Print Story A Day in the Life
Working life
By ReallyEvilCanine (Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 02:25:52 AM EST) A Day in the Life, cubicle, networks, WTF, pie (all tags)
Why Bother Sending Resumes (CVs)?





So I ask for some basic stuff, IP addresses, firewall information, network diagrams and configuration files.

Three minutes later there's a phone call for me. Dammit, I hate phone calls.

x-posted to bog spot

At the time this occurred we were discouraged from taking or making them unless doing so would be the most sensible way to continue (though now the most unnecessary phone calls are encouraged). Like an idiot I took the call.

The mook started ranting on and on pointlessly, looking to blow off steam. Sorry, not my job. I hung up. He rang back through the central line. I took it.


And my phone rang again a minute later. Charlene asked me what was going on and I told her. I said to patch him through again. Before he could speak I set him straight.

"Look, I'm here to fix your problem, not to take your abuse. I sent you a response in your ticket and by direct E-Mail. The software works. You did something wrong. Send me the information I requested and I'll fix your system. And if you want to complain about me to my manager, feel free. Our calls are recorded."


Umm... yeah. I'll check my mail.

Our calls aren't recorded but everyone's so used to recording everywhere else they call that he wasn't going to argue.

Fifteen minutes later I got what I needed.

Server IP:
Subnet mask:

I had to look at that again just to be sure...

Subnet mask:


If you don't know about subnets, in order to do anything on a network, the first number must be a 255. Normally subnets are set to but there's room for variance which you can read about here if you're interested (and here's a great cheat sheet and a calculator).

I sent them a mail back telling them what was wrong and what to do. I tried real hard not to be condescending, which means that I re-read my response a dozen times and deleted most of it.

I got a mail back a few minutes later telling me I was an idiot. Their network people insisted the settings were correct and said to get another monkey to fix the problem because I clearly didn't know what I was talking about.

I responded like a schoolteacher scolding a child. In it I explained the basics of subnetting and gave a dozen links for them to confirm. You can not connect to any address on a 0.anything subnet. Ever.

An hour later I got a response that the system was now working and that I should close the ticket.

Root Cause: 17-Fuckwit. A mistake even most beginners don't make.

Another call came after lunch. Charlene told me it was someone from the same company. No way, no way, no possible way. I told her to route it to my manager. Thirty seconds later he rang me and and told me to take the call. Why? I don't need more shit from these idiots.

"No, REC, it's their boss. He's happy. He just wants to talk to you for a minute."

Fuck. I take the transfer.

"Hello, is this REC?"
"Yes. What's the problem?"
"No problem. Our system's working fine now. I just wanted to ask you a question."
"How did you solve the problem in fifteen minutes? Our people have been working on it for the past four days now."
"You're kidding, right?"
"No, seriously. How did you fix it so fast."
"Well, Jeff, the problem was a setting that anyone who's ever set up a network ought to know. As soon as they sent me the settings I told them what was wrong. Once they quit arguing and did what I said, it worked."
"And we paid these guys overtime to be here all weekend... Are you interested in working for us as our head of network operations? We pay <considerably more="" than="" i="" m="" making="" now="">."

I check the company information quickly.

"Would I have to be on-site or could I work remotely?"
"Well, we'd need you to be here."
"It's a kind offer, but I think I'll have to pass."
"That's OK. Thanks again. Can you patch me back to the manager?"

I did, and he told me later the customer wouldn't stop singing my praises. Yay me.

I was sorely tempted. The job was obviously cake if the incompetents there now hadn't been fired, and considering the location, with that money I could live really well. But there's a catch.

It's not like I haven't moved internationally before but there's no way in hell I'm living in Oklahoma.

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A Day in the Life | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
I've never been to heaven by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 02:42:07 AM EST
but I've been to Oklahoma. While it may not be as far as you can get from heaven you can almost see the gates of Hell from there.

Oklahome, in August, during a heat wave. Went into the barber shop and told them to take two feet off the back. The end of my long hair period, necessitated by climatological reasons.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

WIPO: by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 04:55:06 AM EST
we like to use big subnets here.

You know, Oklahoma has a real low cost of living. You and BG can move there, she can stay home and raise puppies and you can buy a 4000 sw mansion with white picket fence and one hell of a bass boat, with a huge ass diesel pickup to pull it.

Problems by ReallyEvilCanine (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 04:59:30 AM EST
1) Say it with me, Oak. Luh. Hoe. Muh.

2) A bass boat in a landlocked state?

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
bass live in little ponds and lakes by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 05:03:14 AM EST
plus, petrol is cheap, you can drive to Texas to go fishing.

Besides which, they're so low to the water you'd have to be insane to take them on the ocean.

[ Parent ]
Not so sure that's a cake job by Cloaked User (4.00 / 1) #5 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 05:42:08 AM EST
I think I'd go utterly screaming insane if I was surrounded by people quite that incompetent all day every day.

(Not that I'd have known what was wrong (other than that the subnet mask didn't look right, if I'd noticed), but it's not my job to know that sort of thing)

This is not a psychotic episode. It is a cleansing moment of clarity.

Not to say you wouldn't have made a top notch by TPD (4.00 / 2) #6 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 06:35:20 AM EST
head of network operation, as I'm sure you'd be more than capable....

but if they are the sort of company to offer someone a major IT job - based solely on knowing what a Subnet is, it's no wonder they have shit for staff!

why sit, when you can sit and swivel with The Ab-SwivellerTM

<blush> by ReallyEvilCanine (2.00 / 0) #7 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 07:20:38 AM EST
I think the offer was based more on an ability to look at the problem and find the solution quickly rather than requiring four days (including weekend overtime) and still failing it. Apparently I'm not the only network person who doesn't want to live in Oklahoma.

Also, a higher title and longevity here lends me a bit of credibility. No doubt they'd've also expected me to help the developers with $OurBigApp.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
How did they send email then? by Rogerborg (4.00 / 2) #8 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 08:29:51 AM EST
Ha, a little flaw in your perfect story.

Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
Wasn't E-Mail by ReallyEvilCanine (4.00 / 3) #9 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 09:04:12 AM EST
They used our Web-based Support interface. Apparently they accessed it from a machine outside the closed-loop $OurBigApp environment.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
No, I meant by Rogerborg (4.00 / 3) #10 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 09:10:14 AM EST
How did they type actual words?  Did they have a secretary decipher their grunting and hooting?

Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
Just as some can divine the future from tea leaves by ReallyEvilCanine (4.00 / 4) #11 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 09:30:18 AM EST
So too did their secretary derive the meaning of their ranting from the bits of flung poo in the cageoffice. I guess.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
A Day in the Life | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback