So often in IT we spend the bulk of our time troubleshooting problems, dealing with disgruntled users, and making sure we're up to speed on technology's pitfalls. It becomes easy to overlook the beauty of when hardware or an app or a tool works as expected.
I manage the IT infrastructure for a company that sells IT infrastructure products to IT people, so I regularly do customer demos showing how we use our products. I don't include many PowerPoint presentations -- frankly, I've had to sit through enough to know I don't like them -- so I try to be a little more interactive than that. But I have some prepared just in case, so I always bring my laptop with me.
[ Also on InfoWorld: Read memorable Off the Record stories from 2009 in "Tall tales of tech -- that happen to be true." | Send your IT Off the Record story to email@example.com -- if we publish it, we'll send you a $50 American Express gift cheque. ]
One particular day was even more hectic than usual. We had six different customers in different rooms, we were doing some system upgrades, and we had a WAN outage in EMEA. All of us were multitasking while working to keep a calm demeanor for the prospective customers.
In the frenzy, I got a little mixed up, so much so that I lost my laptop. Oh my God, no laptop -- I might as well not have any pants in the middle of a snowstorm. I felt lost without it, especially when we were dealing with so many issues at one time.
I paused long enough to think about when and where I'd seen it last. The best I could come up with was that it was probably in one of the rooms in which I'd been doing a demo. But which one?
My options. I could wait until everyone left, or I could barge into each of the six rooms until I (hopefully) found it and risk looking like an idiot in front of our prospective IT customers.
Luckily, though, I was using wireless networking instead of a wired port -- with the new 802.11n speeds, it just made sense. I also (and this is bad) often don't have my laptop suspend when the lid closes. It runs almost 6 hours on a battery and I'm impatient. I know it's not green, but we virtualize a lot of servers so I figure that balances it out.