His Thin Skin

His Thin Skin

Jul 26, 2019


A scheduled flip of services from one datacenter to the next.


The Empire

Fodder would travel to The Corporation’s headquarters in Dallas, for the scheduled migration of services from one datacenter to another. This was a FISMA requirement that they had failed on the previous attempt - and they needed it to succeed this time, come hell or high water.

Upon arrival, Fodder would take-in the impressive building. Upon every wall, from floor-to-ceiling, were hundreds - perhaps thousands - of software patents. These continued down the various hallways and corridors. Every available surface was covered in trophies, plaques, and medals for over 30 years of work within the Prison system.

These people were clearly doing things that the vast majority of the world doesn’t know about.

$REDACTED would greet Fodder cheerily, showing him around the building. Fodder would shake the hand of a number of people that he’d be working with in the near future.

The Database Admin

$REDACTED would bring Fodder to meet his favorite Database Administrator, $REDACTED. After a brief conversation, $REDACTED would put on a fake laugh, touching her shoulder, and say:

“Oh, you’re such a sweetheart. You’re so cute! You’re always so adorable!”

She smiled politely.

Fodder’s skin crawled. The way he said it, and the way he touched her made him uncomfortable. Fodder knew that this wasn’t the first time he’d crossed a line.

The Project

That evening, at precisely 10pm, 30 different people would pile into the command center for the scheduled migration. One by one, each person would perform their duties, then sit quietly for the rest of the time.

Never has Fodder witnessed a more broken, tedious, and boring change control process. The team hit problem after problem, while the vast majority of the room could do nothing to help - because of the separation of powers at-play. Each person was dedicated to their area of expertise, and no one but $REDACTED understood the whole process well enough to provide meaningful feedback.

16 hours later, the migration was over. Fodder was tired, agitated, and had a whole notebook full of feedback to provide. However, he was tired, so he returned to his hotel room for some sleep.

The Celebration

The next day, $REDACTED and Dave would take the core team out to celebrate the successful migration. $REDACTED would take them to a high-end steak place. At one point, he would make the comment:

“I come here at least once a month. I probably spend $400-$500 a month here.”

“Man, I need this guy’s job,” Fodder said sarcastically, nodding in his direction.

The table laughed.

Later, $REDACTED would pull Fodder to the side, angerly saying:

“You need to stop worrying about money. This isn’t about the money.”

“I know,” Fodder replied, “It was just a joke.”

“I put my neck on the line for you. NOBODY gets an opportunity like this. Don’t embarrass me again.”

“Okay,” Fodder said, annoyed by the reprimand. He wouldn’t have made the joke if $REDACTED hadn’t been bragging about his wealth.

“If you don’t want to be here, then leave,” he said, “Just know, if you do, I’m coming with you. This shit is important.”

What in the world did he mean by that?

“Remember, if anything ever happens, make ME the bad guy.”


data.stats.symptoms [
    - agitation
    - boredom


Calling out your name

I hear they only lay you down

Do what you have to make it right


I won’t be your holy roller

Everywhere I go, it rains on me

Carry on with your own life

When I tell you you’re the one, you run like hell

— from Thank You Scientist - “Feed the Horses”