The next couple of days seemed more irritating than usual with Angie taking any opportunity to shadow work from almost any ITS engineer. For me, there was a notable visit to the desk occupied by the HR Tank. Angie appeared mere seconds after my arrival as I walked HR Tank how to switch off "those stupid red lines under everything I write" in MS Word. Thinking she was just up there to see HR Tank, I mostly ignored her while I explained what those stupid red lines were.
When I got done, Angie corrected my imminent departure by with "Now, ask your customer if there is anything else you can do for her today!"
Barely time to react, the HR Tank rolled herself back in front of the monitor almost steamrolling me out of her path. "Actually yes there is! I want to know why I can't change the text on this button here" she bellows, pointing at the Start Menu.
After two tedious hours of this sea creature barely able to muster the muscles in her head to stop dribbling as she spoke, it was finally time for their regular Starbucks visit. Never have I been subject to the most inane lines of questioning and constant corrections by Angie.
After taking note that HR Tank "really needs a faster computer" I take shelter in the canteen, kept company by the sole remaining cheese and pickle sandwich they had left. Did I ever mention, I really do not like pickle? It was either that or starve!
I returned to find BHIT pacing around the room. His ruffled jacket and red face added to his now urgent stance; the few hairs that seemed strapped to the side of his head for once looking windswept despite their nominal length. He immediately pounced. "Margie from legal affairs needs her machine back. Are you done with it?"
After racking my brains and my ticket list for several minutes, I found his solution. "That was one of the machines removed by you and the third line guys from the meeting room..."
And so begins the epic hunt. We first visit the third line guys who profess innocence. Our next stop is facilities, who again have no idea what we're on about - the Facilities manager takes great pains to point out that they want nothing to do with IT and are getting annoyed with being implicated.
A two hour whistle-stop tour of the building with MAFG in tow shows up nothing, even the IT Cupboard is untouched.
On returning to BHIT, Angie who is fully tanked on coffee has now just been made aware of the missing machines and is scouring the ticket systems for evidence of my failings. Sometimes it pays to be an astute record keeper; on several of the tickets I noted "Machine in hands of third line/facilities".
Angie is her usual helpful self, demanding to know why I informed nobody of these machines' importance or even questioned where they were off to. It's nice to have a policy one moment of Facilities looking after the whereabouts of IT kit, yet when it goes wrong it goes back to the nearest Support Monkey!
I took great pleasure on relaying the reaction of the facilities manager and also that each machine had been clearly labelled with a ticket number and name!
After growing weary of Angie's bitchy comments, MAFG and I spend the final hour of the day searching out any nook and cranny we come across for either the missing machines or even the facilities guys who did the clear-out. It seemed my inspired plan of doing my job and gaining an ounce of vengeance was quickly backfiring as the day grew dim.
On our way to one network riser room, we passed Margie from Legal Affairs. She couldn't help but stop me to ask for progress and relay the updates she'd gotten which amounted to, "Apparently you managed to misplace it and still can't find it?"
Nice one Angie, way to pour salt in the wound!
We had given up. In a purely flippant move, by pure chance MAFG opened the door to a janitor's cupboard. Sat behind an industrial-sized bottle of Domestos Bleach and providing gravitational support for a mop and bucket was our Ghost Server. It stood almost majestic; it had seen many an ITS engineer through the worst of conferences and the coldest of late nights. We rescued the discolored HP Proliant from this murky cesspit and carried it back to ITS. We relayed our voyage to BHIT, as Angie stood stony-faced, glaring disapprovingly at our failure, the ghost server standing as testament to their managerial apathy.
BHIT saw no alternative; he commanded that Margie's machine must be replaced by tomorrow morning, even if we take another one from stock. The other missing machines would have to be queried with the Facilities department to determine their location!
After clarifying a bend in the rules was OK "just this one time", I duly began the process of getting the Ghost server back up and running to image a brand new Optiplex from the IT Cupboard at my desk. I set to work.
8pm rolled around as the drone of people leaving and passing me by grew steadily to silence. I sat illuminated by a single monitor, prepping the Optiplex with all manner of legal type software, domain configurations, etc. As I was the only soul left, the auto lights had dimmed most of the office, only to be activated in sequence by the cleaner, almost like a searchlight dancing on the stage, illuminating some actress performing against the backdrop of the hoover motor.
After visiting Margie's desk and reconnecting her new PC, I fired an email off to BHIT and Angie. It read: "It's 8:30 and I'm done replacing this machine. Surely this is a testament to how ridiculous it has been for Support lately. We have asked several times for a permanent out-of-sight build and repair area in order to perform our duties after the one we had been using - and had been in use for several years - was summarily decided to be unsatisfactory! This matter needs resolution immediately."
Feeling authoritative in myself, I hoped that demonstrating dedication to resolving these matters would help score points with anyone in the chain who mattered. I reached for the monitor switch to sign out for the night. But, as if big brother were watching, Outlook's "new mail" balloon popped up with it's accompanying self-important boink.
Angie's name adorned the balloon like a warning label. I opened it, addressed directly to me, were the ominous words, "We will discuss this tomorrow!"