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England, Episode III:The System Is Down - The Cover Story
October 2013
 
 
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Fri, Jun. 9th, 2006 08:38 am
England, Episode III:The System Is Down

Steve and I struggled until 2230 localtime, on the phone with mikecap and others in the US, trying to figure out why our system had collapsed in on itself, as several more critical elements failed. DTS packages began behaving in odd ways, system views became corrupted, and a great darkness fell over the land, and a Voice boomed from the heavens, "Lo, the End is Nigh!"

Or perhaps it just felt that way.

In any event, by 2230 our support team had to withdraw from their stations, and we needed to sleep and connect with our CEO, who had arrived earlier that night and taken a taxi to the hotel. We returned to the hotel to be informed by our front desk that our newly arrived companymate had wandered off to find some Indian food. We went to the hotel bar, ordered some fine British sandwiches, and waited. Around 2330, Steve told me to go to sleep, and he would wait up. I couldn't argue with this reasoning, and I went up to bed.

We launched the next morning at 0700. By hook or by crook, I reengineered our lesson plan to gloss over those parts that required systems that weren't functioning, and ploughed on to the heart of what we were trying to teach them. For that day, I educated my students on the merits of repeatable processes, best practices in updating SQL tables using views, and drilled them over and over again in the all-important naming conventions of BackOffice. Over the course of the day, I received increasingly strident requests from my officer for the return of the now-dormant training server.

On that evening, I finally returned to our hotel at 1800, a reasonable hour at last. First, I took the package containing the Training server and left it with the front desk to ship by DHL to the United States. I returned to my room, took the book I had been reading, went down to the restaurant in the hotel, and read as I ate. By the end of the evening, I had finished my book and moved on to The Myst Reader. Perhaps two chapters in, though, my eyelids were heavy enough to warrant my sleeping to the morning.

The next day passed much as the day before, and at the end of the day I issued my final exercise to my students and as they worked, wrote up my evaluations of each of them, to be submitted to my superiors, and from there to who-knows-where. That evening my coworkers and I set out for the Tandoori Slough, and ate some mediocre Indian food there (I am not partial to Indian food, so for all I know, it was actually quite good).

That evening I continued my readings and made it almost halfway through the first novel of my anthology. Almost as soon as I returned to my room, the front desk called up to me to inform me that DHL didn't pick up my package as they wanted to speak to me directly before taking my package. They connected me to DHL, but their customer service number had already closed. To my considerable surprise, their customer service phone support was only open until 1930.

The following morning, I went down to the front desk to have them fetch me from the restaurant when the DHL fellow arrived. They told me he had come and gone, but asked me if I would like to call DHL to make arrangements myself. I did so, and to my dismay, learned that their customer service hadn't opened yet. They opened their phone lines at 0800. Open less than 12 hours a day, for the largest shipping firm in Britain. I took back my package, and today, I need to find another way to ship it. Heigh-ho!

Tags: , , ,
Current Location: Maidenhead, England, UK

4CommentReplyShare

teenyweenyowen
Owen
Fri, Jun. 9th, 2006 02:05 pm (UTC)

Are times in zulu or lima ;) Sounds like a case of snafu.


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egoism
egoism
E. Go
Sat, Jun. 10th, 2006 05:14 am (UTC)

Isn't Lima time UTC +1100? Why would he use that?


ReplyThread Parent
teenyweenyowen
Owen
Sat, Jun. 10th, 2006 01:13 pm (UTC)

Lima is the standard abbriviation used for local tz. given where he is it was a geeky attempt at a joke.


ReplyThread Parent
cykotek
cykotek
John
Sat, Jun. 10th, 2006 08:36 am (UTC)

UPS operates in Britain. Also, if you absolutely, positively need it there right the hell now, there's SonicAir. It costs an arm, a leg, *and* your first born, but usually they can get it there within 24 hours, sometimes sooner.


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