Kurt McKee

lessons learned in production

Hey there! This article was written in 2004.

It might not have aged well for any number of reasons, so keep that in mind when reading (or clicking outgoing links!).

Hey! New guy!

Posted 12 June 2004

I arrived at work a little before 8:30a, and as I was walking up the steps a lady came out of the building and was quite obviously enjoying what little breeze there was to enjoy. I stepped into Health Services to find that every room in the building was between 90 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Turns out, there was a malfunction and the steam pipes had kicked into high gear overnight. My boss, Brian Druley, quipped "Talk about baptism by fire!" It turns out that the server room had gotten to 120 degress, and he had had to shut down all of the mission-critical servers. When they came back up, we had to go around the office and help get everything working. Because of that malfunction, I got a lot of experience instantly. Thus, on my first day I got to start learning by doing.

As Brian and I were touring around the building, Brian was introducing me to many of the people I would be working with. Unfortunately, I accidently crushed more than a few hands, and several people commented on how firm my grip was. After having successfully disabled many of my co-workers' hands, Brian showed me to a basement room filled with computers and equipment, and out of that mess he picked out a computer for me to rehabilitate for my work usage. He also pointed out several suitable candidates to install Linux on and transform into file servers. I'm in charge of setting up the first Linux boxen in the building! I think I'll stop by sometime tomorrow and boot them up with a Gentoo Linux install CD, start up SSH, and then come back to my dorm room to perform the configuration and installation remotely while starting to pack up some things. Yeah SSH.

This job just keeps looking better and better.

However, the way Northwestern treats students keeps looking worse and worse. On Saturday the 19th, at 6:00p, I'll be kicked out of Elder, and all of my stuff with me. Only on Sunday the 20th at 2:00p will I be allowed to move into Plex. I'll be homeless for 20 unnecessary hours. Wow. But it gets better! My job will continue through until the beginning of fall quarter, but Plex closes on August 21st. I did the math, and it means I'll be homeless for a month. Thank you Northwestern. But lest anyone think I'm complaining, I'm not. I think my predicament is actually pretty funny. And I seriously am glad that NU has such backwards policies. It makes my life an adventure. NU has unwittingly forced me to trust God! Ha ha ha! Joke's on them!