May 8th, 2020

children of dune - leto 1

work warfare in the modern era

So at work, they upgraded eight of the phones we use for app testing, and I am the proud not-owner-but-keeper of:

Three (3) iPhone 11
Two (2) iPhone 11 Pro
Two (2) Samsung Galaxy S10+
One (1) Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Not Upgraded For Regression Testing
One (1) Samsung Galaxy S8
One (1) iPhone 7

How Did This Go Wrong, Though?

I'm glad you asked.

When we order phones for testing, they are in a different group from work phones aka phones used as phones for work.

The initial and first upgrade, they came to us, I charged them, transferred the SIM cards from the old phones to the new, upgraded the OS, installed the App Center where test builds of the mobile apps we test are uploaded and we download for testing, etc. Easy.

This time, the Samsung phones performed as always. The iPhones...did so very not.

The iPhones were locked down like a Crusader's wife in a chastity belt. The second I turned them on to do the welcome and they connected with the internet, they downloaded the Work Profile and you can literally do nothing with the iPhones but make calls; you can't even change the wallpaper. It wasn't just locked down in general; everything I need to do, including download the Apple Store to get anyconnect so we can test over VPN and install the test profile--nope.

Me: Fuck my life.

Here's where it gets complicated: I don't know how we get these phones.

The state buys them, sure, I know what department does ordering, and there's a name on the box of who made the order, but that just tells me who was in charge of ordering shit that day in IT not who actually gave or approved the order. This is like the work version of fairies dropping off shit in the night; I still don't know entirely how I got all those USB cords I wrote about in an earlier entry, I just sent off the list with prices picked from Official Major Retailer Wholesale Book and sent the email out to my manager. I know who I got the book from, and I know it was sent to IT (another IT group), but after that, it may be witchcraft or something.

(My manager also doesn't know, because they don't tell him. He just sends it to IT and witchcraft, as I said.)

The Journey Begins Here

Manager, Part I

Me: *explains*
Manager: ...
Manager: Let's start with help desk.
Me: This is going to take a while, I think.

The IT Help Desk: The Ticket

I say this with respect; they aren't qualified to deal with this because this does not fall under their area, they have nothing to do with phones. This is literally nothing to do with them; this part of IT deals with passwords and permissions and resets and software installs. But that's where I had to start because witchcraft.

First, I explained what I wanted; then I explained my job; then I explained how my job (testing mobile apps) related to the iPhones. I don't blame them--a surprising number of people don't realize software does not fall from the sky like manna, much less there's a testing process and help desk simply does not deal with any of this--but it took a while. They made a ticket and said wait. They were great.

Me: This isn't going to work.

Ticket Answered: The IT Guy

The IT Guy has been helping me with a variety of things I want to do with a work laptop that is inexpertly locked down after far too many times, I unknowingly hacked it and had to stop and belatedly find out if I was breaking state law or work rules. I won't apologize for wanting certain things in a certain way in my workspace. Seriously, that was stressing.

(IT Guy is Awesome.)

Now, IT Guy does know my job, but again, help desk does not do this; their job is going in and fix people doing weird shit or installing software if we get special permission or reset our password when we enter it three times in capslock--that kind of thing. After a lot of chatting, he sent it to Mobile IT.

Me: ...oh God no

Mobile IT: The Reckoning

Mobile IT Guy was also awesome, but now we run into a problem. He does know phones for work use; he knows about mobile apps the state creates that clients use; he does not know about the testing process of those apps that clients use or that there existed a category of mobile phones that are for testing.

So I had to explain my job--twice--then how no, these aren't phones that clients can borrow in offices to use the app, and no, this ins't my work phone, it's a test phone. He was baffled; I didn't blame him.

He did however realize this bullshit.

Him: [Analyst] might help.
Me: Thank you!
Me: *after hanging up* I am never getting these phones unlocked.

Manager Part II

I called him to shorten the horror.

Me: They said to call [Analyst]. Can you email her and find out if she's our person?
Him: Sure.
Him: *emails the IT ticket to her asking for help*
Me: Thanks!
Me: *after seeing email* He forgot to tell her who we are, what we do, and what we want.
Me: I hate fucking everything.

The Analyst

She emails promptly, properly baffled, and I broke down my job, what the phones were for, why we can't use them like this, and asked if she was the right person or if she knew who we should contact. I did not cry.

Her: [Name] might help. I'll forward your email.
Me: This is Hell and...wait, I recognize that name.

The Name I Recognize

Him: Oh, they just need to be removed from Mobile IT's list. Send me the serial numbers and I'll do it.
Me: You're fucking with me.


Now, they're still working on it, but. It took me a few seconds to realize why I knew his name. When we first got testing phones for mobile--that's almost five years ago--his name was on the Galaxy 5 boxes. I had to look at it every day for two-ish years before our first upgrade and apparently, it stuck. None since--they have some random name of someone that I'm not sure even works for the state--but that first shipment, it was him.

I went to look at his profile in outlook. I still have no idea how his department, area, and unit have anything to do with this--his job title is not helpful--or how my testing phones got into Mobile IT or what kind of hellscape this is; all I learned is his name and that he can Do Shit With Mobile Testing Phones. And this poor man now has been labeled in my Contact List as just that.

Sure, my iPhones are still useless, but I did beat bureaucracy, so there's that.

But I still have no idea how we're getting these phones. Posted at Dreamwidth: | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments