Secret CIO

Secret CIO firmly believes in the phrase, Feel Good Time.

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By  Secret CIO Published  November 9, 2008

As a rule, I am not a person of great emotion. Tears are for individuals lacking in fortitude, and/or oenophiles.

So you can imagine my considerable surprise when I found myself in Dubai this month in the back of a rather pungent taxi cab on the way back from the first day of GITEX when my eyes started absolutely welling up to the gunwales. About to pop, I believe, is the medical expression.

No, it wasn't the aroma of the taxi driver, although one could be forgiven for reaching that conclusion, as he clearly believes that water is something best reserved for Bank holidays.

Nor was it the financial meltdown - which doesn't normally bother me too much as most of my folding stuff mysteriously vanished last month in the ATM fraud debacle.

Although I should take this opportunity to profusely thank my UK-based brother-in-law, who had the inimitable foresight to place all my reserve cash in some Icelandic bank - because of the wonderful interest rates, you see.

I'm told my money will be returned to me from both sources in time for my actual old age.

The real reason for my current bout of unmanliness was the fact that I've just heard Scritti Politti's The Word Girl on the tinny taxi radio.

It's an unremarkable slice of 1980s synth-power-pop, belted out by probably the most questionable lead singer of all time - but I'm on the verge of big fat man-tears because it reminds me devastatingly of simpler times, when getting a girl to laugh was the hardest job in my life.

As this month's roundup of cretinous doings will shortly illustrate, it's all a little too much to take. No sooner had I left the office for the airport when I received a text saying a router had exploded in a brilliant flash of light. One does not like to complain, but a blinding flash never portends well.

Next - the network engineer resigns. Not a problem, his replacement has been groomed for this eventuality.

Except that there is a problem, because the replacement's gone on paternity leave. Which means that the main administrator is having to use all his time and energy to sort out the router explosion fiasco. Which means that one staffer from the core IT team has had to slip into his shoes.

Which means that we're one person short. This isn't normally a problem, but HR has decided that this is the best time to engage in a hiring spree, so there's a boatload of lost-looking people needing new machines set up, but with essentially no one to do it.

One day - possibly when we're past the Mesozoic Era - my team will realise that they're a man short.

Next - upper management (i.e, the Board of the Bored) has decided that the credit crunch needs tough action to beat these tough times. Accordingly, they've delayed all the projects they think they believe are non-essential.

So we've lost our new disaster recovery site, its overseas alternative, the bandwidth upgrade - and of course, the latest round of salary bumps for staff.

Of course, these tough decisions for tough times need tough sacrifices on their part as well. I'm told they've gone as far as deciding to sell their extravagant SUVs in a bid to cut down on company petrol usage, instead opting to use shared transport.

A noble idea, certainly - if only public transport didn't mean a new GulfStream V jet to ferry all of them to and from Europe every week.

And that's not counting the fact that we've had to issue new security passes to everyone after our printers accidentally e-mailed the design templates to our biggest rivals - along with our account details and credit card numbers, naturally.

No, I'm not going to cry, no matter how much I wish I was 12 years old again and could just run outside to escape this litany of lunacy. Oh hang on - there's another text coming in.

It's the CEO, who has just picked up a copy of the local rag and is asking why we didn't nominate something for this Arab Technology Awards malarkey. Seems his best mate is crowing something fierce - waved the award about at dinner, apparently.

Something cuts through the haze of rage - it's the next song. Tears for Fears, Mad World.

Plop, plop, plop.

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