Current mood: frustated.

I’ve spent a week dealing with a client situation that had any number of quick and simple solutions, but none of them could be implemented, because a corporate IT department got involved. As many of you know, this is the kiss of death for simplicity, as IT departments seem to exist for three reasons only:

  1. To provide a forum for pissing contests where distance and size are measured, and where the people who get pissed on are the ones who need help from the department permission to solve problems they’re quite capable of handling for themselves if given the chance.
  2. To answer 50% of all requests either with “we can’t do that because (insert bullshit reason they don’t think you’re smart enough to recognize as bullshit).”
  3. To answer the other 50% of requests by saying “we can only do that by implementing the most convlouted solution possible, preferably by installng some obscure and expensive utility on a new server that we’ll have to spend six months buying and testing and that don’t have the budget for. And by the way, it may also make the user experience a little clunky since they’ll need three passwords and a specific proprietary FTP client to use the email form.”

I could have had my client set up with a solution to this problem a week ago. Instead, I have a big pile of bullshit hanging over my head, most of which I can’t even bill for, because I’m not really doing anything other than sitting around waiting for them to make up their minds about how much more complicated they can make the whole fucking process. This is a really small and simple thing, the kind of thing that I probably would’ve billed an hour or two for, and they’re acting like I want to rewrite their whole bloody webserver from scratch, while creating free admin accounts for Ukranian spammers in the process.

Note to certain corporate IT drones: web designers nowadays are pretty gosh darn tech savvy and often know more about many aspects of webservers and PHP than you do. We also know when you’re bullshitting, overreacting, and overcomplicating, and we’re not afraid to share that knowlege with our clients, most of whom are as frustrated with you as we are — and are therefore inclined to trust us more than they trust you.

Sometimes people need to understand when a solution that works fine and causes no problems will suffice. The perfect “by the book” solution is not always necessary, particularly when it takes twenty times more effort to implement than the current problem demands. Yes, I know that complicated solutions are sometimes needed, but not for every small issue that arises.