Sunday, September 16, 2007

Deja Vu all over again

No, I'm not talking about the strip club, although that'd probably be a much more interesting post than this one, probably.
So I find myself in the strange, but repeated position of butting heads with management once again, after a transition. Perhaps I expect too much from people who get hired to leadership or C-level type positions and that puts them in position to fail my expectations immediately. Perhaps I have some sort of deep down feeling that I could do better and as a result start them off with a deficit. Either way, this is the third time in my professional life that I've had an issue with upper management where I've actually thought "man, I'm seriously going to get fired if I'm not careful with this email/comment/phone call". And the third time in my professional life when I've said "screw it, I gotta do what I think is the ethically/morally right thing"...

So if I post on Monday/Tuesday quoting that great philosopher Britney Spears, "oops I did it again", you'll have some sort of idea as to wtf happened.

I work for an IT outsourcing company in an unwinnable situation. They came into a hospital where the employees were happy and comfortable with their positions. They weren't pushing the envelope from a technical standpoint, nor were they in the stone-age. But this company came in and introduced tons of processes and administrative overhead that these people were not used to. Were they doing any sort of documentation or if they had any sort of actual processes in place, this wouldn't be so bad, but they didn't. Truly, even now, with the processes in place from the new company, they're either bypassed or completed minimally/begrudgingly.

They had a Watchguard firewall in place which had been advertised as having content filtering. However, it didn't. They had a Surf Control box in place at one time, but it was about as stable as Carrie on prom night, so it didn't do its job. A network engineer decided to bring in Bluecoat proxy/filtering to set up some stability and content filtering after having dealt with a number of porn issues. Funny thing with technology, the Watchguard melted down before we had an opportunity to fully test and implement the Bluecoat with a smooth transition. So we had a 9 month period where anyone could go anywhere on the Internet without any sort of authentication, and a four month period where they could do it without any filtering. Now we have a 12mb connection to the Internet, so just imagine the amount of porn I was getting calls about from managers.
So we finally implement authentication AGAIN (Watchguard required authentication) and people act like we've pissed in their eyes and called it lemonade. It's gone so far that our CIO wants to white-list the entire basic profile and allow anyone to go there without authentication. That would allow anyone to surf for hours without stop and keep HR/IT from being able to tell supervisors what they're doing...a huge thing for many supervisors, since I've gotten a lot of email asking "When are we going to be able to have reports again!?!?!" Additionally, the CIO seems to think that since no other hospitals in the parent hospital organization require authentication to the Internet, we shouldn't either. First of all, WRONG you frickin moron, lots of them do, I can list them for you, and second, didn't your momma ever teach you the whole 'if everyone is doing something it still may not be ok for you to do it' concept?

This is way longer than I wanted it to be, but suffice it to say, there's been some emails, ones where I've had to sit and re-read what I've written to ensure that I'm not insulting his mother too badly...

Should be an interesting day on Monday.

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