When I read your email, I thought it was beautiful, even though I know nothing, whatsoever, of the technicalities of IBM computers, their data-structures, or JCL.
Please beware, however. If you are going to make those kinds of investigations, you might see things that none of your colleagues will have seen.
NONE of them.
And that difference in experience MIGHT cause an inability for them to understand you, if/when you try to explain something to them.
One day, on my old [non-IBM] computer, I was working on a task, for work. And I used a COBOL program to “grab” some unallocated disk-space.
And, before I did anything with it, I “dumped” it to my screen, byte-by-byte. MAYBE --it was too long ago, for me to be able to remember the details of “why?” or “how?”-- I kept the program from “crashing” by evaluating each byte, before displaying it.
[i.e., something like…
… “IF NOT ALPHANUMERIC
And it was in that moment, when I realized that “DELETED (or ‘modified’/‘over-written’)” files aren’t actually “overwritten-with-zeros”, but are merely “rendered invisible” by…
…changing the “value” of the “pointer” that tells the operating-system where or is located,…
…and causing that “pointer” to “point to” some new location, on that disk.
So, how did I react, to that “evidence” and that knowledge? I simply started using an operating-system option, to “zero-out”/“overwrite-with-zeroes” every byte of all deallocated disk-space.
The only think that happened, was, that I knew I was “good”, conscientious, and protective of my organization and its people.
BUT, later on, a few years later, my private/personal email account (provided by my own ISP) was bombarded with SPAM. HUNDREDS of emails per day.
The content of those emails looked exactly like the “screen-dumps” I had made, of unformatted, previously-allocated disk-space.
So, I started examining it, to see if I could figure out where those emails were coming from.
And I went insane. Because, it looked like the parts that were human-readable were emails or word-processing documents that were contemplating revolution!
And I couldn’t report it, because the people I tried to report it to, told me not to come back, or I’d be arrested.
In order to hold onto whatever shreds of sanity that remained to me, in those days, I had to tell myself that everyone was “playing dumb” or “pretending to be stupid”, in order to cause me to believe that I was “imagining things” or “making a mountain out of a mole-hill”, in order that I would stop talking about something that was “above my pay-grade”, so that they --the ones who were paid to solve exactly those kinds of problems-- could “take care of it”, without having to deal with the kind of frantic, drug-addicted “elementary-school-kid” that I, surely, seemed to be, in their eyes, in those days.
Stay away from drugs, whatever you do.
And don’t walk alone, in your investigations.
I don’t care if your company makes Barbie™-dolls or nostril-hair-clippers! Be careful.
PS: In the old “Scooby-Doo” [cartoon] TV-show, there was no “haunted house” or “witchcraft”/“magic” that wasn’t, in actuality, a criminal who was trying to “cover his tracks”.
But, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and alcoholism/drug-use can cause things that SEEM to be criminal (or, merely, “malicious”) activity, but which are, in fact, the result of “sleep-walking” or “black-out” that people simply can’t recall, the next day. --ljp2