FML general thread [7]

Yeah. You read right. This is for everything that doesn't have anything to do with Eva.

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FML General Thread [7]

Postby Mr. Tines » Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:32 pm

Another one of these already? FML! And the RML thread is lagging behind ever further.

Continuing from

View Original PostGob Hobblin wrote:Oh, goody-goody: anothet 0100 day tomorrow, God...f***ing damnit.

I wouldn't care so much if they assigned these jobs further out than twelve hours. Then I could actually plan around it, instead of having to adjust and drop my plans every frigging night.
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FML general thread [7]

Postby NemZ » Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:35 pm

Please continue telling us all about your shitty lives here.

Reminder - This isn't your blog. Don't just spam the place up with endless pitiful little nonsense. Save it for when things are REALLY going wrong, not just somebody somewhere said you smell funny or whatever.



And to start things off... I'm having to make a 7th FML thread. That's pretty FML just on general principle.
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Postby Guy Nacks » Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:37 pm

Oh, cool! 2 FML THREADZZZZ.


....just got the weirdest feeling of deja vu.
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Postby Dataprime » Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:58 pm

What one do I pick!?

I genuinely love how good Evangelion hurts
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Postby Gob Hobblin » Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:10 pm

All right...time for the Airing of Grievances. I gotta lot of problems with you people...

...and you're gonna hear about 'em right now.

:gendoscheme:
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Postby Sgt. Griff » Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:20 pm

There've been 7 fml threads but only 3 rml threads.

That's a nice testament to human nature.
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Postby NemZ » Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:34 pm

Gestalt form activate! Ultimate misery force, go!
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Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:00 pm

The FML threads generally outstrip the RML threads by a 2:1 ratio, I've found. I guess we like airing our grievances more than talking about our good fortunes.

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Postby Monk Ed » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:54 pm

I've found that most of each FML thread is not actual FMLs but responses to them. This entire page has only 1 actual FML on it (the fact that there's a new FML thread).

If I made it policy to cut out the crap like this, we'd see the RML thread catch up right quite.

I just might start doing that. Maybe even tonight if I get my project done early.
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Postby NemZ » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:57 pm

Ah, but the point is that FML often is a good reason for people to offer sympathy or suggestions on fixing the problem. With RML there's often little to say.
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"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize that half of 'em are stupider than that." - George Carlin
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Postby Reichu » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:59 pm

View Original PostNuclear Lunchbox wrote:I guess we like airing our grievances more than talking about our good fortunes.

I find that, most of the time, having "good things" happen to me doesn't make me actively happy. Instead, it removes one particular source of anxiety. For example, I got employed recently. I didn't celebrate it, I just stopped worrying about the need to get a job. But with one anxiety removed, another just steps up to replace it. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

And on the rare instances that I do feel good about something, it's usually a sign that a belly-flop into deep depression is on the way. There's never any "up" without a proportionate "down", making "happiness" a terrifying concept that I want to avoid, as awful as that sounds.

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Postby Monk Ed » Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:04 pm

View Original PostNemZ wrote:Ah, but the point is that FML often is a good reason for people to offer sympathy or suggestions on fixing the problem. With RML there's often little to say.

Well, all I was thinking of in particular at the time was (most of) the stuff on this page -- which falls outside that category.
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Postby MAGI_01 » Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:46 pm

Well after tomorrow I may not have a job.

Our District manager, wants me cut. In an effort to save me my General manager is moving me to kitchen staff tomorrow to start training, but only will work one day a week until she can figure out what to do (got blindsided this evening pretty much with this) granted, unless she gets forced to cut me.

Needless to say I am pretty upset right now. I feel bad for the other guy I work(ed) with in the morning because now he not only has to do my job, but his also, on cut hours no less and from the sounds of it, the DM wants a lot of people cut.

So after trying since I was 18, yes you read that right, finally land a job and after a month, in danger of losing it and people wonder why I can be so negative.
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Postby Ornette » Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:09 am

Speaking of jobs, I guess I may as well post something since I actually have something close to relevance for this thread, though I don't really see it as FML.

Among the many software engineering duties I have in this job that I have, I'm responsible for builds, for IT, and for managing all the databases. I'm no dba, but I'm the one who's had the most experience with them so I ended up with the responsibility. It's not that I'm not experienced with using, managing, and supporting them, it's just not really all that interesting and since forever I've just been saddled with the job because someone had to do it, but I'm fairly competent at it.

So a couple of weeks ago, I'm doing some routine maintenance on the DB for one of our products, a pharma inventory tracking software used for tracking some very expensive medicines. There was some issues with the manufacturer's distribution center so they weren't able to correctly tag the products with RFID tags, so we had to print them and I had to update the database with the correct serial numbers.
Our internal tools even generates a nice little SQL script to insert the tags, but I need it to update instead, since the tags were already there but just not assigned serial numbers.

I VPN to our HIPAA compliant host, remote desktop to the database server and open up SQL Server Manager and open up the script. As per my usual SOP, I review the script just to make sure everything's sound and double check everything because eventhough the script is generated, there's still human error in entering the data into the printing tool. Everything looked good so I hit F5 (to execute the script). Now's probably a good time to mention that the VPN is sloooow. I don't know why, but sometimes it's so slow I have to disconnect and reconnect. We have our own CISCO hardware dedicated for us, but while internet access to the servers are fine, the VPN is always like dial up modem speeds at best and 30 second latency at worst, and it changes without warning.

So I hit F5, and realize that everything's lagging since nothing on my screen has updated. Then slowly, bits of the screen starts redrawing, and then I notice that somehow, a part of the script was highlighted. For those who aren't familiar with SSMS, if you highlight something then hit F5 to run, it doesn't run everything in the window, just the part you have highlighted. I have no idea how it got highlighted, I didn't move my pointer, or maybe I hit some weird combination of ctrl/alt+letters (the linux "rdesktop" application sometimes gets modifier keys stuck for some reason). But at any rate, something was highlighted, and I just executed a small portion of my script instead of the whole thing. And to my horror, the part that was highlighted was one of the UPDATEs but without the WHERE clause. In other words, I just blew away that table, and making matters worse, it was the table that contained all inventory, 3+ years worth.

Immediately, I contact our hosting service and opened up an emergency ticket asking to restore the most recent backup, which they do (the backups)on a nightly basis. This process revealed 2 things to me: first, although from a recent conversation I had with them about backups where they said the entire file system was backed up with HIPAA compliance, this apparently meant everything except for the database storage files; and two, when you open an emergency ticket, my CEO gets a phone call from them.

So the lack of backups of the actual database storage files was a bad thing, that means I won't be able to restore part way, pull out all the serial#'s up to the backup, then recreate any ones that are missing. This means I'll either have to look at the transaction log or use the last backup that I made and rebuild from there. My normal SOP was to always make a backup before running scripts, but on this particular day and this particular script, I opted not to because there was some stuff I ran earlier that we weren't sure we wanted to persist, bad choice, never doing that again. Either way, there was going to be significant data loss. To make matters worse, I not only got my DB user locked out, but got my admin account locked out on the computer, and at this point, people from the office are calling me (I work from home) every couple of minutes because the CEO got a phone call from the host saying there was an emergency. The CEO, who is a great guy, read over my ticket and correctly concluded that this was pretty serious. So I keep telling everyone to calm down, I'm on top of it, I'll provide updates as they're available.

So the next thing I have to figure out is this transaction log. Our host's support provided little confidence in parsing transaction logs, but said they had DBAs that could look into it, but we'd have to pay an hourly fee as it's beyond our normal service contract. Don't know how many people here have looked at SQL Server transaction logs, but it spans like half a dozen tables and is all gibberish. I went over a couple of guides, and it's obscenely esoteric. At this point, so much shit has hit the fan that it covered every square inch of the room. I was going to get fired, and rightfully so for singlehandedly destroying one of the main products our company provides, if I didn't resolve the issue soon. I didn't have time to learn how to parse transaction logs and either rebuild the database from a backup or undo the UPDATE that got executed. While I was researching possible solutions for the transaction log, I ran into the website of one company called ApexSQL. They provided a tool for parsing SQL Server transaction logs, so I downloaded and checked it out.

The tool was pretty awesome. I can search and filter by a number of criteria to narrow down the transaction(s) that I was looking for, and I can then either turn it into a script or a script to UNDO it. "Perfect", I thought. So I find the transactions and script to undo, but the script says that the trial version of the software will only undo every 10th row. OK, I need them all, so I go to purchase the full version. Full version is $1600, blamo my amex card is out and purchased. I enter in the key, create the undo script, and then, just to make sure this isn't breaking things further, I run the serial numbers in the script against my backup to make sure they match up. I run the script and then everything's golden. 1 hour downtime, no customer complaints, dodged a gigantic bullet.

I then spent another hour or so writing up an email to my team and the CEO detailing what had happened, the steps I went through to address the issue and what I ultimately had to do. I didn't mention the price of the software because I was just going to eat the cost. It wasn't a sanctioned purchase and I didn't go through the normal channels for expenditure, but it was an emergency. CEO immediately told me to fill out an expense report and was interested in some of the other tools the company provides, but I did get some personal calls from my team with stuff like "Holy shit, I didn't realize it was that bad, we could have all lost our jobs" (because we'd essentially have no more company).

So it sucks that it happened, and for an hour I was pretty stressed, been a long time since I've been that stressed. But it all turned out ok, so live and learn.
Last edited by Ornette on Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:15 am

That stresses me out just reading about it. I'm glad it worked out in the end.

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Postby pwhodges » Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:24 am

That's why the first thing I did in my present job was to bring all servers in-house. Hosting's all well and good, and often provides resources for resilience that we can't match - but in the end you just don't know exactly what's going on!

And buying tools privately to recover lost data - BTDT. In my case I had fired up a server that was already in the pile to go to WEEE waste (special treatment for waste containing lead etc) to find the only remaining backup copy of the emails of someone who left several years earlier, and then had to buy a program for £300 to extract the data from the file format concerned. I didn't get the money back - didn't tell them. They were grateful, though.
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Postby Ornette » Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:31 am

We have to use it because it would be too hard to pass HIPAA compliancy in-house. The number of FDA regulations that we have to follow just for working with pharmacuticals is way, way more effort than it's worth compared to paying for a specific provider that does this kind of thing. It's still pretty expensive, but at least if a violation occurs, we're not the ones that have to pay the $1.5mil fine.

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Postby pwhodges » Fri Oct 24, 2014 3:53 am

Hah! And my justification for going in-house is that it makes it easier to meet the MHRA's regulatory requirements when you have full responsibility for burden of proof of the security of the systems! (The MHRA is the UK equivalent of the FDA - my group is running clinical trials.)
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Postby soul.assassin » Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:05 am

Shit happens sometimes even among the best of us, which is why anything I do with computers is like defusing a bomb (yes, I also perspire so hard).

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Postby Shamsiel-kun » Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:32 am

Had a very infuriating call with IT support at work because not only it takes them half a week to set up an account (without checking whether there might be another account with the same name for the same person from a few months back, so they overwrote that :rolleyes: ...and then sent the account data to the wrong person despite being told not to...), that account was likely not tested so I was being logged in the whole time with a temporary profile (Windows...), and I had to file a complaint the previous day because I couldn't access my files (because I do IT development work), and they were all "Oh, there's files there, someone must have put them there, how is that possible?". The reasons for that were actually explained in the complaint, and I told it to them on the phone too. :headdesk:

This lead to the wonderful discovery that in an academic institute where people often work on projects with a few months interruption between projects, IT adopted a deletion policy that sees all data including backups deleted after 30 days :rolleyes: I sincerely hope they never suffer a catastrophical hardware failure where the backup turns out to be corrupt...

At least the guy managed to fix some things, for the rest I had to contact a supervisor, because pointing out that I needed admin rights on my work pc to be able to run specific software which I need to do my work was apparently not enough, nor that I was on a limited-time contract and already suffered a delay of a week due to their ineptitude. It was all "Not my fault, regulations" (regulations that need a serious sanity check, IMHO). What was also remarkable was that my x64 machine, which was quite swift last time I used it several months ago, took several minutes to boot up and seemed sluggish, which according to IT support was "normal" (yeah right). I really had to force myself to not call them "incompetent" on the phone.

Well, we'll see. If the slowdowns at boot turn out to be also present during normal operations, they'll get another complaint. And just for fun I'll check how much time it takes to get to a functional desktop on my work PC vs. the rather overloaded (but very stable) P4 I have standing at home...

Frankly, I'm starting to really dislike those desk jockey first line IT support people. They generally seem to be incapable of logical thought and basic intelligent problem solving strategies, and always have this arrogant streak that they know better even when they don't. Where do they get these morons?


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