us be more efficient.
The company grew even more. Then we had an IT department with guys to keep the computers working properly and sort out computer network problems to make our jobs easier and to help us be more efficient.
Then (by now as Axell Wireless) we got taken over by a large multi-national corporation and subjected to all sorts of corporate bollocks and now we have an IT department with guys that don’t really understand the software that we have been using for the past 16 years and who make decisions with no thought to the disruption to our jobs that will be caused and when questioned on the point say, “This is how it’s got to be, get used to it”.
OK, step back.
The IT guys had their instructions from somewhere way up in the stratosphere, somewhere in the giddy heights of Vice Presidentiality. It seems that everyone in this company above a manager is the VP of something or other. So, the IT guys had their instructions, data must be moved to a different server, a newer, better server. No problem with that; that is a good idea. The newer, better, server has a different name to the old server so now the software can’t find the data it has to work with. Big problem with that; that is a bad idea.
After much email ping-pong and a few telephone calls it was explained that the old server, or rather the identifying name that the old server had, is reserved within the corporate structure for “other things” and therefore our work-a-day data had to be put somewhere else.
Hmmm, OK, if that’s how it has to be, that’s how it has to be, but… As I said, none of the present IT guys know how the software works, behind the scenes. We all use it on a day to day basis and it does what it does, behind the scenes, without further intervention. It’s document management software, it provides traceability to amendments and revisions of documents, be those documents Excel files, AutoCAD files, Word files or whatever.
If the data has to be moved then somebody has to re-jig the software to look for it in another location. Nobody knows how to do this; furthermore, and this is the bit that beggars belief, these IT guys, these IT professionals never even in their wildest imaginings thought that something like this might crop-up. There was no consultation, no advance warning. No, not true, we were informed at half past two on a Friday afternoon that this would happen over the weekend, ironically, to minimise disruption. Consequentially on Monday morning many people couldn’t do their jobs at all let alone do them easily and more efficiently.
I told the IT guys that the software really had to work with the old server name, because that was how it was configured, and we couldn’t change it.
A stop-gap solution was proffered. The data would be on the new server but mirrored to the old server under its original name.
Strange, but sounded good.
The data on the old server would be read-only.
Bad, very bad.
I went back to basic principles, I emailed the IT guys; in keeping with all that’s new and approved they were of course off-site somewhere. I wrote to them explaining what the software was, what it did and how it did it and therefore, until it can be re-jigged, it really has to work with the old server name and the data on the old server has to be read/write.
The tone of the email replies changed subtly. Do you know? I really thought I’d “got through” to them; I really believed that I had got a clear message through the IT asteroid field.
So here we are, one week later and nothing has changed.
Writing this is probably in contravention of the company Social Media Policy but do you know what? I don’t really care. I’m not making these things up you know, this has really happened, and at the time of writing is still happening. Progress?
Once upon a time we didn’t have computers in the workplace…