See? I SAID it was intermittent!

This coastal city on the Gulf of Mexico has a hurricane-proof police headquarters -- which also means it's naturally cell-phone-signal-proof, reports a pilot fish on the inside.

"We were having intermittent issues with cell phone reception, so I made the mistake of showing the sergeant on duty how to reset the femtocell switch that fed the cell signals out of the bunker-like building to the Internet," fish says.

"When that got to be a nightly occurrence, the cops happened to mention it to me. No explanation of why they waited that long, but these are cops and not technicians.

"I called the vendor tech support line, and the tech proceeded to run diagnostics and pronounce the system 'fine.'

"I explained about public safety and the need for 24x7x365 communications and how, while the phones were working now, it was an intermittent problem and occurred at various time of the day. I asked for an onsite visit and maybe another replacement femto, making that our third one in under a year.

"Instead, the tech on the other end of the phone re-ran the diagnostics and again pronounced the results 'fine.'

"I asked him to run the diagnostics one more time, just to make sure. When I knew he was running the software, I unplugged the femtocell power supply.

"'Hmm,' he said. 'We have lost connection with your femto. I will dispatch a technician to your site to further troubleshoot.'"

Sharky can't afford an intermittent shortage of stories. So send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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