On Call A call from the executive floor is rarely a harbinger of happiness, especially when one is wading knee-deep through the molasses of malware. Welcome to one Register reader's experience in On Call.
Our story takes place a few years ago and concerns "Ruud" (not his name) who had joined a very well-known company as head of IT. As befitted a person of his job title, Ruud had started putting the company's house in order and begun rolling out some standard security tools "to get us to a decent baseline."
It did not go well, or went too well depending on one's standpoint, and the new tools spotted some malware running on dozens of PCs. It was an all-hands-on-deck moment to stop the nasties spreading any further through the company. Leading from the front, Ruud dived in to do his bit.
"I was downstairs freezing my tits off in a cold store working on an affected PC when I got a tap on the shoulder from my boss," he told us. The managing director had called down and wanted a word. Now.
As to what that word was, there was no clue. But Ruud feared it would not be "attaboy" followed by a slap on the back and a bonus cheque. There was, after all, malware spattered over the company like paint on a decorator's radio and, regardless of blame, he was the current head of IT. The buck had come screeching to a halt with him.
- Exsparko-destructus! What happens when wand waving meets extremely poor wiring
- Try placing a pot plant directly above your CRT monitor – it really ties the desk together
- Where's the boss? Ah right, thorough deep-dive audit. On the boardroom table. Gotcha
- Go to L: A man of the cloth faces keyboard conundrum
"I asked my boss why he didn't tell the MD I was knee-deep in malware," said Ruud, "but he was too spineless to deflect the MD's request."
And so Ruud began the climb of shame to the ivory tower where the executives lived. Filled with justifiable existential dread at what awaited him through the hallowed portal, he introduced himself to the MD's secretary and was shown in.
The MD did indeed have a problem. Something so serious that only the IT manager could address it.
Could Ruud print off some pictures of the MD's horses? The secretary, you see, couldn't do it. Would that be OK?
Ruud tried to explain what he'd been doing before the interruption, but the MD just looked at him blankly.
"He never really did understand IT," sighed Ruud, "and just wanted his pictures printed."
"It was an interesting place to work."
Ever been in an epic IT firefight but still had to field the most trivial of requests? Or found yourself with a boss that really didn't see the point of all this computery stuff? Share the time when that pointless call came in with an email to On Call. ®