Home Articles Toddler training and CEO training – not so different

Toddler training and CEO training – not so different


Joe and I looked at each other, shocked, stunned but, deep down, not really surprised.

“You have been doing backups, haven’t you?” Joe asked.

“We do whatever you told us to do,” came the cagey reply

“When I installed the server for you, I quoted for a backup system. You said it was too expensive and told me that you’d come up with a more realistic solution,” Joe said.

Now let me say, Joe is no shrinking violet. He’s one of the best in the business, but don’t treat him like a fool. It won’t fly. That’s when the backpedalling started.

After a lot more back and forth they finally agreed on a strategy. Joe hung up and looked at me. “Wanna help?”

I should have known better, but I agreed.

With the clock ticking towards 5pm, Joe hit the phones and got a server organised for pickup first thing Monday morning. Then he called the poor, harried IT support guy who spent his days at Petulance being kicked from pillory to post, toiling away at a truly thankless, soul-destroying job.

Once Joe found out that the server software and licence keys were in fact somewhere he could access, he relaxed a little. He said to me, “You know there’s no backups, don’t you?”

“You owe me a bottle of 42 Below for this,” I said.


After picking up the server we drove out to Petulance Corp., which is in the wilds of Ingleburn. I was once told that more dead bodies were found in Ingleburn than any other suburb in Sydney. True? Who knows? But it makes for a great story.

We were greeted like an attacking horde of undead zombie brain-eaters. This is nothing new for this Petulance – technology is a necessary evil, provided by troglodytes with no business acumen.

As we walked towards the grubby corner where they kept the server, we could hear the mutterings about email made just loud enough so we could hear.

The server corner was hot, badly ventilated, poorly lit and really somewhere that you wouldn’t put critical business equipment. After we put the server in place we installed the software and did all the other techno-wonkery that really impresses people who know nothing about technology.

Joe went looking for the backups.

After a while he came back, not happy, I mean really not happy. They’d been doing the backup on an old tape, had never verified it actually had backed up and did the backups once a week, over-writing the tape each time.

“It’ll be a miracle of we get anything other than oxide deposits off this tape,” he said, somewhat resigned.

Then the CEO walked in.

“So how long before my email is back?” he asked.

Joe held up the tape and said, “If this tape doesn’t work you’ll have lost mail and it’ll take us the rest of the day to get things working.”

That was it, the CEO hit the roof and turned a dark shade of purple. I actually thought he was going to have a stroke or a heart attack on the spot.

“If that backup doesn’t work, I’ll sue you!”

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