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T-minus 10 hours 57 minutes, and counting

The mother of all upgrades rumbles into its final act tomorrow. We have sixteen sites to go through in four days. (Thirty nine of forty five are already done.) With three teams of two I project that we'll be done with all but the last site — which we cannot touch until Friday — by the end of the day Wednesday. Presuming there are no problems getting into (and around inside) the schools, and someone remembered to arrange for library staff to accompany Team III tomorrow morning, and the weather holds.

The weather forecast looks good right up to New Years Eve. And, I'm remembering correctly, the school custodians only wash and buff the floors — no waxing. Seriously, we have had activities stopped cold in the past because the hallway outside the network room at some school had a fresh coat of wax still drying. Once, two of my guys got waxed into a data closet and had to just wait for 45 minutes. No one, unless they are a fool, walks on a custodian's freshly waxed floor. Someone (who is no longer with us, did not work for me at the time, and lacks the sense that God gave a gnat) once walked himself and a troop of interns across a drying floor at Annie Fisher. The head custodian brings that up every time I see him. ...I am seriously digressing.

The overture to the last act came Saturday morning — the only day that everyone was closed. I was in the district central office with two of my guys and the manufacturer's engineer to cut over the network there. We installed two new gigabit switches and yanked three ATM switches (leaving one, connecting to the City network, which will remain ATM for the time being). I got there around 7:20 PM, with everyone else arriving around 8:00. We broke up at 1:20 PM. I have some cleanup to do tomorrow morning; it all looks good, but the real test will come when the users show up for work.

The interesting part was explaining to my relatives that, no I really didn't mind working on Christmas Eve-day. I have, effectively, been planning this day since the fall of 2001. It took three tries to get the funding to do this (each taking a year or more, and with story enough behind them to fill a book). So, being there on December 24th and finally doing it was about the best Christmas present anyone could give me this year.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 27th, 2005 03:40 am (UTC)
Many congratulations! (Or should I say "break a leg" instead?)

Aren't newly waxed floors the same as "for want of a nail, the show was lost, etc. etc. ?" It's unbelievable.

Hartford's lucky to have you. Hope the rest is completely uneventful.
Dec. 28th, 2005 10:40 pm (UTC)
Aren't newly waxed floors the same as "for want of a nail..."

Yes and no. The waxing of the floors is part of the life-cycle of the school. After the first time you run into it, you just plan for it.

The day after school closes in June the custodians start cleaning. They work from top to bottom, moving all of the desks and chairs out of each room, cleaning the room and moving everything back. Then, in August they start waxing the hallways, starting again on the top floor and working their way down. They strip the floors to bare tile and then lay down six coats of wax, "buffed to a high luster". It's really quite a sight to see the mirror shine the week before school starts.

...So, if you have things to do in the schools in August, you just have to be flexible and not get bent out of shape if you can't get in somewhere. Just go to the next school, do your thing there and come back. Thankfully, my memory was correct and the only thing going on this week is mopping and buffing.
Dec. 30th, 2005 05:32 am (UTC)
It's school-custodian ritual and what you're saying is "don't mess with sacred rituals"....LOL (a vision of Indiana Jones being sacrificed by the Thugees suddenly sprang to mind).
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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