Joined: 13 Apr 2020
Location: United States
|I happened upon this site, and it sure brought back some memories... Some good, some not so good, and some funny.
This lady I worked with used to drill me for info while I was eating my lunch on the picnic bench. Then one day, my boss comes out of a meeting and tells me of all the good ideas this lady had.
I told my boss how she had been drilling me. He said that he saw her out at the bench talking to me, and that he should have known.
I have never been one to hold back any knowledge I had to someone.... But gosh darn... Don't take credit that belongs to someone else. This lady needed to learn a lesson. She came to me with a SOC7 dump. As you all must know, this occurs when you perform an arithmetic instruction on non-numeric data.
Now understand she got the abend while running a VM accounting program, written in-house with COBOL. As I was looking at the dump, not 30 seconds had gone by, and she asks me if we should call I.B.M.
I did everything I could to refrain from laughing my hind end off, and responded like this, as serious as could be, "Ya know.... That's a pretty good idea. Tell you what, how about you come up with the questions to ask them, and would you mind if I listened in on the call?".
Our code... Our data... Our problem!
I handed her back the dump and had to smirk a bit as she walked away, obviously trying to figure out what to ask I.B.M.
If I recall... That was the last time she ever brought any question to me, or drilled me for info. Turns out her husband was a Systems Programmer at another company. Any questions went to him. The quick answer was all she cared about.
I was trained a little differently. After dropping out of high school, I became a security guard at a large billion dollar company in Menlo Park, Calif. The first time I walked into a computer room, I was amazed. I wanted to know what every knob, dial, switch, lever, and button did. The graveyard operator got me started, and as I got better, he would go off and sleep for a few hours, leaving me at the helm.
One night, the sliding glass door opened, and this guy's boss was standing there. Utterly confused, she looked at me in my guard uniform and asked, "What are you doing?" I replied that I was running her accounts receivable system. Then she inquires, "Where's Chuck?". To which I said that I did not know.
Apparently she had been watching me run the show for awhile, so when she found Chuck sleeping on a couch in the ladies bathroom, she fired him and asked me if I wanted a job.
I accepted and within 1 1/2 years, the Systems Programmer asked me if I wanted to work with him. Naturally I eagerly accepted his offer and learned he had just two rules... 1) before I ever ask a question, I darn well better know what I'm talking about. In other words research, research, and more research. And 2) I better not ever, ask the same question twice.
And so for the next 26 years, I read every I.B.M. manual I could get my hands on. It used to bother some of the master degrees chip designers that they had to come to a high school dropout for help... But I always solved their problem. And therein lies another story that I'll save for later .