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Job woes Part 1.

October 15, 2003 18:21

I have a great regular 40 hour per week job right now. It's not a ton of money, but it's steady, extremely flexible, and the checks show up and cash. Right now, that's great. However, I occasionally pick up other small jobs to work on in addition. So my dad refers someone to me who has some work. Some rather simple work from the sound of it, so I offer my normal lowball, but happy to work $20/hour rate which is happily accepted.

What is the job exactly? Like I said, it's simple. He has a Suse linux installation that he wants to have configured to use his dsl modem. While I haven't used Suse much, I've had no troubles configuring several other distros, and certainly shouldn't have much difficulty with Suse either. And in the end, the modem configuration took less than 10 minutes. It was getting to a prompt that was the tough part of the job.

Keep in mind, it took more than one phone call to find out what exactly I was going to be doing. On the first call, all that was established was exactly when I would be available to go over there to do it... what "it" was exactly was not clearly defined. Finally I discovered the desire to have the dsl installed, and asked some basic default questions to ensure some degree of success. You know, like "Is the DSL already working?" Well, it "used" to work before, but he disconnected it, then had it reconnected but not tested it. Had used it under windows before. Not sure if it was the original modem or not. But all the stuff was there.

First things first, I try to get the dsl working under windows. Because if I have to talk to tech support, they're going to expect me to be using windows, all the included software is windows based, and he wanted it working under windows anyway when dual booted, so I just attempt to solve that part first. Well, something isn't right, because the rather simple installation process isn't working. Of course, I'm natually jaded, and I expect that nothing works perfectly right out of the box. There's nearly always SOMETHING that someone has to do first. Whoops, we forgot to activate your account. Whoops, we forgot to set this parameter correctly. Whoops, we gave you the wrong password. Well, in this case, it was the latter. So I call tech support to get this problem cleared up. I'm on hold for ... quite a while. At least 30 minutes. On a cell phone (not mine). With a low battery.

Now keep in mind, the guy who hired me isn't even there. He's not even in the area. But he's calling me every 10 minutes to find out how I'm doing. This is while I'm sitting on eternal hold trying to get him online. Pointless, needless badgering, but hey. It's his nickel. Finally, the cellphone goes dead, so I recall on the landline, which I was going to do in the first place, but was discouraged from doing so for some reason. Finally get past the eternal hold session and it takes all of about two minutes to get the proper password which was one letter off of what he was provided. Modem connects right up, everything's great. Life is good. Thank the guy and hang up. Now onto Suse.

So I'm booting it up. Gets to the login prompt. I finally call the guy back and ask him what the password is. Hold onto your chair people. He doesn't know. But it's not for lack of trying. We try about 50 different passwords. Turns out he changes his passwords frequently. Sometimes several times a day. Now, I'm all for simple basic security concepts that instill that you don't use the same password on every account, but lets deal with our paranoia in a healthy way why don't we? Still no problem. I can boot up a linux box and get in, of course, I don't have any disks with me, and although I could download and write some rescue disks so I could break in, there were no blanks available, so I figure I'll just go home and come back some other time. Like maybe when he'll be there.

.... To be continued.....

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