Re: Client from Hell: Seeing the Reality

Subject: Re: Client from Hell: Seeing the Reality
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Techwrl-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2000 10:38:21 -0700 (PDT)

"Michael Andrew Uhl" wrote ...
> Esteemed Colleagues:
> Someone told the story of giving themselves and account on a computer
> system to bypass a stifling bureaucracy. Another TECHWR-Ler responded to
> this quite strongly that it was wrong. I think we have to look at these
> kinds of things on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes the management is
> secretly happy when someone bypasses the stifling rules with the goal of
> getting a job done, and when no real damage is done.

Just to set everybody's mind at ease about this issue - here is the full story.

1. I was working a contract at a medium sized networking company. I was tasked
to write a technically detailed document about a new product for support reps
and sales folks.

2. It was quite a few years ago and my company was young, so I was more
desperate for work. I bid this project very low because I wanted the job. I had
VERY tight deadlines.

3. The system admin at this company was a resounding prick. He avoided repeated
requests over a two week period to give me an account on these systems.

4. The systems in question were a testing lab, not the main network. I needed
access to test versions of the software for screen prints, functionality, etc.
The product ran on NT Server, so I had to use a server. The lab servers were
routinely left logged on as administrators so clearly they were not too worried
about security.

5. After adding myself, I did all my work and kept it quiet because I knew it
was a dangerous thing to do. I never once used this account for ANYTHING other
than my job.

6. After I turned over the doc, and my client was very happy with the results.
I then explained that, although I knew it was wrong, I had added an account to
the domain to get access. I also explained that I had made the account expire
the day after I was due to hand over my documents. I then presented my
supervisor with 9 emails I had sent to the system admin asking for access. My
supervisor rolled her eyes and said "yeah, he is a pain in the ass isn't he. In
the future, just let so-and-so know."

7. The client hired me again and I have worked with them over the past 4 years.

8. I do not recommend that everybody just break down the doors to get the job
done - but sometimes you have to exercise some personal initiative to get
around the tyrants. Otherwise, they will suck the life out of you and you'll
never accomplish anything. My whole point in all of this was - don't just stop
work at the slightest sign of trouble. Be resourceful and don't be afraid to
take a risk. If your intentions are honorable, most people will respect your
initiative. Clearly if you take advantage of your client or boss them around -
you'll get in trouble. But that does not mean you can't take initiative to cut
through the BS and get the job done.

Feel better now?

Andrew Plato

90 days same as cash on KittenSnuggler for Linux 2.0:

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