Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Wednesday, August 22, 2001

Hell is a place on earth...
I dragged my bones out of bed this morning as I HAVE to be in work today. There is a guy coming from Dell to build some server kit that just been delivered and he needs my guidance. So before leaving the house I take a few Day Nurse to set myself up for the morning and keep this wretched cold at bay. The drugs do their work as I travel in on the tube. The morning fog rolls in. As I approach the door at work I can tell something is wrong though.

I can see a sea of faces. And they’re not happy ones. In fact the company is up in arms. No one can logon, no one can access their files, read e-mail or access the Internet. They circle me like Frankenstein's crazed villagers with lighted torches. I rush to the computer room my heart pounding; wolfing down a couple of Neurofen en route as I’m starting to get a headache. After some frantic dashing from system to system I discover a rogue DHCP server has been screwing things up royally overnight. Users have been given wrong IP addresses. Why? How? Major fire fighting starts. I try to pacify the screaming hordes. Phones calls flood in from all over. Stress level rise. Dell guy phones to say he's got his dates mixed up he'll be here tomorrow. But that's too late! Voices are raised. Finally I track down the rogue DHCP server. It is put to an agonising death. Word gets out that things are now OK again and the roar of discontent starts to subside. Users start to calm down. Reboot and you’ll be fine. Reboot and you’ll be fine, I say.

It's 10:15 and I've not been to my office yet. I take a couple more Neurofen for good luck and head back office bound. Along the way I see a new bod I've not seen before. "Hello, I'm new today. Can I have a computer, a phone, logon access, e-mail, internet access, an library database designed and running by 10am, please?" Stupidly I say, “but it’s gone 10 now”. She scowls. Oh dear, we’ve got off on the wrong foot. Then my boss comes up and says, "Sorry, forgot to tell you, the Southampton office also has a new person starting today. Can you arrange an extra computer, a phone, logon access, e-mail, internet access etc etc this morning 10:30am latest?" I go back to my office trying hard to think how I can magic computers and telephones out of thin air. But it's not easy to concentrate due to the rapid onset of the effects from the second dose of the Neurofen.

As I walk in the phone is ringing. It's the new bod from Southampton already. "Where's my computer?" Then the new librarian walks into my office without asking. "When you design this database for me can you include blah, blah, blah?" And my boss walks in and joins in, "Jonathan, can you…blah, blah, blah, blah, blah?" And my eyes glaze over and I just watch them through a fog of painkillers. "Blah?" "Blah, blah, blah" "Blah, blah?" "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah?" I don't hear what they say. I just see their lips moving and their eyes darting at me and then at each other.

After a while they stop talking. I come to. I can suddenly hear them. They both look at me and say, "Well?" I nod slowly not knowing what I've agreed to. They leave. Thank God.

I just sit down in my chair and stare at my screen feeling spaced. After a while my head bobs forward. I’m tired. Really tired. I'm ill and I'm tired. I need to sleep… and dream of sheep.

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