Job 1: Get the boss on the network. Job 2: Figure out why Job 1 broke the network for everyone else
Running a theme park Help Desk was a non-stop roller coaster ride, and not in a fun way
Who, Me? Welcome readers one and all to another instalment of Who, Me? in which we recount tales of technical troubles (and occasional triumphs) that our valued readers have been dying to get off their chests.
This week meet a reader we'll Regomize as "Walt" who found himself working in technical support at, of all things, a theme park. His role was to solve the myriad computer problems of the various staff including engineers, cleaning staff, and park management, who used a range of iDevices to coordinate their work days. Life on a roller coaster is not just about the ups and downs, you know – there's technology involved, too.
Well, this particular day Walt was on his lonesome at the Help Desk when word came down that the personal fondleslab of the chairman was refusing to connect to the network. The device was brought down and Walt discovered, lo, that it was so.
In that moment Walt had what he generously describes as a caffeine-deprived brainfart, and decided the solution was to create a rule that meant the chairman's iPad would always be allowed to connect – essentially forcing the network to see it. It worked, and Walt then escorted the functional slab to the chairman.
- Just follow the instructions … no wait, not that instruction to lock everyone out of everything
- Run a demo on live data? Sure! What could possibly go wrong? Hang on. Are you sure that's not working?
- The boss worked in a fishbowl, so office tricks were a treat
- Data loss prevention emergency tactic: keep your finger on the power button for the foreseeable future
Upon his return to the office, he was confronted by a crowd of disgruntled engineers and cleaning staff bigger than the line for the river splash ride. Their devices could not connect to the network. None of them could.
It transpired – as Walt realized even before inspecting a device – that by creating an allow-list just for the boss he had unintentionally created a deny-list for every other device on the network.
What's worse, he had disconnected hundreds of park visitors from the free guest Wi-Fi.
You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach just after the first big drop on a roller coaster, as it goes back up again and you realize it's going to get worse before it gets better and you begin reevaluating your life choices? That's where Walt was at that moment.
He reversed the special rule for the chair's iPad immediately, thus restoring connectivity to the park and its many employees and guests. But of course that meant the chairman's iPad disconnected again, and that problem would need a less flatulent solution – as well as requiring Walt to tell the boss what had happened.
Have you ever found yourself plummeting from the summit of victory to the pit of despair because of a single slip-up? Brought a business to its knees with an idea that seemed clever at the time? Tell us all about it in an email to Who, Me?