“Don’t try to frighten us with your sorcerer’s ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the Rebel’s hidden fort…” — Admiral Conan Antonio Motti
The Valve Store has actually hired a real IT Guy1 a couple months ago, so I am back to being just a back-up. And right now my only actual duties when the primary IT Guy is off is to change the backup tape every day in the server room2. Occasionally I get called upon hand out a cable or go lay hands on an ill PC, but the tape is really it. I remove the previous night’s tape and put in the current day’s, then take the used tape over to the main entrance door and hand it to the Security Guard (where later he gives it to a courier for off-site storage.) The highlight of this duty is to make up something different to say about the contents of the tape: “Just fast forward to the hour and 15 minute mark because that is where all the nudity is.” or “Don’t let Congress get a hold of this, its got all of Hillary’s emails on it.”
Unless you have been out west protesting an oil pipeline for the last 2 months or so you probably know there is a new Star Wars movie coming out. Well, over Thanksgiving week while the real IT Guy was on vacation I thought it would be cool to make a label for Friday’s tape referencing the supposed plot of Rouge One. That way when he pulls out the tape on Monday to swap them, he’d notice my little Easter Egg and get a smile. Trouble was, because I wouldn’t be in on that Friday, the guard was going to do the swapping and I didn’t want to take a chance he’d notice the different label, not get it, and call somebody because of the “error.” So I didn’t do it.
But last week I got a second chance. The IT Guy had to visit a sister plant for a project and would be gone from Tuesday through the end of the week. Friday afternoon I scoured the internet for a Galactic Empire logo and I also found out that the “Death Star” had a real name — Orbital Battle Station. I made a label just a touch smaller than, and used a glue stick to paste it over, the existing one on the tape.
Monday morning I heard the IT Guy get paged a half dozen times in the first hour by at least 4 different people, so I knew he was hopping around like a one-armed paper hanger. Around mid-morning I finally stopped in for a visit and asked him how the visit went and updated him on any IT problems that arose. I then asked if he had changed the tape yet. “Yep” “Did you notice anything different? Like the label?” “Yeah,” he replied, “I thought the storage site messed up somehow and just put the tape in the box and sent it off.” He totally missed my joke…sigh.
1. His name is Matt Somethingorother, but I like IT Guy better. And besides it gives him a bit of anonymity. The previous fellow’s real name was John Smith, but that’s got the anonymity built right in.
2. This is what the new IT Guy calls it because that is where our plant’s servers are. John and I always referred to it as the computer room because it was purpose built to hold the AS400 mini-mainframe we were supposed to get.