OK, that part HASN'T changed

This IT pilot fish was a manager for years, but after the recession hits he finds himself back in a hands-on support job -- and that's not the only change.

"In a cost-cutting measure, the company I ended up working for has eliminated the after-hours help desk and the after-hours network operations center," says fish. "Instead, the system administrators get after-hours calls routed to their cell phones.

"Our entire sales force works Saturday and Sunday -- their busiest days. So while I'm on one call explaining where the 'any' key is located, I receive a frantic voice mail stating that one of our satellite offices has lost phones and Internet.

"A quick check of our knowledge base shows this office has the local cable provider for both phones and Internet. A 90-minute-hold-time call to the local cable company reveals that both devices are offline.

"I get back to my caller, but he informs me that he's the regional manager and isn't on site. He gives me the cell phone of the salesman who is working at the stricken site. After several tries I reach the salesman, and quickly explain the process for power-cycling the two cable modems that provide phone and Internet to his location.

"It's at this point that he asks me if it makes a difference that the power is out."

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