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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My million dollar deal

Having a proud moment at work!

Yesterday the CFO, who is also in charge of IT with a larger client, called and said “the battery of our server is making whistling sounds.” First I was like what server battery, doesn’t it run on electricity, but then I took a wild guess and said “you mean, your UPS?” (=Uninterruptible Power Supply)

Called my coworker (the one I might go for a beer with if I drank beer and if he wasn’t moody), and he told me what button to push. Yes really ;-) And that the thingie was most likely dying from old age. So I forwarded this information to the client, and the device shut up. 

This morning he had to run and just handed me this illustration.


“Find out which symbol is either illuminated or flashing”, he said. “If it’s one of the pink ones tell them to buy a new device” and he specified a model to recommend. Then he left.

Phew. OK. This was the client where I had to pick up a hard drive the other week, so at least I “knew” those people as in “have seen them in person before”. Sadly, I don’t get out “to the field” much on account of not having any techie skills, so I never get to know the people for which I would have plenty of skills.

So I called the assistant and asked her to go to the server room.
”The thing I’m supposed to find – what does it look like?”

“It’s an HP device, rectangular” – Hahahaha, the minute I said that, I had to laugh myself.
“More specifically it’s rather smallish, and there should be an oval display, and if my coworker is right, at least one symbol is red?”

“Got it! Yes, a red symbol!”

“Which one?”

“The one in the middle.”

“That means BAD BATTERY. Obviously the condensers in the battery are kind of exhausted. You know how that feels.“

(Doesn’t that sound great? I had no idea there are condensers in batteries, I sucked big time in physics. I was so grateful the professor actually awarded points if you put your name legibly on the exam paper. I always made sure to write really neatly.)

“We could try and find a spare battery, but according to our records, the unit was purchased in 2006, so it isn’t officially supported anymore.”

“What should we do then? Buy a new one?”

“Yes. I will send you a quote.”

“Wonderful, thank you so much!”

I know. It ain’t much.

In another lifetime I saved double digit percentage in labor costs and hired hundreds of new people, promoted, trained, evaluated, coached, fired. Everything in three languages in two countries.

But possibly selling a 500 bucks device without knowing what I’m doing makes me happy today!