Day of the Weasel

Even the fellas in IT have a bad day. Today was mine.

Now, generally, if an IT guy screws up, it can be a disaster. They could accidentally shut servers down. They can fry a hard drive. My error was minor by comparison of all that.

See, a user was having problems printing to a color printer. The print jobs weren’t going through. Communication error — which can mean basically anything from wrong drivers to a network issue to a bad cable. Let the troubleshooting fun begin!

The infamous weasel picture

While I was running through the scenarios of what could be wrong, one of the guys told me that a super special lockdown had been put on who could print color and who couldn’t. Oh, OK, lockdown. Got it.

I chat with the lead tech … super secret lockdown doesn’t apply to this user. Blah.

After some monkeying around, I found the problem … a wrong IP address. For you non-geeks, this is like expecting to end up at the right destination with wrong directions. It just doesn’t work like that.

So, without realizing that OSX 10.6 is unforgiving about modifying printer definitions … I accidentally nuked the user’s printer definitions while trying to edit them. Which one? All of them.


“No big deal,” I thought. “Rookie mistake. Fix it and everything will be good.” So, I go back to my computer, write down the IP addresses of the 2 other printers he needed. Install. Done. Then I do a test print … of a weasel.

Now, when you work solo at night (the other techs are in different locations), you find yourself doing stupid stuff to humor yourself. Me? It’s weasels. If I do an install or upgrade, I google images of weasels to make sure the browsers are working properly. Install an aircard? Weasel search. Test print? Pictures of weasels. You get the idea.

The whole weasel thing stems from when I was a graphic artist production manager in Florida. Instead of trying to work with our salespeople, we had a very adversarial relationship with them. When stuff would go wrong, some would fudge their paperwork to try and make it look like my department’s fault.  I would literally have to spend hours every night reviewing and photocopying stuff in a massive game of “cover your ass.” And this went on for years. When I think about all the man hours wasted in this childish game of “catch the salesweasel in a lie,” it enrages me. If you work in sales, I apologize. I’m still bitter. Get me drunk and bring it up, you’ll see. To this day, I can’t refer to anyone who works in sales as anything but a salesweasel or a saleshole … but I really prefer salesweasel, and it’s usually preceded with “fucking.”

Oh sure, they LOOK cute...

So, back to the weasel printing. There I am, printing pictures of weasels. First one comes out black/white on a color printer. That shouldn’t be. Spend some time and fix that. On the second printer, it prints just fine. Third printer, nothing.

Now, this was odd. I watched it go through the print queue. It printed. I know it printed. But it wasn’t on the printer. Hmmm. Double checked the IP address. It was correct. Tried a different driver. Printed again. Watched it go through.


Maybe it was his machine. So, I go to a different machine. Install it. Grab the picture of the weasel. Print. Go back to the printer.


Baffled, I had to IM one of the other techs. “I can’t seem to print to this certain printer no matter what. It’s gotta be a wrong IP address.”

Other tech: “Hold on.”

Sure enough, the printed copy of the IP addresses was wrong. Lesson learned — don’t trust the paper — ping that shit instead.

Installed the printer with the correct IP. Magically, it prints. One more job down.

Immediately, the wheels in my brain started turning. Just where the hell did all those other weasel pictures print to? OH SHIT, did they go to the big boss? One of the other big bosses? THE OWNER? OH FUCK ME. I could just see myself trying to answer to the honchos about why I was sending pictures of weasels to their printers from a different user’s machine. OH FUCK OH FUCK OH FUCK. And all their office doors were locked. OH DAMMIT.

I nervously asked the other tech about where I sent all those pictures of weasels to.

“Hold on.”



1 Response to “Day of the Weasel”

  1. March 22, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    That is fantastic. I wonder if any of the sales team thought “who is printing pictures of me”?

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