Secret CIO

Secret CIO escapes cut-price IT hell for cut-price holiday hell.

  • E-Mail
By  Secret CIO Published  June 21, 2008

"Will you stop SCREAMING!" I shout, shaking him by the shoulders.

But to no avail - my son continues his freestyle impression of Edvard Munch's famous painting - that or Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone. He's been at this for five minutes now, staring into the middle distance, his mouth a perfect 'o' of misery.

I can't see what all the fuss is about, myself - it's not like we've taken away his games console or anything. In fact he should really be happy - it's not every day we book a holiday to one of the most majestic and famous regions in the world. Ok - Scotland. Ok, ok - Aberdeen.

In fact, I can't even claim that I'll be enjoying it; there's a famous PG Wodehouse quote - "It is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine" - and sadly in my limited experience, the denizens of Aberdeen have much to be aggrieved about.

The blame for this boreal excursion falls squarely with She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed. Getting it into her head that we need to remodel the kitchen - and therefore need to save money - she's been looking for cut-price alternatives to our annual summer getaway for some time.

I had hoped this thrifty zeal might wear itself out as she worked her way through the unpalatable alternatives - but unfortunately, fate intervened in the form of her Aunt Agatha (not her real name).

(Great) Aunt Agatha is 92, and the last remaining member of my wife's family in Scotland - and apparently looking somewhat frail these days. Therefore, one of my better half's (normally quite sane) siblings decided this summer would be the perfect opportunity to spend some time with the agèd relative.

The reality, of course, will be somewhat at odds with the rose-tinted vision my wife has in her head; Aunt Agatha was a cackling harridan five years ago, and Aberdeen and its folk less than welcoming - neither are likely to have improved with age. The Brat was too young to object seriously on our last visit - judging by his vocal performance, he's making up for lost time now.

However, the holiday will have one crucial advantage for yours truly - it will get me out of the office during what is likely to be a somewhat trying time for anyone associated with the IT department.

As my more devoted readers may recall, late last year my firm's e-mail server was on the brink of total meltdown - without the budget or planning to replace it.

Well, guess what - even after some frantic negotiation, our resident bean counters refused to give me the budget we needed to implement a really top-notch e-mail system. Instead, we ended up with not even a second-tier system - in fact I'm not sure our system can be described as having a tier, so much as a hole. Possibly around six feet deep.

It's been in place for five months now, and has been coping - barely - with our e-mail needs. However, come the summer, a new division is getting up and running - and I know for a fact the staff will be sending round a lot of big PDFs.

At this point, the cut-price e-mail system will have three choices: blow up, melt, or dump any e-mail larger than 50kbytes. My guess is one of these will happen on about day three of the new operation - coincidentally just about the time the Brat's scream will reach a new crescendo on our cut-price holiday in the wilds of Scotland, as he embraces his sadly-not-long-lost relative.

I think my wife would like our company bean counters. Perhaps they can all go on holiday together next year. Without me.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code