December 2005


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Archive for December 17th, 2005

When you make an assumption…

Posted in Work on December 17th, 2005

…you make and ass out of ‘you’ and ‘umption’.

Started off the day with our “Lead Tech” calling in sick, so I had to pick up some of his workload. This turned out to be a good thing and a bad thing. Good for the client, bad for me.

The task was to re-locate an office network one floor down. Three companies used to share a building in NW Industrial, but one company moved out. Company B opted to expand into the vacant space. It’s an older building, but it has been pretty thoroughly wired-up over the years, so no real problem, right? Ha.

Assumption: All three companies were sharing out a T1 for internet access. Therefore all we really need to do is swap out the old hub for a shiny new switch and maybe supply a couple of new patch cables.

Reality: Two of the three companies were sharing out the T1, Company C actually had their own little wiring closet with a DSL link. Funny how Mr. Lead Tech failed to notice this when he did notice the hub – which is in the little closet.

So, there I am, without any of my tracing tools trying to figure out why in hell I can’t get a signal no matter what I do with the wiring. After 1.5 hours of head-wall-interfacing, I finally got their other phone tech on the line and he told me about the DSL. No fucking wonder I couldn’t get an IP. Ok, new office network needs to connect to old router…hmm. Router is already full, and all of the old jacks will be used by Company A’s expansion. Lines 1,2, and 3 are labeled, but where does 4 go?

Through the wall, around the corner, up the next wall to the roof, along that rafter there, where it…disappears into the insulation. Crappity. Well, I’ve traced out (the hard way) every other line in this bloody place, I’ll just unplug it and see who complains. Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?

Ok, test a few stations – they’ve all got network access. Maybe it wasn’t in use. Maybe I’m done. Cool! Wait – is that copier networked?


On a home-run to the router. Instead of the switch across the room. Of course there aren’t any other outlets on that wall, and the bloody thing can’t be moved. Hmm…there’s about 100′ of wire over in that corner they aren’t using, and that wall doesn’t go all the way to the roof; if I drape that line over that rafter there, and tape it to the top of the false wall…

Got a ladder?

Ten minutes later of me doing my squirrel impression, and the copier is back on the network, Company B is live, and their voicemail server even works. Total time: 2.75 hours.

Estimated time if (A) Mr. Bonehead Lead Tech had asked the right people and / or actually looked at things or (B) I had had my network tool kit with me: 0.5 hours.

Okay sure, we got to charge more this way, but it also made one part of my company look damned stupid to a long-term customer. Not necesarilly a good thing.