Feeds

The Bastard School of Recruitment

Slave Traders have their uses

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Episode 17 BOFH 2002: Episode 17

"Well you do seem to have a bit of a Manager exit epidemic on your hands," The Slave Trader agrees as he looks over his spreadsheet. for the past year or so. "I myself have placed four of your managers - and I'm assuming that we're not the only recruiting agency that you've looked to."

"No," the The Head of IT concurs. "So we thought we'd talk to you about what we might be doing wrong in the selection process - why we seem to end up with, well, unsuitable candidates."

"I think you'll find 'technical ability' is a key point," I respond, scanning down our Slave Trader's list of desirable attitudes, "followed closely by 'attention to detail'."

"Yes," The Head of IT concurs, happy that the meeting doesn't seem to be going off on any tangents. "I feel it's important to have someone who's both technically competent and is able to recognise the smaller details which can often mean the difference between a well executed plan and a complete abortion!"

"I couldn't agree less!" The PFY adds, nodding.

"Beg Pardon?" The Slave Trader asks.

"He means that we'd hope that the person really knew what they were doing..." The Head interprets.

"Ah no, I think you'll find that we're concerned about the candidate knowing too much - or at least thinking they do," I correct.

"What?"

"Look at it this way. If you have a Manager who has no experience of I.T. they're more likely to take the advice of a professional - You know, like sex. Whereas, if we get someone who's experienced - or at least BELIEVES they're experienced, they're more likely to make huge and glaring mistakes because they're not aware of the potential problems."

"And be crap in bed," The PFY adds.

"So you're saying that a technical manager is more likely to make errors of judgment?" the Slave Trader gasps.

"Of course! Their experience of computing, etc, is based on the past - on the way computing was when they were using it. Which, in a technical manager, is years ago when VAXes ruled the world, and no help here and now, when Microsoft stalks the planet."

"I see. But what's wrong with 'Attention to detail'?"

"'Detail' is always the irrelevant stuff, not the important things."

"Irrelevant stuff. Such as?"

"Oh you know, Price, Customer Satisfaction, Integration into existing Infrastructure. All stuff that means nothing in the real world of computing"

"As opposed to 'Important Stuff' like?"

"Important stuff like the colour of the front panel, how many lights there are, if it's got a cool name like INTERCEPTOR or something similar. That sort of thing…"

The meeting's interrupted by an urgent call for the The Head of IT, which, judging by his late night phone bills, is probably from Russian Bride Inc.

"I somehow think that your Head of Department is after people who fit the bill a bit better than that..." the Slave Trader bubbles, sucking up big time.

"So who are you going to listen to - the guy who pays you a finder's fee or the guy who ensures you keep getting them regularly?"

"Good Point. More of the same, coming right up!"

"BUT," I add. "We're after a particular sort of mindless automaton, and not just anyone. Specifically, we're after someone who knows bugger all about computing, but has enough credentials to look convincing - should someone question their Resume at a later date. Say, after a budget blowout."

"Ah, you want to shaft the candidate, and not the selection committee?"

"Precisely!"

"And what about your Head of IT?" the Slave Trader murmurs, keeping his voice low and pointing out the door, "I'm sure he'd have something to say about this."

"Yes," The PFY concurs. "Most likely 'What?', 'Where am I?' and 'Is it lunchtime yet?'"

"What?" the Slave Trader asks, almost interviewing for the position for himself

"Our criteria for The Head of IT is somewhat less stringent than that for IT Managers," The PFY explains.

"I see. So, back to the IT Manager Role, you want someone who's absolute crap, looks reasonable on paper, and won't cause too much trouble."

"Exactly."

"Well I don't have any MCSEs on my books at the moment, but I could ring around."

"Excellent!"

"What?" The Head asks limping back into the office after splintered phone sex, which isn't quite as disgusting as it sounds.

"He's checking what they have on the books at some other branches," The PFY replies.

. . .

"How about a bloke with extensive experience in the Unix environment, DBA certification in Oracle and Sybase and a Masters degree in Computing?" The Slave Trader asks.

"Does he have an MCSE?" I respond.

"Uh, no."

"What about Operational experience of VMS, Dec Unix, DG's MVS, OS2 and Pick?" The PFY asks, churning out deadwood like a true professional.

"No"

"Probably not the best then."

"Right. What about ... A bloke with a background in airline control systems, wants to do MCSE, proven experience in ... uh ... ZX81 programming."

"FANTASTIC!" The PFY cries.

"Where were we?" The Head asks. "I thought we were looking for a computing person!"

"He's ideal!" I Pinnochio away. "He's got experience with Legacy hardware - which we have, PLUS Control systems, and he's up with Microsoft. I think we should grab him while we can!"

"Weellll, if you're sure.." The Head burbles, obviously realising that argument will cut into his lunch hour and he'll miss out on seconds...

Two days later...

"What's that then?" our new Boss asks.

"It's technical," The PFY responds, "and would take some time to tell you about. All you really need to know is that you put your cup under here, push the button and coffee comes out."

"Excellent. Is it one of your servers..."

"Indeed."

"A nice colour too, fits in well."

"We strive to please...." ®

BOFH: The whole shebang

BOFH is copyright © 1995-2002, Simon Travaglia. Don't mess with his rights.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
729 teraflops, 71,000-core Super cost just US$5,500 to build
Cloud doubters, this isn't going to be your best day
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.