Well, we THOUGHT we were prepared for this

The city where this company has its headquarters is about to host a summit of leaders from the Group of Twenty nations -- and that means getting to work is going to be a challenge, according to an IT pilot fish on the scene.

"The week before the G20 summit, there were cops, Secret Service and FBI swarming everywhere," fish says. "The entire downtown area was due to be blockaded, with gates and fencing severely limiting access.

"This would have made it extremely difficult for a lot of people to get to work at our shop. I myself normally drove downtown and crossed two bridges to get to work, and our company was located in a building directly across the river from where the summit was to be held."

Quite sensibly, the CEO decides everyone should work remotely from home during the two days of the summit. But that means IT has to make sure 80 people can connect remotely via VPN and not overload the server.

So a few days before the summit, fish and his cohorts run some tests. It all appears to be working quite well.

The big day comes. Fish sits down in his home office in a T-shirt, shorts and bare feet, and starts his virtual commute.

But when he tries to VPN in, he gets...nothing.

Fish calls one of the three IT guys who are on the skeleton crew that had to actually show up downtown at 6 a.m.

The inside guy tells fish that, as an electronic countermeasure, Secret Service agents cut the power to the entire building. And now there are snipers poised on the roof, and nobody is being allowed in or out.

"The skeleton IT team members were running frantically around the office, restarting over 80 computers," says fish. "I reminded him not to forget my manager's PC, which was located inside the server room itself -- he normally telecommuted every day. I called my boss's cellphone to apprise him of the situation.

"An hour later, everybody was finally logged in and working."

Sharky's always prepared for more true tales of IT life. Send yours to me at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt every time I use one. Comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google+ community, and read thousands of great old tales in the Sharkives.

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