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Department of Redundancy Department: Internet Connections Need Apply

Posted on October 22, 2008 by Archives

I’d just like to take a minute out of my day to thank our Manager of Customer Service, Josh, for his management of our internet connection. You see, when we were small and starting out, Josh was there from the beginning and it fell on him to set up our internet connection. Then as we grew, moved, expanded, and moved again, Josh has maintained his maniacal death grip management of our internet connectivity.  In fact, Josh single handedly maintains all of our connection issues, including designing and implementing our VOIP phone system. And a job well done, I might add.

However, up until very recently, we at PlumberSurplus.com were the red-headed step children from the wrong side of the tracks, literally. Well, not the red-headed part, but some of us are step children, and we were definitely on the wrong side of the tracks. Due to the archaic monopoly structure that limits cable service options, our area was serviced by Charter cable, who in turn refused to service our particular building. And although we are a mere stones throw from the regional headquarters of Charter, we have been unable to get Charter high speed internet access due to the fact that we are located 50 feet on the wrong side of the railroad tracks.

So here we are, a fast-growing, expanding company, complete with VOIP (did I mention that the “IP” in “VOIP” refers to internet protocol), sharing a slow T1 connection at several times the price we could pay for high speed cable internet. Download a large file and be ready to become the office pariah and heaven forbid you have a webinar to call into. But thanks to Josh’s relentless pursuit and a little luck, a couple of months ago we finally got Charter to service our area, and now we cruise the internet at true broadband speeds. Ah, life is good. We have become spoiled by our high speed connection, streaming episodes of The Office and playing Sudoku at will.

That is, until the day the sun stopped shining; the day Charter disconnected us. Due to some clerical error on their end, one recent morning Charter disconnected us. The internet was no more. We panicked. We didn’t know what to do. We quickly reverted to our early days before Al Gore invented the internet; selling bathtubs on the street corner, filing invoices in a drawer, and using those calculators with the rolls of paper that keep a record of your every keystroke.

Josh alone remained calm, level-headed, and undaunted. Since we still had our T1 line (dedicated solely to our VOIP system), Josh set about restoring our internet connection via the T1 line. As we set out to restore connectivity to the masses of employees huddled around a stapler, I was concerned. How long would it take? How complicated would the switch over be, and then the subsequent switch back once Charter reconnected us? Fortunately, it took longer to vocalize my fears than it did to enact the redundancy plan.

For Josh had designed the system, spanning two buildings across the street, with redundancy in mind. He simply patched a couple of connections and we were up and running, splitting the T1 connection between our VOIP and networking systems. A couple of hours later when Charter got it all figured out, we simply reversed the process.

The best part is that when Charter made the same mistake the next day, I didn’t even need Josh to restore the connection. As the office descended into panic, I simply walked across the street, made the appropriate connections, and waltzed back into the office full of adoring fans, all thinking I was a networking genius. All thanks to Josh!

 

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