Before going off to work today I checked my UW email and found the following notice from one of my fellow consultants:
A major water leak on C3 at the UW Tower is forcing the temporary move of
Service Center (“help desk”) operations to the 4545 ERC.
I didn’t think too much of it at the time. We’re located across the hallway from the service center, and they’ve had problems with localized leaks before that have disrupted their operations. After hopping on the bus and silently entertain myself by watching people get their umbrellas blown inside out, I amble through the rain and into the tower. Making up to our floor, I see that the problem was just a tad larger than I expected. There were large pools of water of water spanning across the aforementioned hallway, and there were ladders, fans, pumps, and maintenance workers everywhere. You know that scene from Office Space at the end, where the building is on fire and everyone is outside watching it? I was distinctly reminded of that. Except with water instead of fire.
Poor photo of the corner of the water source.
Seems the issue was a little worse than I anticipated. The sender of the email was like “oh hey Nikky. Looks like you’re working from home today. Check your equipment and get out of here.”
I wonder in and check on my plethora of equipment. It seems someone stacked my footrest/server on top of my desktop, and both were placed on a side table. My switch was suspended in mid-air, and cables were all over the place. Yet somehow they were still powered and networked. Hunh.
So I left.
We were out of the office for two days for cleanup and recovery operations. The office area across the hallway, where the flood started, sported about 4 inches of water at one point in time. It seems a radiator burst at around 7:00am and it took about 2.5 hours to safely shut off the heating system and stop the leak: otherwise the entire pressurized system would have burst. My systems weren’t impacted, and minimal water actually entered my castle of awesome.
A male in his 50′s calls in.
Me: University of Washington. How may I direct your call.
Caller: I’d like to talk to ne of your sasquatch professors.
Me: Sasquatch professor?
Caller: You should have one or two of them. What is their number?
(I ditfully type in sasquatch into the search databases)
Me: I’m not getting any results for Sasquatch or Bigfoot. Do you have someone in mind, or a department?
Caller: No, just a sasquatch professor.
Me: Okay, how about I transfer you to the primate research lab. They might be able to help you.
One of the secondary duties of my job is to handle mainline operator calls for the UW. It’s usually fairly mundane, with calls that are generally worried students asking for admission, or alumni trying to donate more money to athletics. Occasionally a caller might be rude, and yes, a language barrier will sometimes rear its ugly head. But every once in a while a true gem of a call will appear.
It’s around 11:00am on a Friday morning. It’s been fairly quiet and keeping the incoming email queue well handled.
Situation: Caller with thick accent called with a callerID of “APL” (Advanced Physics Lab). He said he had recently bought a LAN, and that it was “smelly” and wondered if he could take it to a lab to be “tested” because he thought it might get people sick. I believe he also mentioned something about blinking green lights.
Yes, it’s true. I’m on the wall of shame for this one.
I’ve always had a rather bad relationship with my message tone for my phone. First it was one of those canned messages where I say my name and it repeats it. Generic, boring, and impersonal. But I didn’t have anything better, since I dislike how I sound over the phone and always seem to get my tone wrong. Then while walking to work last year I had this great idea for a personal greeting.
Not Nikky… leave a message
It wasn’t perfect, great, or anything positive really–but it’s what I had and it was original. I didn’t especially care either, since my phone is always on me and I try to always answer calls. Usually my messages come from when I’m out of service.
So this brings us to the current day, and I’m working out of our Silverdale office three times a week, so I figured out how to forward my office phone in Bremerton (which is on my business card) to my cell phone. I don’t think anything about my cell greeting until Monday rolls around. It’s about 4:30, and myself and Bridget were getting ready to leave when Sarah (our boss) makes her first appearance of the day because she was in meetings since like 0800. We discuss some things, and then she randomly goes over to her phone, hits speaker, and dials our Bremerton 4-digit extension.
I’m wondering why she’s doing this, and I say “I forward to my cell” right when my pocket started vibrating. I wasn’t sure what she was trying to do, so I just ignored the call. Then the “Knock Knock” answering greeting came on. It turns out she tried to call me on Friday while en route to a housing complex and I was out of service–so she heard it then. Sarah was greatly relieved to know that I didn’t actually have that as a greeting on an office phone directly. But needless to say… my message greeting was changed that evening. :)
As Bridget said on the way home: “I can’t imagine her facial expression when she heard that when calling you,” and I agree. I can’t imagine it either.