Posted on 2006-09-14 16:45:11, modified on 2006-09-14 17:12:35
In my role as network administrator, I have to replace broken hardware now and then. This mostly are ethernet cables and switches, but yesterday I had the pleasure of replacing a laserhead. A laserhead, they always come in pairs, is an ethernet layer device which euhm... well, transports the data via a laser beam. Compare it with the infrared light on the remote control of your television, and then the kind which made you blind if you look into them too long.
Like all radio and laser equipment, this device sits on top of a building. A high building. And often on places where it is hard to reach. For example, bolted on a pipe on top of a two meter high wall at the 16th floor. So I'm going up with the elevator to the 13th floor, take the stairs to the 14th floor and that's the first level of the rooftop. Our stuff is two irons stairs higher, outside.
The wind in the Sydney CBD has two characteristcs: In the afternoon around 16:00 it is very strong. And high buildings in the CBD funnel the wind through the streets and over the "lower" buidlings like the one I was on.
So you have a dutchman, dressed in black (can't help it, sometimes I run out of colourful clothes), long hair flying in all directions, carrying a big blue "thing" the size of size 50 shoebox (if you read the previous paragraph you might recognize it as a laserhead), and a backpack with tools to unscrew the current laserhead and to screw it all it back. Put laserhead on floor, carefully wriggle myself and backpack through a vertical ladder with anti-accidently-fall-towards-streetlevel features, turn around and go down on the other side of the wall. Drop backpack, go back on the ladder and get the laserhead.
I probably forgot to mention that the two buildings surrounding it (much more levels higher, 38 on one and 20something on the other one) are the Colonial State Building and the Reserve Bank of Australia. Not really places where you should run into a making amok, the guards there carry guns.
Get laserhead, go back over the vertical starts and down on the other side. And start doing the work I was supposed to do!
When you're up there you hear a lot of noise, mostly the airconditioning and cars in the streets. Another thing you often hear is the fire-brigade (lots of buildings have trigger-happy smoke detectors) and police cars. Which I heard one while I was unscrewing the laserhead and putting the replacement on. But that's okay, you hear them often.
On my way back from the rooftop (two times these horrible vertical stairs, once without and once with backpack, stairs, elevators etc) you see somebody with black pants with white stains, sweating and puffing because of the work done and the stuff I carry and of course my hair in the most freaked-out position because of the wind etc. The girl at the reception to whom I have to give the key from the rooftop back signals two policemen that euhm... I have come in. What!??!?!?!?!
To make a long story short, somebody from a neighbouring building saw me going up the roof with a backpack and go down from it without one, and she/he called the police about it... Luckily all the police did was ask what I was doing up there, the receptionist probably had told them that all was fine.Now I don't know if I should be happy that somebody keeps an eye on the neighbourhood, or that I should be unhappy that people are so easily scared about the current fear-factor about terrorism. I go for the first option!
And now, as the grand final: Mark my words, one day the dutch flag will rise again over Australia!| Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter