When I arrived, the IT director had one of the system admins escort me to the server room. There sat the high-end server we had sold them. The admin described what they'd done to try to configure the server and said it would be good if I could get it to a point where they could install the operating system. Then he left, saying he'd check on me in a couple of hours.
I had started at the bottom level at the VAR as an in-house tech doing all the corporate configurations, so I could handle these setups with my eyes closed. For this particular server, you had to do some preconfiguration before starting to install the operating system and drivers. This process was clearly outlined in the included quick-start guide, which I noticed was taped to the side of their new server in plain sight but had apparently been ignored.
Ten minutes later, I'd completed the preconfiguration steps and started installing a version of Unix on that server. About an hour on, I went to the IT director to get him to sign that the work order was closed.
He was shocked that I was able to fix the problem so quickly when nearly everybody on his team had been working on it for two weeks. Not quite believing I'd solved the issue, he walked with me back to the server.
I demonstrated it was working and told him what I'd done. Then I mentioned that apparently nobody had read the quick-start guide taped to the server and showed him the part of the guide they didn't do. He read the very simple step and rolled his eyes, then signed the work order and apologized for all the trouble.
After exiting the premises, I called my service manager to say the issue had been resolved. He was thrilled and gave me the rest of the day off. Not only that, the very next day the account manager took me out to lunch.
I felt like a hero, even though the issue was due to a very basic oversight from not reading the quick-start guide. I guess that's why they now have the acronym "RTFM." Taking a step back and looking again at the basics can save a lot of trouble.
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This story, "Unassuming IT hero saves the day," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more crazy-but-true stories in the anonymous Off the Record blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.