Thursday, November 11, 2010

Down But Not Out

The whole universe revolves around the sun, this was a fact we had learnt way back in school. Have you ever imagined what would happen if the sun went down and never came back? The whole universe would be engulfed in darkness, there would be no light at the end of the tunnel. That expression would hold no good because there would be no sun at all. Life would come to a standstill, chaos would reign supreme, bedlam would ensue. Sun, as they say is the source of all energy. 

An office server is pretty much like the sun, it is the source of all energy. The whole office in a way revolves around the server. The functionality of our machines and the functionality of us machines who man those machines depends on the smooth operation of the server. "Server Problem" is the most frequent term thrown around in offices whenever you need a valid excuse for a slackened pace at work and when there is a server problem for real, pretty much what was mentioned in the previous paragraph happens: 

Life would come to a standstill, chaos would reign supreme, bedlam would ensue.

Bedlam did ensue when a server problem occurred. Work came to a grinding halt as computer screens froze, refusing to start up. Desktops would not get loaded, people got logged out of G-talk and various other means of online communication, the bright icon of Outlook Explorer at the taskbar turned to a sober gray indicating that it had crashed. When all work had come to a standstill the workaholic Jack loosened his tie, rolled up his sleeves and started to play. The workaholics thronged the office pantry for a cup of coffee and more people decided to take an early lunch and the table tennis room was crammed with employees eager to exhibit their TT skills. Rumors spread like wildfire in the office corridors of how they would let off people home if the server problem persisted. Seasoned employees with the zest of a battle scarred war veteran recounted an instance of how the management had once asked the employees to go home when a server problem seemed to have gone out of control.

Ten minutes had gone by.... Fifteen passed and before you knew it, half an hour had passed and there were no signs of the server returning. "Network Connection Timed Out" screamed Firefox as connecting to the internet had become impossible. It was as if time did a rewind to the Stone Age, the smartly suited professional employees were reduced to neanderthals in jeans and office wear. Even a status update of the current situation on Facebook seemed a distant dream. The office had become an asylum with nothing-to-do employees on the loose, soon the floor echoed with laughter and screams, pranks were played, people who usually roamed the office with a zombie like expression on their face pranced the corridor with a spring in their steps as if they had won the lottery. Faces which were buried deep into their laptops popped up from the cubicles like a Jack-in-the-box, pinching themselves wondering if it was a dream.

There were a few who refused to live in the present but started to plan for the future 

"Once the server is up and running I will have to multi-task" one rued.

"Think positive man!, lets hope the server never comes back!" another one declared.

Every one had that million dollar question on their minds: "When will the server be back?"

"Its back! the server is back!" shrieked someone with terror.

The laughter ceased, the brightly lit faces were eclipsed with a pall of gloom, and there was a collective groan in the corridor as the employees got back to work.


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