Crazy Friday

The first full work week after the crazy holiday season ended with a bang.  I’ve been having trouble getting back into the swing of real work now that people are back in the office.  I didn’t get a whole lot accomplished this week, but started gaining a bit of traction on Wednesday.  But then, the week was broken up by a last-minute training class yesterday in Southfield for my whole team, and I started today with some big-time catching up to do.  The holidays are over, its time to get serious again.

My phone started ringing within minutes of my computer booting up today.  Looking at the area code, I knew it was from Grand Rapids and was pretty sure it was Jerry, calling to ask about some VPN or other; I answered anyway ;)  I dug up the paperwork on the new VPN he needs built and sent an email to the contact at the other end.  Just in time for my phone to ring again.  I’ve been trying to coordinate with an IT consultant to build a VPN for a small medical office to connect to us since June, and my customer called to ask me to please, if I could find it in my heart, could I try to call this guy one more time?  I decide to wait on that for a bit and tackle (what I expect to be) a quick NAT issue for Des Moines.  I read the ticket, call the customer and get the details – all signs pointed to easy cheezy, til I look in the firewall and see that the NAT already exists.  Which means, something’s broke.  Turns out, this is something that USED to work, and STOPPED working – not something that never worked.  It took all kinds of email digging, reading, digging, reading to come to that conclusion.  Heh.  Thanks for the info, dude.

Next, I got a call from Livonia about a website that -just-wasn’t-loading- from within our network.  It worked fine for the rest of the world, but not from inside my little slice of hell.  Let me tell you, this was a stumper.  I banged away on this for awhile and when all signs pointed to DNS, I handed off to our DNS keeper and I decided it was lunch time.

So, I’m back from the cafeteria and I’ve got all kinds of email resonses from the DNS keeper and none of them are useful.  My lunch sits uneaten as I’ve jumped back into troubleshooting mode.  Eventually, I had a brainstorm that lead me to solve the website problem (way to geeky for this here crowd, I’m afraid I’ve lost many already).  I fixed it.  I emailed my customer.  I started eating my lunch.  I opened the fancy-dancy new MMBA forum site for the first time today.  Life is good.  Tomato soup and web surfing.  Yes!

I’m 1/2 way through my bowl of tomato soup and looking forward to my tuna pasta salad when Jack walks by with his laptop and says “you comin?”.  As in – 1:00 team meeting.  Shit.  Damn.  Fuck.

“yeah, I’ll be there in a few minutes”

I finish the soup, leave the pasta salad, grab my laptop and go.  An hour and a half later, I’m back to my desk, digging in to my room-temperature lunch.  I’m thinking I might be able to finally work on that thing for Howie that I told him would be done on Wednesday.  But, then I get an email about that NAT problem.  I try a few more things and offer a couple of suggestions.  Then I realized that I never called my long lost IT consultant, so I figure I’ll do that now.  If I’m lucky, I’ll get voice mail.

No voicemail, but I made contact and set a date to complete the build and test.  Then I sent the update email, which sparked another phone call.  The phone call sparked another email.  And now its 3:30 and snowing out.  Not a chance I’ll be out around 4 to beat the rush.

Finally, I start to work on that thing for Howie, when Mark comes in my cube to talk about the wrench that was just thrown in our plan for our next maintenance window in a couple of weeks.  The 4 of us met earlier to decide what we were going to tackle during our next big outage window (we only get 1 per quarter, so we have to plan wisely) and came up with a really good plan.  Only to find out later in the day that the hardware is not what we thought it was.  I’m not sure why this was such an emergency that we had to get it sorted out TODAY, at 4:00 on a FRIDAY, but alas .. here we were.

We’d gotten most of it sorted out by 4:15, basically with “well, we need to talk to Rob and he’s already gone” and I started shutting down and putting my coat on.  But the conversation just wan’t over for those who were a bit behind.  And, as much as I kept saying “we’ll talk about it on Monday and get it sorted out”, my poor lonely office mate just wanted to keep talking about it today.  *sigh*

Its 4:25 and I’m finally walking out to my jeep.

I made it home sometime around 6:30.

This was a long, crazy day.

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