Figure 1 – Daily status meeting in progress

1 – The server is jacked up.

That’s a technical term, just ask any help desk technician after a week on the job.  If they look confused, find another one who’s been on the job for less time.  Seriously, you probably didn’t run the post-install configuration, or you installed it on 2008 R2 and didn’t realize it’s 2017 and the 2008 R2 bus left the station long ago, and wound up rolled into a ditch along some mountain trail, riddled with bullet holes and filled with skeletons, still clinging onto dust-covered Blackberry phones.  In many cases, removing the role (you are on 2012 R2 or 2016, right?) and reinstalling it helps.  Or reinstall the server.  Or throw a piece of furniture across the office and do one of those primal scream therapy exercises.  If it’s a virtual machine, wipe the entire VM host, unplug the rack and go home.  Someone will eventually fix it.

2 – The clients are jacked up.

This is sort of technical.  Actually, it means the clients are not configured properly, such as not being told the proper URL or IP address to the WSUS host, or the port number is wrong (such as 8350 instead of 8530).  You led them into a dark field after a full day of heavy drinking, as they looked to you for guidance and safety, but you let them down.  Tragic story.  Or you realized that all the clients are running Linux or MacOS.  Or you forgot that you don’t even work in IT and haven’t got a clue what a WSUS really is, but you thought it would be a cool stunt to pretend and hope that they don’t discover you never studied anything related to IT in your life (true story: I know of a CTO who did that, and is still pulling down 6 figures).  Before you resign, be sure to uninstall SMB v1 at least, so it won’t be a total loss.

3 – You Pissed off the Network Team

They shut down all your ports to the outside, because you made disparaging remarks about their favorite sports team.  The only way to recover from that is to beg forgiveness, show up to work dressed entirely as their favorite team (you know, the one you despise), with your face painted, your car (or bicycle) painted, to match the team colors and logo, and maybe a box of hot doughnuts.  You might also have to fill all of the whiteboards in the building with “I promise to praise and worship the Dallas Cowboys” (example team only, no affiliation or similarity to real teams intended, hereinafter, forthwith, notwithstanding)

If you don’t have a network team, then it’s probably the InfoSec folks, who you never trusted anyway.

4 – You Forgot to Configure It

You didn’t configure synchronization.  You didn’t select products, classifications, languages and so on.  You didn’t run a first-time synchronization.  You didn’t approve any updates.  You didn’t drink coffee. You didn’t turn the server on.  You didn’t turn the clients on. You didn’t turn the lights on.  Good God almighty, did you forget to turn the shower on?  You’d better run home right now and check.

Maybe the WSUS server and clients are in two different AD domains, and nothing was configured to allow them to party in the same club.  Maybe you configured everything perfectly, and the server team moved your VM and gave it a new MAC and IP assignment (true story, yes).

5 – You Chose the Wrong Career Path

Suddenly, you realize that you wanted to be a guitarist, a farmer, a truck driver, a pilot, or a surgeon, even a blogger.  No, wait, not a blogger.  Nobody wants to be a blogger.  Whatever it is, it wasn’t IT.  Don’t be sad or ashamed.  The same thought crosses every IT worker’s mind once in a while, actually, about every 15 minutes. It can happen after repeating an innocuous acronym a few hundred times in the course of one conversation.  Just say “WSUS” over and over and over and over, and then over again, and one more time.  By the time you reach this sentence, you’ve already broken something in the room around you.


That’s a lot of raw technical stuff to absorb, so take your time.  I’m sitting in a hotel all week in the middle of nowhere.  Well, I’m close to a ridiculously huge corporate campus, surrounded by little houses and shit-loads of cows and chickens.  But there is a Japanese Sushi place across the street, and that’s about it.  But I needed a break from sushi, so I ordered a boat of french fries and a tall beer, while sitting at the bar, facing the 80 year-old grand master sushi master guy.  He just glared at me.  Anyhow, I’m glad murder is illegal or he might have leaped over the counter like I asked for a Liter of cola too many times.

I need to go to sleep now.


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