Finger Pointing Fiasco

Finger Pointing

This morning, Chet and I mosied over to give Deana the business. In case you missed it, yesterday, Deana reset a special nursing application password. It caused a chain reaction and effectively locked up many nursing workstations in multiple areas. Deana snapped at Chet, “Don’t give me that look.” Chet innocently exclaimed, “What look?” Deana’s manager, Mary jumped in, “Yeah, you guys can’t say anything. It’s your manager’s fault.” Deana continued, “Yeah I had no idea. If anything, YOU guys need to train me better!” Let the finger pointing begin.

Mary continued, “When this happened last time. Your manager should have done more to prevent this.” The last time this happened, over a year ago, everyone was on high alert about this special account. I chimed in, “The point was hammered home with the desktop team because they normally are the first line of defense in these cases.” However, Deana and Roger were not part of the team yet and it looks like this point was missed or forgot about in training.

Deana fired, “That’s the problem. No one communicates anything to us operators! We need to know these things too. Everything can’t just be told to desktop!” Chet and Mary joined forces, “Yes, but how can we train you on every little scenario? Now that this happened, we can learn from this.” Mary then went on the attack. “But regardless, I would not have changed the password for an application. Secondly, speaking of communication, if you learn something new Deana, you need to better communicate with your team, too.” Deana, who has a bit of a short fuse, did not take kindly to Mary’s remarks. Her face turned red as she raised her voice, “Why should I? No one shares any information with anyone!” Mary countered, “Yeah, but you can’t just be keeping things to yourself. That’s selfish!” I jumped in to break them apart as emotions were boiling over.

“Everyone take a step back. Look Deana, I know you are taking some heat on this one. But take a step back. Even for me, when I worked with third party vendors on their specialized software, I make sure to fill in Chet and my manager so there is no single point of failure. If I go on vacation, and something goes wrong, Chet will be left scrambling and forced to reinvent the wheel.” Deana snarled, “Why waste time sharing things I learn when I am the only one with that task anyway. No one else on my team does what I do. It’s a waste of time to share because other operators aren’t allowed to do it!” Mary and Deana have some deeper rooted issues. I shifted my attention to Mary. “Deana and Roger were not here yet, but Mary you were. Do you remember what happened after the first operator made this mistake?” Mary replied, “I heard it was for something else. I did not know it was for this nursing application. Regardless, that is water under the bridge. We need to focus on how to make sure this doesn’t happen again.” Nice parry, Mary.

Per Mary’s suggestion, a warning message of ***DO NOT CHANGE PASSWORD*** was added to the nursing application account description. Chet suggested we audit our special accounts. Then we make it well known to everyone and add it to future employee training not to touch them. I’m more behind the scenes so I am researching ways to lockdown special accounts so only senior level engineers can modify them. Honestly, this level of rigor should have been done the first time. We got fooled twice so shame on us. After these extra steps, let’s hope there isn’t a third.

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