Today started well.

When I woke up I had that familiar numbness behind the eyes that goes with pushing out a blog post in the early AM’s before diving into bed next to my less-than-impressed darling wife.

On the upside my 3year old son was cradled in my arms, snuggling in best he could, and my daughter lay stretched out next to Elzje. Yep, today started well.

Then I got to work…

The Background

I have a particular client. Smallish network, not well taken care of. The network is lorded over by an ancient IPCop installation. This installation has caused me to personally hate IPCop, and every Nerdsonsite/Geek Squad hack who thinks being able to set up IPCop makes you a network admin. Let me quickly say that I know a few Nerdsonsite guys that are reallyreally technically capable, but there are always the few who make the others look bad.

This IPCop installation was done by “our previous IT guys” and from the sound of it he was one of these generic “I can do you an IPCop install no problem” types.

I inherited this piece of doodoo.

Their router that the IPCop box PPPd over died, so I had to reconfigure that. IPCop predictably decided to refuse to dial, so I needed to check what username and password was used.

Ended up hacking the root password for IPCop in order to get to the PPP config file.

THEN we needed to change some things related to how the proxy logs traffic, and oh, won’t I set up some openvpn logins for them – without the effing certificate or any other info. Had to hack the IPCop admin password to do that.

I HATED doing that. But, c’es la vie, part of the job, yes?

I made a point of providing them with every password I created for the IPCop firewall, their Windows 2003 server (oh yes I had to “find” that too for them) and would often write it on the receptionest/lady responsible for logging my visits desktop calendar in order for her to transfer it to her diary/wehereverthehellpasswordsgotodie.

The Phone Call

So, this morning, not having heard from this client for MONTHS, I think it has been about six months plus since I had last been there, I settled in at my desk with some misplaced and in the end futile hopes of having one of those better days IT guys talk about around the late night glimmer of a console as log files scroll by…

What, you thought I was going to say “campfire”!? IT guys don’t camp – our clients do stuff like that while we fix their servers, that they broke, again, late at night, on a weekend, in the middle of our holiday, on our anniversary, while fighting off a bout of the flu.

So, the phone call.

Said receptionist calls, talking to my colleague – could I provide her with the WiFi password. I had not set up their WiFi, and it has been six months or more. He asked me and I said nyet, I do not have it.

She asks to speak to me, and she rails on me because “You even wrote it down on my calendar for me!!!!”

Well b*tch – where did that password go? (I did not say that, I am more professional than that.)

After trying to convince me that I should, in fact, magically have their password somewhere up my ass sleeve she asked to speak to my colleague again.

For a whole ten minutes she tried to convince him that I was lying, that there are people at their office who can “verify” that I set up their WiFi, and that I need to give it to them. Now.

When you lie you lie, even when you don’t

Eventually the conversation ended with a very upset client, adamantly believing that I just screwed them because I wanted, and me being upset for being blatantly called a liar. More than once.

So, note to all IT guys and guys wanting to go into IT – let the client SIGN a document in your possession when you do things for them. For even the smallest job, even something like setting up a billion router for a tannie in her house so she can write her kitty blog – LET THE CLIENT SIGN!

Clients memory is as fluid as are their needs – they will try and make it your fault even when it isn’t, and call you a liar for telling the truth.

Welcome to the trenches…

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