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I have seen it. They say it doesn't exist; just a story we tell our children so that their innocence does not lead them down into a nightmarish adulthood from which there is no salvation. But the evil lives. So vile that were you to look inside its soul, all you would find is a terrible desperation for suffering. To cause it. To revel in it. To bathe in the tears of those it considers less than human and feed off the emotional detritus.
It was 2009. The financial crisis. I was one of the lucky, having found refuge in a large company right before the jobs dried up. General IT: system administration, documentation, project management, telephony, software training, second level help desk. No software development, but with a two-year-old at home and Ph.D.s lining up outside the local Olive Garden whenever a help wanted sign was posted, I grabbed the health insurance and entered into darkness.
The Thing did not need to hunt it's prey. A manager title with 21 reports brought it new opportunities for fresh meat by the hour. But I was special. I resisted. I needed to know my place.
My first mistake was incomprehension. I did not understand the Thing's lust to be right at all costs. I was reviewing some documentation it had brought forth from its bowels. I mentioned that two spaces were being used between sentences. That proportional type made that unnecessary. It insisted, I was wrong. It insisted that Microsoft itself, the purveyor of all good technical writing, required two spaces. I opened the Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications that it demanded its staff use and showed it that the spec was one space. It was livid. I was a problem.
From that point on my work life became exponentially more wretched. I was given three Outlook calendars to maintain: one with my schedule, one with the team's schedule and one with the Thing's schedule. Every time I had an appointment, I was to triple schedule it. If I was going to be away from my desk for more than 15 minutes triple schedule. Triple schedule my lunch, vacations, phone conferences.
Whenever it held a meeting, I and a colleague would be taken off mission critical IT projects to set tables with name tents and to serve as greeters as attendees arrived.
I was called into its crypt to be told never to say anything in a meeting unless I told the Thing beforehand what I was going to say. Naive, I mentioned that I often don't know what I will say as it is often in reply to someone else. Of course the response was that I should not say anything.
I would get emails 10-20 times a day asking about a single project. I would regularly complete work that was needed to be completed ASAP, only to have the Thing rake me over the coals for not completing it a week later. And upon resending the emails proving I notified it of the work being competed, disparaged at length a second time for not sending repeated notifications of the competed work.
I would have to sit in two-hour meetings to watch it type. Literally watch it try to create cogent thoughts. In silence.
I received horrendous annual reviews. At one, it created a development plan that stated a colleague would begin giving me lessons on the proper ways to socially interact with personnel. I pointed out to HR that this violated privacy concerns and would make the business liable in many areas, not least of which would be placing a help desk person in the role of defining proper business practice. HR made the Thing remove this from my review. She started planning to remove me.
I had given a short technical training to a group of personnel months earlier. Called into its tomb I was informed that feedback surveys on my talk were disturbing. One person stated that they did not think I was funny. Another wrote that I made an offensive statement. That person did not say what the offensive statement was. Just that I had said something he or she didn't like.
The Thing interviewed the training attendees. Gathered facts. Held three inquest-like meetings where multiple directors peppered me with questions trying to get me to confess to my offensiveness. In the end the request to fire me was brought to the man who ran the business at the time. The statement on high: "Humor is a subjective thing. Please tell This to be sensitive to that."
The Thing had failed, but would no doubt redouble its efforts. I had to find a new job. I sent hundreds of resumes. Talked to dozens of recruiters. But there were no jobs. And I had a family. And the wolf was at the door.
So I didn't say a word to the creature. For six months. Silence. At one group meeting it shrieked at me "what are you smirking at? If you've got something to say then say it!" I just shrugged. For my salvation was revealed. The Thing could not stand to be ignored. And at the end of my penance I was transferred to another group: Software Development.
I am one with the Force. The Force is with me. I am one with the Force. The Force is with me.4
rant, but not an IT kind... okay, maybe not even a rant, more like depressive rambling:
in 3 days, I'll turn 29.
i'm living with my mom, in the apartment where I was born, in the room i've been living since I was born (with the exception of 2 attempts to move out which together lasted 9 months).
my theoretical monthly income should/could be around 4000€, based on my skills and experience.
but I'm a (manic)-depressive, chronically lonely idiot loser (and the manic phases come more and more rarely in recent years), so
my practical average monthly income fluctuates from 0 to about 200.
i am unable to keep a job for more than 4 months, so after being fired from about 20 or so of them since I was 18, it takes immense amounts of mental and emotional energy to even start looking for one now... so I usually don't.
i've been about 12000€ in debt for the past 8 or so years, half of which is just debt collector fees.
it's kinda funny, for years, i've been unable to solve a debt which theoretically amounts to 3 months of my theoretical achievable salary.
my father, who just left without a word of explanation when I was 18, has decided this is not viable anymore, so I'm supposed to move out by 10th of next month, "either to some cheap rooming house, or under the bridge, I don't care", as he put it.
I can't remember how it feels to exist a single hour without feeling existential dread and dreading each next day, not knowing what to do or if i'll even be able to try and do something, because this feeling is so strong that it often blocks me from being able to do anything. i just shiver most of the time that i'm awake, feeling like you feel few minutes before puking and crying at the same time. and that feeling is my "how are you?", "you know... normal".
i can't remember what it feels to feel any other way and can't even imagine it, and can't imagine that I'll ever achieve any less shit feeling.
literally all of my social contact consists of going out once to twice a month with the only 2 friends and 2 aquaintances I have who have the time and will to spend it with me.
oh, and hiding in my room, avoiding talking to my mom, because each time we talk she just reminds me what a piece of shit failure I am, and tells me how it's not that hard to change it, I just have to stop being lazy and start working for it.
she's... kind and caring about it, which somehow maybe makes it even worse.
i have about 10 almost complete game designs, each of them at least 50% more original and interesting (at least to me) than the things that are coming out for the past 10 years, being lauded as "the most original and unique".
I have been trying to make them, ANY of them, since I was 18, but I always lose all the drive and resolve and energy in like 4 months, because it's like trying to build a city on my own on a deserted island. too big for one person, but there was never anyone to help me. closest I ever got was one of my friends telling me "i've been thinking many times that i'd love to work on some project with you, if I had the time".
and second time, when I actually found an artist I was going to pay, and he was awesome, and after two weeks of me telling him how awesome what he does is and how it fits the project and my ideas perfectly, he backed out saying "i'm afraid I can't do the quality you require from me".
never ever in my life did I get actual help with something I actually wanted or tried to do.
i have no idea how it feels to have someone working with me on something I actually consider interesting and meaningful, on any of the things which I wanted to make, which made me learn programming.
I've learned graphics and animation and everything going into game making pipeline on my own because I realized nobody will ever help me, so I'll have to do all of it on my own.
I've tried to make a kickstarter once, but I started crying hysterically in the middle of writing it, because I felt like a begging piece of failure shit, even more than usual, so I deleted it.
most of people treat me like shit failure unworthy and undeserving of living, precisely as I myself know I deserve to be treated, because that's what I am, but when I ask for permission to kill myself, since I see no other solution to stop being a burden, they get angry at me that I'm just emotionally blackmailing them. when I afterwards ask them "so help me in any way to do any of the projects i want/need to do", they respond they've got no time for that.
when I talk about all of this, I get told to stop whining.
happy 29th birthday, me, a piece of shit who should've never survived this long, who should've never been born in the first place.
also, I know this is not the kind of crap that's supposed to be posted here, but i've got nowhere else. sorry.54
I don't understand why people are making a fuss about Facebook.
It's free to use, the amount of users kept increasing (thus the cost of maintenance) yet the company kept getting bigger and bigger. Obviously they're not making all their money off the advertisements on Facebook's own website.
So why are people so surprised that they're "selling" user information?
This is really funny to me. Especially the media joining in saying that it makes all your information available to everybody when they're actually talking about the fact that the majority of Facebook users have their profile set to public and they can be easily found with a simple Google search.
People are so fucking hypocritical it makes me want to puke. If you don't want anybody to know what you posted, just don't fucking post it on a SOCIAL MEDIA in the first place.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that facebook is all flowers and love, they clearly didn't handle this situation well. They could have done something about this whole situation when it started instead of waiting for things to blow out of proportion.
However, people are just being assholes now. I highly doubt that they're reading all chats nor are they sending it over, they're probably just sending out some words you mention often so that it is pertinent for advertisers (ex. If you use the word computer next to buy, then maybe that triggers something). I could talk extensively about it but I'm way too lazy, the point is, they most likely aren't sending the nudes you sent to advertisers because that does not provide any benefits.
If you don't like Facebook, don't fucking use it. Delete your account and shut the fuck up. When you screw up in real life, there's no takesies backsies, why the fuck do people think it doesn't apply online? The government gathers up quite a lot of information on you yet I don't see you crying your eyes out.
Why the fuck do you care so much if an advertisement is tailored to specifically? Yeah, you talked about dildos and now you see dildo ads from Amazon, not happy? Just download adblock and shut up. If you're gullible and the moment you see an ad about single women in your area you click on the ad because you want to get laid right now, that's your problem.
Don't want people knowing about some aspects of your private life? Don't share it online.
Stop acting like people are any better at keeping secrets, I'm sure you had some people leak your secrets at least once, yet I doubt you sued them and you brought them to court.
I'm sorry about this, it's just that Facebook is all over the news and I'm getting sick of it.
Also, I hate facebook, I'm not necessarily defending it, I'm more pissed at the medias for blowing this situation out of proportion.35
The manager and selfperceived omnipotent cult leader was the worst kind of businessman. Slimey and trecherous, zero sense of ethics, but felt holier than the pope because he "helped" his weakling herd of piteous employees.
These employees were smart kids, most of them in their late teens. All of them legally disabled. There was this kid who gobbled up ritalin like candy, a boy who had received his measles shots and turned socially awkward (/s), a chubby girl who could name all the hex colors of her chocolate stained shirt... you know, what we call skilled developers in the industry.
Fiftyfive of them.
They were awesome, awkward highschool dropouts, like I had been a decade earlier. They worked 50h a week. They had great humor, were passionate, devoured information about new technologies, and they built custom websites from scratch in no time. I had to lead this flock, and felt honored to work with them.
Then things started to smell funny.
I discovered all 55 of their workstations ran pirated software, from Windows to Adobe CS. I'm not without sin in that regard, but as a company it's just plain stupid.
Clients were treated like shit. I mean, we all feel like punching a client in the face sometimes, but I'm taking about unjustified debt collections paired with death threats.
Then I found out these kids were often disappearing for a few months, only to return months later.
I started digging, and discovered they were all working reintegration internships (because they were on below minimum wage disability payments), at almost zero cost to my employer.
After 6 months, my boss gave them a negative recommendation, they were all too "sick" to function in normal jobs.
Then they were rotated to a shadow company, doing the same work for another 6 months, and so on to a third company.
He broke these kids, talked them down, made them feel worthless. He threatened the ones who understood what was happening.
I ended up bringing the company down, with the CEO and two government officials jailed for fraud and corruption.
Some employees were quite mad about it, at least at first — I was the shepherd who abandoned his sheep. Luckily, most found better paid positions in no time.
Truly one of the most fucked up and difficult situations I've been in.6
What can you say for certain about your argument when you bring it to a discussion and you pretty much lose but it still stands?
It's not sitting down.
I'll leave now......6
Not sure if it was 2016 or late 2015, but it's a fun story anyway (and if it's not you'll at least learn something from it).
Back at the time I was quite new to unit testing (weird how it has become second nature in a years time). I was writing some software that was supposed to send out some SMS to customers. Of course this had to be tested. However, it was a bit difficult to test (or so I thought) without actually receiving an SMS to know if it was sent. So I decided to use the live API key to make sure the sending of SMS was actually working correctly. I tried it a few times but didn't receive an SMS. So I kept working on it and running tests.
The testing setup I had at the time was just a continues loop that went through all tests to make sure it all still worked (I've moved to only checking on file changes now, but that is besides the point). Keep in mind I was still running these tests, in a loop, with the _live_ API key.
So the end of the working day arrives and I go home and sit in the train. All of the sudden I receive some test SMS. I was thinking "hey nice, it did work". Then I started receiving more. It soon turned out to be an alarmingly big amount of SMS. It stopped around 100, but don't think that was the end of it. Oh no. I had changed the number to send the SMS to from my own number to a different number (+31612345678 to be exact, which I found out later isn't an actual phone number. I really hope I was right about that). I was beginning to become nervous, but there wasn't much I could do.
The next day I returned to work and checked the API for sent SMS. Turns out I had sent a couple of thousand (I think between two and three thousand) SMS in a couple of hours. Most of them to the test number I had supplied.
This probably cost the company a couple of hundred euros. Luckily my colleagues and team leader all thought it was pretty funny, but did tell me not to do it again. And I haven't of course.
Lesson learned: don't use live API keys during testing (among other things :)).
So yeah that was probably my worst dev experience.1
Zyrolasting's Inferno - Layer = 0
Welcome to Hell, or at least an instance of it. It's for programmers, so we call the entrance Layer 0. Clever, right? We have fun here. I'll show you around.
That screen by the entrance was supposed to say "Abandon all hope ye who enter here" with some nice animations and all, but the senior front-end dev is on holiday and the only backend dev that we could convince to try it kinda panicked when he saw our asset build pipeline. He grabbed jQuery and d3 for some reason and tried to animate it himself. After spatting with CSS and SVG at the same time he gave up and shipped what he had. But to his credit, if you tilt your head and cross your eyes you can still kinda read it.
We group people into layers like other hells, but it's not like you are going to chew the same brussel sprout for eternity in Layer 3 because you were a glutton. What we do is assign values to layers. Yeah, values, like honor, safety, love, all the warm fuzzies. All of our staff get split up into teams that claim to support the values of that layer, and we assign the souls that actually HAVE those values to the same layer and make them write software. Stop crying.
Yes, yes, look, I know it's tough, but every soul of the damned forgets that a Hell exists specifically to teach them that death isn't the end. Funny that people keep assuming that's a hopeful outlook.
Now my understanding is that you are here because you shared a single Google Sheet with all customers in your first and only startup as a way to collect their schemas for use in fixed webservice endpoints. Ni-i-i-ce. Unlucky for you that you had enough technical knowledge to be that kind of dumb, because then you probably would lack values and we would have hired you. We originally shipped off the amoral to traditional Hell with the fire and brimstone and whatever because we had enough staff--No, you can't go there instead--but then we got way more brownie points with Satan when we found out we could assign souls to the supervisors they had in life.
The stairs are down this way. Hurry along, there's much to see.
To be continued.2
TIFU by showing login data during presentation
I was presenting my school project when my teacher asked if I could show him the source code. I said ofc, just let me login to the FTP server. I completely forgot that it was also shown on the big screen, and a random funny student logged in and tried to replace the index file with a joke file. Of course, he didn't want to make damage, so he made a backup. But this backup caused the problem, because he connected to the FTP through Windows Explorer (wtf?), and when he made a copy of the original file, it was renamed to "Copy of xy", but in a localized version, which contains special characters. Because of these characters, some FTP clients couldn't even connect, others just couldn't interact with the file. No download, no rename, no delete, nothing. After trying out like 8-9 FTP clients, I just remembered that I could rename it in PHP. Well, it got deleted instead of being renamed, but at least it wasn't there anymore. I have spent like half more hour with searching for a backup version on my computer until I found it.
TL;DR: showed FTP credentials during presentation on big screen, random student accessed and renamed a file, special characters in name fucked up the server, luckily I found a backup.2
Browsing through an old project of mine which let you make 3D scans of a person with a Kinect and easily add it to a game.
I worked on it during my minor in Japan. It's such a clusterfuck of code and different pieces of software glued together. But man, I had _so_ much fun making it. Funny enough it brings back great memories of the time I spent there.
I'm amazed I was able to finish it in time, or at least something that resembles "finished". Literally the day before I went on a three week round trip I had to demo it. And it worked reasonably well. I'm so glad the professor didn't screw me over on that one. Then again the other person working on a project there only made a simple raspberry pi space invaders. Haha. What a lazy cunt. We were literally told we could do _anything_ we found interesting.
I don't blame him though, he wanted to spend (and did spend) most of his time partying and socializing while he was there. Good for him :)
I should post this baby up on Github, even though it's a shit stain of a project. I want to improve on it when I have time. Who knows, someone might actually view/use it once. That would make me so happy, even if he doesn't do anything with it.1