Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Sir, we have a problem!
The morning started out pretty reasonable, a little hung over from the company event the day before, but not too bad. I just had started my morning routine of checking the Swedish newspaper online while starting my first cup of coffee to later move on to the night's harvest of mails from head office and late workers who sent stuff after I had gone home.
All in all, it seemed set up to be a manageable day in the office. Then Neurotic peon (an older Japanese guy who is very friendly and nice, but has a tendency to worry too much...) approaches me and, with fear in his voice, talks about a big problem that has occured and that might impact our customers. I have to give it to him, he built it up pretty well and had me worried, he also spread the word to include some other managers in the company, so we were a respectable bunch in the room when he was going to explain the problem in question. In my head, the Problem was now of epic proportions and we were all similarly worried.
So, neurotic peon lays out the problem, explain his action plan to lessen the damage and since the problem came from him solemnly offered to take the responsibility in form of bonus cuts. It took me a great deal of time to understand the problem since I couldn't really find this epic problem in the detailed material he had prepared and when I finally did it was a huge anti-climax.
This epic problem turned out to be nothing more than a minor nuisance. He had discovered a virus on his USB memory stick and might accidently have infected some computers at our customers when he had picked up information with it. A pretty harmless data mining virus to boot and any half-decent virus software would've killed it immediately. Nothing to be excited about and a nuisance at worst, assuming the computer in question actually didn't have any anti-virus software (and if that is the case, they probably have a number of viruses already and are under constant supervision by batallions of north korean hackers). The result of the meeting? Nothing really, it basically ended with me giving him the advice to get a decent anti-virus software on his computer, more for his own sake than for anything else.
Well, I shouldn't complain. It's better that they hype things up than doing it the other way around and calling an actual huge problem "minor".