When you just CAN’T Win! – Luanda!

Well, this is more about work, and how sometimes you just can’t win at whatever you do. So, we have had a massive issue on the FPSO, network wise. We had a device failure, a router Supervisor blade failed. We do carry spares, and managed to get it up, eventually.

On that note, a couple of things to take note of

1) Always double check the IOS version of the replacement blade. This is to prevent about 2 hours of wasting time trying to figure out why routing is not working.

2) Always think logically! It helps! 🙂

3) Get to the source, and remove the obvious issues immediately!

So we had a router Supervisor failure around 08h00 in the morning. We replaced it, and got the box back after a bit of hacking! Shortly afterwards we were made aware of a desktop issue, with regards to the desktops not getting a DHCP address. To cut a very, very loooonng story short, and we all know how I love those, this issue resulted in us logging a P2 call with IBM/EDS which landed up in us being on a conference call at 23h00 that night.

Issue unresolved, but a temporary fix in place, we left work at around half-past-midnight. Pretty insane actually. It was one hell of a day, and I’ll get into the nitty-gritty later.

The next day we were back at work at 08h, and I was approached by one of the managers to find out if I had completed a change that was scheduled for 23h00 the previous night. This was the same night that the we were running with a P2 issue on the FPSO, that luckily to us we were able to prevent it from going to a P1, which basically means that it is a financially business impacting issue, which means that practically all business unit owners are made aware of the issue, and you start calling out the big boys. So basically we were pretty much doing everything in our control to prevent it from getting there.

And this manager proceeded to kak me out because we hadn’t implemented a change – to rectify the time displayed on the phones, it was fast by one hour and five minutes and pretty much all the users were already aware of the issue – because I was running with a P2 issue on a vessel that is solely responsible for recovering their close on $11 Billion investment in the country!!! When I explained that we were busy with the major issue at the time, he didn’t care. All he cared about was his bloody time change! Well, that just goes to show where their priorities lie, and what little they understand of their actual business. Unbelievable. I am actually still in disbelief over what happened that morning. And they wonder why they are no longer number 3!!

Helloooooo??? Here is your answer right here! Do I really give a sh!t?? Well, yes I do. Why??? Because I try my hardest, damndest and best to do what I do well. And, at the end of the day, to be treated like this . . . just shows complete ignorance, and is just plain discouraging and demoralising.

To top it off, a few days later I got a call from some w*nker at BP/EDS who thought that he was the absolute sh!t. Called me up and proceeded to crap on me about the fix we had put in place and who gave authorisation to do it, and how we must take it off immediately, regardless of the consequences – try the site being down for about 3 hours whilst changes are made to manually reconfigure all the devices – because they had control, and this was wrong. Well, I fought him on that one, even after being quizzed and spoken to like I was a little boy, and a level one desktop jockey! And I didn’t remove the fix, and wasn’t prepared to either, because we were being proactive and providing a working solution, and all you were doing was providing an administrative f*cking nightmare with all your processes, and procedures that were just plain crap! Bureaucracy 101! Mate if you ever want to see what a network looks like, and what providing service actually means, come on down to Luanda and I’ll happily give you the TOUR!! Then you’ll understand what you are supposed to be supporting. Mr Microsoft Active Directory Muppet! Once again . . . another reason why you are NOT number 3!

Well, this issue lasted about 6 days, and was finally fixed. It was a networking issue, but related to patching, not config, nor hardware.

It’s been a long few days, and probably the hardest on me yet. It has been demoralising, and just plain depressing. Doing what one does best, and getting no support, nor encouragement for what you do. Instead you get hassles, issues and some prick on the phone, who thinks he knows better, even though he is nowhere near your site, and hasn’t even had the courtesy to read the lengthy emails you have been sending regarding what troubleshooting steps you have taken to try resolve the issue.

Amazingly enough the only support I seem to get is from the expat (UK-based) staff who come out for a few weeks at a time to manage certain arenas. So, why is it that they seem to understand and the locals, with a few exceptions – as there are few good guys – don’t?? I call it Attitude. The only thing that makes you in life.

At this stage, for the first time ever, I am counting down the days till I go home! Right now, I just can’t bloody wait! I need a holiday and a refresh and it’s only been 3 weeks! 🙁




Easy Going Guy 😉

Loving Life – kinda