The Missing Laptops

Selben and Soda had gotten a two-month contract working on some IT projects at a company through an old contact of Soda’s. Soda was locked away slaving away as a code monkey. Selben could still chat with him during breaks, but otherwise was mostly on his own. He spent his time working on whatever needed to be done—typically things the other techs did not want to do.

Selben had accidentally finished all open projects, and the printers were (currently) behaving, so he had recently been shuffled off to work with the hardware technician. He started off his day boxing up newly configured equipment and shipping to different parts of the company. The whole facility was really big on recycling, so some of the boxes had old packaging labels on them from their previous use, like “monitor,” “printer,” or even “coffee,” but Selben did try to cross out any confusing labels. After finishing the last shipment, ITLead asked Selben to remain in hardware for the rest of the day and work on repairs, as the hardware tech wasn’t feeling well and had headed home. Selben enjoyed hardware, so he was happy to do so.

Lunch time rolled around. Selben was about to meet with $Soda for lunch, when he was stopped by a panicked $Whatif.

Whatif: A user just called in. They said their laptop was stolen, again!
Selben: Send me the details. I’ll take care of it immediately!

Soda had rounded the corner in time to overhear the situation and offered to help as well. He was currently a code monkey, but no way would a single ticket get in the way of his lunch!

Returning to Selben’s desk, they pulled up the user’s information. They had just gotten a new laptop shipped to them, and the tracking information showed as “Delivered.” Selben started to follow the procedure for a lost delivery, when Soda stopped him.

Soda: Hold up. Whatif said the laptop was stolen **again**.

Selben looked up the previous requests from the user. Three laptops had been sent to the user recently, and all three had been “stolen.” The area wasn’t known for a lot of crime, so it was a bit strange.

Soda: I see some of these boxes for shipping say chips and other stuff.
Selben: Yeah. They like to recycle…I see.

Selben put on his headset and called the location.

User: Hello?
Selben: Hi there, this is Selben from IT. I heard you may have had some laptops go missing?
User: Yep.
Soda whispered: Ask if they got ANYTHING from IT recently.
Selben: Have you gotten anything shipped from IT lately? Anything strange?
User: No.

Soda’s brow furrowed, and he started to ponder.

Selben got an idea.

Selben: Who normally receives packages… Maybe check with them?
User: sigh Fine, I’ll ask our office admin.

 After a few minutes and some sudden shouting in the background, $User returned.

User: Never mind! We found the laptops. Thanks, bye.

 The user quickly hung up.


Apparently, the hardware tech had gotten a really good deal on some recycled boxes. They were heavy duty corrugated cardboard able to hold 80lbs. But they were meant for shipping frozen fish and the outside packaging matched. So, when the “Frozen Fish” had shown up at the user’s location (three separate times), rather than opening the boxes, the office admin took the boxes and shoved them into their stand-up freezer. Why she thought IT would send frozen fish is still unknown.

All the laptops still worked, once they warmed up after being removed from the freezer. A new shipping policy was implemented, and the hardware tech started covering the logos and descriptions on recycled boxes from that point forward.

Selben and Soda got meatball subs for lunch and had a wonderful time.