Thursday, 10 December 2009

Lord of the Pings

Hello!  Were you missing me at all?  I can't believe it's already Thursday, and I haven't hardly* been here since the weekend. 

Where have I been, readers?  Why, I have been to London, working like a slave.  A SLAVE, I tell you.  And Bristol, which was less toilsome, and rather more relaxing as it is half the commute that I normally do.  So hurrah for Bristol.

Today I had to take my work laptop to the office** to get it fixed.  It has been temperamental of late, shying at connecting me to the work system, and dropping me off the edge of the intranet world and into the offline abyss at random. 

Why?  I have no idea.  I knew I wanted it fixed, though.  So, I lugged my ancient laptop all the way to the big city, then phoned the IT helpdesk. 

"Bring it to the tenth floor" they ordered. 

"Ok..." I replied.

"Do you know how to get to the tenth floor?" they asked me.

"Why yes, of course," I replied, breezily, confidence flooding my very soul. 

But no!  It turned out I didn't.  I had assumed that you just got in the lift and pressed the button marked "10". 

No no no.

You get in the lift and go up to the NINTH floor, where you disembark, looking furtively around to make sure you aren't being followed. Then, carrying your laptop, you make your way through the offices on the ninth floor, walking briskly and purposefully.

When you get to the far end of the office, you find a small secret door, hidden behind some cupboards.  You walk through the door, keeping your eyes tightly closed, or the enchantment fails, and there is a magical stairwell, leading up to the secret IT room on the tenth floor. 

Up the secret stairs, through about fifteen fire doors, where you half expect to end up out on the roof, and there is the IT office door.  Finally! 

You open the door, peering into the room cautiously in case there is a Watcher At The Gate made of cables, or some other technology Balrog to bar your entry.  Peering around the stacks of cardboard boxes and cages full of dead and dying computer equipment, what do you see?  It's those rarest, shyest and loveliest of creatures, the IT Helpdesk Trolls. 

They all turn, like synchronised swimmers, perfectly in time with one another, and fix you with their chilly basilisk stares.  This is rapidly sucking the will to live from you, so you hold your broken laptop out like a talisman.  Their eyes immediately shift to the computer, and they point wordessly to the troll in the corner, who will fix it. 

You have to creep deep into the bowels of the office, approaching the laptop specialist.  The other trolls return to their own screens, whispering arcane mysteries into their headsets.  I think I catch a few words, right on the cusp of hearing....."Switch it off...and on again...ok, how about now?" 

It's truly educational.

I fled back down ten flights of stairs to the land of the living, and waited for them to call me back, which they did a short while later.  I will find out tomorrow if it really does work, or if they were just dicking with me.

And being dicked by an IT troll is not something I think any of us want to be thinking about. 

*Living in Wiltshire is rubbing off on me

**In London.  It was bloody heaving, what with it being two weeks before Christmas and all.  Gah.


Bender's Better Brother said...

lT are the same the world over. I have problems nearly daily and I want to run them through a mincer. My boss says I can't.

Dan said...

For a moment there I thought you were going to find Narnia.

Hilarious post. Especially the "Switch it off, then on again....."

The mantra of the IT worker.

@eloh said...

I wonder if this is so the office cool guys can't mess with the geek squad.

I'd like to think you were joking but I have a feeling there is more than just a little truth to this hidden nerd society.

Z said...

I thought you were going to be John Malkovich.

Isabella Golightly said...

I made one of those paper thingies (you know, the 'pick a number, pick a colour, you're going to marry Lance Cook' thingies) for our help desk guys once, and under all the options it said "Have you rebooted your machine?". They thought it was hilarious. Bastards.

livesbythewoods said...

BBB, your boss is clearly being unreasonable. Tell them you will slap a harassment accusation on them if you aren't allowed to take the mincer option forward.

Dan, thank you. And if the mice in our office could talk, it would indeed be Narnia.

Eloh, we are civil servants. There are *no* office cool guys.

Z, I was half expecting that myself. I'd have made him come to my office and give me a piggyback ride up and down the stairs for an hour.

Isabella, that is truly inspired. I might nick the idea for our Christmas party, but with a different option.