- Mar 25, 2007
- Reaction score
Fret, I was raised on AM pop-LOVE it- I drive around listening to Pop Hits of the 70's vol 1-89- takes me back to the days of Summer Haze- baby pools- my neighbor driving barefoot and playing Cat Stevens on her acoustic-if I was not POSSESSED I'd be a Pop Star-instead, I bleed all over my guitar like a stuck pig......WHAT WENT WRONG!I hadn't heard a Wet Willie song in a few years. Got some old albums of theirs somewhere.
Robert,I love the Tom Sawyer ...painting fences is so fun....I'm always the shit man ,gardener,guy who gets punched in the face....wouldn't have it any other way....
To that end, I earned an MCSA and an A+, and ended up becoming an administrator on the Daytona Beach airport's MAN network. I had three or four servers, and an assload of client machines and POS systems... flight information displays, computerized baggage belts... all kinds of crazy shit was suddenly my problem.
And that was even though I was still assigned to maintenance and engineering, and so was responsible for a myriad of other maintenance-type tasks, high and low...
And man, what a network! It was cobbled together, and as the sysadmins for each department were given an unusual amount of latitude whereas the precise nature of their machines and its programs were concerned, this network was almost like something out of a Rube Goldberg drawing...
We had the main guys at the county running shit on Linux, while on my end of the MAN, the money boys decided to go with Win2K... so the first deal was to migrate our NT4 network over to Win2K. And then the money boys went nuts when they figured out that a lot of our preexisting peripherals (printers and etc.) wouldn't work with the new NTFS shit... because neither Microsoft nor the peripheral's manufacturer saw fit to write new drivers for the devices.
That was one slick money grab, right there. Meanwhile, the assholes who decided to go with Win2K were actually trying to blame me for the failure of manufacturers to produce drivers for legacy machines. I laughed right in their faces... assholes!
Then they wanted a Win2K domain on our end of the MAN, including the Win2K directory service... and that's even though the entire rest of the county went with a Novell directory service. I finally found some guy who was really good with Citrix who was able to get the two domains to talk to one another, but to say that permissions were pretty screwy would be an understatement... and no way would anybody call the clunky setup at hand "seamless".
Instead it was about as piecemeal a network as I could possibly imagine. And I quickly learned to dislike IT, mostly because of the clueless bosses who were constantly asking me to pull a rabbit out of my hat and make shit work together that didn't *want* to work together and might even have been purposefully designed not to.
And then there were departments and divisions that were all about Linux. Fortunately, those guys were generous enough to come out and configure my machines and to teach me the more important script functions under various forms of Linux... and that's how I ended up hanging out on the old "Satanic Sysadmins" website....
And then there were the web servers. Fortunately I didn't have to deal with the web servers-- thank God-- but one of my counterparts managed to go bald just trying to keep his shit patched. He later turned into a security guy, as a result of dealing with script kiddies, one-day exploits, and all the other shit that the malcontents out there were into back in them thar days. They were mostly running Apache back then, which we used to call "A Patchy Server", but it beat MS and their IIS system.
Running that shit was just asking for trouble, not so much because it was a bad web server program as because at that point in history, everybody and his brother was out there screwing with Microsoft and carrying on as though the company were the Great Satan of All Computing... ten million crackers, all hating Microsoft? No thanks, IIS!
And for myself?
It was quite a strange job, further complicated . One minute you could be snaking a commode in a ladies rest room, and they treat you like you're a moron... but then you show up in the admin section in your shit-stained overalls to act as a roving help desk and computer tech guy...
...and they treat you as though you're some exalted being, even though twenty minutes ago you were Joe Shit the Plunger Guy.
It was a lot like being Dilbert's trash collector. Yes, you're the garbage man and the guy who handles shit that would make most other men puke... but you're also one of the sharper players in your org, and so you become something of an Exalted Untouchable, caste-wise...
So that was fun, but you know what? I got to where I hated dealing with this IT stuff so much that I actually began to train this guy whom I knew to be a backstabbing, fence-climbing asswipe of a treacherous fellow employee. Very slowly, I began to teach him a lot of basic shit, starting with configuring and updating the public Flight Information system, the conveyor belts, and the security system for the main terminal.
He was suckin' up to me big time, which made me laugh up my sleeve because I knew from the boss that whenever I wasn't around, the asshole was burning me down rep-wise... you dig? Bullshit civil service behavior, but by the time all this was going on I knew how to use that shit to the disadvantage of others...
So I did a Tom Sawyer job on that guy. I slowly allowed him to slyly persuade me to teach him everything from help desk to desktop tech and repairs. He learned to configure servers and routers, got the key phone numbers and names of guys who could help him most, and meanwhile I was praising him to the high heavens to the boss... who was puzzled, because he was attempting to cultivate a rivalry between us, which he could exploit to his own advantage.
Nobody saw me coming, man. But before it was over, I had turned this guy into my superior computer specialist, and he was just SO GREAT that he got what he wanted: to be the local cheese on our shitty MAN network...
And meanwhile, I'd convinced the boss that I was best serving the airport by sticking to non-computer details and chores.
So the next thing you know, I was no long an administrator... and the asshole who thought he was gonna stick it to me and take my shit suddenly realized that he was in really deep shit because he didn't actually know anything but the most rudimentary tasks.
The top boss called me to his office to ask me to become a network wonk again, and I flat-ass refused. It wasn't something I could be compelled to do (not in my job description, man) and I told the guy if he wanted me to do that shit I needed a title, a set of distinct duties, no more goddamned plumbing or lighting or airfield shit... and I wanted a raise.
All of which I knew he could not get approved!
On the day I retired, the guy I did the Tom Sawyer job on came to me to tell me he realized just how hard a fuckin' I put on him. He never got a raise, never went anywhere just because he was the local IT guy on some MAN network, but he sure as hell did get a whole lot more headaches than he suffered while serving primarily as an electrician...
But then he said he figured he deserved it, because he really *was* trying to bingo me out of a job that he figured had some form of upward mobility within it.
I just laughed. You know, I ever had the Airport Director reporting shit to me in exchange for being his personal thug at the staff level.
I just never let 'em see me coming, until it was too late and I had their ass in a sling, but good.