DR on a (near) daily basis



  • The DR story on the main page started me reminiscing about the dispatch center where I used to work.  I LOVED working there and hated to leave.  It was a consolidated county 911 dispatch center, where consolidated means that they had all the dispatchers for the county and every city - fire and police - together in one room.  Working off one system.  They were busy, one police dispatcher for the largest city typically worked/monitored abour 30 units (cops) at a time during the afternoons.  It was hectic, dynamic, and doing the computer support for them was - at the time terrible, but after I'd left I really missed it.  Here are the highlights.

    We were located in the basement of an old county administrative building.  No windows, fully below ground.  It was in central California where it routinely gets over 100 degrees in July and August.  Because we were downtown, we somehow fell under the utility company's umbrella for downtown businesses that got their power turned off in the afternoons when the electricity consumption was "too high" because of everybody running their air conditioners.  Our computer room had both very large UPSes and generators, which as you can see got frequent live testing.  They worked great.  What wasn't so great was that nobody in the county deemed the room that the dispatchers were in as important enough to be on either UPS or generator.  So yeah, blackout conditions in the dispatcher's room.  Nobody in the county management cared that the dispatchers suddenly had to scramble for flashlights and cell phones to call their units with.  Stupid, stupid.  Since the server room had great power backups, the server was happily running away with no users. 

    Once when the city utility workers were doing some roadwork on our street, they perforated a gas main right out front.  They evacuated all the county employees except for us basement dwellers.  How can you evacuate 911, after all?  After about an hour, the gas was actually flowing down our parking ramp into the underground parking area next to our back door, they finally evacuated us too.  They called a nearby other dispatch agency to take over our 911 calls (there is actually a switch in the phone system for that), notified the units that they were being evacuated and we all had to leave.  That was really freaky because in the 6 years I'd worked there, the dispatcher's room was NEVER unoccupied.  Even in the pitch black power failures with no running equipment, there were people in the room furiously trying to coordinate things.

    One day one of my coworkers went into the server room for some routine reason... to change some cables or whatever.  Popped up a floor tile and saw water.  About two inches of water.  Server was still running, nothing had failed.  We scrambled to get rid of the water and make sure everything kept running.  That was freaky too, because we had miles of data and power cables under the floor, much of which was actually in the water.  After we got plumbers to fix the leak (broken pipe on the first floor), and dry the place out again, the only casualty was a very large extension cable.  It had apparently been submerged long enough that it had grown "hair" - corrosion, and yet still supplied power.  We replaced it anyway.

    There was the day, when I was still new and the only one on duty at the time, when a terminal server blew out.  It was providing access to the server for a couple of the dispatchers, a couple police departments, fire departments, etc.  Since I was new, my first reaction was a stupid and naive fit of denial.  I put my head into the cabinet (it was dark so I had trouble seeing back there) and pushed the little orange button.  The fireball was pretty impressive, right in my face.  I wasn't hurt, but it did confirm that I needed to just bite the bullet and swap the thing out.  Oh, and none of the other equipment was harmed, either.

    Some of you may remember when central California had serious floods some years back.  Our agency was of course required to coordinate the emergency responders.   They pulled together an emergency operations command center in the conference center next to the dispatcher's room.  We had everybody from county secretaries manning citizen information phones to police and fire commanders organizing rescues to the BATF stomping around looking important.  We never had a single problem with the computer system the whole 4 days that this went on, but they weren't taking any chances.  Me and my 3 coworkers had to go on 12-hour rotating shifts in order to be there in case of problems.  Ok, I understand, really.  But it was really boring playing solitaire for 4 hours at a time, we got tired of chatting and walking around "for visibility".  We slept fitfully in our desk chairs, and I curled up on the floor in my cubicle.  I've never had sex with a coworker, but that's the only time I've ever spent the night with a coworker also...  right there in our office.  I jokingly told him I always imagined it would be... better.  

    So yeah, that was an interesting period in my career.  In 6 years we'd directly experienced floods, a gas leak, one evacuation, many blackouts, and one minor explosion.



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    I've ... had sex with a coworker ...  right there in our office.  I jokingly told him I always imagined it would be... better.

    Hey, I offered but you never got back to me. 



  • Ya gotta woo me with power failures, gas leaks, explosions and floods first.  Oh, and extra points for a fire or two.



  • Die Hard 5: John McClane takes an IT support role.



  • @tster said:

    Die Hard 5: John McClane takes an IT support role.
     

    I want these motherfing snakes outta my motherfing server! 



  • @arty said:

    I want these motherfing snakes outta my motherfing server!

    Wrong actor.



  • @Lingerance said:

    Wrong actor.
     

    Let's all thank Captain Obvious!



  • @arty said:

    I want these motherfing snakes outta my motherfing server! 

    Yes, they deserved to die and I hope they burn in hell!


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I, for one, think this belongs on the front page.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    I, for one, think this belongs on the front page.
     

    Perhaps, but pictures would make it a surefire nominee for me. Without them I will have to hold back.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @joe.edwards said:

    I, for one, think this belongs on the front page.
     

    Perhaps, but pictures would make it a surefire nominee for me. Without them I will have to hold back.

    Preferably after the "water pipe" incident.  Jet City Woman's clothes would be clinging to her body as she struggled against the torrent, her long hair plastered to her head as she gasps for breath...


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @joe.edwards said:

    I, for one, think this belongs on the front page.
     

    Perhaps, but pictures would make it a surefire nominee for me. Without them I will have to hold back.

    Preferably after the "water pipe" incident.  Jet City Woman's clothes would be clinging to her body as she struggled against the torrent, her long hair plastered to her head as she gasps for breath...

    You seem to have forgotten there are no girls on the Internet.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    You seem to have forgotten there are no girls on the Internet.

    What are you talking about?  There are tons of girls on the Internet.  I see videos of them all the time...



  • Now, now. This is a family forum. Well, not really, but let's at least not scare away the few IT GRRLS like myself that are out there.


    Pictures would have been great, but it's one of those things you don't think of until afterwards. Especially after I left there, reminiscing it occurred to me how much fun we had. Stressful, angsty, tear-your-hair out fun. Now I'm just doing ordinary sit-at-a-desk software development.


    Oh there were also less dramatic but still funny-in-hindsight episodes with terminals. You see county government doesn't see fit to pay for state of the art technology, even for 911 departments, so at the time (1990's) we were still running on ancient dumb terminals. We were at the very end of their useful lives where the worst ones were being cannibalized to repair the less worst ones in order to keep providing access to users. The dispatchers had the best terminals, the police and fire departments had the oldest and worst. I used to get paged out most nights of the week to swap out dead terminals, and sometimes 3 times on a weekend. That was the one part of the job that I geniunely hated, don't miss, and almost made me quit before my first year was up. Here are the highlights for Terminal Swapping:

    1. the one that would only work (display readable characters on screen) when it was upside down
    2. the one that would only work when you held the case slightly open
    3. the one that would only work when you put the screen next to the base instead of on top of the base. This was unworkable becuase it was one of those ancient ADM terminals where the base was about 2-feet square, weighed 40 pounds (all in the power supply), and the screen was almost as big.


  • @jetcitywoman said:

    WALL OF TEXT
     

    GAH! My eyes! WTF?



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    few IT GRRLS like myself that are out there.
     

    WTF is a GRRL? Are we in a high school AOL chat room now?

    @jetcitywoman said:

    Now I'm just doing ordinary sit-at-a-desk software development.

    As opposed to your last sit-on-the-toilet software development?

    Run-down-the-stairs software development?



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @jetcitywoman said:

    I've ... had sex with a coworker ...  right there in our office.  I jokingly told him I always imagined it would be... better.

    Hey, I offered but you never got back to me. 

    Reported.



  • @Random832 said:

    Reported.
     

    What are you babbling about now?

    Did you decide to ruin this thread too now?



  • @Random832 said:

    Reported.

    Now, I don't think having JetCityWoman turn me down is reason enough to send her to jail.  The crazy house, maybe, but not jail.  I know your heart has been torn asunder by the endless rejections from women and that lashing out against someone like JCW feels like the right way to vent.  However, I can take the occasional loss.  I'll just have to console myself with night after night of hot, anonymous, meaningless sex with supermodels I pick up at the bar.



  • First, sorry about the Wall of Text.  That'll teach me to click "submit" and then go get some food without making sure my post looks okay first.  I missed the edit timeout.  Oh and before MPS and MW chime in about learning to use the frickin editor.... blah blah, I know I know.  I still hate the damn thing.  If it makes you feel better, I closed my IdiotIE browser before coming back and now I can post properly.

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @jetcitywoman said:

    few IT GRRLS like myself that are out there.
     

    WTF is a GRRL? Are we in a high school AOL chat room now?

    Sorry, just trying to be amiable.  Change that to Women IT Professionals.  There, feel better?  (Sounds stuffy in my opinion.)

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @jetcitywoman said:

    Now I'm just doing ordinary sit-at-a-desk software development.

    As opposed to your last sit-on-the-toilet software development?

    Run-down-the-stairs software development?

    As in not being on the front lines of fires, floods, blackouts etc.  Not carrying a pager and being woke up at 1am, again at 3::30am, and still having to be at work for my normal shift at 7am.  (I did enjoy the power of stomping around the police station in shabby sweat suits, mad as a wet cat though.  "You want your terminal fixed asap, or you want me to look professional and put on makeup?  Okay then, shove your gun up your... ")



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    As in not being on the front lines of fires, floods, blackouts etc.  Not carrying a pager and being woke up at 1am, again at 3::30am, and still having to be at work for my normal shift at 7am
     

    Ohhhh you mean 'helpdesk'. Yes that would suck. Sorry to hear it.

    @jetcitywoman said:

    I did enjoy the power of stomping around the police station in shabby sweat suits, mad as a wet cat though. 

    You don't get out much huh?

    @jetcitywoman said:

    you want me to look professional and put on makeup?

    You could at least remove the stick from your...

    @jetcitywoman said:

    Okay then, shove your gun up your...

    Reported.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @joe.edwards said:

    I, for one, think this belongs on the front page.
     

    Perhaps, but pictures would make it a surefire nominee for me. Without them I will have to hold back.

    A pair is having sex for quite while, but both can't come. Exausted, he says: "You, too, can't recall someone else?"

    MPS, don't hold back, it's bad for your prostate!

     



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @jetcitywoman said:

    you want me to look professional and put on makeup?

    You could at least remove the stick from your...

    So you don't have a stick up your ... when you get paged out at 3am?  FWIW, I did always look professional during daytime hours.  Just not at night.   I've never been good at waking up civily.



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    when you get paged out at 3am?
     

    I don't work at a helpdesk, so no I don't get 'paged out'.

    But when I do get calls when I am not at work, I either answer them (and do my job) or I don't (if they are not important). I then feel free to clock in for the extra time I worked.

     

    I have a hard time feel upset about having to do my job and being compensated for it though.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @jetcitywoman said:

    WALL OF TEXT
     

    GAH! My eyes! WTF?

    She's a COBOL programmer. We should just be thankful the whole post wasn't upper-case. 



  • PERFORM VARYING IDX FROM 1 BY ONE UNTIL IDX > INFINITY

       DISPLAY  "HOW DARE YOU OUT ME LIKE THAT DGVID YOU CREEP"

       DISPLAY "I HATE YOUR GUTS"

    END-PERFORM.

    (Inside joke)



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @jetcitywoman said:

    you want me to look professional and put on makeup?

    You could at least remove the stick from your vagina

    So you don't have a stick up your anus when you get paged out at 3am? 

     

    I am good at madlibs.



  • @dhromed said:

    @jetcitywoman said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @jetcitywoman said:

    you want me to look professional and put on makeup?

    You could at least remove the stick from your vagina

    So you don't have a stick up your anus when you get paged out at 3am? 

     

    I am good at madlibs.

    No, that's just what you fill in the blanks with every time. You got lucky that it fit this time.


  •  @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @jetcitywoman said:

    WALL OF TEXT
     

    GAH! My eyes! WTF?

     

    Haha, wonderous.

     ----

    Sounds like an magical workplace full of potential death and despair. 



  • I work as a firefighter in Rochester, and before that, I was an EMS dispatcher, and I know first hand how much people shit on and forget about the dispatchers; day one, when a fellow coworker was explaining the chain-of-command I was told "Everyone is above the dispatchers, they probably shouldn't be on this list".

     Needless to say, it's not really out of the oridinary in this line of work, despite the difference they make. A few years ago, one of our dispatchers was able to make out a MAYDAY signal sent by a trapped firefighter from the base radio; appartantly, no one heard it on either the truck radios (which isn't suprising), or any of the portables. I don't doubt that by hearing that call for help and informing incident command about it, that dispatcher was directly responsiable for saving that mans life.



  • @Precautious said:

     

    Haha, wonderous.

    Thanks to both posters for resurrecting a dead thread. 

    Please post your 'new' comments to the dead thread in the front page comments.



  • @jetcitywoman said:

      I've never been good at waking up civily.

     

    ...you can say that again...


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