Part 3 - A Chapter Closes

Andrew Spruce arrived his usual 15 minutes early to the lab building at the Research Triangle Park Cisco location. He sat in the car with the heater running.

Is this North Carolina or Siberia? thought Andrew as he looked over the building where he would soon be configuring a rack of equipment at near super human speeds. The temperature on this January morning had to be about one degree.

Another car pulled along side and Andrew glanced at another candidate. They shared a moment's eye contact that seemed to acknowledge volumes in a single instant.

I am going to pass today. Yes, I am going to pass today.

Twenty minutes later Andrew was greeting the RTP proctor, Hubert.

I should add this guy to my Christmas Card List, thought Andrew as he sat at his cube with his 15 inch CRT and scratch paper.  Andrew had seen him more in the last year than he had seen most of his relatives.

There it was, the lab booklet; so plain, so in descript; so potentially full of brain-busting fun!

I am going to pass today. Yes, I am going to pass today.

Andrew smiled confidentially and immediately engaged his tried and true lab strategy. He quickly confirmed the configurations on his pod were correct and examined the lab sections he would face that day.

Ten minutes later Andrew made his first verification (a very happy 802.1Q trunk), collected two points, and smiled even wider.

I am going to pass today. Yes, I am going to pass today.

From the cube next door, Andrew suddenly heard a loud slap of a palm against the cheap plastic monitor. Obscenities followed that would have made Andrew Dice Clay sound like Mr. Rodgers.

Andrew reached for some of the lightly salted peanuts he had brought to his desk, smiled at the photo of his daughter wearing her Cisco Kid T-shirt, and went back to his Layer 2 configurations.

I am going to pass today. Yes, I am going to pass today.

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