% fortune -ae paul murphy

I've been fired!

A security guard met me as I was leaving last night: took me straight to Personnel where some slimy "consultant" asked for my ID card and made me wait while security (poor Bert, he was so embarrassed) packed a box of personal stuff from my office and brought it down.

How could this happen? it was this article in the local paper: Customer remains powerless over lack of Enmax bills that did me in - somebody was gonna wear it, and I guess better that pain in the ass Murphy then everybody's friend the incompetent suck-up pretend CIO.

I thought the actual article, by Dave Mabell, was fair enough - a sample:

Power bills, for most Albertans, have become one of the less pleasant facts of life. Every month, they remind consumers how much more they're paying since the Conservative government deregulated our power utilities.

But not for Herman Gom. For the Lethbridge homeowner and some other Enmax customers, it's the lack of power bills that creates so much difficulty.

The Calgary power company seems incapable of billing him regularly for the power consumed, and officials at the province's Utilities Consumer Advocate office confirm he's not the only one.

"In spite of repeated requests, I have not received a billing from (Enmax) since August," he says.

"Each time I call, I am given a different excuse and yet another promise that I will receive my statement next week at the latest."

The company is having troubles in its billing department, he was told, just as it was last winter, at least for Gom.

"When I finally did get a billing (last winter) it included late payment charges," he reports. "A short time later, I was notified that unless payment was immediately forthcoming, service to my home would be discontinued."

Ok, he's got a political agenda too - and doesn't understand that it's windmills and greed that are driving up everybody's power cost - but, overall, I think he reported the user's complaint quite fairly. Following a long term failure to bill the customer with late payment charges against the customer - and then we threaten to cut his power? I mean, are we cool or what?

I fought this one tooth and nail: I have all the memos I need, could wall paper a garage with them - SOBA: I mean, my God, you'd have to be far from Sobar to believe that you could put a bunch of VB "clientware specialists", SAP, AIX, and Websphere/java into a cost plus blender with a Rube Goldberg "architecture" and come out with something that works two days in a row - but hey, I'm only the guy that makes everything else work: including that POS RS/6000 cluster they bought at some golf club before I came along - I mean, I told them and told them what would happen when our shiny new pretend CIO waltzed off in the arms of Microsoft and a sweetheart deal featuring such intellectual giants of our industry as Dell, IBM, and their assorted conswarmants. But I guess I'm not a team player - oh no - a few million pissed away on impossible PC crap and maybe a hundred thousand very angry customers - but I'm not a team player and they put a complete wall between the per diem thugs and my people.

And now I'm the patsy?! I know this: yesterday wasn't April fool's - and tomorrow maybe somebody will think this is funny - but right now it's about 1:15 in the morning and come 8:30 - I'll be on the phone to the lawyers.

Paul Murphy wrote and published The Unix Guide to Defenestration. Murphy is a 25-year veteran of the I.T. consulting industry, specializing in Unix and Unix-related management issues.