Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tech savvy

Today at work, our e-mail program went down. I called our tech guys in Seattle and one of them called me back to tell me to unplug then plug back in a certain box among all the boxes and wires in a certain area of our workplace. He has dealt with me before so he described the box carefully: green with the name of a certain company on it. I asked if anything else would go off too, and he said the internet would go down while it was unplugged. It was late afternoon, so I warned those who were still there about the internet going down.

The boxes and wires have a large metal cabinet in front of them, and they sit jumbled together on a bookcase with the power cords going behind the bookcase and then coming out to the front to a power strip. First I was heaving the cabinet out of the way and one of my coworkers said, "Maybe we should have our own tech guy in this office." "What, you don't think I know what I'm doing?" I jested (for of course I didn't).

I found the box I needed and groped around in back and uplugged a cord from an outlet. Oh, wait, that was from a different box. I made sure I had the right box and I tried to follow the cord with my hands, but it wound down too far behind the bookcase. I pulled it up to make the part in front move, so I'd know which to unplug from the power strip and lifted all kinds of intertwined cords along with the power strip. I unplugged something. Still wrong.

A coworker who had been attending a teleconference meeting came out of the conference room and said, "Everything just froze up." "Oh. Sorry."

Finally I unplugged the correct cord. I counted to twenty then re-plugged. I went to my computer. No e-mail program and no internet. I called the tech guy back. He was confused. He said, "I'm on your server right now from here." I looked back at the jumbled boxes and wires and saw one plug still unplugged. "Oh, wait a minute," said I. "I'll be right back." I put the phone down and went over and plugged in the cord. I came back to my computer and, voila, everything was working. "Okay, never mind," I told the tech guy.

And that's how I solved our technical issue today at work. Hooray for me.


Mavis Moon said...

Hooray for you, indeed! Good job, Jan. At my company we call people like you our "Honorary IT" members. I send each of them a personal note of thanks and an Amazon gift card every year.

One potential tip: Most of the time the equipment you're asked to unplug has a plug on the equipment itself that you can pull out from there rather than having to follow the cord to where it goes into the wall or outlet. Much easier to do from the top end rather than the bottom - and works just as well. :)

love, your sister,
Mavis Moon

Janette Kok said...

Thanks, Mave. Good advice from the real expert. :-)