I’d like to say it was an amazingly fantastic day. After all, today was the day you chose to do a ride-along with me. I’d love to have you experience something spectacular that would make even national news reporters take note. That would be ironic though, since the idea was to experience a normal day in the life of a network engineer.
It started as most days do, with breakfast. (That’s kind of expected. An average day started as most days do). After breakfast, I checked my agenda, which had me visiting a local accounting firm first thing in the morning. OK. Let’s get things organized and head out. Laptop is in the briefcase, the usual cords and cables are still there. Phone’s in the pocket. We’re good to go. Let’s head to the car. Head back inside to get the car keys. NOW, we’re good to go.
I get to the client with no problems and check in with my contact. I already know I’m there for three things, but they’ve added a fourth since requesting the visit, so I add that to my list. A couple of hours later, things are wrapping up. A finicky printer has been slapped back into place, two different network apps have been updated, and one trouble-some monitor has been replaced.
Oh yeah, and an ad-hoc training session on Outlook with a user thrown in to round out the visit. Checking my agenda, I’ve got one more visit I can squeeze in before lunch. So I pack up my laptop, grab my car keys and head back. Time to call in and update the main office. Oops, let’s swing back and get my phone!
On to the second visit. Toffi has updated the next client (a school) that I’m on my way. This should be a quick in and out to configure the print queue for a new copier that was installed yesterday. It is replacing an older model, so I can just reuse the same configuration settings. Nothing fancy. Again I check in with my onsite contact. Oops, she too has a couple of extra projects added to the list since I was coming on site. We work out what can be done before lunch, and what can wait until after lunch. I update the office of the extra time needed and dive in. One of the new items is a problem with the wireless network, which is more critical than the new copier, so that moves to the top of the list. I guess students are more important than the front office to some people? I get the wireless access point working again, then it’s time for lunch. (Cheeseburger, fries, and a Sprite, YUM). Back to the school, where I wrap up the copier, and restore a missing file a teacher accidentally deleted. Finally, I add a couple of new websites to a whitelist for the students to access, and it is time to move on. So I pack up my laptop, my phone and grab my keys (got them all that time!)
Checking in, I find out that there aren’t any more clients that need visits today. Time to head back to the office. I’m not sure what your picturing in your head, but my office is about 6 feet square. I don’t need more, and since I work from my house, I’d rather have more room for the 60’ TV, the game room, and the motorcycle. I don’t actually have any of those things, but at least I’ve got the room for them. I pull my laptop out of my briefcase, drop it on the docking station, and my office is complete.
While I’ve been completing my grand tour of the county, a few extra tickets have come in that can be handled remotely. Using my IP phone, and our state-of-the art remote access system, I can call clients and remote in to their computers from the comfort of my own home, all while appearing to be in the main office with the rest of the engineers (most of whom aren’t there either!) I clear out a couple of tickets before the end of the day, and with the other engineers having kept it caught up all day, we’re able to get things caught up.
So with everything settling down, it’s time to organize what’s going to happen tomorrow. My vote is for letting me work from my “satellite office”, but apparently my cell phone still doesn’t get coverage that far offshore. Maybe next year?