Caught in a vicious circle.
So…who knows the application enough to be dangerous? Who can fill in for someone without being trained on what to do? Why is there no backup to the administrator? Questions all fielded this week. No answers available.
One of the guys on my team is out of the country visiting family. Not long after he left, the application (which I can’t name because I like getting a paycheck) he owns and administers is thought to have had hiccuped and not warehoused some reports for a particular day.
NOTE: The only real function of this application is to store reports, a repository. Customers can go find their reports and roll on from there.
For the missing reports, it all boiled down to this: the job to generate and warehouse the reports ran later than usual because year/quarter/month end schedules ran longer than usual and pushed everything after it late by as much as 2 hours. This created empty reports (including the offending ones I’m talking about) that get skipped in the code and nothing is warehoused. Another plausible answer is the data wasn’t entered for the particular day because of the business team taking 4 hours of holiday leave authorized by our CEO last week. I blame him for his generosity. It’s nearly impossible to help someone, which we are dedicated to doing, understand that they may have not produced their own data if in fact they do. Not passing the buck here, it needs to be asked.
Hell is a place where I’d like to take up residency right now. Let’s set up a joke: A senior vice president (SVP), an auditor, and a rather pissed off customer (POC) walk into a bar. They fully expect to have all their reports generated and warehoused for their specific teams. Punchline: none of it was funny. The joke turns into a nightmare because the aforementioned customer wants it all now and probably won’t take the explanation for what we found as a viable answer. There’s also a SVP requesting we pull data back from 2013 and an auditor asking a butt load of questions about the application; both totally unrelated to the POC but it all happened just a couple of days apart. DAMN!
I was able to placate the SVP so he could wait for the admin to show up next week. I’ll get with the auditor tomorrow via email and try to pass some bullshit line saying “We’re working on it”. I have literally exhausted all the options I could: checked the source code, schedule of jobs that run each night, and finally consulted a good friend on a team that runs the schedule. She said it ran but found no data in the files. BINGO!
I spoke with my Service Manager (a person that is tasked with ensuring all the systems for our team are running and finding out why some aren’t). He’s a great guy and made a few suggestions such as searching our incident ticket database to see if this has happened before. Tried that and no dice. Again, the POC isn’t going to care whether we did that or not. What she doesn’t want to hear is we won’t be able to produce her missing reports out of thin air, they don’t exist. It’ll get the attention of upper management and we’ll get some bad press out of all this.
This isn’t a sob story, this is a real life issue in every single I.T. department in the world. Customers sometimes won’t attempt to understand that if the data isn’t there to pull, it never will be and that’s not an acceptable answer. To me this falls under the garbage in/garbage out scenario except there’s no garbage this time. I called a meeting for tomorrow morning, 1/5/17, at 0900 EST to give the POC the fruits of our fact finding. I guarantee you she won’t accept any of it. Decidedly un-fun.
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