Sunday, July 26, 2009

HR Nightmare Episode 2 and taking submissions

Wow, I already got a new HR Nightmare story. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

A company in Whoville Commons, hired a thirty - eight year old MSSQL server DBA not from an advertised job but because she put her resume in at the human resources department. She was fresh out of a local college and had just become a "Certified Database Administrator" of her chosen application. While she had held one job part time in the past it was working for another firm in another town while she went to school. Unfortunately at this firm she really only was allowed to do low end workstation maintenance.

While she had been thru college and had a four year degree in computer science she really didn't have that much experience with MSSQL and while she had taken the tests she went to a training school that one of her teachers recommended and instead of going thru the book they basically handed her the answers and read them aloud in class for the time period she was in the training company's boot camp. They do this as they have a guaranteed 100% pass rate. She really didn't realize this was a problem or illegal as the training company presented it as authorized materials.

Since this woman had a fairly good resume and was certified, the company jumped at the chance to get her. It was an amazing opportunity for them as they had a twenty four hour seven day a week mission critical database that had been installed just two years before and they were paying a local company four times what she was making in salary to maintain it. The woman is extemely intelligent and actually had fully memorized the answers to all the test questions which basically gave her a good understanding of the system. She knew enough literally to maintain the system with little or no assistance.

Everything went well for almost two and a half months. After this period of time during a routine weekend morning maintenance the database server started experiencing major high process and blocking locks. The system was virtually crippled, she still apparently had everything under control. She verified what was causing blocking locks and killed the spid. She then ran queries and analysis to try and find out why this kept happening.

Unfortunately she had changed the logging mode of the database when she first arrived to simplify so no changes were recorded. She really didn't understand this as she hadn't read the books and was being kept so busy at work and home because of the company backlog that she couldn't do what ten years ago most people would have considered a normal amount of research for a computer or programming position.

Her backups which were being handled by tape and by the jobs previously setup before her arrival were filegroup and .bak files only to tape and were only backing up one section of the database which she didn't realize. Needless to say during her analysis because she really didn't know how to verify integrity of the data or the specific commands related to the MSSQL server system as they hadn't been test questions she decided to delete the data and readd records as a test.

Well in this instance she deleted over half the database by accident. When she went to do a recovery by restoring the database she had only one filegroup. The company was at a complete loss they relied on their database for multi-site inventory and customer maintenance. The employer called another outside company as she didn't have any other answer than a four or five month reentry of all data.

The outside company sent another certified individual to meet with her and try to look at the system for a possible recovery but it became apparent to the outside company and the owner after they talked that she knew little or nothing about the system. She was fired for the data loss and there was no recovery. The only reason that they knew of the school was because she encouraged the other systems administrators who maintained the system to go get certified thru this company because it was "super quick and super easy" and you didn't even need to read the book, see she had gone into detail with her supervisor and the Systems Administrators.

Because of this the company had to do a paper reentry of which some records were just lost due to age. They felt that since she was so knew that a lawsuit against her would not be profitable or much likelihood of winning. She also did not get turned into the certification company or Microsoft but she helped to make a worse name for the product and the company which had invested in it than anyone could imagine. Can you imagine calling a service company because they forgot to send you a monthly bill?

If you wish to post feel free to edit my horrible writing just don't use my name as one or two of the guys from Whoville would and I quote "never talk to me again" and he is still laughing at the situation. The customers and the poor half bankrupt company are still not amused.

Thanks to the guy from Whoville for submitting. The first HR Nightmare story is at

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