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This is a question Worst Person for the Job

In a week where it emerges that the new Health Secretary is a fan of the hocus-pocus that is homeopathy, tell us about people who are spectacularly out of their depth in a job. Have you ever found yourself wallowing in your own incompetence? Tell us. (Note: "Name of football manager/politician - nuff said" does not constitute an answer)

(, Thu 6 Sep 2012, 12:48)
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The comedy engineer
Once upon a time i was working for a small IT company in the depths of sleepy Surrey. We were understaffed and had a lot of work coming up, so when one of the secretaries said her other half was really good with computers we thought it was worth a shot. Had we ever overheard her talking on the phone to him we may have taken a different path. He believed himself to be a unique talent in this world able to turn his hand to anything.

we first learned that he overestimated his skills after hearing the father of the secretary threaten to punch his lights out if he ever tried to fix her car again as it cost him 300 to get the bonnet and bodywork repaired after some of his expert maintenance.

Our concerns as to his geek skills were first raised when after being perplexed by how to open a dell pc he took to breaking the case by wrenching at it with full force instead of pressing the button and opening it, in front of its owner.

He showed no remorse for any action and would dive in without thought. A client in a business house bought their own mail server so they didn't have to use that of the business house, he configured the mail accounts all by himself, but when he couldn't figure out why they were not receiving mail he was perplexed, after we told him the accounts on the business house server were still active and picking the mail up and he would need to get them to deactivate the accounts. filled with his own confidence he decided to try it without help. 250 deleted accounts and 9 companies email configurations wiped later he was removed from that server and told never to enter that building again.

Many times he would phone up for help with an issue, step by step instructions would be given, which were ignored, then asked for again and followed, and when he got back to the office would proceed to tell the person who baby stepped him through metaphorically wiping his own arse exactly how he solved the conundrum of wiping his own arse.

not to be outdone by the email server shenanigans, the next week he went to another client, the job was to change the name of the accounts user after her marriage. he wiped out their accounts data from the accountants pc and the server, deleting over 150 custom written invoicing templates that had been created over 4 years.

we decided actually being allowed on a computer was too much for him, so we trained him up to install network cabling runs. Which of course he then believed himself to be the best cabling engineer in the world.

His first job was to install 35 points in an office, 17 worked. in his words "Thats bloody good considering im colourblind" (getting the correct colours in the correct pins in faceplates is kind of important, a bit like oxygen being kind of necessary to live)

i left the company for another job, the last i heard of him he was moving to devon to become a caravan salesman, but to me he will always be the greatest engineer i have ever met
(, Fri 7 Sep 2012, 22:57, closed)

I've met him. Not that actual person, perhaps, but the archetype. Annoying, but sort-of entertaining in their jaw-dropping ability to balls up even the most straightforward of tasks.

Have a click.
(, Sat 8 Sep 2012, 11:34, closed)

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