The Day the Internet Went Down

The IT guy burst into my office!

“Do you have a router or switch somewhere in here that you just hooked up!” He exclaimed, stopped short to catch his breath.  I showed him the only router to my knowledge, but it had been there for years and shot me a crossed look for pointing out something so obvious.

He explained to me that someone had hooked up a wireless router somewhere in the building, and it was bringing down the entire network.  Somehow the router was redirecting all IP addresses to a dead end local IP and no one could get any outside network access.  I had actually been having trouble getting online today, but I managed to find other work to do while it got sorted out.  I’m usually more productive when technology isn’t working so I didn’t waste time reporting it.

Knowing the risks of an open WIFI connection, I was on board and entirely concerned about this problem.  Was it a rouge agency trying to steal our secrets or was it a quiet secretary who wanted to hook up to a wireless router and enter time cards outside in the mild spring weather?  Either way, an illegal unsecured line was out there, opening the door for a security breach to any common passer-by.  It’s the equivalent of a bank putting their safe in the parking lot and leaving the door open all day and night!  The perpetrator would meet an end with extreme prejudice.

I pulled out my company issued Blackberry just as the IT guy was doing the same.  A glimmer of realization overcame us both as we turned on our smartphone wifi to follow to signal strength bars to the source.  We split up, a trick we learned from Scooby Doo, and began to search the building for the rogue router.

I passed through cubicles waving my phone back and forth through the aisles.  I was whispering, “Here Linksys…  Here Linksys Linksys Linksys! Come here boy!”  I could only guess that the IT guy had a similar mantra.

My awareness of the drone of office conversations, the occasional shout of “can you get online?” and phones ringing went by the wayside as I focused in on finding the source of that signal.  I wanted to be the one to find it and become the office hero.  Office acts of vigilante/heroism often end in a promotion, a lapel pin, or some kind of special keys.  I saw a wifi bar jump so I dropped to the ground to maintain stealth.  I began to crawl.  My crawl was a bit hobbled and I had to use my right elbow since I was still regarding my phone as I searched the office.

Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain in my back!  Had the corporate spy sensed we were on to his plan and shot me in the back?  In seconds I had gone from office hero to office martyr?  Or was the woman’s scream indicative of the fact that the secretary had just tripped over me, pressing her knee sharply in my back, and falling on the floor next to me.  She picked her self and her papers up and started to ask “what the hell I was doing {crawling on the floor}” I pulled her to the ground and silenced her by putting my finger to my lips.

I pointed to my phone and the wifi signal bars. She acted as if she had no idea what that meant and started to ask questions.  I again shushed her with a finger and pointed forward down the aisle.

We began to crawl.

Being low paid off.  I saw the signal bar on my phone jump to full strength and looked into the opening of the nearby cubicle.  Down on the floor I saw it!  A brand new black and blue Linsys router flashing it’s menacing green lights at me.  I looked up to the name plate on the cubicle opening.  “Roscoe!”  I cursed under my breath.

I moved to grab and remove the rouge router but the secretary caught my shoulder.  She shook her head, a reminder that nobody goes into Roscoe’s cubicle.  I had not anticipated that Roscoe would be present, either, as he should have been out on a sales call.  I looked up and saw Roscoe with his wild red hair jamming out with a pair of headphones, silently mouthing the words to his favorite 80’s hairband music.

We tried to devise a way to unplug Roscoe’s illegal equipment.  I did not have the authority to simply charge in and begin demanding answers.  I wasn’t in my department anymore, so stealth and subterfuge were critical.  We tried waving a half opened Snickers bar (famously his favorite) in his office to lure him out, but to no avail.  I looked for a place to unplug his power, but it was protected under the desk.

We tried hooking the router with a coat hanger but Roscoe rolled his chair over the hanger.  He noticed the bump that his wheels rolled over and looked down.  We hid behind the wall and I saw my end of the coat hanger disappear into his office.

I heard Roscoe throw his headphones to his desk as he cursed.  He rounded the cubicle wall and found the secretary and I on our knees, looking up sheepishly.  I stood up and got ready to get tough with Roscoe when a *CRACK* broke the silence.

All eyes looked up behind me. I joined to see the IT guy holding a pellet gun, leveled at Roscoe’s computer. “Next one goes through the Visio Roscoe!” Exclaimed the IT guy.

I noticed the menacing lights on the router had been snuffed out and router parts were scattered under Roscoe’s desk. There was a shout from across the office. “Oh my lord! I can read my email again.” Then from the other way, “I can see the internet again! Everyone let’s thank the IT guy!”

I tried to tell everyone that I had found the problem first but my voice was drowned out by cheers and huzzahs for the IT guy. Everyone hoisted him on their shoulders and began to carry him out of the office, still cheering for getting the internet back on.

When they carried the IT guy through a low doorway he fell off the shoulders and broke his neck. The he died.

Roscoe laughed in triumph and jumped out the window. We thought he was doomed as well, but soon he was shooting upwards in the opposite direction, flying to the clouds with his jet pack.

“Roscoe!” I cursed and shook my fist.

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