Professional excellence

Today was pretty chill. I had my annual physical today, the girls were off school, and neither Missus or I were in the mood for much work, so we all took it easy today.

Public schools decided to take an early break today so I let the girls watch some TV this morning. I gave them a list of chores to do for more TV, but they decided not to do any of them, which was fine with me. I took them to the park for an hour this afternoon to run off some steam. I’m making them wear their masks while they play, but it’s probably not doing any good since they keep pulling them down. I’m trying.

My physical was uneventful, we mostly talked about our kids, fishing, and bitcoin, of course. Doc seems like someone I would hang out with, if I had friends of course. It would be a huge violation of ethics though. Que sera.

I didn’t have any messages or tickets in my inbox at work this morning, so I was planning on slacking off, but I surprised myself by answering a call for help on the national team tech help channel. There was an Exchange server error that was caused by a broken Active Directory/DNS issue. I spent an hour and a half troubleshooting and checking things, and finally got to what I thought was the fix. I still needed more information from the client, so I called them, waited an hour for them to call back. I ran the command, rebooted the server, and things were up and running.

The client asked me, “all you did was run that one command?”

“Yes,” I told them. He thanked me and I did my picture perfect support rep impression before signing off. I recalled a story that I had read some time ago that I often refer to after incidents like this, sometimes called The Handyman’s Invoice or The Boilermaker’s Story:

“There is an old story of a boilermaker who was hired to fix a huge steamship boiler system that was not working well.

After listening to the engineer’s description of the problems and asking a few questions, he went to the boiler room. He looked at the maze of twisting pipes, listened to the thump of the boiler and the hiss of the escaping steam for a few minutes, and felt some pipes with his hands. Then he hummed softly to himself, reached into his overalls and took out a small hammer, and tapped a bright red valve one time. Immediately, the entire system began working perfectly, and the boilermaker went home.

When the steamship owner received a bill for one thousand dollars, he became outraged and complained that the boilermaker had only been in the engine room for fifteen minutes and requested an itemized bill. So the boilermaker sent him a bill that reads as follows:
For tapping the valve: $.50
For knowing where to tap: $999.50
TOTAL: $1,000.00”

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