Thursday, 19 April 2012
We have some staff working far away from campus. They are in an annexe built with lottery money next to a hospice. The hospice has decided to knock this annexe down in order to extend their premises and graciously allowed the university staff to move into one of their old rooms while the building work was being done.
They would not allow the uni staff to use VPN (to access our financial system etc) so we have had to have a new line installed. We visited the site (myself and my manager) and agreed where the line would come into the comms room, that we would provide a switch and would trace the sockets back to the patch panel that needed connecting to our switch.
I was informed the line was installed, which we paid for, so went out to connect the wireless router and switch.
When I arrived I was informed by their Estates Manager that the line had not been put where we had agreed but thy had put it in another room.
Due to this 'change', they wanted us to rewire their existing sockets, install 6 new sockets, drill through their walls to install new cables and attach the switches and routers to the walls in a completely different place to what was agreed. All without any asbestos surveys or risk assessments, or any form of induction on to site.
Now the shock had rendered me almost speechless.
On top of that they were expecting us to provide all the cabling, sockets, tools etc and re-cable their rooms for free.
I have done many cabling jobs in the past, in the schools I used to work in, but I work as second-line support now. All I turned up with was a router, a switch and a Linkrunner. We have contractors that do the work to a set installation standard and we charge £275 per socket for the installation. I also know for a fact that (from the dealings we have with local teaching hospitals) the NHS do the same. This cheeky twonk was trying to get us to do all their network upgrade on the cheap.
For the sake of the staff that are due to move in, I pulled some cables though and put some trunking back up, but setting up the network connection is the extent of my responsibility.
My manager was amazed at my tale when I, finally, hours later returned to the office. Unfortunately the hostname is not showing up on our monitoring kit, I really don't want to go back. I may end up sorting out their plumbing or chopping their trees down for the extension.