Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What is the Deadly Whisper?

I've got something going on at work today, a phenomenon which I've seen several times in my IT career. Up until now I don't know of any name that has been given to it, so I am going to name it right now. I call it, the Deadly Whisper.

The Deadly Whisper is when you have a computer problem manifesting on a small but significant number of machines. During the troubleshooting process, somebody says "Maybe it's {product} that's causing the problem." That initial whisper leads to more people saying it and eventually most people in the office are convinced that {product} is the cause of the problem. Mind you, there is very little evidence to support this, and there may even be evidence to the contrary. However, the system administrator is stuck trying to prove that {product} is not the cause of the problem. Any evidence that {product} is not the cause is explained away as insignificant, but any insignificant evidence that {product} is the cause is consider unassailable proof.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Deadly Whisper is especially prevalent in regards to the network. I've heard "the network is slow" or "it's got to be the firewall" about a thousand times.