On Drudgery and Networking

By | February 23, 2017

I’ve put off making a second post on my blog because before I write articles I want to, I feel some obligation to have at least 1 post in each category on my blog. It feels like it’s a lot harder to get the momentum and start these posts than it is to continue writing entries.

This post is both parts a humble brag and waxing philosophical about Networking. In my job and I imagine a lot of other jobs, I find that while everything “more or less” worked it could be so much better. This nagging reminder of untapped potential causes similar feelings that the following quote from “The Making of Manhood” by W. J. Dawson does. Do yourself a favor and give it a read:

The clerk who does not strive to be the best clerk in the office, the carpenter who is not emulous of being the best carpenter in the workshop, is not likely to achieve excellence in any other pursuit for which he imagines his superior talents better fitted….I have little faith in the youth who is always crying out against his condition, and telling an incredulous world what great things he could do if his lot were different. The boast of general talents for everything usually resolves itself into particular talents for nothing. The incompetent clerk, in nine cases out of ten, would be equally incompetent as writer, artist, or speaker. If I were adjured to help a youth to some sphere supposed to be better suited to his gifts, I should first of all need to be convinced that he had performed faithfully the duties of the inferior sphere in which he found himself. The superior talent always shows itself in the superior performance of inferior duties. It is the man who is faithful in little things to whom there is given authority over larger things. He who has never learned the art of drudgery is never likely to acquire the faculty of great and memorable work, since the greater a man is, the greater is his power of drudgery.

This quote, to me, makes so much sense. How can you be responsible for something important if you can’t be bothered to do your best with something small. I think one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made in my career is feeling above a particular task. It’s easy to fall into that mindset after performing a lot of the same monotonous IT calls. It’s also easy to forget that those calls need to be done.

So let me show you a picture of one of my wiring closets in one of our satellite offices:

Yuck.

If you’re done cringing, lets go through a quick scenario. The entire office network is down, and no one can get on the internet. I step into view of this mess and, “Where do I start first!?”

It’s a nightmare and I’m going to use it to emphasize my point above about drudgery. That mess you see above actually worked. I had plenty of other fun, challenging projects to work on instead, but how could I be proud of improving my network when it’s so disorganized at the physical layer?

It is the man who is faithful in little things to whom there is given authority over larger things.

Hours of work and the help of a good friend once again reminded me of the importance drudgery and continues to solidify my respect of fundamental IT work.

Lookin’ good.