Sunday, April 30, 2006

Some days you wake up and feel like Superman (part 1)

Some days you wake up and fell like Superman. Some days you wake up and know that you have to be Superman whether you feel like it or not. Wednesday was one of those days. I had no choice in the matter. To understand why, you have to understand a little about what I do for a living.

In real life, Special K is a traveling computer consultant. I go to customer sites and help them with their computer problems.

I have tools in my trade. Almost all of them are computer programs of one sort or another. One of the worst things that can happen is getting in front of a customer that is having problems and not have the right tool. What’s worse is losing the keys to the tool box. That’s what happened on Tuesday. By Wednesday it HAD to be fixed.

Now traveling computer consultants are a resourceful bunch. We are on the road in generally unfamiliar places with only the stuff we remembered to pack to help us along. If you travel much you know that it is a big help if you can keep your bag small enough to carry on the plane. Checked bags are for sissys. We pack light, but completely. If there is a problem, we can’t go running to tech support or the supply closet. We have to use what we have to obtain what we need. Sometimes we make like McGiver. Sometimes it requires super powers.

On Tuesday, I get to this site, pull out my laptop and hit the power button, ready to get down to work. The screen lights up and the normal gyrations continue until we arrive at the logon screen. My login and domain are already filled in already. I type my password and hit enter. The screen informs me that the username and password I entered in invalid. I check the caps lock and try again. Same result. Like a man speaking to a foreigner, I try typing slowly. No help. The OhCraps start to set in.

I start thinking of alternatives. I need to get logged in and soon. I try to remember the password of the administrator. I try a few with no success. OhCrap. It’s been too long since I’ve needed administrator. My domain login always works. OhCrap. I try logging on using my card key. Nada. OhCrap. OhCrap. OhCrap.

I try a non-administrative account and, after a few guesses I get into the machine, but with limited permissions. At least now I can do things like store the information I need to gather, but all of my analysis tools are locked away. Creating new administrators – Forget it. Installing new programs. Hahahahah.

So I limp through the day collecting as much as I can, hoping to get back to the hotel where I can get this taken care of.

As soon as I get my room that night I get on the phone with our help desk knowing that they will be able to help. After two and a half hours on the phone hitting roadblock after roadblock, the support guy on the other end sums up the result of the call with one word: “Sorry.”

We determined that somehow, my access token that is stored on the laptop has become corrupt and that to fix the problem I will need to just plug into the corporate network and log in with my user name. Oh, is that all. Well I’ve been to this part of the country before and I know where the closest coprnet access is and it ain’t close. It is about a 90 minute drive away. On top of that, it is now 9:30 in the evening and if I go now I will not be able to get into the building. I could go in the morning, but I’m expected at my customer site at 9 am, about the time the corpnet office is sure to be open. I’m trapped like a rat.

To quote the movie Animal House, “I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part”, and I’m just the guy to do it. I concoct a plan to hit the road at 5:30 am, drive the 90 or so miles to our corporate office, hope to find a kind soul to let me in and hook my computer to the network, hope that my computer does log on, and then hit the road back to be at my assignment by 9 am. Oh yea, did I mention that the main roads that I need to navigate are the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike? So I also have to hope I don’t hit any traffic. Hahahahahahahaha. I am so dead.

(continued tomorrow)


cotefernandez said...

jajja. I`m from Chile, so my english it`s not very good, but I`m studing translation, spanish-english. Well... hello and i hope that you can visit my blog.

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