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!

2 Comments The system is DOWN. The system is DOWN.

  1. shadowstitch February 20, 2005 at 6:27 am

    Isn’t it a delightful feeling to be so low on the totem pole that your presence doesn’t matter for shit, and when something breaks at the corporate level, YOU aren’t going to be the one who gets F’d in the A?

    Sure, you had to suffer through manual credit card transfers, but your manager is probably the one who has to reconcile all that paperwork, and make sure everything adds up. And if HE fucks up, again: not your problem.

    They are wrong. Ignorance is not bliss; lack of accountability is.

    1. admin February 20, 2005 at 6:30 am

      inDEED. As my friend scott (who also works at GC, just a different one) put it so eloquently:
      SuperScott: yeah that’s some crazy shit i’ve never seen the chain down before
      SuperScott: ever
      SuperScott: somebody is getting fired

      And it won’t be me! Wee!~

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