Monday, March 31, 2008

Notes From Down South

It's officially my last day in Atlanta and can't wait to sleep in my own bed. I've worked approximately 60 hours since Thursday and - as anyone can tell you - that's about as much actual work I do in a month. You could say I'm feeling it. Everything from my back to my legs to the tips of my fingers are sore.

While this may have to do with my age, it also has to do with being a part of the technology team that is in charge of making sure all of our company's infrastructure is operational when moving to a new building. Most people in an office think moving involves packing up a bunch of files and letting the movers take everything over. Then it's just about unpacking the files in the new office.

If only! Not many see the work that's needs to be done on the technology side. If they did office moves would become less frequent due to absolute terror. Here's just a few of the things that need to be addressed when an office moves:

- T3 data and voice circuits moved to new location. This involves third party vendors that are tightly controlled by unions and thus nearly impossible to work with. I won't mention any names, but you know who you are. *cough* Verizon. Oh excuse me. *Ahem* AT&T!!! Sorry, must be allergies.

- Servers, routers, switches all need to be relocated.

- Repatching down all the workstation cubicles so they can talk to the servers, routers and switches that have been relocated. This is where the sore fingertips come in.

- Packing, then unpacking and setting up the computers that everyone uses so they can talk to the servers, routers, and switches that have been relocated.

- Packing, then unpacking all the printers that print the shit out from the computers that everyone uses so they can talk to the servers, routers, and switches that have been relocated.

- Logging into EVERY SINGLE computer in the office to make sure that when people come in on Monday all their services are exactly as they were when they left on Thursday night.

What really sucks about this line of work is the ignorance a majority of corporate people have regarding what we do. They think we just unplug everything then plug everything back in when it gets moved over. Shit, man, that's the easy part! Simply unplugging and plugging back in is about 25% of what we do during an office move.

Alright. Enough bitching. I'm just tired and cranky. Here are some random thoughts since the last time we spoke ( Communicated? Let's go with that).

- I'm officially out of my March Madness brackets. Texas, as well as my $20, became extinct Sunday afternoon. Sadly, this is the first March my bracket didn't keep me in it until the final weekend since 2005. I blame Davidson.

- Speaking of which, I thought for sure they were going to pull off a miracle against Kansas. I had a rather disturbing image of shit running down Hammen's leg when the final three pointer got off. I'm not even a Kansas fan and I nearly did the same.

- Even before the Texas matchup, I knew my bracket was in trouble. I watched Memphis completely dismantle a very good Michigan State team. I underestimated their defensive intensity. Way under! They were everywhere and suddenly I was afraid. Very afraid.

- Sadly, I haven't had much time to watch many games this weekend (please see work story above). I will say UNC and Memphis have been the most impressive. Let's do a quick rundown of the matchups:

UNC - Kansas: UNC has looked VERY impressive so far, but keep in mind this is a Roy William's team and he always manages to find a way to blow it when his team is loaded and a favorite. This will be UNC's first game away from North Carolina and it will show. Kansas has the athleticism and defense to take the Heels out of their game. Kansas by 6.

Memphis - UCLA: I honestly can't see how UCLA keeps up with the quickness and agility of Memphis. These teams are built on two totally different models. UCLA wants to grind it out, slow the tempo and keep themselves within striking distance. Memphis wants to press you to death, create turnovers and sprint back and forth while throwing 82 alley oops to each other. UCLA just doesn't have the fire power to stay in this game. Memphis by 10. Maybe less if UCLA just starts fouling as soon as Memphis crosses half court. That would really slow things down.

That would give us a Memphis - Kansas final that would be one of the most entertaining college basketball games ever. Who cares who wins, this game could have 300 points scored in it!

- Just finished watching the end of the Braves - Senators baseball game and was surprised how passionate Atlanta fans are. They were very upset when Zimmerman hit that walk off. And it's just the first game of the season. Who knew?

- While we're here, why did Bush throw out the first pitch (anyone else here Uecker say 'Just a bit outside' with that one?) for the first game in the new stadium? What the hell did he have to do with getting that stadium built? Yeah, nothing. Why didn't the DC mayor throw out the first pitch? Who is the mayor? Is it still Marion Berry? Why couldn't he have thrown out the first pitch with his latest crack whore at his side?

- Oh, by the way, I found out earlier today that it was warmer in Boston than it was in Atlanta. Isn't that just fucking fantastic.

- I was also lucky enough to be in the center of downtown Atlanta when a ferocious thunderstorm came through. Since this is the exact area where the tornado ripped through a couple of weeks ago, everyone started freaking out and calling to see if there were any tornado warnings in effect. Windows on some of the buildings around here are still missing and many seem to be suffering from PTSD.

- Since the weather is nicer in these parts, I have witnessed a peculiar event every evening. It involves men risking their lives to cross not one, not two, but three major highways to get to a popular overpass hangout. My boss who lives in the area told me they are homeless and that's where they sleep every night. What's really odd is they do this instead of sleeping at a homeless shelter that is within sight of that same overpass. Says boss, 'Well, yeah, they can't drink at the shelter!'

- The one positive in staying here is the hotel room that is one of the best I've seen. Brilliant layout, free internet, full kitchen, modern kick ass bathroom and two - count 'em TWO - flat panel television with High Def DirecTV. Plus, if you don't have your own computer they have one in every room for your convenience. You can even order room service and groceries to stock your kitchen. Good times!

That's it. I'm tired and have another long day tomorrow. I should also note I am suffering from a noxious case of gas right now and my room STINKS! Or maybe I shouldn't mention that.

Will catch up on Tuesday.

Today's distraction: Here is the hotel I'm staying at (minus the odor). I've been told by the bartender that the room I'm in is the exact model of the one bedroom condo you can buy for a mere $500,000. If the condo came with all the same perks, I would seriously consider it. Well, if I had money and stuff.


Jim Hammen said...

I spent most of my Sunday afternoon very drunk and very scared.

son pere said...

Man, does this blog entry bring back memories! I spent almost two years working for FEMA, doing exactly what you just did. The only difference was that I had to do it about EVERY SIX WEEKS!! (which is about how long a FEMA Disaster Response Team is deployed. But, here's the flip-side: we (IT) not only had to install and set everything up over a weekend, but then we had to tear it all apart and repack it once the disaster recovery was complete. That's why I only lasted 2 years! Just imagine traveling up and down the Atlantic coastline doing this (from Maine to Tallahassee, FL) for an office staff from anywhere between 50 to 250 people, depending upon the nature of the disaster (remember the Florida Hurricane Andrew?) Add to that the fact that most of the buildings FEMA "acquired" for its Field Offices were empty, therefore no A/C in summer, and you get a picture of the torture we had to endure in doing what you just completed. Man, I envy you NOT!!!!