The Internet Cannot Cycle Up

, , , | Working | September 10, 2020

I work IT support for an optician. They have stores all over France and in a few other countries. They also have a subsidiary with a production site some distance away, but still in Paris. This site is comprised of two buildings.

August is an “off month” for the whole company. Most activities go down, and more than half the personnel is on vacation, including the entire personnel of one building in the distant site, meaning that the building is closed off.

Of course, that’s when the troubles begin!

We get a warning that the Internet has gone down on the production site. Worse, the network material that we need to check is in the closed-off building. Of course, the most mobile tech of the team is yours truly, as I am on a bicycle and everybody else depends on public transportation.

Going there takes me twenty-five to thirty minutes, in 38 to 40° C (about 100-104° F) heat. Sadly, I have to wear dark trousers because of the dress code.

I grab the keys to the closed-off building only to find that, while it opens the metal curtain, it doesn’t open the main door. After searching a bit, the only option is to go back to the main site to find the other key, another twenty-five minutes in the scorching heat.

Turns out the guy who handed me the key thought he had four identical keys. Wrong: he had two sets of two different keys and only gave me one. I gulp down a half-litre of water and stash another in my bag, courtesy of the company. Back to the production site I go. Again, twenty-five minutes of rather intense pedaling under the merciless sun of early August.

Of course, opening the main door and the metal curtain does not end my troubles. The alarm is on, and the guy who controls the alarm remotely can do so only when the Internet works, which, of course, is the one thing that has gone down.

He finally gives me a code that will get me in. Of course, the d*** thing is super-sensitive, and if you take five more seconds than needed, you get your ears blasted. Ah, well. It only lasts less than a second.

Finally able to get to work, I do the usual IT checkups. I power everything down, wait a bit, power it back up, and so on. Nothing budges. I do note that the modem is stuck at a step in its power-up sequence. I take note of everything and then go back to the main site. Once there, I task one of my colleagues with contacting the Internet service provider to see what’s wrong, since that error code is for them. I, for my part, am done with my day and quite happy to be rid of this situation! I’ve spent my whole afternoon either on my bicycle or waiting for stuff to happen, with little or no AC anywhere.

A couple of hours after I get home, my colleague tells me he’s found the crux of the matter:

The contract with the ISP has not been renewed, and of course, the service has been cut. Even better, the service will take up to a week to get back up. It’s a vital part of the still-active production team’s work, and it is now completely inoperable!

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