Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Day From Hell


Normally my work days are pleasant, busy and fulfilling. Yesterday was a day where all of a sudden the reason why people go postal at their place of work, became all too clear. For certain reasons, I must be vague about certain details. But you'll get the picture.

Its Wednesday morning and my co-worker Karl and I are in one of our buildings setting up whats called a VLAN. Basically this requres us to move all the PC's and printers in that building to a new IP range on the network. For instance, everyone connecting to 10.1.x.x will be moved to 10.7.x.x. Ok, enough techie talk.... you get the idea. When we move them, they temporarily lose connection to the network and any printers. We then quickly get them back up and running while on site.

In this building, are certain "special people" who believe they are too important to be bothered by my work. One in particular, who already despises anyone and anything to do with I.T., computers or networks. This person who I had forgotten about was a timebomb awaiting our arrival. About 30 minutes after moving a printer to the new network settings, I get a call from another co-worker. I could immediatly hear the panic in his voice as he told me I need to get to that persons office ASAP and fix their printing. He then told me this user was now irate and "freaking out". Great. Just what I needed to have happen. As I begin climbing the stair back up to the offices where this oh-so-special user resides, I could already hear screaming echoing down the hallway. The user was on the phone with someone and was screaming at them about this printer being down. And I dont mean controlled anger, venting frustration. I mean screaming at the highest level possible. Voice quivering, bordering on tears-screaming. My first thought was, "this can't be caused by a missing printer... can it?" I stop outside the users office to wait for them to hang up the phone and calm down. I hear them scream into the phone, "these IDIOTS of screwed everything up!!". This persons admin assistant looks at me and says, "I dont envy you right now". Gee.... thanks. The irate user hangs up the phone and I enter the office with a smile and say "hello, I'm here to get you up and printing again". Immediatly I'm met with more screaming. The user tells me to get out of the office and since they are on a deadline, this mess will have to wait till tomorrow. By now we've spent almost 20 minutes waiting for them to stop screaming at people, get off the phone and calm down. To fix the users problem would have taken me no longer than 1 minutes and 30 seconds. This was ridiculous. So I turn around and walk out of the office. The screaming begins again. Later I find out this user callled all the way up the chain of command screaming and crying to anyone who they could make listen. This was simply an attempt to make my department look bad. In the end, it didn't but it did put a heavy dark cloud over the rest of my day. I really feel sorry for anyone who has to work around this person on a daily basis. They only have two personality modes, quiet and working.... or enraged and screaming. What was that line for The Wizard of Oz.... something like "Careful, someday someone may drop a house on you too".
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