I'm an Aussie who moved to Ottawa, Canada in 2008. I'm always having a moan about something. This is where I moan and whinge about things. Enjoy.

Sunday 20 February 2022

Insurance Part VI

This is part 6 in a ? part series.

Part I: http://www.theangryaussie.com/2020/09/insurance-company.html

Part II: http://www.theangryaussie.com/2020/09/insurance-company-part-ii.html
Part III: http://www.theangryaussie.com/2020/09/fucking-insurance-company-part-iii.html
Part IV: http://www.theangryaussie.com/2020/10/insurance-company-part-iv.html
Part V: http://www.theangryaussie.com/2020/10/insurance-part-v.html
Part VI: You are here!

So, we're at the point where I have received a ridiculous quote for $6 500 to fix my car, which I have forwarded over to the insurance company.

Their reply?

"We had an appraiser look at the vehicle, and the vehicle has been written off as a total loss".

There were a couple of phone calls involved in this, because I had to explain the whole scenario, yet again..

Here's the first phone call: https://squigley.net/calls/written-off-1.mp3

The gist of which is that, maybe this week, probably next week, a truck will come and collect it and take it away, so I need to remove all my possessions from it, and the plates, and have the ownership and the keys ready to give them..

Good riddance?

Yeah, I know they aren't going to pay me anywhere near what I paid for the thing, so I'm not even going down this route, for as much as I hate this shitty car, I'm not getting rid of if and losing out a huge amount of money for a cracked bumper and a dent.

We then got stuck discussing whether I was at fault or not, again..

So the agent had to call the previous agent and/or her supervisor, who I had previously been dealing with, up until this point.

20 minutes later, he called me back, and we continued discussing: https://squigley.net/calls/written-off-2.mp3

The gist of that call, is that they would pay me $4 718.33, and take it away and blow it up or whatever they do with it.

Now, as much as I fucking hate this POS car, I am not about to accept $4 700 for the car I paid $12 500 for 2 years ago. $8 000 to have this shitty car for 2 years? I don't think so.

So my other option was to choose to keep it, and fix it myself, for which they would pay me the princely sum of $2 671.51, towards the $6 500 damage, to my $12 000 car.

That's enough for now..

Monday 16 November 2020

Insurance Part ?

So the shitty insurance company sent me a survey asking for my feedback.

I haven't had the mental capacity to put into words my feedback. I just finally got around to doing it..

It looks like this:

"Is there anything else I would like to tell them to help them serve me better next time?" They ask.

Where do I start, let's try with..

This was, by far, the worst interaction I have ever had with an insurance company.

First you tried to claim that my being rammed off the road and my window punched out by the other driver was all my fault, and refused to help me, then the agent went on vacation for weeks, and I couldn't get a response from anybody until I attempted to escalate it to the ombudsman.

When someone finally responded, and after I provided the explanation of what happened, for at least the 4th time, and included dash cam footage, again, showing that it was not my fault, I was finally able to take my car to be assessed.

The result was that the repair bill of $6500 caused my car to be written off, by you, rather than you getting the other insurance company to pay for it, as is your job. My car was declared a total loss, all for a small dent in the side, and a crack in the bumper cover.

For my car that I bought almost exactly 2 years prior, for $12500, you offered me $4700, which was insulting. I am expected to just lose $8000 for having a car for 2 years?

As this was unacceptable, I chose to keep the car, and accept the even more insulting $2600 you offered. 

I repaired the car myself, which cost about $65 in supplies to repair the cracked bumper cover.

Then there was a bunch of nonsense with me seeming to need to call every motoring authority and police department in Quebec regarding this, and start the process of pressing charges against the other driver for smashing the window, because neither you nor the other insurance company was going to pay for it, and then it turned out he had provided false information to the police, leading them on a wild goose chase trying to even find him.

Even more frustrating has been the process of getting the money from you, as it required making my car "unfit", which has been a nightmare to get it made "fit" again. The smash repairer told me they would do it, but then stopped replying to my emails, so I had to keep going there in person to find out what was going on, and they kept coming back with one excuse after another for why they would not even do the safety inspection on my car, which they had told me they would.

They obviously just wanted the ridiculous $6500 for the repairs, and the small amount they would get out of me instead meant that I was not worth their time, so they just kept wasting mine. 

I then gave up and went elsewhere, and have now ended up dealing with a mechanic that tried to scam me out of $2000 to replace all my tyres, and my brake pads and rotors, and when I replaced the brakes, found them to be almost brand new and in no need of replacement.

So, between the awful smash repairer providing the insane quote of $6500 for a cracked bumper and a ding that just needs to be bogged over, the scamming mechanic, your insulting payment amount, the difficulty of getting anyone to even handle my claim..

Wow, just wow.

I wouldn't recommend your services to my worst enemy, and I will be taking my business elsewhere, if I can ever manage to get the car to pass safety again from people wasting my time and trying to scam me.
I am beginning to wish I had just set the bloody thing on fire and watched it burn to the ground as it would have been a lot more enjoyable than all the crap I have had to deal with for the last 9 weeks, since the collision.

Totally awful.

The co-operators? That's a laugh. Who are you co-operating with? Everybody but me, it has become apparent.

I have been a customer of yours for 8 years, and I am now done.

I click [ submit ].

Did I know I can submit a claim online? I'm sure you would be even more responsive to that, vs trying by phone and email, and the agent just goes off on vacation for weeks and nobody replies..

Anyone got an recommendations of insurance companies that are not completely shit wastes of time and money?

Haha, yeah, I know, that's their whole point of existence.

Saturday 14 November 2020

World Trivia Night


Since 2011, most years I have competed in the "World Trivia Night", which according to Wikipedia "is North America's largest live trivia contest, held annually in Ottawa, Ontario since 1993."

It's organised by the Children's Aid Foundation of Ottawa, to raise money for them, and thanks to people donating to them on my behalf, I would guess that I've raised somewhere around $1 500 for them. 

I have skipped it the last couple of years, for a number of reasons, mostly do with the awful venue, and scheduling conflicts, and the difficulty of getting from work to the awful venue in time, it just became all too hard, not fun, and not worth it.

Since 2012, It's been held way out in the middle of nowhere at the stupid CE, or EY, or FU, or Whatever It's Called Now Centre, near the bloody airport, which is shitty to get to, so you pretty much have to drive to get there, and then they charge too much for parking, which I wouldn't mind so much, if that was part of the charity fundraising, but it is not, and the beer selection there is shitty, and it's too expensive, but I guess that doesn't matter so much, since you have to drive to get there..

There's also a limited selection of food available, which was way too expensive for what it was, and it was pretty bloody ordinary.

A couple of months ago I was invited to join a different team than the one I had previously joined each year. I hadn't even realised until that point, that this year, instead of cancelling it, like everything else, they decided to do it online. OK, that could work..

I figured that after having not done it for the last couple of years, and not having to go to the awful FU Centre this year, and deal with the bullshit parking, beer prices, and crappy food, that it would be fun to do it again.

Except, no. It was, in my opinion, man, an unmitigated disaster.

I registered a few weeks ago, and I begged for donations, but didn't get any this year. I ended up just donating on behalf of myself to pay for our entry fee amount.

They started giving us some info about how it would all work a week or so ago. It wasn't until the night before, when my team decided to have a chat to get organised, and I logged into the platform they were going to host it on, "Remo", that I realised I had (tried to ) use this platform before..

And that it was fucking awful.

A buddy of mine owns and runs a company which does tours of breweries, with beer tastings, and since he had to shutdown due to Covid, quite a few months back he had looked at this platform, to try doing virtual events on it.

I had logged in, along with a bunch of other random people, for us to test it out, and see how it would work. It was awful, and it wasn't going to work, and that was the end of that.

So when I logged in the night before, and realised that it was this.. Ugh.

The idea behind it is that there are virtual tables which you can sit at, and then you have the ability to video and audio chat with the other small group of people sitting at that table, and if you don't like them :-) then you can move to another table, and chat with the people there..

So it's basically IRC, except with audio and video. OK, that should work..

Except, I knew from the previous testing, that when "presentation mode" is used, where someone gets to talk to everyone, eg to give us the questions and answers etc, that it blocks the table members from being able to hear/see/interact with each other.

Not to mention all the other issues I had had, trying to use it on my phone, a netbook, and a laptop, and none of them working properly, all having audio and video issues, or the app just crashing or hanging..

I said that we were going to need to have some other way to communicate, as this would be crappy if that's how it was going to work, ie presentation mode, or the issues which I had previously observed, as we would have no way to discuss or anything, during that period, and it would mean that we'd all need to work individually to make notes of the questions, and our answers etc, and then somehow discuss them.

We decided that we would use a second device to be part of a facebag "room", in order to be able to see/hear/interact with each other, if necessary, either due to the presentation mode, and not being able to interact, or because the platform just screwed up, as I had seen before.

I don't see how this could be seen as being dodgy, or cheating, since we're the same people, and we would have to be able to discuss with each other the answers before we submitted them anyway..

The Remo platform has a lot of other stupid things, and based on the information we had been provided in advance, including the fact that when you logged in, you get placed at some random table, and then you have to go find your own table, which was on one of 10 or more "floors".. making me wonder what other stupidity we were going to have to deal with, and what was going to stop random people from joining any table (nothing), so they could potentially crash into someone's chat and steal answers, but that probably didn't happen, who knows..

So, with all that in place, we signed off, and that was the end of that.

On the night, thanks to my brilliant memory, I actually totally forgot the event was even going on, and I was about to leave to go help some friends reconfigure their home internet connection/network.. Thankfully (?) I remembered at the last minute, got back out of the car, and got on my laptop..

I initially joined the facebag room, which evidently only one other person thought was a good idea, since nobody else joined. And then they had tons of issues with audio, because it was next to some other device in the same room, so it was getting feedback.. That eventually got resolved.

During that time, I was trying to also sign into Remo, which even though I already had, the night before, was now telling me that my browser (Firefox) was not supported, and that I needed to use Chrome..

So after switching to Chrome, and trying again, now it was asking me all these stupid questions about my occupation, and other stuff. Getting through all that, and finally being able to attempt to connect, the audio and video didn't work properly, probably because it was already being used in the facebag room, which was fair enough.

So I killed the facebag room, and connected into it from my phone (which was conveniently run over the day before, after it fell out of my pocket when I was racing on my motorcycle to get to an auto parts place, trying to get the incorrect brake pads I had been sold for my car replaced, but that's another rant I haven't written yet..)

So after that, I finished getting into Remo, found my table, and joined it. My video worked, but evidently my audio did not. Or perhaps I just had nothing interesting to say, and my team members at the table already just ignored me.

As the speakers in the laptop I was trying to use (yet another device, vs the three I had previously tested Remo on with limited success) are pretty crappy, I plugged in a USB/Bluetooth speaker, and switched the audio over to it, and after screwing around sufficiently with the system audio settings, I managed to get everything working.

We had a couple of minutes to go, and we continued chatting and joking around, until such time as the event started.

As I expected, when that happened, it went into "presentation mode", and we could no longer interact with each other, and only see and hear the host(s).

Now, we could have used the facebag room, except that there were only 2 of us in there, and the other person was busy screenshotting the questions..

So after the host(s) rushed through explaining, and giving us the first round of 10 questions, they then switched out of presentation mode, allowing us to be able to see and hear each other again, eventually, and gave us 5 minutes to discuss, and submit our answers.

The questions themselves were difficult to receive, as it was a split screen between the host(s), and the powerpoint presentation, of slides with questions and clue pictures on them. Even if you expanded the slides, the font was still too small to be easily read, and during this, the audio of the host reading the questions would break up, and/or skip, leaving you trying to decipher the question between broken audio, and text you could barely read.

So once we were able to interact again, besides the fact that it took a fair bit of time for all the video feeds to restart, and the audio to reconnect, what I didn't realise, was that them going into presentation mode, which caused the audio and video to disconnect, had also fucked with all the audio settings I had had to fiddle with, to get my microphone working.

So I was back to trying to converse, and just being ignored, and I couldn't work out why, until such time as my other team members, with about 30 seconds left before the answers had to be submitted, started asking me my opinion on one of the answers, which I was trying to provide, and then being told that they couldn't hear me..

I had already been trying to put my answers across via text chat via the facebag room, but they were being ignored, because of the other person being busy screenshotting, and for the fact that there were several people there, in person, on that end, so they could at least interact properly, so they weren't paying attention to a facebag room with just me in it.

So I'm frantically trying to find some paper and scribbling stuff on it, and trying to hold it up to the camera..

So, this is shit.

The time runs out, the answers have been submitted, I get my microphone working again, for about 10 seconds, before it goes back into presentation mode, and we're once again all isolated.

I know I am not the only person having issues, as during this entire time I have had the global chat window up, which any/all of the almost 600 people connected can type into, and it's seen by all, and it has turned into a support chat, with a never ending stream of "I can't hear" "I can't see" "This doesn't work" "Try turning it off and on again" scrolling up.

We're given the round 2 questions, which I frantically write down, and my answers, in preparation for being able to discuss them. Once that's done, and eventually all the video feeds reconnect, what do you know.. my audio doesn't work again, does it?

I fuck around in the settings and try to get it working again, I have to refresh the browser, this fucks with the audio settings again, I try to fix them.. It's now wasted about 3 minutes of our 5 minutes. I'm still getting yelled at that they can't hear me..

So. Fuck this.

I'm done. It's also after 8pm by this time, over an hour since it started, and we aren't even 2 full rounds in yet. Of, 10 rounds?

If you think I'm going to struggle through this complete fucking bullshit for the next 5 hours, you've got another think coming.

So I'm done. I'm out.

I get in the car and go to my friends' place.

As I get there, one of my trivia team people messages, and says that they're on break. I replied and said

"I gave up. I have more enjoyable things to do, like get a root canal. I knew it would be an awful platform based on testing it previously."

They replied and asked if I didn't want to just connect via the video, and just text my responses via facebag chat, ie what I had suggested in the first place..

I said no, because I had already given up, and left, and driven 20 minutes away to fix the internet connection, so that's what I was going to do.

I spent the next 3 hours sorting out the internet connection and network, struggling to get a shitty D-Link router and TP-Link access point working, which was incredibly fucking frustrating, and didn't end up working properly, and I'll have to go back and try again, but it was a hell of a lot more enjoyable than fucking around trying to use the complete piece of shit platform that is Remo.

At around 11pm, I saw that I'd been messaged, telling me that we'd come 30th out of 97 teams.

They also offered to refund my registration fee that I had to pay to be on the team, but I declined that, because it wasn't their fault that Remo is completely fucking useless, and I replied and said:

"Pff, no, it was my choice to drop out. Wasn't your fault it was a technical nightmare disaster"

They acknowledged that it sucked that I didn't get to participate. It did. I said

"It does. I was hoping for some fun. That was.. Not fun. That's why I walked away. I would have only been a negative effect on the whole team if I had struggled to remain involved"

I knew that I would have just ranted and raved about how fucking awful the shit was, and how fucking frustrating it was, and nobody wants that. So that's why I am ranting here about it anyway.

When I got home, I was just angry about the whole thing. I was pissed off, both because I knew that it was going to be fucked from having tested that shitty fucking platform before, and because I had been looking forward to doing some trivia, after not having been able to do it since.. March? and I used to go the pub and do trivia every single week, and I have done since.. forever.

Since before I even moved to Canada in 2008, maybe since 2004? I used to go to the pub in Maitland near the office I worked in, when I was contracting to the Australian government, for years, and did trivia there.

And when one of my coworkers moved from Maitland to Sydney, and they were doing trivia weekly, I would leave work, and ride my motorcycle almost 200km to go see them and do trivia each week (for the second time), and then ride almost 100km home again, so I'd be riding almost 400km in one day, each week, just to do trivia (oh, and go to work)..

Anyway.. so.. I was just fucking pissed off. What a shitty experience it had been, when it could have been done well, so easily, since I did an online trivia with some friends via Zoom a couple of weeks previously, which worked almost perfectly.

After going to bed, and trying unsuccessfully to sleep, because I was so mad, I typed out and sent back the following..

So.. that was fucked.

It went exactly as I expected it to.

Having tested that complete steaming pile of shit Remo platform before.. I knew this wasn't going to work.

When [beer guy] tried it 6 months ago, with plans of doing virtual beer tastings, which he very quickly abandoned the idea of, after the complete failure that was some test runs.. I knew that it didn't work on my phone, my netbook, my laptop, and that I wasn't the only one with those issues.

I also knew about how you cannot see or interact with your table when you are in presentation mode. This is why I said we needed a side channel for communication, be it facebag chat, or room, or a zoom call, or a phone call, or anything else. So that we have a way to communicate while they are giving us the questions.

Isolating us all during that point was useless. You can't brainstorm or do anything. Leaving each individual person to make their own notes and answers and then wait until the 5 minutes after all the questions have been given is fucking useless.

So I have my side channel, with [one guy]. Nobody else was part of that, so I got ignored. I'm typing stuff in, which doesn't get seen. I can understand him ignoring me, when he's there with actual humans to interact with, and questions and answers.

I could fuck around for 5 minutes and get my audio and video working in Remo. Then I still didn't know if it was working, as I felt like I was talking over the top of people, and/or being ignored. Then they would go back into presentation mode, and it would completely fuck all my settings again.

I would have to spend another 5 minutes fucking around refreshing the browser, changing the audio and video settings, changing the system audio settings, just in time for them to do something and completely fuck them all up again.

I was left standing on the outside, looking in. It was pointless.

Even when it was "working", I had issues hearing/seeing the questions.

This is all what I tried to explain on the chat last night. We needed a secondary way to be able to communicate, even just typing, separate from that fucking shit platform. No one did it, so fuck it.

I know I wasn't the only person with these issues. I had the global chat thing open, and it was full of people complaining that they couldn't hear or see anything. Fucking useless.

Rant over.

So, that's that. I am probably finished with the WTN now, because I am sure as shit not going back out to the middle of fucking nowhere FU Centre with expensive parking, and shitty expensive beer and crappy food, and there's no way in fuck I am going to bother trying to use Remo ever again.

When the WTN comes around again next year, I will probably just make a donation to the Children's Aid Foundation myself, and be done with it.

I guess I'm still a bit pissed because back in 2012, they told us that the first team to raise $1000 in donations would get their registration fee refunded.. So we all donated to ourselves to make up the $1000 for the team, and then when we tried to get our registration fees refunded, they came back and gave us some bullshit excuse about how it had been a misunderstanding, and we'd just get a chance to win our registration fees back..

I realise it's all for charity, but still, that meant I ended up donating a lot more than is reasonable to expect one person to donate, and all 10 of us on the team got screwed the same way.

Just.. fuck.

Saturday 7 November 2020

VMware Shite

Recently this came up in my Facebag feed: 

Link: https://www.facebook.com/ubuntulinux/posts/10158514493598592?comment_id=10158578071988592

A comment, and my reply:

Days later, someone replied and asked "Why is that?". This lead me to write the following tirade, which I feel shouldn't be lost in the noise of Facebag's huge amount of crap..

A couple of years ago I had a job where I had to implement Site Recovery Manager, to manage a couple of redundant VMs which ran billing software, for an airport.

I nearly lost my mind trying to set it all up, it was so completely broken.

It was about a 60 page document of instructions I had to write on how to do it. Ask me, and I'll send it to you. (I lied, I just found it, it's only 40 pages long).

It needs like 5 "appliance" VMs VMware provide implemented to be able to do it.

Things like vcentre server, replication appliance/manager, some other thing with provided automation ("vRealize Operations Manager (VROM)") which seemed to actually do nothing.. Some other ones I can't remember what they were for..

So now our environment, of 2 redundant VMs, had turned into like 7.

I started trying to do it with VMware 6.1 I believe, and reached a point where the appliances were incompatible with each other, and had to start all over again with 6.5.

Half the appliances need to be deployed using the new HTML5 UI, or they won't work. They other half need to be deployed using the legacy Flash UI, or they won't work.

Someone wrote a 10 part series (!) on how to install it all: https://univirt.wordpress.com/.../a-step-by-step-guide.../

It even includes "One of the quirks I discovered when experimenting in my lab was that deploying the replication appliance using the HTML5 client will seem to work fine until you try to boot it at which stage you get an error (see KB55027). The only workaround is to use the older vSphere Web Client.", which is exactly what I discovered, after a huge waste of my time.

KB article confirming that this is just broken: https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/55027

There are lots of these articles.

One reference I just found in my document:

This install MUST be done via vCenter Server, using the “FLEX/web client”. Otherwise it will fail with an error about “Line 321 Unsupported Section” if you try to deploy the OVF via the VMware Hypervisor Web UI eg .10. See https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2041653 or using the HTML5 UI it will deploy, but not power on due to a missing binding, which is not created unless you deploy using the Flash/FLEX/web client. Ridiculous.

If anything goes wrong, you have to wipe everything and start again from scratch, installing ESXi on the hardware. I ended up scripting it since I had to do that about 30 times.

If you need to make any changes to those appliances, like the IP address, then you need to redeploy them. Which probably won't work, so you'll need to start again from scratch.

From my doc: When the status is complete, leave the VM powered off. If you power on the vSphere Replication appliance too soon, it will not have received the config file containing the networking and password settings, and you will not be able to access the appliance to configure it. You will power on the machine later when you configure it. If you see errors about a missing file in the console, you powered it on too soon.

These appliances would randomly get corrupted, and you'd need to redeploy them. Which usually didn't work, so you'd need to start again from scratch.

SRM only ran on Windows, so now you needed another pair of VMs, and Windows licences. (Apparently it's now available as YAA, Yet Another Appliance).

From my doc: In Windows, use Internet Explorer to go to https://172.2X.0.21/folder to access the VMware datastore. This will require dealing with a bunch of security errors, clicking “continue to this website (not recommended) about 12 times, adding exceptions or modifying zones and other nonsense.

Windows will break the file by renaming it and losing the .exe off the end so you can’t run it from the download dialogue. Find the file in the Downloads directory (“open folder”), fix the filename by renaming/re-adding .exe to the end, and then run it.

Once everything was "working".. SRM doesn't handle VMs with multiple network interfaces. Inside our VMs we use heartbeat and Corosync, so each VM had 3 (?) interfaces to talk to each other, stay in sync, and the floating virtual IP etc.

SRM would just pick a random interface each time you performed a failover, and reconfigure that random interface, so it pretty much never worked, as it would pick the wrong interface, and then corosync and heartbeat would fail, and the backup VM would steal the virtual IP address. And probably still not work, since VMware had misconfigured the routable interface.

I ended up having to disable all this functionality, and implement it via a shell script that ran on startup, so that the interfaces would be configured and reconfigured correctly.

From my doc: Don’t bother setting up any IP customisation, as it is pointless and only handles 1 interface/IP, and will lose all the other IPs, eg the DB IP, and for the HA/cluster, and if there is a bond it will probably modify the wrong interface.. The changeover of network settings is done within the VM, using a script which detects the network has changed, and reconfigures things as necessary.

I could have implemented the whole thing using KVM and rsync for free, in about 1/10th the time it took to get VMware "working", vs the almost $100k in licences it cost with VMware.

It doesn't support hot failover, like KVM does, so you had to (re)boot your VMs to move them.

Even when it was "working", when you tried to perform a (cold) failover, it would usually fail, and leave your VMs corrupted on both ends, so now you couldn't start them in either location.

From my doc: If the test fails for some reason, then it will error out, and you will have to “cleanup” the failed test, before you can try again.

If the attempted run (rather than test) of the failover fails, then you will end up in a state that may be difficult to recover from. The source host will be blocked from powering on the VM, and the destination may not exist, or not be able to be powered on.

To fix this situation you may need to try different things, including removing the protection from the VMs, and then attempting to restart them on the source host, and then reconfiguring the replication on them, and adding them back into the protection group(s)/recovery plan(s) again. It also may be necessary to forcefully delete the replication configured in SRM as the 2 hosts get out of sync with each other, and then you may need to go into the [ into the what?! Evidently I lost my mind/train of thought.. ].

As a result, you would need to take a backup of the VMs before you tried failing them over, so that when it would almost certainly fail, you could delete the VMs from both ends, restore the backup on the failed end, resync it, which would take hours, or days, and try again..

This backup meant using a third party tool, like Nakivo, as Veeam didn't support 6.5 yet. More licences, more costs..

If you could, by some miracle, actually get the failover to work, it invalidated the copy of the vdisks at the source site, which possibly makes sense, however you couldn't just reverse the replication and have it sync the changes back, oh no, it had to perform the entire replication from scratch from the backup/recovery site, back to the original site, which would take hours, or days, since it is across a WAN link.. Unlike using rsync, which would have taken a few minutes.

If your failback fails, then you need to restore your third party backups, and try again.. but not until you have waited hours, or days, for the replication of your restored VM(s) to complete.

I left this job after less than a year. This project was a major contributing factor in that decision.

A year later, after I had flown halfway around the world to the airport and the backup site to perform the installations of all the VMware shite, before I left that job, the project still wasn't put into production because it was so broken and unreliable.

No one else at the company could work out how I had even made it "work" as well as it did, read, hardly at all, and they actually contracted me back to show them how I had installed it, and got it working as barely as it did. (This is where the smashed TV came from.. Which I thought I had a post about, but cannot find..)

It's probably still not in production. It shouldn't be. It was a complete steaming pile of shit.

You know what I do now? At every opportunity I migrate VMs off VMware, onto KVM, or any other virtualisation technology.

Utter garbage.

Bonus content

There were other reasons I left that job, which for the work, other than the software/technologies I had to use, was a dream job, with travel, to places like Nairobi and Cairo, and I probably would have got to visit most of the main airports in Egypt..

One of my co-workers was a useless old fart, abusive, and a bully. He hauled me into his office at one point, and spent about 10 minutes yelling at me for having "wasted my time" writing scripts to automate tedious and error prone manual installation procedures, and that none of it would be used.

One of these reduced a 50 page install document into about 3 pages.

If I wasn't still on my probationary period, or at least, thought I was, because a few minutes after I came out of his office from being yelled at, I was told that I had made it through my probationary period, and had health coverage again.. I probably would have punched him in his stupid face.

Another one of the things I got abused for was using Google Docs to write my documentation, since I would go work in the lab doing stuff, and didn't want to always have to take my laptop with a Windows VM and Word on it, so I would write my documentation on any random machine logged into Google, and then when I got back to my laptop I could copy/paste it into Word..

One time this somehow caused the formatting, actually not even the formatting, just the display settings, eg it went into "read mode", or something other than the default "print layout" mode, so word wrap got disabled, and the hidden characters showing line feeds and carriage returns got turned on, so the old fart came out of his office with his laptop and came and stood behind me at my desk going "What did you do to this document?!" pointing at the screen.

"Uh, click View, Print Layout. And click that backwards P thing to turn off the hidden characters".

I explained that it probably happened because I used Google Docs instead of Word. "Well don't be doing that then! You can only use Word!".

I just found this in my doc: don’t copy and paste directly from this document, it has some weird characters in the front (the indents/spaces) which muck up the cfg file and syslinux will not work, so copy and paste the following into and out of a plain text editor first.

(There was some white space/tabs for indenting, and somehow Word managed to screw up blank space! It was like the em vs en dash shit which broke a bunch of stuff, all over again).

One other time he couldn't do something, and hauled me into his office and made me sit down at his laptop to do it for him/show him how to do it. I saw that he was using Internet Explorer. That's pretty much when I knew I was done at this job.

I think I had already contacted the recruiter who got me the job, by this point, when I started to have problems with this dude. The recruiter met with me for a coffee, and we had a chat about it.

He told me that the company had assured him that "this wouldn't happen again".

Things got worse.

At one point, when I was testing the startup script for the VMs to make sure that they would failover and failback properly, on the machines which I'd installed in Nairobi, evidently the old fart who was then in Nairobi, got pissed off because I kept rebooting the VMs, which I erroneously thought would be fine, because I thought it was the middle of the night there, when I was doing that testing.

He sent me an abusive email, and claimed that I was "going rogue", and telling me that I wasn't allowed to do anything unless he told me to do it. He wasn't even my manager.

I ended up putting in my notice. Here's the letter I handed in:

Hmm, apparently I used the wrong word, lead, instead of led.

While I was in Cairo, where I spent my 2 weeks notice, a co-worker who had travelled there with me asked me about it.

"So you couldn't handle [name]?".
"No. I don't put up with abuse and bullying".
"Oh, well you're the third person to quit for that reason".


Also, while I was in Cairo, I was sent some ~70 page install document to update, including the process of installing using a script I'd written. That added about half a page, since the script does a whole bunch of tedious things for you, including stuff like setting the timezone on the server (we put everything in UTC for simplicity, since we had machines all over the world in every timezone..).

I was then asked to include details of everything that the script does, and how to do it all without using the script.. Uhh, just use it, that's why I wrote it?

So that added about another 20 pages I had to write, explaining how to do all the things the script did, manually, but I made sure to include this image way into the document at the start of that section:

What are they going to do, fire me?

When we landed back in Ottawa, I got a "it was nice working with you", and my job was done.

I went into the office a couple of days later, to drop off my laptop and phone, pickup a wifi router I had left behind, and say goodbye to my co-workers. Most of them were very nice people, and I miss working with a few of them.