Marcus worked on a small networking team responsible for keeping a series of UK-based garages interconnected with the world-wide web. Seymour, the Team Leader (in title only), knew far less about networking than Marcus, but that didn’t stop him from acting like the big shot. Seymour was working a cash register at the original garage several years ago when the owner asked him, “You’re a young guy, right? That means you know how the internet works. What can we do to make this place internet-friendly?” After taking a Networking 101 course, Seymour managed to get the garage online, when enabled it to monitor gas prices and perform credit card transactions. This made Seymour a hero to the owner, and earned him the title, “Networking Team Leader” before he even had a team.
Eventually the garage grew from a single location into a chain. When each new location opened, Seymour made it “internet-friendly”, using the same techniques he learned at the original store, which usually involved sloppy cable runs and the cheapest router he could buy. When it came time to do more than just have the ISP arrive to show where Seymour to plug in the network cable, he was completely lost. Having multiple locations networked together was really advanced stuff, so he convinced the owner to hire some help.
Enter Marcus, who was willing to be hired on as Seymour’s subordinate while realizing he would be the de facto brains of the networking team. It didn’t take long for Marcus to realize he had his work cut out for him to get things in order. There were several hack-y solutions put in place that Marcus was able to improve upon, but in the end he got no credit for it because Seymour was there to take the accolades.
Seymour’s technical knowledge was only matched by his work ethic. He enjoyed leaving their humble office two hours early to perform things like phantom “receipt printer connectivity troubleshooting” at an undisclosed garage location. Marcus knew he was really just heading to the pub but didn’t say anything because it was better without Seymour around.
One Friday, a call came in that a garage’s network connection kept dropping. Seymour surprisingly volunteered, leaving out the detail that it was next to his favorite watering hole, the “Bee and Barb”. “I’m on it!” he said, springing up and grabbing his coat. “Have a good weekend, Marcus. Don’t work too hard!”
Marcus rolled his eyes and went back to work. An hour later he got a frantic call from Seymour. “Marcus! I need you to get over here, stat! Bring the network cabling toolkit, I forgot it there. This place has some bad cabling, I don’t know who has been touching it, but it’s a disaster! Oh, and I won’t be here when you arrive. I, uhh, got another call, I need to go!”
Marcus knew Seymour volunteering to work on something on a Friday afternoon was too good to be true. On the way to the garage, he just happened to spot Seymour’s car outside the “Bee and Barb”. Maybe he could at least get a free pint out of Seymour after he fixed this network cable.
Marcus went in the front door and asked the clerk if someone fitting Seymour’s description had been working on the internet cabling and where to find it. “Sure was. It seemed like a struggle. He kept cutting bits of it off and using profanity. Eventually he stormed off and just left it hanging there,” the clerk motioned towards the back corner, where bits of blue cable were strewn around a disconnected router.
He followed the trail of shredded cabling to just behind a large, difficult to move store display. There he spotted a tiny 1.5cm nub of network cable sticking out from behind the display. Beside them was a forgotten crimping tool, and discarded 8P8C connectors. Obviously, Seymour had been screwing up with fixing the cable. With each failed crimp, he would cut off a section and start over. He had botched it so many times that this was all that was left for Marcus to work with.
Marcus knew he only had 1 shot to put a new end on this cable before it would become necessary to run a new one- alone, and with a gigantic store display to be moved. With the deliberate care one would use to disarm a bomb, Marcus managed to crimp a new end on to the cable and jam it in to the router as it hung close to the wall. The garage’s internet was restored. Marcus quickly packed up and walked on over to the pub, where he planned to confront Seymour over a few pints.
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