Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×
User Journal

Journal Chacham's Journal: Chronicle: Brothers meet, old ticket, cell & running water. 2

A couple of strange things. I was at the bakery this morning and saw someone ostensibly buying food from the clerk who was his brother. It just seemed strange. I think i had a similar feeling some years ago whilst watching C-SPAN and C-SPAN2, seeing Carl Levin delivering a speech on one, and his brother Sander yapping on the other.

The second thing was a call i received this morning from the help desk. Something about the oldest ticket in their queue. OK i thought, as i handle database requests for our team, he was following up on something (which would indeed be very strange). I opened my Excel sheet to find it, and asked him for the ticket number. First character is a "B". Did he say "B"? Yes he did. Hmm... that's no database ticket, that's a Help Desk ticket. (I should have listened when he first spoke.)

He continued to describe an issue of the database and glibc. I had no idea what he was talking about. My desktop in XP and although we have Oracle running on Linux, i don't usually touch anything there, and certainly not glibc.

I asked him to verify it was me, and so on. So, i did a search in my emails (Outlook isn't *that* bad), and found it. Finally it hit me. Oh, _that_ issue!

We were trying to install the Oracle client on a Linux box so we could run SQL*Loader. The install was quite unhappy with us, and we got the cryptic:

*** glibc detected *** free(): invalid next size (normal): 0x0806fbd0 ***
*** glibc detected *** free(): invalid next size (normal): 0x0806fd40 ***

With a little search, i found i wasn't the first to bump into this mysterious (does Xellos ever go away?) error, as Kevin Closson was kind enough to post about it, and explain the issue as having a kernel name longer than thirty characters.

It's bad enough that Oracle restricts some of its own internal names to thirty characters, but the kernel too?! And our SLES 9 kernel had 42 characters. Aside from general 42 goodness, this was an issue.

So, we did two things. We opened a ticket, and we copied a working install from another instance, bypassing the Oracle Universal installer. Relying on support groups is an excuse, not a practical answer.

All is good and well. Months of good and well. Then the phone rang. "Oldest ticket" meant nearly six months! Sheesh! He said that being it works, it was no longer an issue, and he asked if he could close the ticket.

Wait a moment. We're planning on upgrading to 10g in the next release, if things work out. That may require a new client install. Is the issue resolved? Well, he told me about the official installs, that he couldn't test it (so why is her calling me?), and that so-and-so was in charge of these things, so i could contact him. Besides, being there have been later releases it was most probably tested.

One thing was obvious. He wanted to close the ticket. I just had to say the magic words. But i wanted to get something out of this. How about we put the ticket to rest, if he will help me later.

I asked rhetorically if we would have to wait six months again if the issue is still extant. He said that i could always contact him. Good, get a record of that. I asked him to send me an email, so i would have his email address, and that it should state that the issue is closed, but i should contact him if it arises again. Then, i said, he could close the ticket.

Happy an joy were evident through the phone. Moments later the call ended and i received two emails. The closure and the survey request. I should have verified an actual email confirming his commitment *before* allowing him to close the ticket. Ugh, you win some, you lose some. I guess it is my fault, as i have not yet ingrained the trickery one must use to get anything done in a non-small company.

Would you believe some people in India do not have 24/7 running water, but they do have cell phones? The world is indeed a strange place.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Chronicle: Brothers meet, old ticket, cell & running water.

Comments Filter:
  • Some help desk operations judge their people on number of tickets closed in reasonable amounts of time. Thus it is always better for the help desk people if you close an old ticket and reopen a new one even if it is the same issue. Closed doesn't mean "erased from the database" in most help desk systems, it just means "removed from the worker's priority list".

Mathematicians practice absolute freedom. -- Henry Adams