Ivory Tower Inc.

Scott Adams' primary source for material...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Four months down the road and the facts remain the same

Well, here we are, four months after the last post and the FFV's are still keeping us on the edge of our seats waiting for a prolonged period of UPTIME.

There have been some changes here at Ivory Tower Inc. The Brilliant Security Person's PHB has changed. After a rigorous search for the perfect candidate, a series of exactly one interview, and a long distance call\dinner\handshake and the new PHB took her seat. An amazing fit...especially since she has followed another member of senior management from the good old days. Curious tho it was, I think she will actually effect some positive change here at Ivory Tower. It will take some time due to the entrenched opposition. Thankfully for the new PHB, those in the trenches are continuing to dig.

The FFV's have a new leader as well. It comes as no surprise really. There are only so many lies the previous leader could tell before the heat got to hot. So, now we have another liar to contend with except this one is trying to convince us he's NOT lieing. Uh-huh. Sure. So it's no longer a hack attack effecting the entire midwest...this time it's DNS? Clever...but not clever enough. Oh...one more thing...see, we KNOW what we are doing so don't try and spread that bullsh*t here. We don't play that game.

Over the past 3 weeks I don't think we have gone for more than 2 days without one incident or another achieving the Gold Standard of relieving our customers from their ability to use the product they paid for. Amazing track record isn't it.

Friday, September 23, 2005


How exactly does one become an ITE? It can't be an arduous application. Case in point...

During a recent shindig in a far away location, events were planned out with great success....kind of. The majority of these events required specific presentation hardware to be in place at specific times. Several ITE's were present, and because of their stature within the tower, they felt that they had the freedom to take whatever they wanted, when they wanted. In this case presentation equipment.

This presented an environment where not only the Simple-Minded Employee's (SME) were running around looking for equipment, but also the ITE's. No security was in place, and no accountability was observed.

Is this not part of ITE 101? To be able to coordinate events and equipment with some degree of competency? To plan the movement of equipment and delegate the personnel to have it done?

I find it funny that an Under Paid Contractor (UPC) was able to take control of the situation, finding all the lost equipment and set up each presentation on time, while a few ITE's were sitting there scratching their heads wondering what to do, and what went wrong.

Did I get a thank you? I think not.

I think I would like to be an ITE. It pays better, and I don't have to do anything difficult or responsible.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Unscheduled down time at Ivory Tower Inc.!

This is never a good thing for organizations who's sole existence is based on a web presence. Many a dot-com businesses folded up the tents after brief bouts of web darkness. Here at Ivory Tower we seem to make a living off of web darkness. It seems that we get concerned when the sites ARE accessible because that means our lowest bidding Foriegn Faceless Vendors(FFVs) either didn't show up for work( and therefore were not available to screw something up) or are currently plotting the task to screw something up. Either way it's bad news. It seems we would rather just know the sites are inaccessible rather than to be waiting for the support desk phones to start ringing off the hook.

So, all that leads to the latest bout of web darkness. In the past when Ivory Tower was darkened we would be told by the FFVs that some dark hoard had descended upon our neck of cyberspace with an Über attack that is effecting our entire geographic region. After a brief scan of the usual network monitoring suspects we would see nothing pointing to the dark hoard d'jour. We would scratch our collective heads, afraid to ask the FFVs for an explanation for fear of hearing, "SEE! Even THEY are effected!". Today was a bit different in that we had no idea why the sites were inaccessible. Several of our clients were attempting to complete major projects but couldn't get to their respective sites. No word from the FFVs. Phones ringing off the hook and the Support Desk staff were becoming homicidal. No word from the FFVs.

At one point one of our ITEs came up with a brilliant idea...as only ITEs can. This particular ITE fancies himself to be a great and powerful entity in the world of Ivory Tower...even after getting the beat down by the Brilliant Security Person's PHB. We're all waiting for the NEW PHB to get her legs under her and then see what happens to the ITE in question...but I digress...

ITE looks upon the situation and is quite concerned that the clients can't get to their websites and that our Support Desk has nothing to tell them. Support Desk staff is now seeking out pitchforks and torches. Now, no one really knows what goes on inside the brain kettle of an ITE. Some have considered it and their therapy is progressing nicely. I will not even try to guess at the thought process...or lack thereof...that led to the email snippet below but rest assured, dear reader, this did in fact grace our inbox this afternoon:

Not Quite Handsome Webgeek:

Please place a page on the website informing our clients that we know their sites are not available and that we are working on the issue.

-Dr. ITE
I'm not sure if ITE's note was ever responded to. When I left the building we were all still holding our sides, wiping away the tears, and trying to catch our breath.

Friday, July 29, 2005


All that education and ITE's STILL surprise me sometimes. A couple weeks ago the fire alarm went off in the building housing Ivory Tower Inc. I found myself in the heart of ITE-dom and saw the look of surprise flash across the faces of several ITE's. Then, the question that one normally doesn't hear over the deafening tri-tone of a fire alarm:

"What should we do?"

Yes. UH huh. That's what was asked. It took a very had bite to my tongue to keep me from answering:

"You get the *bleep* out of the building if you don't wanna be reduced to charbroiled ITE!"

Thursday, July 28, 2005

How Policy Is Made...

My dad sent me this. Enjoy...

In the beginning there was a Plan.

And then came the Assumptions.

And the Assumptions were without form, but a cause of consultants.

And the plan was without substance.

And darkness was on the face of the Workers.

And they spoke among themselves, saying, "It is a crock of shit, and it stinks."

And the workers went unto their Supervisors and said, "It is a pile of dung, and none may abide the odor thereof."

And the Supervisors went unto their Managers, saying, "It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong, such that none can abide by it."

And the Managers went unto their Directors (A totally useless form of office clutter, paid more than the Manager's) saying, "It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength."

And the Directors spoke among themselves, saying one to another, "It contains that which aids plant growth, and it is very strong."

And the Directors went unto the Vice Presidents, saying unto them, "It promotes growth, and it is very powerful."

And the Vice Presidents went unto President saying unto him, "This new Plan will actively promote growth and Vigor of this company, with powerful effects." (They were all wearing hip high boots)

And the President looked upon the Plan and saw it was good.

And the Plan became Policy.

And this is how shit happens.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

PHB's Strike again

I'll be brief here, but a little explanation is due...
(as I am new here, please edit any of my follies)

PHB decided that it would be a good thing to take one professional from their employment and move him/her to another employer, in hopes of consolidating their AP.

In theory, this isn't a bad idea, but the steps taken to make this happen were as underhanded as Sandi taking documents out of the Clinton library. The professional was told that this was the move that they wanted, but they didn't want the professional to tell his employer what was going on! This also took away the professionals choice of who he cared to work for...if he wanted to stay in the Ivory Tower...which he did. So the professionals client is thus telling him who he will work for.

If this was discussed openly to get the professionals view point, I wouldn't have a problem with it. But telling someone that they are moving you to another employer for their purposes is reprehensible.

I work for my client through my employer. I would flat out say no to my client if this was proposed to me in this same fashion.

The rub! The PHB got his wish, but the professional decided to go elsewhere. Now PHB is in a bad spot! Horray for the professional! Hate to see him leave though.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Tower Lives!

Yes, It's true. We haven't all quite en masse...although we've considered it...seriously. No, we have decided there is a light at the end of this dark dark tunnel. Pay no attention to that distracting whistle or the deep rumbling coming from the area of the light...just focus on the light. Care for some Kool-Aid(c)?

Due to serious budget problems it was decided some time ago that Ivory Tower would not be rehiring unfilled positions or creating new positions until the problems cleared themselves up. Sounds great right? I'm beginning to think it was all a lie to keep the non-PHB's in the dark. Why would I believe such a scandalous thing? Well...because it's true! Now, PHB's and ITE's don't care much for the truth. Thankfully, the rest of us do. How about these numbers...since the "No Re/Hire" declaration there has been 4 new positions created and at least 6 positions rehired...some "adjusted" to other areas at Ivory Tower...none of which ended up in the most needed of areas. I'm not surprised...not even alittle.

We'll try to post here alittle more often...there's lots of fun stuff going on at Ivory Tower Inc. Let's see...we have had an open search for an Über-PHB consisting of exactly 1(one) interview of 1(one) candidate. Said interview proved this candidate would fit in nicely with the other PHB's...ahem.

What else...oh yes, we can't forget this little episode can we? Well, the BSP requested something of the FFV's called an "Incident Handling Policy". This is a document that details how computer hacks are dealt with. BSP recieved a two page document that we will attempt to scan and make available here(properly sanitized to protect the stupid). Total rubbish. Tier 1 hosting facility? I think not. More on this alittle later...promise...more posts about this wonderful place.