Wireless Installation

Working in a small IT shop affords many benefits. One of the best is being able to perform so many different jobs. Today I found myself installing new wireless access points in one of our buildings.
These are little square devices that connect to the metal frameworks that support false ceilings. It allowed me to learn a couple of things.

1. Ceiling tiles are evil
2. People love to watch other people work

I have enough ceiling tile dust in my eyes, hair, ears and collected in my shoes and open pockets to tile the ceiling of a new building. I also have a pretty fare idea that I don't like the way ceiling tile dust tastes. Who needs fiber cereal when you could ingest ceiling tile dust.


Plus the little buggers take a downright maniacal pleasure in not functioning as designed. You can pop one out but have you ever tried to get one to re-seat properly in the framework? Impossible. Not going to happen. You need pop out an adjacent tile in order to wrap your finger around to push down the first one. Now of course you have a different tile up. Give it a wiggle. Nothing. A tap. Nada. Then you pry it, push it, squeeze it, grab it, force it, jam it and curse it. All the while teetering back and forth on your ladder trying to get some leverage on this horrible little beast!

So you end up having to pop up some 20 odd tiles moving the wedged up corner from tile to tile hoping that the next one will be slightly loose and just fall back down in place. As it was, of course, designed to do.

Luckily though, you're not alone. No sir, you've got an audience. A whole building of workers who never say hello, but will watch you out of the corner of their eye. If you turn around to look their heads whip back and they pretend that they didn't notice you.

"What? A 230lb tech wrestling ceiling tiles for the last 20 minutes? In this building?!"

Not that I really want to chat with anyone when I'm busying playing Whack-A-Mole with the tiles.

"Whatcha you doing?"
"Installing stuff"
"What kinda stuff"
"Cisco 1400 Wireless Access Points."
"For what?"
"Wireless. It's even in the name..."
"Why do you have to plug them in if they're wireless?"

So, I was on my last one of the day with very few interruptions. I'd gotten through almost all of my ceiling tile madness when someone rounds the corner and looks up at me.

"Whatcha you doing?"
Sigh... Here we go.

And then out of nowhere it came to me and I spurted this off without missing a beat:

 "As part of the new green initiative we're installing these new collectors. They absorb negative thoughts from the employees and we turn that into energy to power the servers."

He looked at me, looked up at the wireless controller and said, "Wow. What will they think of next." And then he walked away.

Unbelievable. Or, apparently not.


Tim said...

Next time (if you dare) try bending about three inches of the end (of a metal coat hanger)at a 90 degree angle. Poke it through one of the many holes in the tile and this will allow you to pull down on the tile without leaving a large hole and without a whole lot of dust. TB

Drake Davenport said...

Haha. That's great. Reminds me of when I was about 12. I wanted to get a pda. And I wanted it to have access to the internet. So I went to the store without any knowledge of wi-fi or 3g (if it existed at that point), and started talking to the worker in the area.

"I want a pda with wireless."
"Wireless? Well... Let me see... This one gets email. Um... Here's what you're looking for. This one right here has Bluetooth. That's wireless."

And thus I was sold the only Palm in the Tungsten line without a wi-fi antenna. Not that I had access to wi-fi anyway, but still.