Crabby Managers

Make a guy a manager, and right away he turns into a crabby old man!

Make a guy a manager, and right away he turns into a crabby old man!

I’ve been a bit crabby at work recently so when I saw this classic Peanuts strip from June 13th, 1965, I had a flash of insight into my own situation.

Lucy, wearing dark shades, walks first into a fence (wump!), then into a tree (klunk!) and then finally, up the pitcher’s mound and into Charlie Brown (bump!) at which point Charlie Brown tells her to “Take off those stupid glasses!!!”

Lucy complies and heads out to her position in the outfield where she jumps to the conclusion that when you “make a guy a manager”, “right away he turns into a crabby old man”.

It’s not being a manager that makes me crabby, but the repeated wumping, klunking or bumping into things.

I get particularly crabby when the wumping, klunking or bumping isn’t necessary. Continue reading

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Worst Organizational Announcement email

Mixed Emotions email

"Mixed Emotions"

At a previous employer it was not uncommon to send out “Organizational Announcement” emails from time to time. Sometimes it was a re-org, others a promotion, but frequently it was a resignation or transfer.

In these cases it was customary to send an announcement to the various teams and management groups that would be impacted.

About ten years ago Continue reading

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Escalate early, Escalate often

ITIL Escalation Definition

ITIL Escalation Definition

Coworkers and colleagues might remember one of my phrases: “Escalate early, Escalate often”.

Today I got to use it anew and explain it to my current group of coworkers and colleagues.

Escalation

In short, escalation gets you needed resources when you’re having troubles meeting your customer’s expectations.

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Think about the next three

Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead

My company recently purchased three shiny new 1U1 servers, some new network and SAN equipment and a new rack to house everything.

Just about as close to a true greenfield situation as you’ll find.

And while it’s easy to install three new servers in a brand-new rack, it’s harder to develop and implement a process that accounts for these first three and leaves you ready for the next three. And the next three.

Slow down

One difficulty is in overcoming the intense desire to rack them, cable them, and power them on. Oooooo…Shiny! New things just beg to be played with. Now. Continue reading

  1. A “U” is a vertical unit of measurement for racked equipment: 1.75″ tall.
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Be Curious

why and how

Why? and How?

Unless it’s incessantly coming from the mouth of a two year-old, “why?” is one of my favorite questions. And “how?” is right up there with “why?”—they’re practically cousins.

Why? How?

Why was it set up this way? How does this work? Why did you (or it) do that? Why is DHCP doing this? How does DDNS work? Why is the network set up with three subnets separated at the second octet (and not the third)?

Why does this work? Why does this not work? Is there a different way? Why are none of the PCs showing the same time? Why do the phones show the right time? How is that set? How do we make them the same? Where are the local NTP servers? (oh, wait…) Continue reading

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Slight Deflection

Deflection of light passing near the sun

Deflection

You may notice a slight deflection over the next few months on these pages, not in theme and topic, but in perspective. Nothing major—I’ll still be posting on leadership, management and system administration—but the angle will be slightly different.

In early September I took a position as the IT Director at a local engineering firm. Clearly that has not just changed my available time but also provided a different view from which to observe and write about leadership, management and system administration.

So the topics will remain the same but expect a slightly deflected view as I see them past the gravitational pull of a small IT department.

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Three top Business skills

Similar to top leadership skills and top management skills, top business skills may depend more on the situation than anything else. So picking three top ones (not the top three ones) remains a risky task but yet one I was asked to perform recently.

Here’s an expanded version of how I responded:

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Three top Management skills

Similar to top leadership skills, a list of three top management skills may depend more on the situation than anything else. So picking three top ones remains a risky task but yet one I was asked to perform recently.

Here’s an expanded version of how I responded:

Continue reading

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Three top Leadership skills

There are dozens of skills that every leader should develop and each assumes a different importance in a different situation. So picking three top ones is a risky task but one I was asked to perform recently.

Here’s an expanded version of how I responded:

Continue reading

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If necessary, use your favorite tool

Editor War

Editor sometimes found in Unix/Linux

My “Emacs versus vi” post still brings in a significant number of page views each month.

Much to my surprise.

You see, I figured more sysadmins, programmers and users would recognize and emphasize the need to get things done over prolonging the great editor holy war.
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