Tuesday, November 17, 2009

RTT: The only living boy in New York

Jim, get your plane right on time
It's just your job that's on the line
Fly down to Madiso...o-e-o...o-e-On
(and on and on and on and)
Here I am
The only IT guy in New York...

  • New York City has been a dominant element in my life of late. It seems that when I'm not there, I'm trying to fix something that's gone wrong there. And when I am there, I'm working my @$$ off - until midnight or 1-2 in the morning. And if I'm not doing either of those things, I'm trying to make changes that will prevent Option 1 or Option 2 from happening.

  • People in Manhattan do behave as though they believe the world revolves around them. I know we all struggle with self-centeredness to some extent - but it often seems as though the people on that little island ("off the coast of America" as Spalding Gray once said) have given up the struggle. They live with the permanent delusion that they are more important than everyone else. Maybe it's just the cost of living.

  • The problems seemed to start when we blew the circuit in the server room. That was just before I made a scheduled trip to New York at the end of September - to finish upgrade of their connection to the company network. While I was in NY, we met with an electrical contractor and solicited a proposal for them to install a second circuit in the room. Of course, before the work could be completed, there were more power problems and more downtime. More people p*ssed off at the IT Dept. Finally, by the end of October, those problems were resolved. Or so we thought.

  • Keep in mind: On Wednesday, November 4, the New York Yankees played Game 6 of the World Series in the Bronx. They beat the Phillies that night to win their 27 World Series Title.

  • November came "in like a lion". On Tuesday night, there was another power problem in the server room. Then, overnight, the network connection (which we had just been installed a month before) went down. And Wednesday morning, power went out again to half the server room. By noon, my flight had been booked to LaGuardia. I didn't even argue. A goat needed to be scaped - and I was feeling mighty goaty.

  • You know how when you're really tired and in unfamiliar territory, things can seem quite surreal? How's this for surreal?

    By 11:30 pm Wednesday night, when I left the office I had worked (including travel; I can't sleep on a plane) about 18 hours. My only meal for the day had been Burger King at the airport before my plane left. The hotel that the office had booked me into had no rooms - so they in turn have set me up in another hotel - a $10 cab ride from the office. The desk clerk has warned me that the place doesn't look like a hotel from the outside (truer word were never spoken). The cab drops me off on 58th Street near 9th Avenue.

    There are all these 20-something hipsters milling around on the street as I drag my 40-something self and luggage into the entrance. It doesn't look anything more like a hotel inside either - and the techno is booming from somewhere above me. I get on a long, steep escalator with lime green lighting all the way up to the next floor - and the closer we get to the top, the more sure I am that I have dragged my luggage into a dance club.

    But no! When we reach the top, I see it - across the dim floor - music pounding, people dancing on the opposite side of the room, youngsters everywhere with drinks in hand - the check-in desk!

  • On Thursday, I only worked about 16 hours - but there was no travel involved and I ate lunch at my desk (leftovers from a lunch meeting of some big-shots in the Board room). The only diversion was dinner at a little Brazilian restaurant around the corner from the office - where I read news reports about the Fort Hood shootings on my BlackBerry.

  • When you're paying almost $500 a night for your hotel room, is it wrong to be a little concerned when the door looks like it was last opened with a crowbar?

  • By the time I flew home Friday, the power situation had been resolved - by replacing the ORIGINAL circuit in the server room. So we ended up with two brand new circuits in that room. And the power has been stable there ever since.

  • But the new network connection had problems on Monday and again Wednesday last week. Somebody else can make THAT trip to New York.
Take care.

PS: Go visit Keely at the Un-Mom willya?!

The Un Mom

How many times to do I have to keep saying it?!


Middle Aged Woman said...

Sorry I left marks on the door...I forgot my key!

I am Harriet said...

I lived in a big city for most of my life. I am so glad to be in a small one now :)


Jess said...

Well that trip sucked with a capital Fuck it! Interesting hotel there...I would have KILLED someone if there had been techno playing while I was trying to sleep. KILLED. MURDER.

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

That trip does not sound conducive to maintaining any sort of sanity. Did they supply the designer jackets with the sleeves that buckle in the back for your trip home? ;)

I'd be nervous about that 'hotel', too - especially since it does look like the door was opened previously with a crowbar...

Happy RTT! :)

TennLady said...

Did your key resemble a crowbar too?

lisleman said...

thanks for posting that story. Road warriors know about these trips but I think many people who don't travel for business understand the downside. Looks like that trip was a real downer.

Jim Styro said...

MAW: I wondered who that girl was in my bed. You were so quiet!

Harriet-I-Am: For me, it was just going from a big city to a bigger city. I don't mind urban living - I just like getting more sleep.

Jess: You took the profanity right out of my (g*dd*mn) mouth. The good news: The techno couldn't penetrate all the way to the 8th Floor. Otherwise, I'd have been like John Goodman at the end of Barton Fink.

Stacy-RCC: I was able to retain both my job and my composure. That's like taking both ends of a double-header.

TN-L: No - more like a credit card. When you try to jimmy a door with a credit card, the marks are completely different.

L-man: You're welcome. It did s*ck pretty bad. But I accomplished what I set out to do - and got home safely. So I win.

PropellerHeadMom said...

Now I know why I am glad all of my servers are within a 2-3 hour drive from where I live in PA. Although moving some servers to the FL computer center always seems so tempting in the winter :-)

Joanie M said...

Sounds like a nightmare of a trip. I hoe you don't get that kind of business trip too often.