Passwords are important

I was sent to a Casino once. 7:00am start and doing remote hands work for our NOC. The Comms room was well hidden in a staircase. It was cool and dusty as I remember. 

Electronics don’t like dust.

I was there to replace hardware, in a redundant system, it can be swapped without impacting the operation of the switch. The time came and I placed my hands on the module, it’s latches were quite in place. I removed the module and inserted the new one.

Some lights flashed. I was done, or so I thought.

I received a phone call from the NOC, we can’t see the module you will need to log in. I didn’t have the password. 

Why didn’t I have the password?

They called the senior on call engineer and he arrived. He logged in and found the hardware I inserted was actually faulty as well.

We had been sent someone else’s failed module. 
When we left he said something to me which has stuck with me in my career and life.

Always be self sufficient. Bring everything you need and make sure you’re prepared. 

That was the last day I didn’t know a password. 

That was the last day I wasn’t prepared.



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