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February 19, 2007
Tough Week

Finally, the work week is over. I spent an average of 6 hours a day on conference calls this week. If that wouldn't make you want to fling yourself off the top of a very tall building, you must have the patience of a saint.

Working, as I do, during the hours when many English-speaking customers have knocked off for the day and the Asia/Pacific sites have come online, I spend an inordinate amount of time listening to discussions I cannot understand.

A typical conference call usually runs along the lines of:

[random Chinese babble] traceroute [querying voices] router [something that sounds like Chinese but might be Martian for all I know] firewall [Chinese chit-chat, murmur, murmur] HA-HA-HA! [something that sounds like an argument] upgrade? upgrade? [cursing, sounds of a fistfight, maybe?] Oh, HA-HA-HA! [are they having a party in their network ops center?] Router! [questioning voices] protocol?

Then a lone voice in heavily-accented English, "So, what do you think?"

Repeat for six hours.

Sometimes it's Spanish. At least in Spanish I can follow along when they recite IP addresses. And sometimes I talk to folks in Australia. Our customers there are often a tough bunch to deal with, due to their serious expertise and the complexity of the networks we support there — we don't often get easy issues from Oz — but I can usually handle that, dialect differences notwithstanding. And those guys always seem to understand when I tell them it's past the end of my workday and I want a beer.

Well, as the song said, it's been a long, been a long, been a long, been a long day.

Posted by Russ at 03:33 AM, February 19, 2007 in Geekery

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