That bus rolls both ways

Programmer pilot fish's new boss calls an all-hands meeting so she can get to know the IT staff, which is spread across the country.

"We all flew in to meet in a hotel conference room," says fish. "The usual team-building 'trust' exercises occurred, and then we had one day to discuss events at each site.

"One of the new network admins mentioned that the server in the Southwest site was having problems, and from what he could tell it had never backed up."

New boss tells him to research backup options and focus on cloud-based solutions, then asks if anyone else has an idea.

Fish mentions that he knows the server only has 2TB of storage, and while the net admin is researching permanent solutions it would be a good idea to simply copy everything to a $100 4GB external USB drive.

Boss smirks and says she knows fish worked on systems in the 1990s, but times have changed -- cloud is now the cutting-edge approach.

"I explained that I wasn't recommending it as a long-term solution, but that server held a lot of technical CAD files and customer data, and it would be good to simply make a copy before the server crashed," fish says. "I got another smirk and a 'Thank you for your suggestion.'

"The next week the server crashed, panic ensued because there was no backup, and the boss made an emergency conference call and shrieked that I should have pushed harder for the USB drive because obviously I knew something they did not!"

Stunned fish points out he mentioned twice that the server needed to be backed up before it crashed, and it wasn't even his job area.

But soon higher-ups start demanding an explanation, and next thing fish knows, his position is being eliminated. The obvious conclusion: The boss is tossing him under the bus to cover her mistake.

Fortunately, the bus doesn't do much damage. Fish quickly lands a job that pays the same and has a shorter commute, and the severance package covering his 30 years of service means he can pay off his mortgage and car from a lump-sum payment, and is also still getting regular paychecks for the remainder of his severance.

"Two months into my new job, I got a call on my cell phone," says fish. "It was the boss from my old company, asking if I knew anything about a particular system I used to support.

"I told her, 'Sorry, all that knowledge disappeared when you eliminated my position,' and hung up."

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