At 6:48AM this morning, I got a text message from my boss.
“The office is experiencing power issues. Some computers work, others don’t. Some printers work, others don’t. Please do what you can to keep the team running.”
My boss, meanwhile, is on his way to visit a customer location with the Customer Service Supervisor and the Customer Service Rep for that account.
Greeaaaat. We’ve had high winds and weird weather all last night and today. Icy roads this morning meant it took some people more than an hour to get to the office from as little as ten miles away (that’s 16km for my Canadian and European readers). Horrible. I fishtailed once or twice coming away from stop lights, but nothing serious and reached the office a bit before 7AM.
I send a text message back to my boss and let him know I’ve arrived and will do whatever I can.
I found two computers unable to power up. One I managed to get going somehow by moving plugs around and resetting the power supply. The other I couldn’t resurrect. Two of the three printers for the team were out of commission, too. But our large network printer was working, our second mainframe printer tied to corporate and placed in our warehouse space was working fine. And all our servers were fine. So it wasn’t so bad, it seemed.
Then I found out one of our laptop users was down, so she connected remotely and I established her power supply to a working cubicle outlet, plugged her network cable directly into her computer instead of into her docking station, and she was functional. (I also turned up the brightness on her display so she could see it in the bright lights.)
Everything seemed okay. Not ideal, but okay.
Then, around 9:30AM, I’ve finally gotten my last team member up and running on the laptop, and I get hailed into the office of someone whose job function appears to be inline with facilities manager. I think the actual facilities manager reports to him, and he wears many hats, one of which is to call the leadership together and give bad news about the building. So I wasn’t happy about the hail.
So I stepped into his office and found the Customer Service Manager for the other business group in the building sitting there also.
We share this building with another division of our corporation. All of us are under the happy banner of the Hydraulics group of our parent corporation. We probably should be on our own, but it’s expensive to get a new building, and while the other business division charges us an exorbitant amount of money to share a ridiculously small amount of space with them, it’s all Monopoly money. It’s moving cash from the right pocket to the left. If we get our own building, it’s real cash outlay, and while the economy sucks, that’s a no-go.
The division who owns the building is responsible for things like power, wiring, water, lights, yada yada yada. We only have to maintain the little bit of equipment we still have. We pay them for the square footage, and the technical support when we need it.
The facilities chief (whatever his actual title might be) tells us, the power company has arrived on the scene. They aren’t able to determine the problem by inspection, and have to do some testing. That testing will require powering down the entire building. With no lights and no power and no phones, we really can’t be in the building at all. And, we have 15 minutes to vacate.
Great. Just GREAT. I give the facilities dude my boss’s phone number and as I leave his office, I see everyone’s been informed we’re shutting down, and not one single person needed to be told twice. They’re grabbing coats, shutting everything down (I asked them to turn off the monitors too), so I call my boss and leave him a voice message, letting him know what’s going on.
Then, I go off to locate the IT manager for the other business group. I have to show her where our stuff is in the server room because she’s sort of new still (November), and I give her my phone number and my boss’s phone number. “Please call us if you need us to come down and do something manually here,” I say. “Sure,” she says.
*Shrug* Nothing else I can do. I saddle up and leave too, because now the facilities people and some others are patrolling the building, as if this is a fire drill, telling everyone to GTFO and take their crap with ‘em. I go up the street a bit to Home Depot, because I’ve got a light switch in my bathroom and it lets cold air in so the temp in that room is a good five degrees (Fahrenheit) colder than the rest of the house. I’m gonna plug it up with those switch insulating thingies.
As I’m walking into the building, and preparing to ask the person who greets me where the bathroom is, my phone rings.
He says he had to duck out of his meeting (with the customer, recall) to find out what’s going on, because I called (he didn’t get my message yet), and the Strategic Pricing Manager for our team has been texting him. “What’ going on?” he asks.
So I tell him, and he’s sort of nasty with me. I guess I don’t blame him, but then, why shoot the messenger? I had nothing to do with this. He snaps, “Where is everyone right now?”
“On their way home, I assume,” I said.
“That’s what I needed to know.”
“Need anything else on this from me?”
“Answer your phone when I call.”
Ooooookaaaaaaayyy…wtf with that? I always answer my phone when he calls, if I hear it and see it’s him. So…wtf?
I hang up and do my Home Depot thing. I’m not sure whether I should go home, stay in the area, or what. I go ahead and get my fat behind home, and patch the light switch up. Then I get on Facebook, YouTube, my email, etc. Hey, nothing I do is able to be done while our servers are shut down, so…ehn. What else should I do? For me, it’s a day off.
About 2:30PM, my phone rings. My boss.
I answer. Oh, you can bet I answer. And I answer as if nothing happened, as if he hadn’t been rude to me at all. And you know what?
It paid off.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:1 NASB
Once again Scripture bears itself out in real life, and my boss ends up thanking me for coordinating everything that morning. Now, he doesn’t need to thank me. That’s what I get paid to do. But it’s a nice thing to get a pat on the head every once in a while.
And it’s nice to know he’s not angry and I didn’t make a mistake about the business which costs our group thousands of dollars today. There was nothing I could do about it, it was a decision made out of my hands, but still. He wasn’t there to get the full story, so I hoped his irritation wasn’t with me.
It wasn’t, and all is well. He’s been under stress I don’t know about, and sometimes he’s human.
We chatted a bit, and he told me the meeting went well. He also updated me, and long story short, I will likely have to go into the office sometime this weekend to make sure everything’s functional. If so, no big deal. It’s a small price to pay for peace at work with my boss and to re-establish my commitment to do what I need to do for our team, and that he can count on me.
Still, I’m hoping everything comes up fine and it won’t require me coming in. Or him. That’d be good too.
So, overall, not too bad. How’s your Friday so far?