Thursday, August 28, 2008

When is a sysadmin not a sysadmin?

I really like my job. I love connecting complex bits of hardware into a working infrastructure. Taking inanimate bits and making a living, breathing network out of them is exciting. It's the best model train set you could ask for.

There are also parts of my job that I intensely dislike. I'm not talking about the "just sort of unpleasant" tasks like user support. I don't actually mind helping people out. Part of my job is making sure other people can do theirs, and as such, I don't mind lending a hand.

What I don't like are generic administrative tasks that only take time away from the rest of my duties. Here, I'm talking about things like changing tapes, keeping track of users' software licenses, and more to the point, dealing with billing details for network contracts.

I received a voicemail today, forwarded to me by someone in the corporate office regarding our Level3 account. When we moved out of the downtown NYC office months ago, and we cancelled our Level3 account, but from everything I can figure, they didn't cancel our Level3 account. Now I've got to try to get a person on the phone from Level3 to figure out what is going on. I'm not worried that we actually owe them anything, because I've got the email from them with the disconnect order, but the rigamarole in making them understand that isn't shaping up very well. Last night at 5:00pm, I sat on hold for 45 minutes before I gave up and went home. I'll try again this morning, but I'm not anticipating a good experience.

Let me advise you this, to stay away from Level3 for your dedicated circuits, because getting any kind of help from them is next to impossible, and the service wasn't even great to begin with. They are the only bandwidth provider I've ever have who gave me a hard time about trying to contact an internal engineer. I needed to ask questions about the MLPPP-bonded T1s I was going to try, and it took 2 months to get their guy to call me back. To make matters more fun, every single contact there in my contact list has fled, so I don't even have a real person's name or number who works there. Stay away.