THE IT/IS/MIS (Computer Folks) RULES TO LIVE BY
Originally posted on wibc.com on 09/03/2012
REPRINTED BY REQUEST!! (Submit your funny computer stuff to firstname.lastname@example.org!)
These rules for computer folks were complied by Steve Vodney:
1. THE USER IS ALWAYS WRONG
a. At some point, everyone becomes a user
b. Never believe what you are told. Prove it.
2. NOTHING EVER WORKS THE FIRST TIME
a. It always takes longer than you think it will
b. Never capriciously make changes on a Friday afternoon, unless you want to work all week-end.
c. Test, test, test
3. YOU’RE IN THE DARK
a. Never assume you know all that needs to be done
b. Never assume you have the entire story
4. YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN
a. Never assume someone else will take care of it
5. NEVER WORK WITHOUT A NET
a. Remember, Murphy was an optimist
6. THE ONE THING YOU’RE SURE YOU DON’T NEED TO CHECK OR TAKE WITH YOU, WILL BE THE ONE THING THAT BITES YOU
Details, details, details
7. LEFT TO THEMSELVES, PROBLEMS WILL FESTER
a. If you’ve been putting off that mind-boggling problem, or that painful confrontation with a user, just remember they all think you’re an incompetent crook anyway.
b. It’s better to rip the Band-Aid off quickly than to pick at it and prolong the agony
8. IF YOU CANNOT GUARANTEE IT, THE ANSWER IS “NO”
a. You cannot guarantee anything
9. EVERYTHING IS AN EMERGENCY
a. Don’t panic
b. While poor planning on their part shouldn’t constitute an emergency on yours, it often does, because you’re at the bottom of the dung heap
10. EVERTHING TENDS TOWARD CHAOS WHEN YOU’RE NOT THERE
a. The Universe is mischievous and cruel, and will play tricks on you when your back is turned
11. PROBLEMS YOU KNOW ABOUT ARE ALWAYS HIGHER PRIORITY THAN PROBLEMS YOU DON’T
a. Pay attention to the bleeding patient in front of you, not the panicking incompetent waving his arms around
12. WHEN YOU SCREW UP, DON’T TRY TO HIDE IT
That only makes it worse, and then makes you look stupid.
a. “Thy sins shall find thee out.”
13. IF IT ISN’T BROKEN, DON’T FIX IT
14. IF THEY TIC YOU OFF, BILL ‘EM EXTRA
It’s your only recourse for satisfactory revenge
15. THE LAWS OF PHYSICS ARE OCCASSIONALLY SUSPENDED WITHOUT WARNING
Usually on Friday afternoons
a. Some mysteries are best left unexplained.
b. When logical alternatives fail, try the illogical (like the end-user’s suggestion)
16. ULTIMATELY, EVERYTHING IS AN S.E.P. (Somebody Else’s Problem)
a. Unless you broke it, you’re just the doctor trying to fix it
b. Sometimes patients die horrible deaths
17. THERE ARE ONLY SO MANY HOURS IN A DAY
In spite of what management seems to think
18. YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR HEALTH ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHATEVER YOU’RE DOING RIGHT NOW
a. If you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will
b. They will take advantage of you, because you are expendable
19. YOU ARE LIKE THE DENTIST
a. Your job, by the very nature of the beast, is unpleasant. No one really wants to talk to you. Accept it. Learn to live with it.
20. THINGS DO NOT BREAK THEMSELVES
What changed? Who has been incompetent? What natural disaster occurred?
21. STRIVE TO MAINTAIN THE “ZEN PLATEAU”
It’s that tranquil country after you’ve passed through nightmarish stress and come out the other side. It’s not that you don’t care, but it’s a mystical mindset that helps you rise above it all.
22. AT LEAST KEEP TREADING WATER, OR YOU’LL DROWN
a. Don’t look back, because something is gaining on you
b. In spite of everything you do, some terrifying disaster is growing unseen, ready to explode
23. IF IT’S NOT ON PAPER (EVEN VIRTUAL PAPER), IT DIDN’T HAPPEN
a. CYA with cc’s
24. ALWAYS TREAT E-MAILS LIKE GRAFFITTI
Assume everyone will see them
25. DON’T MAKE EYE-CONTACT
Or the Medusa will “volunteer” you
26. YOU ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE TOTEM POLE, THEREFORE, YOU WILL GET BLAMED FOR THINGS YOU DIDN’T DO
a. Everyone else ignores Rule 12
27. NEVER ASSUME THAT BECAUSE YOU TOLD THEM THEIR PANTS ARE ON FIRE, THAT THEY KNOW WHAT FIRE IS, OR WHAT PANTS ARE
28. NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED
29. LEARN TO BE POLITELY OBTUSE
a. It’s a more professional and civil way of showing the other guy he’s a moron
b. It’s also a way to avoid looking stupid when you’re wrong, because you’re only asking questions, not being an arrogant expert
30. THEY PAY US TO FIGURE IT OUT, NOT TO BE BORN WITH THE KNOWLEDGE
Documentation? We don’t need no stinkin’ documentation!
31. AFTER SHOWING THEM YOU CAN JUGGLE THREE, THEY WILL ASK IF YOU CAN JUGGLE MORE
a. Ask them which ball they want you to drop
32. MAKE SURE THE SKY REALLY IS FALLING BEFORE YOU SING ALONG WITH CHICKEN LITTLE
a. Your word is half your reputation; guard it carefully
b. Your deeds are the other half, in case you were wondering
33. SALESMEN LIE.
a. Do we really need to state the obvious?
b. Never buy any equipment until it has been tested
34. THREE SIMPLE WORDS: PROOF OF CONCEPT