RogerBW's Blog

Ping My Finger 22 April 2014

In my first serious ISP job, we sold leased lines (among many other things).

Actually we were much better at selling them than at keeping them working well enough to retain the customers after their year's contracts were up. But this particular weekend, we had a problem. For reasons that I don't now recall, there was a BT engineer on site on the customer's premises, and as usual he was absolutely determined that the fault was nothing to do with his company.

So in the end I went over to our facilities centre to see what was to be seen. There was the box where the line terminated, still with the indicator lights effectively saying "line not working". There was the line, plugged into the back. So I called the BT guy again.

"Yeah," he said, "I'm definitely still pinging your gateway from here, so the fault's definitely in your network."

"Interesting," I said, "because I'm holding the other end of the line in my other hand. Do you think you're getting ICMP off my thumb?"

"Um," he said, and five minutes later it was all working again.

Tags: anecdote

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