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Wildfires and Rogue Users

Wildfires and Rogue Users

What percentage of IT departmental time is devoted to rescuing the intransigent?

As I write this, the Southern California skies over my home are brown with the smoke of more than a dozen wildfires. Luckily, none of my family and friends has been affected so far, but as many as half a million people have already been evacuated.

I must confess that I find myself filled with a familiar sense of outrage listening to the fire chiefs on the local news, because it seems that they are dealing with the same problems we in IT often face -- intransigent users. Only in their case, it's more than a wasteful annoyance -- it's a life-threatening emergency.

It seems that a large percentage of firefighters are not fighting the fires. Instead, they are spending their time rescuing people who refused to evacuate their homes. Firefighters are risking their lives to save those who have ignored repeated requests and demands that they leave. It seems reasonable that they would have to rescue some people -- the elderly, infirm or incapacitated -- but the stubborn?

Reporters interview the recently rescued and not one of them says, "No one told me to leave." They all say the same sorts of things. Each has some kind of excuse.

"I had a garden hose and was planning to save my house."

"I didn't think that it would get this bad."

"I didn't think that the evacuation order applied to me."

Does this sort of atti­tude sound familiar to you?

"I just didn't like the approved cell phones, so I got my own."

"I didn't think that the restriction on installing downloaded software applied to me."

"My code is so clean that I don't need QA."

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