Any Port in a Storm

Sometimes The show must go on...

I'd received a call from one of the administrative assistants early in the week wanting to know if I could cover a computer class on Saturday. The gentleman who usually filled in for me was available to handle the EMT class, and the computer class was a specialty class for WordPerfect users (DOS version; yes, it was a few years back) that I particularly liked to teach, so I said "Sure!". I hadn't had a chance to use our new computer lab yet and I had helped develop the class... So it really was a way to get paid for kicking back and playing.

...until I tried to fire things up in the classroom. The network was down. ...and down hard. ...and it was a Novell setup that I really didn't want to mess with. The gentleman who handled the front desk and I both looked at things and decided that the staff really should have included him in the briefing on the new classroom and how it operated.

...and I had a quandry: this class was a contract class for some local businesses: every so often we'd offer a power user's class and invite local firms to send in their staff for an "over-the-top, not-found-in-any-book" seesion about anything their people wanted to learn. Martha and I had built up quite a selection of tips, tricks and shortcuts to draw from, and the classes were always fun. ...and now things were coming up a null set. Bad PR. Very bad...

What to do? What to do? I really didn't want to cancel this class; it really would reflect poorly on the outfit. But I needed a venue. with a group of computers on a network offering WordPerfect from the server.

I'll let the Dean finish the story:

I came in to do some work one Saturday to find my office occupied; indeed every administrative office was occupied by a student from one of our computer classes. The network in the main lab had failed overnight due to a janitor killing the main power circuit.

Rather than cancel the class, Mr. Bowman logged into the administrative computers using variations on his login name and was teaching the class by instructing the students in each area from the doorways.

At that point I felt my duty was best served by bringing up the lab network to allow him to return the class to a more normal environment as soon as possible.

Yeah, an interesting day...