Windows 7, cloud computing, and Droid vs. iPhone may have dominated tech headlines in 2009. But for techies, of perhaps more immediate importance were the crazy ups and downs daily life in IT brings. For instance, experiencing the classic -- and unavoidable -- "d'oh!" moments. Dealing tactfully with tech-challenged users. And navigating the dangerous waters of office politics.
Every week in InfoWorld's Off the Record blog, readers take advantage of anonymously sharing their tales from the trenches with IT peers, whether it's to tell a lesson learned or a humbling story or simply to vent frustrations.
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We present a sampling of the more memorable stories from 2009 and look forward to the crazy tech tales readers will share in 2010.
Can I please just do my job?
A common theme in Off the Record stories is the tension between business initiatives and, well, reality. Throw into the mix a poor manager and who knows what'll happen, especially if the IT admin actually takes that overdue vacation: "Saturday my pager went off. I called in to find out that the network was down and 400 collection agents were idling away their time because of the outage. I apologized to my wife and drove the 450 miles back to the office to find out that my backup server was gone. After an hour, the lone server was back up and running from a backup tape that was several days old. My boss demanded to know why the server failed -- and I demanded to know where my backup server was."
More "can I please just do my job?"
- That orderly shutdown wasn't so orderly. Sometimes the best way to prove a point is to demonstrate the situation -- even if it's by accident.
- Managers and bean counters get "business savvy" and cut operating costs. The result? A once efficient IT structure is reduced to chaos.
- A boss insists on getting his money's worth from an outsourcer when the in-house IT staff could fix the problem quickly in "Vexed by VPN and interfering managers."
- Project managers decide to roll out the development system, and one of the main servers is still called "test" -- probably a bad sign.