It was developing to be a good morning. I'd stopped at the Starbucks on the way to the client site, and Christie was in that morning, which meant I could just saunter in, cool as hell, and say "Hit me," and she'd know I meant my usual "grande double-shot skim milk espresso with room, in my personal cup." I love a day that starts off where I don't have to say all that, especially before I've actually had one.
Then I got to the client site, where I didn't have to kill a half-hour for the IT guys to show up and let me into the computer rooms. IT guys are pretty good about being late for work, since most of them are either working late fixing computer problems, out drinking themselves blind after they get out of a full day's computer problems, or gaming 'til 4 in the morning with other IT guys trying to blast the memory of yesterday's computer problems away...
It was developing to be a good morning. I’d stopped at the Starbucks on the way to the client site, and Christie was in that morning, which meant I could just saunter in, cool as hell, and say “Hit me,” and she’d know I meant my usual “grande double-shot skim milk espresso with room, in my personal cup.” I love a day that starts off where I don’t have to say all that, especially before I’ve actually had one.
Then I got to the client site, where I didn’t have to kill a half-hour for the IT guys to show up and let me into the computer rooms. IT guys are pretty good about being late for work, since most of them are either working late fixing computer problems, out drinking themselves blind after they get out of a full day’s computer problems, or gaming ‘til 4 in the morning with other IT guys trying to blast the memory of yesterday’s computer problems away. Amazingly, Emmett showed up on time—hey, even IT guys sometimes get torched in the first round of GTA—and he let me right in.
Finally, I was relieved to discover that no one had messed with my scripts after I left last night. IT guys love to mess with scripts when they think they know something about ‘em. Of course, that can be disasterous when they don’t have the big picture, so you try to add something to the scripts designed to scare ‘em off when they see it… either a nasty-weird piece of code, or a hidden instruction that makes their computer do something scary when they try to run it. Usually when that happens, they have the presence of mind to restore the old code, resave it, and get the hell out. This morning, the save timestamp indicated no one had been in there, which meant I didn’t need to backtrack half a day of work to figure out what they’d messed with.
So I settled into work, finishing up the scripts needed to integrate their database of products and services with outside web services that needed access to them. The client was behind the times in their systems, but it was nothing I couldn’t handle. I’d handled them before. And my scripts were good.
“Morning, M.D.,” I heard as the door to the computer room opened. I nodded and waved, trying not to take my eyes off the line of code I was fixing. I liked Kenny, he was a nice guy, and easy to get along with. He was new to IT, the poor sucker. He actually wanted to be the head of IT at this company… that’s how young and idealistic newbies can be. But somehow, he didn’t see what running a major company’s IT department was doing to his boss, Mr. Gravewort. Gravewort used to be a handsome, bright-eyed IT newbie, until he’d been given the department when his boss retired (at the ripe old age of 39). Now Gravewort is a terminally grumpy, short-attention-spanned, sleepless zombie with B.O. and dandruff, drinking himself headlong at his first heart attack. I think he’s 33. How IT newbies didn’t see that future for themselves, I never understood… some kind of profession blindness, probably caused by too many Red Bulls before 10 am.
“How’s everything looking for today?” Kenny asked.
“Pretty good,” I said, finishing the last touches on the code I’d started yesterday. “Once we test and confirm the handshake, we can move on to actual migration.”
“Migration. Aces!” Kenny said, and headed for his desk, where he kept his stash of Red Bulls. While I heard the tab rip back, I got on the phone to my office.
“Bill, it’s M.D.. Do me a favor and ping my client’s server, so I—”
I paused. No one used my full last name. Not even Bill. Unless there was something wrong. “What are you still doing on that job, man? Go get lunch or something.”
“Dude,” I said, “it’s ten-thirty.”
“Get outta there, man,” Bill said. “The old man’s getting his ass chewed out by one of your clients. They went down to a denial of service attack last night. They’re blaming you.”
“So what?” I said. “It’s not like I screwed anything up. DOS attacks are external, they’re outside of our ability to stop.”
“Doesn’t matter,” Bill said. “I can hear ‘em through the door. You’re being fired as we speak.”
I was about to tell Bill he was crazy, when the door to the computer room banged open loud enough to make Kenny spill his Red Bull. I turned around, and even my professional blood lost a few degrees of temperature when I saw Mr. Gravewort in the doorway, glaring at me.