back to article We need a volunteer to literally crawl over broken glass to fix this network

The Register knows that readers often put themselves in harm's way to ensure tech keeps ticking over, which is why each Friday we salute those efforts with a fresh installment of On Call – the reader-contributed column that details true tales of tech support. This week, meet a reader we'll Regomize as "Gordon," who once worked …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

    Instead of positioning the switch in a more accessible location, like, outside of the crushed glass area.

    But yeah, that wouldn't be so impressive at performance review . . .

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

      Somehow I doubt he was the idiot who placed it there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

        I am “Gordon”. And you are correct. Switch placement was not my doing. We can blame that on the very expensive, very goatee-beard-and-beret booth designer.

        1. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

          Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

          Basic utilities such as power and networking never seem to feature in stand designs. One show I was at, $manager had decided that there should be no physical assets on the stand for people to look at and play with, but the staff were to have collateral on iPads. It wasn’t one of their better decisions.

          1. Grogan Silver badge

            Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

            If I go into a shop and someone sends me to a kiosk with a tablet to tap and scroll through a catalog of what they sell, I just head for the door. Shops where everything is behind the counter or in the back, sort of thing.

            Why on Earth would you go to a technology show just to scroll through pages that you could read within the comfort of your own ass, in your own home.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

              "Shops where everything is behind the counter or in the back"

              These are infinitely better than those where whatever you ask for isn't behind the counter or in the back. I remember one whose owner I privately refereed to as "we haven't got it" as that seemed to be his stock response to anything asked for.

              Possibly even better are those who don't necessarily have it but know who does - like the one who pointed me to someone online who had got all the old stock from a closed down screw manufacturer and could supply things like what might have been the UK's last remaining few screws of that particular size in brass.

              1. TheWeetabix Bronze badge

                Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

                Reminds me of a certain cheese shop that was lacking a bit of inventory…

              2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

                Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

                -- even better are those who don't necessarily have it but know who does --

                Yup - had that recently from B&M - they didn't sell what I wanted but suggested two sources (unfortunately neither stocked air dusters so Amazon)

              3. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

                I got royally chewed out by a boss for helping a customer in this way

                His mindset was that he'd buy the items in question and sell them to the customer at 500% markup, with the customer being grateful to find them

                My thought was that the customer would eventually find the real source and having done so, wouldn't be happy with us (he purchased significant quantities and taking his business elsewhere would hurt) - besides, he wanted the items today, not next week

                Some years, several employers afterwards I discovered that said former employer was now amongst the most expensive suppliers around, and was being actively avoided unless they were the last resort. A couple of years after that they went out of business

            2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

              Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

              Screwfix are a bit like that - they have a couple of touchscreen terminals at the front but I've found the staff (Wick, Caithness) to be far better than I am at finding something with the sort of description I can give.

              Argos on the other hand - some of the staff are helpful but the software on their terminals makes me want to gag.

          2. steviebuk Silver badge

            Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

            The designers get the praise and money, fuck the engineers. Much like MikesElectricStuff. He did a very nice display many years ago now (on his YouTube channel I believe) but when you went to the official "designers" site, no mention of the engineer that designed the electronics (Mike) and made sure it all worked. No, them being poncy designers, everything was done by them. I don't think Mike cared, he got a nice pay out for it being freelance but still. Wouldn't take much to at least acknowledge your art design wouldn't of been pulled off without the engineers behind it.

            1. steviebuk Silver badge

              Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

              I believe it was this. Reference to the link appears to be dead, think they merged with someone else.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwAB3AgJZgY

        2. Diogenes8080

          Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

          At least you were not required to fight another tech on the lily pad with stripped network cable ends, dodging broken glass scattered on the surface of the pad itself whilst it rolled unpredictably around the exhibit.

          1. vogon00

            Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

            And all because the 'goatee-beard-and-beret' type was a bit of a Ming-er....

            (Props to "Gordon" for the above-and-beyond bit...)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

              > I am “Gordon”.

              Gordon's alive!

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

                Listen carefully: what he actually says is "gurkensalat".

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

              Flash! O-ooooh!

          2. red floyd

            Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

            Cue the Star Trek fight music.

        3. xyz Silver badge

          Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

          I'm not saying where, but I ended up on the floor (after nearly being shot) trying to cool down a fibre connection that some cop had placed a radiator against during the night to keep his booth warm and had forgotten about when his shift ended.

          Oh there was that time hanging out the back of an under fire Hercules over a bit of sandy ground near India that is better forgotten.

          Ah the good old days.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

            "Oh there was that time hanging out the back of an under fire Hercules over a bit of sandy ground near India that is better forgotten."

            Not forgotten - in fact, immortalized in a factual documentary with Timothy Dalton!

          2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

            Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

            Your hanging out over sandy grounds may better be forgotten. But at least, it makes a good story.

            While my story nearly ended on training grounds when encountering a feckin' crackhead. I wouldn't have trusted this guy with a spoon but someone thought it was okay to hand him a rifle while not realising that he was incapable of mentally processing anything let alone gun safety. Soon after I literally dodged that bullet, he was, luckily, removed from military service and taken into police custody for unrelated issues (related to dealing with skag, crack...)

    2. mobailey

      Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

      re: "switch used on the stand had been given a static IP that conflicted with ones used elsewhere".

      So wouldn't it have been easier just to change the IP on the one used elsewhere?

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

        My guess would be that it was the Venue's network & they were ill-disposed to dick around with the changes, documentation etc, for one company that was only going to be there for the weekend.

        Icon - For the many beers consumed after each days exhibiting at trade shows, in days of yore.

    3. C R Mudgeon Bronze badge

      Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

      It was "20 minutes before the opening" when the problem was reported to them.

      Yes, it was a dumb initial decision, but by that point it was too late to do more than just solve the immediate problem.

    4. bigtreeman

      Re: "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

      I literally had to crawl over broken glass under an indigenous support organisation to pull network cables, wearing a suit, protected with paper overalls.

  2. ColinPa

    Walk through the crap

    At one big international sporting event, one of the activities had all of the computers etc in the basement under the stadium. Because of the large number of people 10* normal, the toilets were not able to cope, and there was a leak into the basement. It was only a gentle leak - about an inch a day. The organisers reckoned it would be a foot deep by the end of the event, so did not do anything about it.

    Fortunately the computers were on tables, and the power and connectivity came down from the ceiling. No one needed to visit the computers, so the door to the basement was locked.

    Presumably the problem was fixed by the end of the event - but the computer may have gone into a skip at the end.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Walk through the crap

      Sounds like the Oakland Coliseum ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oakland_Coliseum#Sewage

  3. Bebu Silver badge
    Windows

    "This being 20 years ago now"

    One likes to think people were somewhat less daft back then... just wasn't so... people are generally dafter than a brush and always finding newer shit to paint on the walls.

    Crushed glass? I assume not too fine as its would be a respiratory health hazard. Glass beads or those glass marbles use in dried flower arranging would be safer I would have thought.

    To be honest the attendees at most tech shows couldn't give a rat's about such asthetics such as lilly pads on a pond.

    1. Handlebars

      Re: "This being 20 years ago now"

      It's not really got the attendees. It's so someone gets to say they commissioned an artist for an installation

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "This being 20 years ago now"

        Most trade shows I've seen have had at least one piss-artist present (in addition to me, that is...)

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "This being 20 years ago now"

      "the attendees at most tech shows couldn't give a rat's about such aesthetics"

      There would be one group who would - top manglement bragging to top manglement of other corporations how great their stand looked.

      1. WonkoTheSane Silver badge

        Re: "This being 20 years ago now"

        And of course manglement would also bring along a photographer to snap pics of them on/in front of said stand for the corporate newsletter and any trade magazine that they could convince to print it.

    3. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: "This being 20 years ago now"

      "To be honest the attendees at most tech shows couldn't give a rat's about such asthetics"

      People think they aren't affected by these things, but they often are. There's a reason advertising/branding/marketing exists: humans are easily influenced by the look of things. There's always a question about what impression such things are actually giving, but that they give people an impression of what some business is like in some way - at least, how that business wants to see itself and be seen - is fairly uncontentious.

      1. mdubash

        Re: "This being 20 years ago now"

        As a now-retired tech journalist, I can report many agreements from many marketing managers of tech companies that customers preferred lots of flashing lights on their expensive bits of enterprise kit, all to impress the client's manglement.

      2. Zack Mollusc

        Re: "This being 20 years ago now"

        I am baffled by sales/marketing. Is there any evidence that this influence affects everyone, or are there certain sub-groups whom it affects?

        1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

          Re: "This being 20 years ago now"

          I think it affects everybody at first impression. With at least one of the sub-groups first impressions fade quickly as the questions set in: How easy is it to assemble? How easy is it to disassemble? How easy is it to change the IP address?

        2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: "This being 20 years ago now"

          I don't think there are any universally attractive techniques. Things that attract one person might put off another. But it's pretty clear that humans are irrationally influenced by appearances.

          A lot of it is to do with spotting patterns that provide shortcuts to assess things. For example, high quality (consumer-oriented) stuff has had all the screws and fasteners hidden for decades, so these days anything that has visible fasteners suggests low-quality (or non-consumer-grade) as a first impression. Depending on whether you're looking for a consumer-grade product, or perhaps an industrial one instead, that may be a good or bad impression.

          I think what I'm trying to say is that there is a fairly widely shared understanding of the language of style/design, and what it says to people. Whether the things something is saying through its design are good or bad depends on the individual.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: "This being 20 years ago now"

            "For example, high quality (consumer-oriented) stuff has had all the screws and fasteners hidden for decades"

            That'll be self-styled high quality. OTOH the discerning buyer will take a look and think "That's going to be a bugger to fix".

            1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

              Re: "This being 20 years ago now"

              When people started doing it, it was a genuine sign of quality, because it cost more to do it that way. Of course people soon started copying it without doing all the other things that high-quality manufacturers did first.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: "This being 20 years ago now"

          Other sales/marketing and the gullible.

        4. Francis Boyle

          You presumably

          have access to the internet and yet you doubt the depths of human stupidity and gullibility.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "This being 20 years ago now"

        "but that they give people an impression of what some business is like in some way"

        This is, in fact, very generous of them as it often serves as a warning, to prospective recruits and customers alike, to look elsewhere for employer or supplier as appropriate. Such selflessness should be applauded, even if it isn't awarded.

  4. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Sounds like ...

    a clear case of form over functionality. If there was any justice, the bright spark who came up with the idea of using broken glass should be the one to clear the path to said switch for the engineer to sort it out (gods forbid the "designer" be allowed to touch the actual hardware involved)

    1. Mast1

      Re: Sounds like ...

      Given the Regonym, does this imply that broken glass was a not very INTELligent thing to use ?

      1. Red Ted
        Coat

        Re: Sounds like ...

        Moore than likely!

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Sounds like ...

          Clearly an inside job...

    2. Catkin Silver badge

      Re: Sounds like ...

      The really silly thing is that you absolutely can have the appearance of broken glass without the danger. Prop companies make it from silicone rubber.

  5. Alan J. Wylie
  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Water sports

    I was asked to replace a security camera in a C shaped water park tunnel. While the pool it was connected to was closed for the work, the water wasn't drained...

    I had to wade in a chest deep water with step ladders, toolbox and the spare camera (placed on top of on of those pool floaters). At least they closed the jets.

    The only time I have ever had to work wearing speedos.

    1. VonDutch

      Re: Water sports

      Is that: the only time you "had" to...

      The rest of the time you just do it for fun?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Water sports

        Maybe he works faster in speedos?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Water sports

        "Is that: the only time you "had" to..."

        (same AC) - I've changed to classic Borat swimwear ever since.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Water sports

        (different AC here) you know how we all have 1-2 people that like to come by and pester you with questions while you're trying to get work done? Come to work wearing nothing but a speedo and watch them start to avoid you instead.

        (warning: may have the opposite effect in some cases).

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: Water sports

          The trick is to maintain full, unblinking eye contact with the customer the whole time. That builds trust. Bonus points for smiling faintly and giving them a thumbs-up, which reassures them that you’re on their side and aren’t a dangerous loony.

        2. CountCadaver Silver badge

          Re: Water sports

          For both male and female colleagues (I know of several north American women who profess an appreciation of a man in a Speedo - despite the cultural antipathy)

      4. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge

        Re: Water sports

        Smuggling budgies is only his hobby.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rackmounting a proliant without a lift

    So yes quite a number of years ago... Mounting a Proliant 7u server, in a full-height 19" rack, in just about the top-position. WITHOUT LIFT.

    The thing was fully configured and we were not allowed to take out disks by the supplier, enterprise support contract and all that. We tried to have the supplier install the machine but they refused for lack of a lift...

    So imagine two scruffy engineers balancing a 40 Kg server over their heads, trying to not get dead, trying to get the server slides into position. Having miraculously succeeded and still alive, the 19" rack started tilting over as it was not bolted to either neighboring racks or the ground. We just about saved it, pushed the Proliant all the way and locked the slides.

    We decided enough was enough, left the server as it was without power and went for a fully deserved couple of beers. Never again!

    1. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

      Re: Rackmounting a proliant without a lift

      For me, never once. If management wants me to install a server, they can either provide me the proper equipment (possibly rented) to safely do the job, or authorize me to use company funds to buy or rent what I deem necessary.

  8. Flightmode
    Joke

    Lily pads, eh? Is this how knee pads and elbow pads got their names, from this incident?

  9. Andy Non Silver badge

    The last business exhibition

    I attended was a total disaster. The organisers had somehow managed to forget to advertise the event until the last minute. The result was around forty stands, including my own and barely a handful of visitors throughout the day. We all ended up just going around each others stands and having a chat. A complete waste of time and expense.

    1. John 110
      Pint

      Re: The last business exhibition

      ...but think of the networking opportunities...

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: The last business exhibition

        That was kinda like my first one in selling modems in Sunderland (The day that the first episode of Casualty was broadcast) & (one of) the last ones in St Helens selling computer comms to the deaf (While the rest of the team attended a show in Manchester (with the lady I'd intended to use the opportunity to get closer to - I did at least get the opportunity to drive her back down to Devon on the Sunday).

        Icon - More Trade Show beers.

  10. jake Silver badge

    Never volunteer ...

    ::mumble:: years ago, I had a contract with the USGS which involved helping to fit out the research vessel USNS S.P.Lee (T-AGS-31) with new computers and miscellaneous kit. We were operating out of the Port of Redwood City, even though her official berth was at Mare Island ... The USGS had a huge warehouse there, donated to them by Howard Hughes after his part of the HMB-1 project was over.

    ANYway, we were on the way out to the Gulf of the Farallones for a quick test of some of the sonar mapping gear. I was having a fun time, pointing out shark fins in the water for the mostly land-bound techie folks onboard an ocean-going vessel for the first time ... I probably shouldn't have, several of them were already quite green around the gills.

    We got to the location, switched on the gear ... and discovered that one of the transducers didn't work. Some quick troubleshooting with a TDR indicated that the cable was broken just below the waterline (This was a temporary proof of functionality installation, proper through-holes were going to be installed after this first shake-down run.). Having the proper certs, I volunteered to dive on the problem ... and sure enough, about 5 feet below the waterline was a break, a tug had probably made contact as we were heading out of Redwood Creek. So I followed the cable down, unscrewed it, cut a couple tie wraps, and headed back up. Measure a length of new cable, terminate it, then back down to plug the thing back in.

    All in a day's work, right? The last thing I expected was to get a commendation for "intentionally diving into shark-filled waters to save the mission". Quite embarrassing. YES, there are sharks out there. Lots of them, including Great Whites. But as a surfer, I'm here to tell you that they are not really a problem. The water temperature, on the other hand ...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Never volunteer ...

      "I'm here to tell you that they are not really a problem"

      If they had been you wouldn't.

  11. AlanSh

    my message to Your "oncall@register" has triggered your junk email

    I tried to send you a story, but all I got back was:

    Generating server: AM7P189MB0760.EURP189.PROD.OUTLOOK.COM

    oncall@theregister.com

    Remote server returned '533 5.4.0 Your message seems to have triggered our junk email filters. Could you edit your message and try again?'

    It's just some text. No I am not going to edit it and try again. Fix your process

    Alan

    1. LogicGate Silver badge

      Re: my message to Your "oncall@register" has triggered your junk email

      Do you really dare to dive in among us commentards to complain that an automated system concludes that your writing fulfills a sufficient number of hallmarks for spam, and believe that you will get away untarnished?

      I salute your bravery, but maybe not so much your wisdom.

      1. Diogenes8080

        Re: my message to Your "oncall@register" has triggered your junk email

        I remember when even in Outhouse Express (I am setting the bar pretty low here) ROT-13 was only quick mouse-click away.

    2. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: my message to Your "oncall@register" has triggered your junk email

      Was your on-call story perhaps about Viagra / Cialis / Nigerian royalty / Internet Lottery?

      1. LogicGate Silver badge

        Re: my message to Your "oncall@register" has triggered your junk email

        ..And there we go....

    3. Andy Non Silver badge

      Re: my message to Your "oncall@register" has triggered your junk email

      I once made enquiries about placing a paid for job ad with Computer Weekly... and it got bounced back to me as suspected spam. Didn't place the ad with them as a result. Their loss.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: my message to Your "oncall@register" has triggered your junk email

        Was it a good job ?

        Perhaps their filters were really good

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: my message to Your "oncall@register" has triggered your junk email

      Be patient, next week's "who me" is still being created (not being written, it's still in the process of being created and resolved)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Death by pigeon?

    I did IT support in a school which was in a building about 150yr old. There were numerous 'fixes' that would make an Elf and Safety person twitch.

    I had to climb up into a roof space to try to run a network cable, the roof was in the bell tower and the hatch was up a smaller buttressed tower. The hatch was reached by tying the bottom of a very old wooden ladder to the top of the spiral staircase bannister and resting the top in the hatch (prob a 20 foot fall down stone staircase), in teh loft it was heavily contaminated by a century of pigeon shit and dead pigeons in various states of decomposition (I was suited up with a mask but a decorators mask not a proper one). crawling across the 150yr old shit soaked attic floor trying to walk on boards not the plaster and lathe and any mis-step would be rewarded by a 150 food drop to the assembly room floor. I did find some chalked love poetry from some besotted 19th century boarder up there which was interesting (also found some amazingly racist comic book pages form the 1920s in another roof space).

    In another wonderful adventure I had to crawl through the foundations to locate a damaged network cable, found the cable running under a large boulder maybe 3-5T which had rolled onto the cable. No idea what prompted it to roll, the ground was level and flat and it had already been there for a very long time. The school was ajacent to the Highland Boundary Fault and tremors were common so maybe that.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: Death by pigeon?

      I think William Walker has you all beat, even without an IT angle.

    2. CountCadaver Silver badge

      Re: Death by pigeon?

      My answer to the bosses - "after you, I insist"

  13. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Tales of yester year.

    BoFH #1 : the pressure sensor has failed and will have to be replaced

    BoFH #2 : yeah... bit of bugger it being in a 3 foot square water pipe we've just drained down.

    BoFH #1 : And its 30 feet of crawling too....... You do have that PFY though

    Both BoTH: Hey PFY, How are you doing?

    PFY (me) : Very badly I suspect.....

    Later on

    PFY: "I did stirling effort getting that pressure sensor fixed and the multi-million pound plant up and going, Do you think I could have a pa"

    Boss(instantly): "No"

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Tales of yester year.

      PFY (me) : Very badly I suspect.....

      I read that as expected in Stephen Moores voice, it's a line I've used frequently when approached by people obviously intent on buttering me up to do something I'm really going to hate.

  14. A. Coatsworth Silver badge

    "Gordon"?

    I would have called him Roy

  15. Steve Aubrey
    Joke

    Flash in the pan

    With a name like Gordon, I was expecting the story to have some correlation to Flash - memory, drives, bang, whatever.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What no console ports? I mean, it was a managed switch after all.

  17. NIXFennec

    With a name like "Gordon"

    They should have given him a HEV Suit for the trouble.

  18. Jason Hindle

    Meanwhile in Africa

    I’m told there is a server room in Kisumu, Kenya, where there is an occasional problem with snakes under the floor. I somehow managed to swerve a trip to that destination.

    1. Glen 1

      Re: Meanwhile in Africa

      Ah yes.

      If you see some 'animal print' network cables, best leave them alone.

      Aka the 'nope ropes', 'danger noodles' etc

      1. mirachu

        Re: Meanwhile in Africa

        Some are safety noodles, at least for human sized critters. Ob: obviously not cat6 or such; snek6?

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile in Africa

      I was an unofficial rattler wrangler at SLAC, The Stanford Dish and the SAIL iteration of D.C. Power, all on the North Western edge of Silly Con Valley.

      I pulled a few out of awkward places up on Black Mountain (Western edge of SV) and Mt. Hamilton (Eastern edge), too.

      Here in Northern California, (some) techie folks regularly have to deal with black widows, scorpions, tarantulas, rats, mice, snakes, skunk, beaver, bear, puma, racoon, coyote, wild boar, etc. Tree squirrels and ground squirrels can also be a major headache in some places. Repatriating feral European honey bees is a specialty of mine ... some of my best producing colonies were pulled out of underground cable vaults.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ahh tradeshows

    I remember them well ...

    One day SGI had a booth next to us (which dates this to pretty long ago) and had 2 really nice, slightly curved 50inch plasma / led screens on which they were planning to demo all their latest shiny shiny ...

    Queue a forklift driver who was delivering the coffee machine for the stand across the isle, backing up into what ( i hope) he thought were 2 empty cardboard boxes and reducing at least a years salary worth of monitors to electric junk.

    Or ending up with some colleagues and clients in a bar after day 1 when the bar closes and you're all invited to stey inside and making it back to your hotel basically in time for early breakfast knowing you'll have to be at the booth , clean shaven, dressed nicely and ready to deal with all the IT crap that had managed to die overnight at 9 AM

    Or replacing dead video cards in a shoebox sized PC that was only just big enough to host a full sized video card, and that for designer reasons was squashed away under neath something big and immovable and getting zapped in the process because the other powercable turned out not to have been grounded at all.

    Nothing as impressive as literally crawling over broken glass, but some niec stories, and lots of good memories ...

    Esp. when the sales staff was so impressed that they invited me along to the dinner with potential clients (i do not remember much of what happened after dinner, as the wine they served was both really expensive, and really good. I do remember being the only one of the group who went for dinner to make it to the venue the next day [ in time, and cleanly shaved ] ... i was a lot younger then .. )

  20. logicalextreme
    Big Brother

    I was expecting "John" from the Regomizer

    icon is the closest approximation to Alan Rickman's face as he's dropped that I could muster

  21. Ordinary Donkey

    Yes, the name is Gordon.

    The other big 90s role of the actor who delivered the quote "If I gave the order those guys would crawl on their bellies across broken glass with their flies unzipped."

    I hereby conclude that the regomizer was born in the late 70s

  22. NITS

    Standing tall

    Was told to bring a 10ft stepladder to a gig the other day. I could just barely reach the switch by standing on its tippy-top; a 12-footer would have been much safer (and OSHA-compliant). I survived my venture into "la zona de muerta". The rack was firmly attached to the wall, so I had a decent handhold at least.

  23. T. F. M. Reader

    "I literally crawled over broken glass for this company."

    Gordon, now that we know you are real, could the cynic in me have an honest answer, please: did it actually help with promotion or raise? Just once?

  24. Nifty

    We had electrical SCADA panels with a fuse for each actuator. So you were there testing, facing say 300 fuses in the panel. If a fuse tripped it would shoot a pin out, directly towards your eyes. We changed supplier of those fuses.

  25. tweell
    Devil

    Trailer snakes

    The folks I worked for had some second hand trailers they used as overflow offices. The data lines were run underneath because some VIP thought that wiring coming out of or down the wall wasn't as snazzy as wiring coming up from the floor.

    In the fullness of time, the line to one of the desirable and hotly fought over corner offices went dead. My TDR said it was 14 feet short, so I figured that some rodent had taken a liking to Cat5e.

    After changing to overalls and getting some cardboard, I started going underneath the trailer, only to hear a very distinctive dry rattle. I did an Olympic backwards low crawl out, and spent a couple minutes hyperventilating before getting a better flashlight and checking - yep, rattlesnake.

    Then I had the fun of reporting this to my boss and the affected gentleman. "The good news is that whatever rodent did the damage is gone. The bad news is that a rattlesnake has taken up residence underneath the trailer. I am a computer nerd, not a herpetologist. Tell me when the snake is gone so I can fix the cabling."

    I ended up pulling a new connection in the ceiling.

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