On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our regular reader-contributed tale in which we reveal the odd things you've been asked to do at all hours.
This week, reader “Commander” brings us a tale from the American South. Where they don't just have bacon. They have machine gun bacon! And as one reader once told us, cars in Texas are big. So big that "the F150 is a compact car here".
Commander's tale comes about as a result of working for what he says is “a fair-to-middling-size ISP and cable TV provider here in the middle United States”, where he serves as “one of the sysadmins who oversees the network and works the overnight shift”.
“One night we had a major outage down in the Southern US in a part of the country we call redneck heaven,” he recalls. “A tech drove three hours to get the spot where the outage was occurring and was tracking down the cause.”
Commander was using diagnostic tools to direct his colleague to the precise location of the outage, but the on-site chap just couldn't find the failed equipment. On pole after pole, everything was in place.
The tech lowered himself from the pole again, to chat with Commander and check he was in the right place. Everything checked out.
On the way up again, he spotted the problem.
“Someone had fired a shotgun straight up in the air into a 16-count fibre optic cable,” Commander says.
Which might just be why that neck of the woods was called Redneck Heaven.
Has your work taken you to somewhere odd at odd times of the day? If so, feel free to share your story. Stardom in a future On-Call could be yours! And we're also still open to tales from expat IT workers, like the chap we've linked to above with the F150 envy. ®