Power To The People

Hm, one post a month.. that’s about right for me I guess.  Today’s is prompted by the fact that I don’t feel like retelling this story many times over, so I’ll tell it once and then I can just paste a URL from there on.  Go, lazy!  Speaking of which, I’ve started (a while ago) uploading photos finally.  I’m not done yet – there’s probably between 1 and 2 thousand more to do – but I’m getting there slowly.  Now, on to the story.

As some of you know, they’re doing construction in our building at work.  Half the building is evacuated while they do the work, and I’m in the other half (normally, I wasn’t moved there though some people were).  Today, they were saw cutting through the poured concrete into the women’s room, which is halfway between my door and Leigh’s, right in the middle of the “Occupied” area.  So late yesterday, everyone was told, “If you don’t absolutely have to be here, don’t be here.”  I planned on sitting at home, checking mail and working on some other things I wanted to do.  I did not plan on going into the office.  I just got home about an hour ago.

I’d exchanged some emails with people, took care of David while Stephanie was at work, everything was going normal for a “Saturday” morning.  Stephanie got home, David went down for a nap, and then I saw the email from Susan (department manager).  Subject, “Emergency Power Outage.”  Oh that can’t be good.  Turns out, while cutting the wall, they nicked the conduit that runs from the panel right next to where they were cutting, down to the basement panel below it which feeds it.  They would have to shut down the power “to the whole building” to fix this.  Included was the reassuring words, “Power to the server room will remain online.”  Oh good, so there’s not much for us to worry about and do then.  Leigh and I chatted about things, and there were the couple emails asking if people should shut down their machines or what.  I replied, things were under control, it’s all good.  That email came out at 11:10, and they were shutting down at noon.

At 11:40, Leigh asked the magic question… “Does anyone know to power OIT’s switches?  ‘Cause if not, it won’t matter that the server room has power when one machine in the rack can’t talk to the one above or below it anyway.”  Oooo.. shit.

I called Susan (I think she forgot that she’d given me her cell number in the past), she said they probably don’t know.  I called Dave (construction superintendent) and he said nobody knew about it, and I should talk to Jim (electrical foreman).  Alright, I guess I’m going into the office.  Threw on my shoes, Stephanie packed a full lunch for me (I didn’t realize this until I ate it at home, but since she went out for the afternoon I was just as grateful) and out the door I went. <insert guitar riff here>  I got there around 12:15, and they hadn’t started yet – Jim was finishing up his lunch and chatting with Dave out back.  Excellent, there’s still time.  Ran down what I needed (literally a place to plug in one extension cord, which would feed OIT’s UPS and keep the stacks running) and everything was fine with everyone involved.  I did the cutover while things were still powered to make sure it was fine, and then they shut down half the building (only the half that was affected needed to go offline obviously, but the other half of the building can’t be occupied anyway.)  Switches were working, electricians were happy, I was happy, I was going home.

But wait, there’s more!

OIT called, they were on their way over to do what I had just done.  I told him it’s already done and running, and he wanted to come over and check things (make sure I did it sanely).  Sure, I’ll stick around.  Marcos stopped by shortly after that, I showed him what I’d done and he only made one adjustment (“OIT” wanted the wireless networking back up.. what the fuck?  Nobody *can* be in the building, who cares about wireless?) and then called his supervisors.  I introduced Marcus to Dave, so Marcus could ask that Dave calls them when the work is done and they can put things back the way they should be.  Cool.  Now I’m going home 😛

So it was a slightly eventful, but refreshingly non-busy Friday.  Non-busy because there was nobody in the office, and nary a single computer problem to deal with.  Hard to have computer problems when the computers don’t have electricity :>

Leave a Reply