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Work zone

I spent the balance of my day holed up in our store room unboxing Cisco 3550 switches, and it was nice.

Actually, the task was scan all the serial numbers on a stack of boxes; open a box; pull out the "goody bag" (toss the pile of paper into the white paper recycling bin, toss the rack screws into the rack screw bin {we'll need those later}, toss the console cable in the console cable bin; set aside the rack ears and their screws {we'll need those immediately}, and toss out the stupid plastic wire manager that no one ever uses, the little rubber stick-on feet, an extra little cover plate thing, and several other assorted screws); toss the power cord in the power cord bucket; pull the inner cardboard out; pull the switch out; break up the Styrofoam packing yokes; un-bag the switch; stick an asset tag on the switch; screw the rack ears on (small brackets that are used to mount the switch in an equipment rack); put the switch into the pile for the appropriate school.

I'm amazed at the amount of waste generated by this operation. Cisco includes so much extra junk. I mean, how many console cables do you need? My answer: one per technician. Cisco's answer: one per piece of equipment. And everything in its own poly bag. All the little screw bags were in a bigger bag, and that bag was inside a really big bag that also held the stack of manuals and advertising gunk... I'm surprised that Cisco is so unenvironmental. Especially for a California company. And a company that affiliates itself with San Francisco at that. Nortel sends you much less shit. A switch, rack ears, screws, a power cord and a cascade cable. All of which you need. Ok, you don't need the "Installing BayStack Switches" book more than once. But, you get my point.

Environmental bitching aside, it was a nice way to spend five hours. I had my laptop (ostensibly to run the bar-code reader to collect serial numbers) with wireless and streaming MP3s, my cordless drill (with magnetic screw tip), and peace and quiet. I had a handful of visitors, but they all seemed to recognize the "this man is working" aura and said their piece or asked their question and got on their way.

Next week I get to make the transition from warehouse man to network installer. (Assuming the schools are ready for the equipment — but that's another rant for another day.) These are the days that I hold in front of myself as a promised reward for all those God damned meetings.

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