Reboot the Router: A SodaCorp Tale
Do you like to read in Chronological order? The index can be found here: timeline.selben.net
This tale takes place while Selben and Soda were running rogue, switching from company to company as temps doing contract work. At this location, the company was decently sized, but only had two locations, about a 30 minute drive apart. Selben was placed on the helpdesk alongside Soda. The other two techs they were filling in for were getting married (*yes to each-other*) so it was a short two week deal during the honeymoon. Unfortunately, due to their short contract, not much time was spent getting them up to speed on all the processes. Anything outside of general SOP (*Standard Operating Procedure*) was pretty vague.
Selben and Soda had been assigned their desks, a double cubicle. Each side was distinctively decorated for the his and her’s which the previous lovebirds had been sitting in. Selben drew the short straw and got the “Her’s” side, complete with the excessive pink–pens, paper and other stationary were so pink that they had a slight glow to them. Soda had a pretty standard desk with only a few pictures of the couple. Selben poked at a pink stuffed bear that leaned against his monitor as ITLead walked up.
ITLead: I’ll send a link to our rough process flow, but basically, if you think you can fix it, go for it. If it’s our proprietary software, just transfer the call to Tech. Otherwise, if it’s CEO, just do what he wants. You’ll be taking calls, most are pretty basic. Thanks again for taking this on such short notice, Soda!
Soda: No problem, sounds good!
ITLead made his leave, and Selben and Soda started taking calls. Things were pretty simple–How to use this, why won’t this save, and why is this slow. After a few calls, Selben got a more interesting call.
Selben: Hello, this is Selben. How can I help you?
CEO: This is CEO, my mouse isn’t working. I need a new one!
Selben: Sure! But just before we do that, what kind of mouse is it?
CEO: Let me check…
Through the headset, Selben could hear papers being pushed around, and the unforgiving sound of plastic banging against a desk, before the out of breath voice of CEO returned.
CEO: I don’t know! I’m going to bring it in so you can check!
Selben: I was just checking to see if… Hello?
The line had gone dead. Soda slurped on his drink (which had appeared out of nowhere). His eyebrow was raised, Selben simply shrugged. Soda turned his attention back to his call, which naturally seemed to have nothing to do with tech support.
Soda: I love Pomeranian puppies! Click next. Oh, you have to keep up on their grooming, though!
Selben resumed taking calls for the next 30 minutes or so until he heard the now familiar voice of CEO. Soda continued with his call as CEO walked into the cubicle, and plopped his laptop and wireless mouse on the desk.
CEO: Mouse won’t work!
Selben: Let’s take a look!
After several attempts, a bit of nervousness was setting in. Selben almost started to sweat–this was the CEO of the company! And he was standing over his shoulder, going on about getting a replacement ASAP if this one wasn’t fixable! Selben was trying to sync the mouse, but it just wasn’t working…
CEO: Do you think you can fix it, or should I ask ITLead?
Selben: Well… I, uh…
Soda spun around, and started chatting with CEO.
Soda: What kind of car do you have?
CEO: Oh, I have a 2002 Kyoto!
Soda: Oh nice! How often do you replace the batteries in those?
CEO started rambling on about the savings and warranty, but Selben realized what Soda was telling him. He dug into the pink filled drawers until he produced a set of AA batteries. After putting them into the mouse, the cursor instantly popped up on the screen.
Selben: Good to go!
CEO: Perfect. Thanks! I’m asking for you next time!
Over the next week, CEO brought Selben his laptop several more times for small issues similar to the first encounter.
Early into their last week, Selben and Soda were taking calls from people reporting slow network traffic at the second office. ITLead stopped by with Tech and let Selben and Soda know they were heading over to the other office to investigate the slowness. The office only being 30 minutes away had some advantages for situations like this. Almost immediately after they were out the door, a feverish number of calls came flooding in reporting the network was now completely down.
Soda: I’ll try to reach out to Tech and ITLead to give them a heads up. Just stay on the calls and try to calm people down.
Selben: Got it!
Selben answered more calls. It appeared none of the office workers communicated with each other, and ALL decided to call in on their own. Soda finally got through to ITLead. Selben only heard Soda’s side of the conversation.
Soda: Yeah, we’re letting people know…
Soda: Right… You what?
Soda: It’s gone?
Soda: What should we do then?
Selben heard the familiar out of breath throat clearing as someone came up behind him. He turned slowly to see CEO standing there, holding a rackmount router. Selben pulled on Soda’s sleeve.
Soda: Ah, excellent. We found it. Want us to reboot it here?
CEO stood looking perplexed.
Apparently when the network slowed down and CEO wasn’t able to reach the helpdesk due to the congested phone lines, he decided to take action, the only way he knew how! He went into the network room, unplugged the router, and drove it over so that his favorite helpdesk employee, Selben, could fix it. He was a nice enough guy, but just really didn’t understand how computers, or electronics of any kind, worked.