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Highlighted
Community Champion

Re: Making coworkers accountable

I think you and I must live in  a parallel universe where you are me and I am you, your experiences sound so much like mine! One of the places I worked at, they were taking me on the "new guy" tour and they were showing me the server room. Lining the walls of the server room were 30 printers, stacked 2-3 high, of the same model. "What's the deal with those?" I asked. Those are being surplussed (gotten rid of). "Why?" I asked. "They keep jamming and slipping and making loud noises."  was the response. I knew we had already had requests for printers waiting to be filled, but no money to buy them. So I took one of them back to my desk and found out that the pick up roller was worn down smooth. I found a source for them on the internet (They were $3!!!!) each printer used 2 of them. I asked about how many did we have, both still in use and broken ones, and they said about 100. So I ordered a package of 100 of them and fixed all 30 printers. For less than the cost of ONE printer, I fixed them all. I still had some spares to fix some more. The IT staff seemed "afraid" of troubleshooting printers and wouldn't tackle it at all. I would also tackle some other repairs on these printers as well.

 

You will find that not everyone has the confidence to attempt these types of repairs. To me, if the printer is already scheduled for disposal, I can't make it worse right? Some people just don't have the tenacity and courage to accept that they might not be able to fix it, so they will just stay with what they know and not venture out of their comfort zone. I wish I could give you a magic wand to motivate those people. I can't. What I can do is tell you to try to create an atmosphere of being able to fail and it be OK as long as something is learned. One of the things that has helped me is setting up test networks everywhere I have been. having a place where you can practice without the fear of failure is awesome. Perhaps you can get that setup there. Get your bosses behind being able to fail without punishment and being really open to learning really helps people overcome their fears. I also push training very hard. I give my employees and peers plenty of free avenues for training so that they don't have an excuse for not being trained, other than they just don't want to. I never force my employees or peers into training, just make it available. 

 

If you lay out that the employee has had opportunities to learn and train, has had clear guidance to follow, has clear expectations of what is expected of them, and is able to attempt new things without the fear of being punished, then it makes it easier for management to take action for sub-standard performance.

Highlighted
Contributor II

Re: Making coworkers accountable

"I can't make it worse right?"

 

Maybe my colleague's confidence is a contributor!  Meanwhile, machine integrity and resource availability within our enterprise goes neglected.

---
Eric Geater, CISSP
I've always said, "There's nothing an agnostic can't do if he really doesn't know whether he believes in anything or not."
Highlighted
Community Champion

Re: Making coworkers accountable

Do you have friends at work?

I mean, *real* friends.

Friends help you move.

*Real* friends help you move bodies ...

====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
rslade@vcn.bc.ca slade@victoria.tc.ca rslade@computercrime.org
On Friday, January 23rd, 2004, in a speech at the World Economic
Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Bill Gates stated `Two years from
now, spam will be solved.'
victoria.tc.ca/techrev/rms.htm http://twitter.com/rslade
http://blogs.securiteam.com/index.php/archives/author/p1/
https://is.gd/RotlWB

............
This message may or may not be governed by the terms of
http://www.noticebored.com/html/cisspforumfaq.html#Friday or
https://blogs.securiteam.com/index.php/archives/1468
Highlighted
Community Champion

Re: Making coworkers accountable

 

@ericgeater, in the situation you described with the backups, it should be done this way: -

 

  1. There should be a backup policy that clearly specifics what has to be backed up, when and how, and also lists the responsibilities for this, and the requirements. Procedures can be created as per this, & they should adhere to standards. (I'm assuming you've already got this at your organization)
  2. The backup system should be configured to back up all important resources --- such as the documents folder that you mentioned --- in compliance with your policy, procedures and standards. (If the system isn't configured properly, the responsible party should take care of this.)
  3. Systems / processes / operations should be gauged for non-compliance by random checks, internal / external audits, risk analysis, etc. (Given the low frequency of incidents, you can employ risk analysis reports --- identify risks, give them a level, and then try to attribute them to what you're having to deal with.)
  4. Finally, management should enforce compliance. If they're presented with evidence of how this causes unacceptable risks, they have to take action. (Ideally, your colleague should be reprimanded, or even get a warning letter.)

Alas, it doesn't always work that way. Unless you're in management, you can only have an effect on 1, 2, and 3, but the ball can always end up in their court --- for 4, they are the only players.

 

Like others said here, what makes a difference at the end is your working atmosphere and relationship with colleagues, particularly management. You need to have friends in the right places --- the higher the better.

 

If you're in an environment where you can't make a difference despite your efforts solely due to management being unsympathetic or favoring incompetent colleagues, there's no reason to stay...

 

 

P.S. What I provided earlier are excerpts from the policies I've drafted in my organization, so I'm afraid I can't share more of those.

 

 

 

Shannon D'Cruz,
CISM, CISSP

www.linkedin.com/in/shannondcruz
Highlighted
Community Champion

Re: Making coworkers accountable

It is the FoF ghost. Fear of failure, a close cousin of FUD. You were displaying true qualities of a CISSP. You see a problem; you identify what it is; and you fix it with creating 10 other problems.

Bravo and kudos.
Highlighted
Community Champion

Re: Making coworkers accountable

Yes, and maybe cows can't fly (not yet anyway). 😉

Highlighted
Contributor II

Re: Making coworkers accountable

"Procedures can be created as per this, & they should adhere to standards. (I'm assuming you've already got this at your organization)"

 

In a word, no.  I'm behind the eight ball because none of this is here.  No policy and no standards, and little procedures or documentation (docs are my greatest contribution, because my colleague insists on having flowcharts.  I've italicized that part, so you may see how a) in complex configurations, he'll neglect the flowchart anyway, b) when he reaches the flowchart's end, that's his end, too.  He's not capable of thinking toward an IT-level solution if he relies on Google and flowcharts).

 

I still like my employer.  The company deserves more robust protection, and I'm going to deliver one, in spite of my colleague.  Plus, I may have stumbled into a useful political dynamic on Friday.  Maybe I can get some leverage out of it.

 

With a wink and a nod,

eric

---
Eric Geater, CISSP
I've always said, "There's nothing an agnostic can't do if he really doesn't know whether he believes in anything or not."
Highlighted
Contributor II

Re: Making coworkers accountable

HAH! I have good relationships. Not the kind that comes to the house for a picnic, though.
---
Eric Geater, CISSP
I've always said, "There's nothing an agnostic can't do if he really doesn't know whether he believes in anything or not."
Highlighted
Contributor II

Re: Making coworkers accountable

For everyone listening in this thread, a moment of serendipity happened earlier this week.  First, a very quick backstory:

 

My aforementioned colleague recently told an onsite employee that their department should expect a four-day outage of a faulty printer, because (sight unseen) the problem sounded like it would require a third-party company to fix.  She walked off dejectedly, so I found a fuser in a printer carcass and successfully demonstrated that the fix was in our grasp.  I ordered a printer maintenance kit and solved the problem in one day's time.  This is only one example of my colleague's shallow knowledge pool.

 

Fast forward to Tuesday, where I arranged to walk an offsite line supervisor through a PMK installation.  I couldn't visit the location.  My colleague overheard the call, and he volunteered to stop at the site and install the PMK.  "You've installed these before?", and he said, "Yeah."

 

So I let him have it.

 

  • "Why didn't you consider or offer a PMK for the printer here?"
  • "Furthermore, why did you specifically instruct an offsite branch to send all of their printer service needs to a third-party company, without any triage or oversight on the repair status?  They've sent eight printers off for repair in ten months!  One of the fixes was a faulty toner cartridge!"
  • "I'm doing the work of two people when coworkers summon me to fix what you leave incomplete."
  • "Your track record for project ownership of any kind caused me to think you've grown tired of performing the IT."

In a weird way, I don't know why I've been timid, or worse yet, intransigent about my timidity. But he now knows about my extreme dissatisfaction.  This has brought on a whole new level of empowerment, much like the gigantic emotional boost from passing the CISSP.

 

And hell.. if he quits, will I even notice?

Thanks for listening, everyone.

---
Eric Geater, CISSP
I've always said, "There's nothing an agnostic can't do if he really doesn't know whether he believes in anything or not."
Highlighted
Community Champion

Re: Making coworkers accountable

 

 

Interesting development; apparently you've put your colleague in place. But now that you've turned the heat on, if your colleague is in good books --- or in bed --- with management, he / she might get them to 'lower the room temperature.'  

 

Anyways, hope it all goes well, and this works in your favor.  

 

 

 

Shannon D'Cruz,
CISM, CISSP

www.linkedin.com/in/shannondcruz