At 8:45 I arrived to the office complex where my new employer is located. I entered building A, and walked down the hall to suite 1.
The door was locked.
I knocked, hoping that maybe someone was just in back.
There was no answer.
"Can I help you?" asked the accountant from suite 2.
"Oh, I'm just starting work here today, and nobody's here..."
"Well, John should be here soon, or maybe his office manager. Good luck!"
I wandered around the area for a bit, when I got a call on my cellphone just after 9:00. It was Renay (at the staffing agency, who is my boss on paper), telling me that John (the company owner, who is my boss in practice) was going to be a bit late.
At 9:05, a red-haired girl wearing tattered jeans and a two-sizes-too-small shirt showed up, and asked me if I was the new person.
"Yes," I said. "Are you the office manager?"
"Yeah, well, I'm usually called the office bitch," she said with a laugh. "I'm Jennifer," she said, as she let me in. "Wow, you're really dressed up!"
"Really? This is how I normally dress," I said, wearing cargo pants, a black t-shirt, and a pair of Birkenstocks.
"You gotta learn to relax!"
"I thought this was relaxed."
She showed me around a bit, pointing out where the bathroom/kitchenette area was, and pointed to some stairs into the basement.
"Don't go down there."
"What, will I be eaten by a grue?" I asked.
"No," she said, not getting the joke. "It's just really, you know, messy."
We chatted for a bit longer. Then John arrived.
He wanted to give me the tour of all the important stuff, namely the server room. So he took me downstairs.
"Heh, I asked Jennifer if I'd get eaten by a grue down here. She didn't get the joke."
"Well, she's not exactly a geek."
"Yeah, I noticed."
The server room was both very large and very sparse. There were only a few racks, each one populated with switches and such. All of the computers were in ordinary cases on shelves.
"I don't believe in rackmount cases. They're more expensive, take more power, and aren't nearly as flexible," he said. "Each of these servers cost only around $250 total to build."
Then he showed me the uplink room.
Most people are impressed if a company has their own T-1 line. But most people don't realize how little bandwidth a T-1 has. Most people also don't realize that a DS-3 has 45MB/sec of throughput.
This company has 8 DS-3s. And a couple OC-3s.
There was also an entire rack filled with T-1 lines, of course, but those were downlinks to other people buying bandwidth from him. There weren't enough of those to come even close to maxing out a single DS-3.
After the tour we backed up the previous temp's home directory, and while waiting for it to transfer (due to some weird issues with its network card) we discussed what I'd be doing. Basically, I'd be writing a web-based frontend to parse through Asterisk's log database to provide call-listing functionality for customers, as well as designing the customer database to begin with. I'd also be writing some stuff to have web-based configuration of some of Asterisk's internal configuration files (for call forwarding and so on).
"Oh, good," I said, "I won't have to work on Asterisk's code... I mean, I looked at Asterisk and osCommerce like you asked, and while osCommerce's code was fairly clean, Asterisk's... wasn't."
He laughed, and nodded.
Whether I stay there for the long term or not, I think I'll do just fine.