Sep 09

The politically correct way to say no.

Often in my job I’m asked to do things that I’m just not able to say yes to. Most of the time it’s security related and sometimes is just because there’s no money available. Sometimes it’s both.

For example today I was asked if a public site which has fairly sporadic public internet access and extremely outdated hardware in both access points and router was capable of supporting a completely secure, wireless, web based, third party tax solution utilizing this public internet access. The home user answer is “Maybe.. what? taxes nooo!”. The security aspect answer is “Not secure! they’ll get hacked easily!”. The technical answer is “Yes but the internet sucks and they APs are on their last leg so we’ll get calls about it a lot so no.”  

The professional answer is that sure it can be done but the infrastructure needs to be upgraded as well as the internet connection if it’s going to meet their security requirements as well as provide some form of reliability for business purposes.

The guttural part of me just wants to shout out “You spend money yes! You no spend money… No!” 

As thats not usually acceptable by management standards we must resort to PC (politically correct) speak to sound more professional as well as to play the convenient cover our [bleep] card. What comes out is almost form letter like yet technically professional and accurate.

“Currently the internet connection at [site] is running off of service provided by [isp] and is non-secured through the facility for direct internet access to the public. The access points at this location are not considered to be enterprise class nor is the internet service connection to [isp] guaranteed by any service level agreement.

We have enterprise access points budgeted for next year for the site however a secondary router would need to be purchased in order to secure any traffic that is not considered “public” access. This hardware was not budgeted and would cost approximately [money] on top of the AP costs.

We also recommend that an internet service plan supported by a service level agreement be put in place for this location as well. The cost of this plan is [money] but is not covered under the current budget proposal. Without these three pieces in place we can not recommend utilizing this connection for any business critical application.”

Seems kinda crazy that as networking professionals we’ve had to resort to such strict forms of communication but such is life. If you read this post, please let me know what crazy scenarios you’ve had to be overly PC in replying to. 🙂