Workplace Sabatoge or Incompetance. . .

  • etm1109

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1007

    I have been a programer for close to 20 years now. I've recently taken a contracting assignment in which I have run into behavior that I'm trying to determine is either intentional or , through ignorance, sure looks like.

    I'm working for a medium size company with a limited IT staff. Over the last several months of the project, I have been dealing with very interesting circumstances the likes I've never seen before.

    The issue is the person at this company who handles the networking is constantly tweaking the network environment during the day and as a result the environment is very unstable. What he is actually doing, I don't know because they won't let me know.

    Some of the issues I have run into. 5 times the local web server on my development system and Visual Studio project I can no longer connect to. Without getting to many details, in most cases I found permissions turned off, services changed, ports being blocked, IIS settings changed, etc. Sometimes I'll be in Query Analyzer and all of sudden get ODBC errors. And can no longer log into the database even with the sa account.

    Or I'll try to create a project in VSS and can't connect to the server from my client desktop. One time, I was researching a problem on this very site and later that day the site was blocked from our firewall. Then all of the other websites including MSDN were blocked.

    As you can imagine, we've had some heated discussions. My problem with this situation is I don't have time to track down what has been changed every day and do my job.

    I've talked to management and explained I've never seen a network or a set of issues at the pace they occur.

    Now I know no environment is not perfect, but one shouldn't come in on a Monday morning and find you can't connect to your development server and then the network guy comes in and says I'll have a look at it and all of sudden you can connect to the server.

    This isn't once or twice a month. This is everyday 3 or 4 things go on. I've observed from a doorway this guy poking around in ISA and other network programs during business hours.

    The problem is the other people at the company are not technical. So, trying to explain to them, these issues are normal doesn't go very far. However, many of them are irritated with these things too.

    For months we dealt with terrible network performance and the problems were blamed on our website. I finally took it upon myself to set up a copy of the website on my development system and then install a NIC card and connect to and showed a manager it's not the code. Sure enough, eventually the problem was fixed once I escalated the issue to management in IT several levels higher.

    During this project, the codebase of my development system was changed over the weekend several times. One time severly. The Sourcesafe was corrupt, etc. When I check the logs of the development system, I find several hours of logs are constantly removed during late night hours. There are no entries after these episodes.

    I've tried to be nice about all these things even suggesting and offering my help. When your a contractor, however; you have to dance a lot more delicately around workplace/political issues.

    I've gotten to the point, where I mocked up a development database at home and set up my website at home and work after hours to keep on schedule because of this nonsense.

    I have been instructed to find tangible evidence of malfeasance before they can do something.

    General ? to the community, have you ever had such a problem with a person like this and how did you go about working towards a positive solution. And I have tried to non-chalantly talk this person about these problems.

  • Loner

    SSC-Insane

    Points: 21279

    I would find another contracting job !!! 

  • ec-323720

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 243

    EM,

    I would bring it to managements attention in a way that show's how much money they are losing by the patterns that you have seen. There is nothing like the bottom line to get management to sit up and take notice. Bring with you hard, physical evidence that clearly shows what is happening.


    Kindest Regards,

    EC

  • Melville

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1985

    Sounds to me that the network guy is using the production system as his test bed.  He's reading tech articles on permissions, logging, ISA whatever and instantly trying out the techniques - regardless of the need.  It really doesn't sound like either sabotage or imcompetance - just too many rights for someone learning on-the-job.

    Move.

  • Ben O'Hara

    Newbie

    Points: 7

    Definately look for work elsewhere, but in the meantime, make sure you are logging everything that happens & the effect on your work, including time scales, then charge the extra time, especially the work you are doing at home, to the client.

    You'll be surprised how quickly things change when it starts costing a company money.

    You could even charge the work after hours on an overtime rate.

     

    hth

     

    Ben

  • SQLGuy64

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1051

    I work at a small place with limited resources and a user group that is not very well versed in desk top applications of any sort.  What I have learned is never attribute to malfeasance to what you can attribute to ignorance.

  • ChrisM@Work

    SSC Guru

    Points: 186074

    Hi EM

    This wouldn't be a metal-plating company in Harlow, Essex by any chance? I had the exact same experience there about 7 years ago. It was infuriating! Management wouldn't listen because the perpetrator was a relative (and hence beyond reproach). Working with this limitation, including having my workstation remotely rebooted every couple of days, was eventually too much and I asked the company I was consulting for to pull me out. The next chap had a similar fate.

    Unbelievable!

    ChrisM

    [font="Arial"]“Write the query the simplest way. If through testing it becomes clear that the performance is inadequate, consider alternative query forms.” - Gail Shaw[/font]


    For fast, accurate and documented assistance in answering your questions, please read this article[/url].
    Understanding and using APPLY, (I)[/url] and (II)[/url] Paul White[/url]
    Hidden RBAR: Triangular Joins[/url] / The "Numbers" or "Tally" Table: What it is and how it replaces a loop[/url] Jeff Moden[/url]
    [url

  • etm1109

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1007

    Update. Some problems still exist. Management brings in a consultant. Guess what system works likes a complete champ while the consultant was here. Our development system.

    I kid you not. I could check out files from the server and check them in and never see the icon showing network activity. Guy leaves, and 1/2 day later same old same old.

    I'm at the end of my rope with this organization and have started putting out my resume.

    As much as I like the short commute, losing 30-40% of my time to BS is not acceptable.

    Thanks for everyones feedback. I sincerely hope you never have to experience this behavior in your work careers.

  • ChrisM@Work

    SSC Guru

    Points: 186074

    Good luck finding your next contract, EM. You've put up with the bs for three months too long. Your next contract will be a breeze in comparison. 

    [font="Arial"]“Write the query the simplest way. If through testing it becomes clear that the performance is inadequate, consider alternative query forms.” - Gail Shaw[/font]


    For fast, accurate and documented assistance in answering your questions, please read this article[/url].
    Understanding and using APPLY, (I)[/url] and (II)[/url] Paul White[/url]
    Hidden RBAR: Triangular Joins[/url] / The "Numbers" or "Tally" Table: What it is and how it replaces a loop[/url] Jeff Moden[/url]
    [url

  • Paul-490154

    Old Hand

    Points: 347

    Please post the employer name or, at least, general locale. We're all dying to know, even if I am alone in admitting it.

  • Matt Miller (4)

    SSC Guru

    Points: 124201

    Don't post any specifics you aren't ready to back up in a legal proceeding.  Remember Google - this site is regularly indexed - so any name posted will link back to them.  Anything you wouldn't be willing to say to them to their face (or - anything that might get you fired/sued for saying it in public) shouldn't be said here.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?

  • ChrisM@Work

    SSC Guru

    Points: 186074

    Paul

    I posted the general locale earlier in the thread. Matt says it all (thanks Matt!)

    Cheers

    ChrisM

    [font="Arial"]“Write the query the simplest way. If through testing it becomes clear that the performance is inadequate, consider alternative query forms.” - Gail Shaw[/font]


    For fast, accurate and documented assistance in answering your questions, please read this article[/url].
    Understanding and using APPLY, (I)[/url] and (II)[/url] Paul White[/url]
    Hidden RBAR: Triangular Joins[/url] / The "Numbers" or "Tally" Table: What it is and how it replaces a loop[/url] Jeff Moden[/url]
    [url

  • Slonecker

    Grasshopper

    Points: 24

    I have worked in similar situations and after 6 months of misery finally gave my resignation.  I gave a neutral 'official' reason for leaving but made certain my manager knew the 'unofficial' reason I was leaving.  Whether this person is an idiot or a jerk doesn't really matter.  Eventually, when enough people leave because of him, management will have to begin to wonder why that is. 

    Cut your losses and regain your sanity.  And good luck to you. 

    Deb

  • Russell Shilling

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4290

    Abraham Lincoln said something like that, though his IT skills were somewhat lacking.

    So long, and thanks for all the fish,

    Russell Shilling, MCDBA, MCSA 2K3, MCSE 2K3

  • cliffb

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4547

    If you are working with recruiters, also let them know the exepericne you have had there and let this companies management know you are telling others of the situation there.  I am a firm believer in telling the truth so I would not tone down the reason you are leaving. My guess would be this guy feels he needs to cause problems in order to secure his job. Network goes down, superman fixes it, to management he's excellent at his job when the reality is he's causing teh problems himself. Keep a log of every incident, the time you spent correcting the problems from the incident and hand that in on your last day. Definately look for work elsewhere though.

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