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Do you trust your users to follow your instructions?

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The Lounge War Stories Do you trust your users to follow your instructions?
# 1  
Do you trust your users to follow your instructions?

This happened a long time ago and some of the details may not be exact. Customer had obsolete hardware running an obsolete SCO OS and some type of database program with data scattered around the system. There were 2-1g SCSI drives, both split in half, with the 3 filesystems automatically loading on boot.

The non boot hard drive upchucked and went out to data recovery while I replaced the hard drive, partioned it, and created the filesystems awaiting Monday morning and left with instructions to not attempt a restore of the data if it came in.

When I got there on Monday the data had been restored. You can imagine that their data was totally corrupted. Some parts were good, some parts were bad, and they had no understanding of how it happened. Restoring to a system without the attached filesystem dropped the stuff to the assumed proper place on the root drive but only those files that would fit. And as the drive filled up less and less would fit.

The person who did the restore told me that the owner of the company had told him to restore it in spite of my instructions not to.

It ended up in the court system, my side to get reimbursed for some time and parts, his counter suit for $40,000 for the work to recover his data, later reduced to $25,000 so it would stay in small claims court. The second judge to hear it suggested that we kiss and make up since it was going to cost both of us more to proceed than we would win.

I understood what had happened, had insisted on backups that would have allowed full recovery, but wasn't interested in dealing with them any more.
# 2  
Cool story bro
# 3  
Short version, no. Long version, nnnnnnnnnno. I don't trust users to follow instructions. The ability to do so is shockingly rare.
This User Gave Thanks to Corona688 For This Post:
# 4  
Many users (or customers) can't even follow instructions written in a support contract; like "if something breaks call us". They pay you for support but then, when something stops working they do their own thing.

"The package started misbehaving so we uninstalled it, reinstalled it, edited its config files, but then it started doing something else, very strange. Then we noticed that we couldn't print or send email."

So they originally had one problem, have really messed with it, and now created a further 60 issues. Now that they've really screwed it they call you and declare that they have a support contract which they wish to invoke. Please get it all back working again (for no extra fee). They also cannot tell you everything they did and/or may even deny that they've done anything since it broke.

Sound familiar? Particularly happens in family run businesses where a family member feels entitled to mess with the system. After all, it's our server, you only support it!!!
# 5  
No. I don't.
# 6  
Hi Guys,

In a long time in this industry I've seen quite a lot, when it comes to data recovery two incidents come to mind.

The first was when a customer asked me to recover some data from an 8" floppy disk if I could.

I gave them specific instructions about making a copy and packing it for collection, when the package arrived in the office for my attention - it contained a photo copy of the original disk along with a list of files that they wanted me to recover.

The second was somewhat later and was a 5 1/4" floppy from the same customer, it arrived with a note attached saying that it was the only copy they had - the note was on a compliments slip that had been carefully stapled to the disk.

If I have learned anything in the business, it's when you think that you've made things idiot proof - you find out that the idiots have been upgraded.Smilie


# 7  
Usually no. In fact I try to remove as much decision making from a users day to day working life as I can.

If there is some blanket use policy change or instruction that needs to go out organisation wide I have management send it, then if anyone doesn't read and/or follow what has been sent out they can't complain and have their department billed accordingly.

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