Saturday, July 21, 2007

Day laborer

I was the first to arrive on site and I don't think I've ever seen so much security for an IT building. Starting with the chain link and barb wire fence and intercom to get buzzed in, three buzz-through security doors and all under the watchful eye of cameras. And that was just to get to the security guard station. After that, a pass car was required to enter or exit any door (except the break room and the restrooms).

The guy running the show was pretty much a kid out of college and most of the other techs that had been called in were my age or even older, trying to make ends meet with this part-time gig. I felt like we had been standing on an LA street corner and some guy in a white shirt, tie and pocket protector pulled up in a pick-up truck and said "I'm looking for day laborers. You, you and you, hop in. You're hired."

The truck was late so it was 45 minutes before we got started. The server room was immense. Thirty or Forty Thousand square feet of server racks. We had plenty of techs so that it worked out to each one would need to install three servers. This was my first time working with racks like this and it was great that the backs of the units had these accordion-line cable runs so that you could tie-town the cables and still pull out the unit without them getting tangled.

I was done with my three servers in one rack in about two hours. We were guaranteed four hours of work so I had over an hour of standing around because there were already too many people working on racks and my presence would just get in the way. I collected garbage and loitered.

I earned $30 a server. I might get a call for the next stage of the install in three weeks.

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