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A less-than-happy day [Dec. 15th, 2003|09:01 pm]
So, how did my day go?

Well, it started off too early... I went to bed too late last night, but I had promised myself that I was going to wake up early, and go to work early, so that I could leave early, to visit some friends out here in Denver.

It wasn't a problem... I had some work to do, I would get it done, I had to get some directions e-mailed to me, I would just call if I didn't receive them (as it turns out, I didn't...), and keep on top of things. I would be out of there by three o'clock.

The day started off relatively productively. I got a lot of work done, and even got the new backup server moved, and even had some help closing out work requests that cloud over the weekend.

So, I figured that it was going to be pretty smooth sailing.

Little did I know that two people would have strange network problems, both of which dealt with intermittent network faults.

Intermittent network faults are probably one of the hardest things track down. They are the kinds of things where people get disconnected for no reason, but not necessarily in the same program, or under the same circumstances. It's important to check the obvious things, and I did. We switched to network cable, I threw a ping onto the gateway router, and I ran a few diagnostics.

Everything came back fine, but she kept complaining.

In the end, it was actually Microsoft's automated trouble reporting system that saved me. When I sent in the error information, it reported that the most common cause of that error was bad memory.

Now, I have been working in IT for over 10 years. This is probably the only case of a computer problem being caused by bad memory in a way that was verifiable. There have been times when I have swapped items out, and assumed that memory and gone bad, but I think that this is the only time that I have actually found that the memory was, absolutely, no question, the problem.

(The other tricky network problem was actually relatively easy to solve. I had warned some people that we didn't want to use certain cables, because, although they had eight conductors, they were phone cables. They weren't ever intended to transmit data at high speeds. Well, maybe at high speeds from a long time ago, but not high speeds today. In any case, swapping out the cable fixed the problem.)

I think that it was 4:30 when I realized that the problem had been the memory of the one system. At that point, I only had another hour left of leftover work requests that had gone by the wayside while I was doing other work, and diagnosing network problems.

So, it was about 5:45 when I realized that I really had to start getting home. It into a long day, I was tired, and I really ought to call the people that I was going to be meeting with, to make sure they know I'm not going be showing up.

But, first I had to stop CompUSA in order to get a new memory chip, so I could bring the computer up the first thing in the morning.

Keep in mind that I was already tired and frustrated, and you'll probably understand why my attempt to go shopping just ruined my mood completely.

All I needed to do was find a perfectly ordinary computer component, and the type of component whose price and quality has benefited greatly from competition. I had a set price in mind, that I simply was not going to go over.

If you've paid attention to the computer retail industry, you probably know what's going to happen.

Sure, they had memory. And they even had a really nice prices for memory listed... of course, all of the prices were "after rebate".

I'm tired, I'm not good at making decisions, and that can get me frustrated. What I'm frustrated, even the teeniest things can really annoy me.

Anyway, I walked out of the store vowing that I was not going to buy overpriced memory that promised a rebate that may never show up. (I know of at least two rebates that I filled out in good faith, that I have never seen a rebate check for.)

This is a little bit silly, of course, because the entire point of my buying memory as CompUSA was to get this person back in service very quickly, and that is worth the few dollars that I may spend, or save, grabbing it off the shelf.

Still, it left me in a really crabby mood. But I knew just the thing to fix that crabby mood.

I was going to stop by the liquor store on the way home, and pick up a bottle of nice whiskey (Pat is a whiskey drinker, so whiskey makes me think of her, and I knew that would help me feel better).

I knew what I wanted, as well. I wanted a small bottle of Maker's Mark.

They only had a large bottle of Maker's Mark. That was OK, I could just get a bottle of Jim Beam black.

The had plain Jim Beam, and Jim Beam rye, but that was it.

Just about every other option that I had was either too expensive, or came in too big a bottle (I'm going to be leaving on Friday, and I sure as heck don't plan on getting drunk each night until then).

So, I finally walked.

It was a bad day to choose to do a running workout, because I really hate treadmills. I mean, the good thing about treadmills is they tell you exactly how fast you're running. The bad thing about treadmills, he is, well, they tell you exactly how fast you're running.

OK, I weigh a little bit over 260 lbs.. At this point, "the amazing thing is not how gracefully the bear waltzes, but that it waltzes at all." Still, I liked to believe that I was jogging at about 6 miles an hour. Actually, the answer is closer to five... that is, my jogging speed is only slightly faster than a really fast walk.

Thankfully, I already knew this, but I think that I should have chosen a workout that would have given me a better feeling of accomplishment. I mean, if I'm going to exhaust myself anyway, I might as well have something good to feel about it.

When it was done, I'm afraid that it was just too exhausted to think about talking to anyone. What I'm tired, my social skills are the first thing to go. (Maybe I should say "my social tolerance" is the first thing to go. What I'm exhausted, being around people can create a lot of anxiety for me.)

So, maybe Gordon and Chelsea will see this, and will know what happened, or, maybe they'll have to wait until tomorrow. In either event, it's getting late, and I really need my sleep tonight.

(This post was dictated, using speech to text software, so if anything looks strange, it may be due to something I've missed while proofreading, that the dictation software didn't understand.

[User Picture]From: kightp
2003-12-15 11:54 pm (UTC)
Awwww, sweetie, I'm so sorry that (a) your day turned sucky on you and (b) you didn't get to meet up with Gordon and Chelsea.

I love you, and hope tomorrow goes better.
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[User Picture]From: grey_lady
2003-12-16 03:59 am (UTC)
Not fun. I'm with you 100% on my dislike for the rebate system. If the blinkin' thing is "on sale" for $10 off, give me my $10 off at the point of sale! The German colleagues who were with me in the US last week were confused enough by the fact that the listed price didn't include sales tax, and were not amused at the whole rebate concept - since a $20 rebate check would do them no good whatsoever.

I hope things have improved since.
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[User Picture]From: janetmiles
2003-12-16 05:23 am (UTC)
Hope tomorrow (today?) is better.
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