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"(Office Story): Cable follies...." Topic

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Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Nov 2014 9:20 a.m. PST

Disclaimer: You know the drill, and please keep your arms and legs and other appendages in the car at all times during the ride….

CLARIFICATION: This is "NOT" about cable tv/internet, Comcast, etc….This is about running Cat6 cable….(IT Stuff)….

Ref: TMP link

Sooooooo….the game goes on….

The basic idea that is going on is this…

Problem: 400,000 sq ft. 24/7 4 line production plant with warehouse and shipping department, and administrative offices, do not have a reliable dedicated "hard wire" net system with redundant backups. Plant has been mostly running on wireless and limited line capability, which in turn has limited (very slow speeds)…and which in turn can't handle the load.
Wireless is pretty decent until there is an issue with either the Warehouse Management System (WMS), or our E80/LGV system: (The LGV's are nothing more than preprogrammed robotic forklifts that load pallet product from the lines and warehouse and onto the trucks.) has a hiccup and starts eating up bandwidth.

So…now you have the problem.

Solution: Easy…
1: Transfer the LGV Server Operations over to a local server which will cut down on slowness of response for the LGVs. (Previously some idiot decided that all of the LGVS should be "administered" by a single local server in true Soviet Centralized Command fashion, and the server happens to be out of Southern California).

2: Establish the required hard wire network capability in the building by connecting up the T1 ports and line boxes to the MIB (Yes that piece of equipment that "J" didn't know what it was), in the server room. Once this is done, we then crossover the new circuit and problem is solved.

The procedure is SUPPOSED to go like this:

1: Problem is identified.
2: In this case. Network Manager id's problems, calls me to verify.
3: Verifys with network specialist of what equipment is on site, and if need be, to confirm with me.
4: Once equipment is verified, A: If we are short of equipment, we contact Vendor and have the stuff shipped here where I set it up, or B: If all is here, we proceed to step 5.
5: Contact local contracted vendor to come out, look at what needs to be done…
6: Vendor then goes back and writes up a cost estimate and work order of what needs to be done. (This is called a PO).
7: PO is then sent to A: Network Manager who reviews it, and B: Plant to see if they need to allocate resources for assistance or if this is coming out of corporate budget or plant budget.
8: Once this is checked. PO is then authorized a PO #. This is then used for tracking and for payment purchases.
9: Work then proceeds until done, or something comes up.

Whew…yes it sounds like a lot, but it really isn't….

And this is how it is supposed to go.
The Network Manager, (We shall call him KC), was "behind on projects", so he contacted the network specialist "J", (The guy that didn't know what an MIB was and I called his bluff), about this, and then in the middle of a meeting decided to pass the buck on all of this procedure…to me….

I then, in an oh so cheerful manner, send a quiet little email out saying "Uh guys I am not network qualified. You are going to have to tell me what is what and what I need to A: Do, and B: Look for, and C: Anything else."

2: KC then hands the "networking stuff to J. Who then proceeds to take "business trips" to different plants, all the time asking me questions, which oddly enough just happened to be the same questions I had asked him a week earlier.

3: All of this was supposed to be done and completed by the 1st week of October 2014.

4: I contact Vendor, (actually his secretary that handles this who for some reason tells me that they can do an estimate "until they get a PO").

I ask secretary…"Ummm…how can we cut a purchase order if we don't know how much it's gonna cost?…"

Secretary's answer: "Well we need the PO before we can do the work."

Me: "But we can't get you a PO until you have someone come out and look at the site and give us an estimate."

Secretary: "Siiiiiiiiigh..All right…I will discuss this with the VP."

(She never did).

Meanwhile J keeps asking about the cables, etc…and "if they have been run into the MIB yet." When I asked him yet again "What is an MIB?" he doesn't seem to know and then tells me he will get with "one of the network admins…"
A week later the same set of questions come out.

Finally day before yesterday…..
J sends an email to me:
"Mike, have the cables been run from the phone room to the server room?"

My response: "No they haven't. I am still waiting on you to let me know if we have all the right equipment on site, and what an MIB is."

His response: "I've already answered that question."

Me: "When?"

Him: "I sent you an email last night."

Me: "Oh..wait…ah yes…one of the 2200 emails I had to go through yesterday morning due to me being gone for a week with my moms funeral. Oh and wait…You sent it last night as you said."

Him: "Yes. I sent it at 8:30 last night."

Me: "Yes…8:30 Pacific Time…which is 11:30 pm Eastern Time. I was in bed by then. Hence me not responding, or even seeing it until now."

Him: "Oh yeah…the time zone change. I forgot about that."

Me: "Yeah. It's common with Calfornians."

Sooooo…Vendor comes out…looks at stuff, and then realizes that:

A: We need to run the two cables all the way the length of the building since there isn't an MIB/Overture in the phone room. We just have one in the server room.

B: Not only are we gonna have to get the cables. Due to previous installs, we also now have to run new conduit.

C: This has suddenly gone from $$ to $$$$.

J then calls me and says "Why is this going to be so **** expensive?!"

I quietly and calmly inform him that "When this plant was built, (and it's the only one like this), SOMEONE decided to put the phone setups in the electrical alarm room which happens to be on the far exact opposite end of the plant from the server room. Hence the distance and the cost…"

That "Someone" happened to be our Network Manager KC, (who passed the buck onto J and me…)

So we are now entering Month 2 of a project that should have been done already and hasn't simply because people can't/won't communicate at Corp, and procedure wasn't followed.


Submitted respectfully;


Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian27 Nov 2014 10:28 a.m. PST

Hmmm, are KC and J polishing resumes?

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member27 Nov 2014 12:00 p.m. PST

Sure sounds like Gubermint work to me…

Toronto48 Inactive Member27 Nov 2014 2:45 p.m. PST

PYA Murph the two clowns could look for a scapegoat and as manure flows downhill you could be it

Personal logo nvdoyle Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2014 6:45 p.m. PST

Wait wait wait… What the heck is an MIB? I STILL DON'T KNOW!

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2014 7:20 p.m. PST

I have been following this and I've decided to mimic these problems in a rpg taking place at Area 51. Do you have access to improvised weapon possibles there?

You have my sympathies, I've dealt with similar problems at a corp.

Survive, Succeed and Stay Sane.

goragrad27 Nov 2014 9:53 p.m. PST

MIB – What does MIB stand for? – TheFreeDictionary Cached
Acronym Definition; MIB: Management Information Base: MIB: Men In Black (movie) MIB: Mint In Box: MIB: Master of International Business: MIB: Medical Information Bureau

My guess would be – Management Information Base, from the context.

Network guy not knowing this (or not looking it up) is a bit scary…

zippyfusenet Inactive Member28 Nov 2014 5:55 a.m. PST

Mysterious Interface Box

Brian Bronson Inactive Member28 Nov 2014 7:08 a.m. PST

MIB – Massively Inbred Buffoons (KC and J?)

Charlie 12 Inactive Member28 Nov 2014 6:26 p.m. PST

Murph- We must work for same bunch of nitwits (at least in spirit if not in fact). Of course, mine work for the health system of a very large, state run university (in fact, several universities).

Zippy- I knew what a MIB was, but I like yours better…

Tom Bryant28 Nov 2014 11:12 p.m. PST

Murph, you DID leave government service right? Please tell me you're not working for something like the NSA or CIA or God forbid USAF's Air Combat Command launch control center. I do feel for you bro I really do. Good luck and Godspeed on this one.

Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member29 Nov 2014 8:28 a.m. PST

Murph, you DID leave government service right? Please tell me you're not working for something like the NSA or CIA or God forbid USAF's Air Combat Command launch control center. I do feel for you bro I really do. Good luck and Godspeed on this one.

you sound like you need some reassurance there. Give Eric Schlosser's "Command And Control" a read – that should put your mind at ease…. ;-)

MarescialloDiCampo Inactive Member30 Mar 2015 6:44 a.m. PST

Dom and Tom (Murph),
No we ARE not safer…
oh no…

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