Sure, go ahead and ask -- but don't tell

There's a significant data-loss incident at this small company, with important chunks of information going missing, and the lone IT pilot fish there has to scramble to restore the systems and get everything working again.

But fish knows his job isn't done. "Curious about how this happened to one of my systems, which I take pride in and have high standards for, I commenced a full analysis of our system logs," fish says.

"I discovered that the missing information sets were each explicitly deleted in our software, and the logs revealed that each deletion operation was performed from an internal IP address."

So fish cross-checks against the company's Active Directory in order to match the time stamps and find the user. Turns out the culprit who deleted the information from the core system is a recently hired assistant to one of the managers -- who also happens to be a longtime friend of that manager.

First thing the next morning, fish sends an email with his findings to the manager, with a copy to one of the owners. He figures that will settle any question about problems on the IT side, and the manager will deal with the assistant.

But instead he gets a terse reply: Fish must cease and desist from any further investigation, because the matter is closed and the owners have already decided what their actions will be.

An hour later, fish gets more news: He's being shifted out of IT tasks and some highly paid consultants are being brought in to manage the company's systems. The company is ready to move on, he's told -- and fish is advised not to look back.

Grumbles fish, "My job description has been rewritten into a reduced role, having nothing further to do with IT work, but instead as an assistant to one of the highest ranking people in the company.

"In effect, with over 10 years of experience, I suddenly am at the level of a paid intern."

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