Date Archives February 2005

The system is DOWN. The system is DOWN.

All Guitar Center stores are linked together via a network, which is divided into regions (called Rock, Bass, Jazz, etc). The national network is called the UniVerse. Today a fairly high in the chain manager came to visit our store, sat us all down in some fairly long-winded meetings, and (gasp) actually had some nice things to say about our store. Which I suppose isn’t so surprising considering our store has blown by all of the other stores in the region in sales as if they were only open one day a week. Immediately after this meeting, this upper level manager and my store manager go to lunch together.

Immediately after they leave, our computers go down.

Only after looking more closely at the error messages spurting forth did I realize: The UniVerse was down. Every single store in the chain, turning what could have been a 1-2 hour outage into an all day long outage. Possibly all weekend.

The deal books come out, and we start working everything by hand. After dealing with one particularly mean customer (who nearly drove me to tears…asshole) Duvall Barbie suggested we go outside and take a break in the sunshine for a few minutes. As I’m sitting out there, I see the store manager’s car pull back into the parking lot. It struck me: he had no idea how fucked we all were.

It was my duty to tell him.

So I walk to meet him, and he smiles and asks me what’s going on. I stand at attention, tap my chest and say “Lieutenant Mellzah to Captain Ford: The Universe is down.” He laughs the sort of low chuckle that people oftentimes do when they think someone else is just being goofy, and that is when I reiterated: “The computers are down. All of ours. The whole chain.” Instantly a vein pops out on his forehead and he runs into the store, the other manager following closely behind.

It might have been slightly inappropriate to break into gales of laughter after the door swung shut after them, but it simply couldn’t be helped. Such delivery! What a reaction!

No occifer! I’m jober as a sudge!

So far today I’ve mostly been lounging around in my PJs, doing some laundry, playing some WoW, general lazy around the house stuff. About 10 minutes ago, there was a knock on my door. I open the door, and who should happen to be on the other side but a Redmond police officer? With a vase of flowers sitting next to him on the porch, no less.

I must have been hopped up on stupid pills or something, because the first thought that went through my head was “Since when do police officers deliver flowers?”

“Can I help you, officer?”

“Yes. Is Carlos here?”

“I’m sorry, there is no Carlos that lives here.”

“Do you live alone?”

“No, I have a roommate.”

“What is the gender of your roommate?”


“And his name is not Carlos?”


“Do either of you have a cell phone that may have been left turned on today?”

“We both have cell phones, but mine has been turned off since last night, and I think my roommate shuts his off when he’s in class, which is where he is now.”

“Ok then, because we have received a hang-up call that we resolved to a cell phone, which resolved to this address and a person named Carlos.”

“I’m sorry, I really don’t know what to say. I haven’t called anyone all day, my phone has been off. I don’t even know the phone number for the police here.”

“Then can I see your driver’s license to have a record of who I spoke with?”

I turned to go to my room to get my wallet, remembered my manners, and invited the officer in out of the cold. I come back, and now not one, but two police officers were inside my home.

I handed the first officer my license, and he started asking me as to when I moved here from California, etc etc. I think he was trying to make small talk, but it was a highly uncomfortable few minutes. Having collected my personal information, they bid me good day and left my house.

And I’m still wondering what in the hell happened.