Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Category: Peeves (Page 1 of 4)

Things that annoy me in general and in specific.

CrashPlan does not want you to know when things work

Let’s put on a little play, in one act. To set the scene you need to know that my employers use a service called Backup Radar to track successes and failures across our suite of supported backup products. Backup Radar uses APIs to connect to some services and relies on emailed reports for others. CrashPlan is one of those others.

Until recently, CrashPlan has sent a daily summary report of successes and failures all in one message. Nice, simple, all in one place, easy to parse. Then they decided to change report formats…

Me, to CrashPlan Support: Hey, guys. I noticed the new report format. Looks snazzy, but could you re-enable reporting successful jobs? This is important to us.

CrashPlan Support: LOL No.

Me, to CPS: Do you have an API we could query instead?

CPS: Um what?

Me, to CPS: Any options at all to remedy this problem? It’s serious enough that we’re going to look at replacing your product in our offerings.

CPS: We only look forward, never back.

Me, to Backup Radar Support: Looks like CrashPlan have utterly crippled our ability to use their centralized daily summary report to track successful jobs. Got any suggestions?

Backup Radar Support: Here’s an article on how to configure the CrashPlan clients individually to send their daily reports, bypassing the useless centralized reporting situation.

Me: Well, okay. That’ll be tedious, but whatever works, thanks!

CrashPlan: Oh hey, we just updated the UI for all clients to remove the email reporting option. LOL!

Me: …sigh.

Hey, remember when CrashPlan didn’t suck? I used their services for years! I pushed for us to adopt them as the replacement for Ahsay!


Standard Support Screwup

The script you’re about to read doesn’t detail how every interaction with a particular vendor’s tech support staff goes, but it’s very, very indicative and common…


Me: Hello! A problem has occurred with your product. Now, having worked with this product nigh onto a decade now, I’m aware of the usual issues and have gone through the knowledge base articles numbered Such and Such. I can confirm that the state of the usual problem-causing factors is nominal. I am looking for alternative avenues to pursue to remedy the problem.

Ticket: *remains unassigned for hours*

Me: Hello, Support Manager! I can’t help but notice that the High Priority ticket I submitted has gone unassigned. We, ah, kind of need this problem resolved ASAP.

Support Manager: I have assigned your ticket. Please be aware that we do not post support SLAs.

Me: That’s nice, but five hours without assigning a ticket isn’t about SLAs, it’s about “if we treated our clients like that, we’d be put out of business.” But whatever.

Tech: Hello, I have been assigned to your ticket. Judging by the environment, you should read knowledge base article numbered Such. It will resolve your problem.

Me: Had you actually read my ticket (*), you’d know that I already referenced and followed the instructions in that article. Next?

Tech: Have you tried rebooting the system?

Me: …yes. The system has been rebooted. Next?

Tech: You are using the wrong kind of credential (**). Change that and you’ll probably be all set.

Me: Tried that. Tried two variants of that, actually. Still not working. Next?

Time: *passes*

NewTech: I see that you are trying to use the product in a particular environment. Please see knowledge base article Such, it will remedy the problem.

Me: Hello, NewTech! If you’d read my ticket notes, you would know that I have already addressed the possibility detailed in the second article. Next?

Time: *passes*

Me: *sighs*

And that’s where things stand.


(* – If I had a dollar for every time this vendor’s techs utterly failed to read the text of my ticket submission, I could treat both of my girlfriends and their families, all together, to a very nice dinner out.)

(** – This is a domain controller. The credential account was technically shown as a “local” account but since it’s a domain controller, its local accounts are domain accounts. Idiots.)

When Mail Merge Blows Up

Don’t you just hate it when your mail merge falls completely apart?

That’s a piece of lovely scam email purporting to be from Verizon, which it actually isn’t because my Verizon account’s linked to my other email address. Oh, that and the links you see there don’t actually go to Verizon’s website. (I wonder if “ridgecrestcommunitycalendar.com” knows they’ve been hacked. Hmm.)

So, if you ever wanted to see the guts of a phishing scam message, well, here you go. Enjoy.

You Do Not Fit

We’ve all long known that I don’t “fit in,” metaphorically speaking. I’m not into the usual things guys are into… not sports, or cars, or hunting, or what-have- you. I don’t slot neatly into the Red State / Blue State spectrum. George Lucas didn’t “ruin my childhood” by making a trio of crappy movies. I shoot a webcomic based on my rubber duck collection, for pity’s sake. That’s fine, since I don’t really want to be like most of the rest of humanity. Maybe I’m a snob, but I just don’t “get it,” all of the identifying with brands that people seem to do. What I would like, however, are pants that fit.

Supposedly I’m just barely under average height, 5’8″ tall. Too bad that doesn’t translate into a wide availability of pants. Everything’s got a 30-inch inseam or longer. Even when I find a “short” 30, or an actual 29, I have to wonder what the hell kind of body shape the pants were built for. There’s weird bunching going on that mystifies me. Or, to put it another way: Why in hell does it look like I’m smuggling a small animal in the front of my trousers?

(Yes, yes, go ahead and crack wise. I gave you a straight line, I’d be disappointed if you chose not to use it as you see fit.)

What I usually end up with are pants that are too wide and too long and bunch up funny, because the alternative is… what? A kilt? I don’t see my boss approving that as proper work attire, for starters.

Were I rich, I’d just have everything custom made. Since that’s never happening… I just have to live with the fact that, like in every other part of my life, I’m the odd man out when it comes to buying clothes.

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