Why they shoot messengers

I had the worst f'n morning / early afternoon:

Shit was breaking all morning ... including my computer (work laptop) that went through a very very very strange process of death: Processes started crashing with a dialog box that said:

(Process name) has quit due to an unexpected hard error.

And I'd click OK and another one would pop up with a different process that has crashed due to the dreaded unexpected hard error.

So after about 20 processes crashed, the machine froze up.

And then I restarted. Because Dogbert's first rule of computer repair is "Shut up and reboot."

Upon reboot, I got the message "No boot sector available on hard drive"


So I figure I'll toss the drive onto the secondary IDE cable on my desktop to dump over my music and important work files. So I put on the adapter that allows me to hook up laptop hard drives to desktop units and start up the desktop.

And I get the message "Secondary drive 1 not found."

Yeah, so my shit's gone. Maybe. I have file recovery tools, because I'm a geek. But I don't have time to run them because I have a line of people milling around outside my office. Which means one of two things:

1. I'm being fired and they're going to vulture my office for stuff, or
2. There is some big network issue and nobody can download their daily requirement of Internet porn.

Turns out it's the latter ... but more than that: printers not working, no Internet, no email, nothing ...

And while the parts of my body that control speech ... brain, vocal cords, mouth, lips, etc. put forth the effort to work in conjunction and say the following words to the group of people (we're talking five or six in the hallway):


They're apparently hearing:


because one by one, like a papal audience, people are coming into my office wanting me to fix "them" individually. Because they're being stupid and standing in the doorway of my office, looking at me with a cell phone in one ear, a desk phone in the other ear (said desk phone dangling by the cord halfway between the side desk it was on and the floor it nearly bounced off of) working on three different servers at the same time trying to reset the DNS server from Pittsburgh to a server here because the line from Pittsburgh was severed by a contractor, and figure out why I can't get into the domain controller (it died) and why nobody can print (internal print server issues).

So yeah, I tell them there's a problem. I tell them everything's broken. I tell them I'm working on it. I tell them these things ... but all they hear is "I'm lonely. Talk to me."

Meanwhile, I'm working three major issues ... any single one that's enough to make my day turn to shit quickly ... and I have three of them at the same time.

And then the best part of my morning. The company I work at (not for, thank every supreme being in existence for that. I do) has a plant in Eastern Kentucky ... near the West Virginia border (yeah, talk about your shallow, interpolated gene pool. I'm sure there are people there who are their own grandfathers.)

And one of the guys from that plant is here in Columbus turning back time (long story, not important, but just dumbing down the Columbus plant because that's not how the rest of the company does it).

And this dumbass from Kentucky (yeah, redundant, I know) comes in and says, without looking at the fact I'm on TWO telephones at the same time, "The last three times I left my laptop in my car, and it got below freezing, it didn't work the next day and Kenny had to fix it."

Me: (Looking his way and nodding with a phone in each hand trying to say give me a minute which he interprets as tell me your life story) Um, okay.

DFK: So last night I left my laptop in my car.

ME: To Cisco guy on the desk phone - Hold on a minute, I'm rebooting.

Me: To DFK: Uh, what's the problem?

DFK: My laptop won't work.

Me: Any idea why?

DFK: I left in in my car last night and it got below freezing. I did that three other times and all three times I had to have Kenny fix it.

(Kenny's the IT guy in Kentucky. When my company got the 10 year contract to handle IT, we didn't hire Kenny to work for us. There's a lot of reasons. Perhaps the biggest is the fact he spent an entire day walking around with his zipper down. Hell of a first impression. Big, dumb hillbilly with teeth stained from chewing tobacco and fly undone, all day. ALL DAY. )

Me: Okay. I'll get to it when I can.

DFK: Well, I need it right now because I have to get a file from the server to finish before I go back to Kentucky today.

Me: Well, right now we have no access to the server in Kentucky because we have no access to the network.

DFK: Oh, call Kenny. He'll give you access.

Me: No, the network's down.

DFK: Oh, I'll just have someone there email it to me. How long will it take to fix my laptop?

Me: Email is dependant on the network.

DFK: Oh. What about webmail? (We can check our corporate email over the Internet.)

Me: (Controlling fist and tongue of death) Um, that's on the Internet, right?

DFK: (Confused) ... Yes?

Me: We don't have Internet access because the network is down.

DFK: I was on the Internet yesterday..

Me: Um, yeah, me too. But today, the whole network is down. That means the Internet, too.

DFK: We control the Internet?

Me: No, but we have no access to it.

DFK: Oh. How will I get my file?

Me: (Tired of this conversation, being pestered by my boss on the cell phone and Tim from Cisco on the desk phone and two other people waiting behind DFK to tell me that they can't get on the Internet ... so I decide to go technical): Well, if the server that runs DHCP successfully reboots and rebuilds the DHCP scope and starts handing out IP addresses again, and then DNS server decides to rebuilt its cache to allow us to access sites outside of Columbus, and Cisco gets the routing issues fixed so we can reach Pittsburgh to download the DNS lookup zones again, and we can get Cisco to create a routing path to Big Sandy (Kentucky Plant) so we don't have to rely on Pittsburgh for it, and I can figure out what Kenny did to fix your laptop and fix it, then you can log into the network and get your file.

DFK: Oh. You must be busy today.

Me: Yeah.

DFK: Then I'll let you get back to work:

Me: Thanks. I'll let you know when I get your machine fixed.

DFK: I'm leaving at 1, will it be before then?

Me: I have no idea.

And then the two people behind him proceeded to tell me individually that they couldn't get on the Internet today, and one of them needs to because he has to download something for his wife.

Hello? Is this thing on? WTF? How did we get so dumb as a society?

Now I know why they used to shoot messengers.

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