"Sir, browsing is dead on the systems in the laboratory!", exclaims Jamie, barging into the Network Manager's office. Frantic and sweating, John replies in a deafening tone without even looking up at Jamie, "Oh, hmmm.". As if on impulse, John slowly bends alongside a rack of servers, and pokes his index finger into a hole in a huge box, and retracts. "Um, it'll be ok now!" Jamie, turning around, smiles, thinking, "He just rebooted the live mail server like it is nothing. He's one heck of a network manager!"
John barely knows his way around the administrative panel on a Windows NT box. Sure, he can check e-mails, browse, reset passwords for users, look concerned when something is not working, etc. But that is about all he can do.
John thinks himself a proud network manager. With a commanding tone and position, he loves bossing about everyone he thinks won't put his job in jeopardy. For someone who knows so little, his attitude is incredible.
Michael mumbles, pointing at the Cisco router eating dust on the top shelf of the rack, "There are exploits out there for various vulnerabilities in Cisco routers in the wild". With a look of utter concern, John innocently asks, "Hm. So, what do those do?" "Um, oh, nothing, nothing at all. Nothing surely you need worry about," Michael ducks his head and takes a step back.
"Why is LDAP running on one of your servers, sir?", a curious onlooker enquires. Looking at the screen, John, having realised he can't make neither heads nor tails of what he has been asked, pretends he missed the question. "I asked …", before the onlooker can complete his question the second time, an IT staff interrupts and seeks John's attention. John thinks to himself, "Phew. Saved in the nick of time."
For the better part of his day on the job at the office, John sits comfortably on a chair, in front of a monitor, with his eyes following the red curve being generated by the Network Traffic monitoring utility. In a way, doing so serves him right — he would not know what else to do anyway.
Although John would not admit to it, but John's famous pasttime at the job is poking at little holes on servers. Captions on most of these holes read "Reset"; the rest read "Power off". But that is understandable. If there is anything to be blamed for this, then it has to be the "Network Manager's 101 Guide to solving problems" book John keeps with him where ever he goes. It is this guide that has convinced John beyond any shadow of a doubt that the best remedy for any problems occurring on the network is a reboot. If it is the server that is misbehaving, reboot the server. If the switch is bitching, yank its switch. If the router isn't passing packets through, you know where the On/Off button is.
In loving, breathing memory of John, the proud, good-for-nothing Network Manager.