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    Back Off If You Want Your Backups

    | Dallas, Texas, USA | Bosses & Owners, Theme Of The Month

    (It’s the late 1990s, and I’m the lone IT guy for a small company. I support two branch offices with about six employees each. In addition to the standard IT duties, I also do nightly, weekly, and quarterly backups on tape. Because we are so small and can’t afford to pay for off-site data storage/disaster recovery, I also keep duplicates of the backup tapes off-site in a fire safe at my home. This happens one day after I’d been working there about two years.)

    Boss: “We’re letting you go. We’ve decided that you know too much about how our computer systems work. If you ever got mad at us, you could crash our whole network. Also, I need you to go home and bring back the tape backups that you keep off-site.”

    Me: *stunned* “Um. Okay.”

    (I drive home, get the backup tapes, bring them back, and hand them to my boss.)

    Me: “You know, anyone who knows enough to keep the computers running is also going to know enough to bring them down. And, if I were really the vindictive type who would crash the network if I got mad at you, I never would have returned these backup tapes.”

    Boss: “Hmmm…you’re right. Go sit in your office. Let me think for a bit.”

    (I go sit in my office. About 30 minutes later, he comes back.)

    Boss: “Okay, never mind. You’re not fired. But you are on probation for six months!”

    (I got a new job as quickly as possible!)