Ok, a tech emails me and says: Hey, I’ve seen this error on a lot of our servers. I found an article about how to fix it, shall I do the fix or do you want to?
I ask: Which servers?
He says: I’ve seen this error on a lot of our servers. I found an article about how to fix it, shall I do the fix or do you want to?
I reply: Which servers? The article mentions specific user impact that we have not seen. Indeed, we have seen things work that this article says won’t work with this problem. Please tell me which servers have you seen the error on and what is the user impact?
He says: Oh I see, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I have checked on 3 servers so far and can’t find the error. I see that our domain is not set quite like the article says, but I don’t want to change it until I have some indication WHICH SERVERS are affected and what is the current user impact. I am not trying to be obstructionary, but why can’t he even hint at what servers have the error??? What am I suppose to do, change all the domains that he may work with because he claims to have seen an error on some unnamed servers? Many of those domains are production! Try getting that through change control.
And damn, this affects security policies. I can’t just drop it. I want to know if we have an issue that may make servers less secure.
This tech is doing the job I used to do and wants to do the job I do now. He fancies that he has the skills. In my opinion, even if he had the skills, doubtful, he doesn’t have the mindset. He seems gung ho to make changes, needed or not, and doesn’t seem to care about consequences. He is like a little kid in a elevator wanting to push buttons and proudly announce that he got to push the buttons.
Well, how about telling the punk to tell you EXACTLY which servers are showing the errors RIGHT NOW or you’ll tell his boss; and if you’re the boss, tell him to tell you EXACTLY which servers are showing the errors RIGHT NOW or you’ll fire his ass.
If I were in this sort of situation, I’d take it to this person’s superior. Don’t make it sound like you’re trying to get him in trouble, emphasis your true concerns for protecting the servers from potential trouble and not affecting the users unnecessarily. If you’ve got the trail in emails, you won’t have to get the fellow in trouble, he’ll do that himself. If it’s phone calls, try to set up a conference call with you, him and his boss.
Here is the catch, he and I are not employees here, we are contrators from the same company, so getting him in trouble is against my employer’s interest.
That email I cc:'d to so many people included the project manager and one of the people that seems to be serving as his suporvisor. He just replied back to me alone. Next step is to go to the project manager and say, hey, coyboy has alleged a show stopping problem, but won’t cough up details. This needs to be addressed before the live date, and I can’t address anything without knowing where the error is coming up.
My only suggestion is to go to his supervisor within your contracting company, pointing out that the Tech Guy is setting things up for you all (as a company) to be embarrased vis-a-vis the place where you are both working.
One day Techie realises there’s a problem with ‘a lot of our servers’ and has a ‘oh shit’ moment. So he rushes around helpfully offering to fix the problem before it occurs, but is reluctant to go into any great detail because that will make it obvious who messed up in the first place or neglected to do something that would have prevented it.
E-mail your (contractor) boss the OP, (modified for politeness) and express concern that if your fellow employee is not a bit more forthright, he may endanger your (collective) relations with the client. (I’d include the exact exchange of e-mails, as well.)
Mt guess would be that the tech screwed something up and won’t admit it. His next move may well be to try and blame you somehow. Your first job is to CYA. Keep copies of all the messages, and when you send messages, cc: yourself and attach receipts. Sometimes the only way to cover yourself is to cc: the whole known universe. It’s saved me more times than I can count. It works.