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The Diary of an Anonymous Architect #2

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The second in a new series about the day-to-day travails of an embattled practitioner. This week: Serves us all Right

‘Mama said there’ll be days like this……’  (Willie Denson, Luther Dixon)

A soft-focus misty morning. Boot up. Make coffee. Log on. No emails. Sorry? No emails. Anyone got any emails? No.  Network’s down. Server’s down. Call IT. Mmmm, that’ll be me then.

A few months ago a local IT company sorted our first server problem. They had some salvaged memory on the shelf that would keep us going. Experience suggests that at times like these IT wizards might take advantage. Not these guys – they were concerned, helpful and cheap.

The engineer makes dire warnings about the server’s imminent demise

I call them again. Their engineer arrives within the hour and decides to re-boot the system. Apparently risky as the server should be replaced really but will limp along a while longer, if it works. Silence falls, power on, after a few checks all seems well. For now. The engineer makes dire warnings about the server’s imminent demise and likely consequences – costs of data recovery, disruption, etc. Budget cost for replacement? – £10,000 minimum.

Backups made and fingers crossed, at least emails are flowing.

A mailshot resurfaces advertising a new server, network, hardware, licences and maintenance for little more than the monthly cost of maintaining our existing wheezing machine. I call the supplier, our requirements don’t appear to present a problem. If we can sort out the financial options today we could have the kit installed early next week - a minor miracle.

Our application is refused

But our application is refused. More queries but we still get a negative. Can we buy the equipment outright? No. 

Two online suppliers quote and we check lease options – three years, best cost and as soon as possible. Within half an hour I take a call to say finance approved and the agreement is ‘good to go’. I ask why this should be the case when we were refused earlier? It’s now 16:45 so we have little chance of getting this to work today. The first supplier is keen and is still saying we’re OK for installation early next week. 

I relax and wait expectantly, they email at 17:45. Email opens: application approved. Hard to understand how that could be.

Another victory snatched from the jaws of defeat. Within the week we’ll have all new kit. Only one further delay encountered: the delivery driver decided he couldn’t make the short walk to our office so he drove straight back to base with all our hardware.

All part of architecture’s rich tapestry. Now back to the drawing board.

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