Sharky

Long drive, short putt

January 18, 2013 6:00 AM EST

Just after lunch, user calls pilot fish to report there's no Internet in this remote office.

"I ask if there are any lights on the routers and switches," says fish. "She says no, and says nothing has come back on after the power outage.

"I ask if the UPS, little white box that things are plugged into, is on. No, she says, it's not and it won't come on."

Fish hasn't dealt with this remote office before, so he asks around for the standard protocol. Turns out the standard protocol is that he drives the three and a half hours to the site in a company car -- and he needs to leave promptly, as it's already 1 p.m.

After an hour packing up all the gear and backup gear to replace the entire equipment set on-site if necessary, fish heads out.

But before he gets far, he gets another call: Another remote site that's three hours out and just a little out of his way is also having Internet problems.

He diverts to the second site. He takes a quick look at the networking gear and asks if anyone knows what happened to the cable that used to be plugged into this circuit. The only answer: "Someone moved it." Fifteen minutes of crimping late, fish is getting high-fives for restoring the Internet.

Back in the car, he's welcomed at the second site by a crowd of users very happy to see him. He's shown to the networking closet, where he hits the power button on the UPS.

"Five minutes of testing later, it was more high-fives and kudos for bringing the Internet back up," fish says.

"Eight hours of driving for less than 30 minutes of work.

"Best. Overtime. Ever."

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