It’s Monday, after a weekend of bad weather and sporadic power outages across Scranton the Dunder Mifflin-ites are beginning to trickle into the office. As has become routine for Jim and Pam they arrive early to have tea and coffee, as well as time to themselves before the daily grind begins. The first thing that Pam does when she gets to the office every day is check the messages on the reception phone, today is no different. To Pam’s surprise there is no blinking light demanding her attention for messages, which she finds strange.
Upon lifting the receiver and dialing the voicemail extension just to be sure, Pam is met with silence. No dial-tone. She looks down to her phone to notice that instead of displaying all of the information she is used to seeing like phone lines and extensions, there is simply a spinning circle next to the message ‘Initializing…` that she has only ever seen if the phone was restarted for some reason. Pam thinks that she may have bumped the phone wrong or something, so she thinks nothing more of it and goes to meet Jim in the kitchen and make herself some tea.
Upon entering the kitchen Pam was greeted by Jim, “G’morning Beesly, looks like the power went out here over the weekend,” Jim says as he gestures at the microwave clock, blinking the time of 3:43 PM at them.
“Morning Jim,” Pam replies, “Looks like my day just got a whole lot more interesting, pencil me in for 2 hours of fighting with the copier this morning. You just know how it loves to be rebooted,” as Pam is saying this, Jim grimaces.
“Well, good luck with that Pam, thanks for taking one for the team!” Jim says as he saunters towards the door to go to his desk and start his computer.
Pam also decides to exit the kitchen and continue her daily routine. As she is starting her computer, she notices that her phone is still stuck with the spinning wheel, but this time the message ‘Error – No Configuration Found!’ is shown.
“Hey Jim, is your phone working,” Pam asks, “Mine is being difficult.”
Jim lifts the receiver of his desk phone and dials a number.
“Nope, nothing,” Jim replies.
“I guess we should call IT, huh?” Pam says as she starts shuffling some papers on her desk looking for the help desk number that could be found everywhere when you didn’t need it, but nowhere when you did.
“Well, as assistant regional manager, I was thinking that you could call IT… and that I could supervise” Jim says with a grin.
In response, Pam signs and puts her head in her hands. After a few seconds of this she glares at Jim and then digs around in her purse for her cell phone.
“Fine,” she says, “but the company is compensating me for the long-distance charge that calling corporate is going to take!”
Jim continues to grin triumphantly and says, “Sure, but you have to file the claim with Angela,” and then winks.
Pam shakes her head and then proceeds to dial the number for the corporate office’s IT help desk. Pam is greeted by some garbled hold music, and after a minute she decides to put the phone on speaker so that Jim can suffer with her.
“I guess it’s still technically after hours,” she says as she looks up at the clock, “Nobody’s home at corporate.”
As Pam finishes saying this, a pre-recorded message begins to play from the phone.
“Hello and thank you for calling the help desk. Currently there is no one available to take your call. Our hours are Monday to Friday, 9 to 5:30, and Saturday from 10 to 2. If you are calling with regards to an issue impacting business operations such as a network outage or other such outages, press 1 to be connected to the on-call technician. For all other issues,” Pam presses 1 and cuts off the rest of the message.
Jim and Pam listen as the phone rings, on the third ring it is picked up.
“Hello,” A sickly sounding accented man answers, “This is Sadiq, who is calling?”
“Oh, hey Sadiq, it’s Pam calling from the Scranton branch…” Pam trails off.
“Hey Pam…” Sadiq sniffles, “sorry, what seems to be the problem?”
“Well, the phones are down, I think it might be something to do with the power outages we were having over the weekend,” Pam says.
“Oh, well that’s not good, what are the phones displaying?” Sadiq asks. Pam explains the spinning and the error message.
“It sounds like I will have to get someone down there… I would do it, but I am 3 hours away… and home sick for the day,” Sadiq says and trails off.
“Here is what we will do. Pam, I am going to give you the number for a company that we contract with occasionally for IT in the Scranton area. Call them and just have them bill our account, I’ll deal with the details tomorrow. Hopefully they can get a technician out to get you guys back to work,” Sadiq explains.
Pam writes down the details for the company that Sadiq mentioned, wishes him well, and hangs up to call the company.
“Electric Cit-IT, thanks for calling my name is Greg, how may I help you?” a cheerful voice answers after the second ring.
Pam grimaces, there is way too much enthusiasm for this early on a Monday of all mornings. Jim just grins at her from where he is leaning against reception, able to hear Greg even though the call is not on speaker.
“Um, hi Greg, this is Pam calling from Dunder Mifflin Scranton…” Pam takes a breath and then launches into her explanation, “Our phones are down, I called our head office and Sadiq said to call you as he is out sick today.”
“Right on, Scranton you said?” Greg asks, “Can you give me a second, our phone tech lives out that way so if I call now, I might be able to catch him before he heads out here. Can you hold please?”
“Sure, I’ll hold,” Pam replies. Pam sighs as hold music starts to play, interrupted every 30 seconds or so by an advertisement for Electric Cit-IT’s many services. After about three minutes, the line picks up again.
“Hey Pam, I’ve got Carl, our phone guy, on the line. We managed to get him before he left the house, just a second while I transfer you,” Greg explains, and the background pitch of the call changes.
“Electric Cit-IT, Carl here,” Carl greets.
“Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam,” Pam says, prompting Jim to smile at her.
“Hey Pam, so Greg tells me that your phones are down? Do you know how long it has been since they went down?”
“No, they were down when we got in this morning, I think there was a power outage over the weekend, the microwave’s clock was blinking this morning.”
“I see, and what are they phones saying on their screens?”
Pam explains the spinning and the errors.
“It seems to me like your phone system’s configuration may have been wiped,” Carl says with a “hmm.”
“I’m pretty sure that we have a battery to prevent that sort of thing,” Jim chips in.
“That may be the case, I’m not sure what your setup looks like, but regardless of how it happened it has, the configuration may not have been saved since it was last changed, and losing power has reverted it,” Carl hypothesizes.
“Well, I will be down there in 20 minutes, I just have to grab my tools and head out the door, can I have the address and any instructions for entering the building,” Carl asks.
“Sure,” Pam replies, and gives him the address, “Just ask Hank, the security guard, to show you up to the office when you get here.”
“Thanks, I will see you in a bit,” with that, Carl hangs up.
Pam glances at the clock, it is 8:50 now, she has just spent the last 20 minutes climbing phone trees and talking to tech support, all the while Jim was just leaning against her desk making the occasional funny face. Pam sighs, her tea is cold.