Many years ago, when I worked for a living, my main skill was knowing who to call when things went wrong in the Brokerage Firm world of order processing. Oh I knew some rules, regulations and stuff, but mostly, when we had a computer problem, I knew who to call. Often as not the person I called already knew there was an issue and they were on the case.
My boss, Joe Schleck, was always looking for the status of any systems failure. He knew two people to call, the head of computer programming, or the head of mainframe operations. Joe knew his stuff, but most of his knowledge came before smart machines.
As an aside, Joe knew stuff, but he also occasionally showed signs of not being the shiniest coin in the fountain. He often demonstrated his dimness with little things. For instance, I am not the best speller, but I knew that a stock transaction was called a trade and it was spelled T-R-A-D-E. No matter how many times it was brought to his attention, Joe spelled trade…T-R-A-I-D. Our department was responsible for trades executed on the New York Stock Exchange, commonly known as the NYSE. I once joked that Joe could not spell NYSE if you spotted him the N and the E.
If there was a computer mainframe problem Joe would demand to talk to the head of mainframe operations, Emmett Janco. Joe had worked with Emmett for over twenty years, yet he always called him Jansco.
Emmett knew his business, but his right hand man, Billy Mac was the real go to guy.
Every time there was a mainframe problem I would call Billy Mac. Typically he would say, “I’m on it, I’ll get right back to you.” I would then report to Joe S. that mainframe operations was aware of the issue and they’re working on a fix.
“Who’d you call?”
“Billy Mac? What’s he know? Marie, get me Jansco on the phone.”
“Do you mean Emmett Janco?”
“Mr. Janco is on the line.”
“Jansco! What the hell is going on over there? When are we going to be back in business?”
“I’ll get right on it.”
Five minutes later Emmett gets back and tells him we’ll be up in two minutes.
“OK then thanks.
Jansco says will be up in two minutes. Dammit Hagy I keep telling you, if you want anything done, you need to go to the top.”
Every time this happened, and it happened a couple of times a week, I would go back to my office and there would be a call from Billy Mac.
“We’ll be up in a minute…and why did Schleck have to call Emmett? He came in asking a bunch of questions I had to stop what I was doing. We would have been up five minutes ago if he just left me alone...Friggin Janco.”
“I know, but you know my boss...Friggin Schleck!”