Rant: Check Your Orders


It’s been a week.  I was going to follow-up on a previous post about Zabbix API and getting a working status display going, but either Dell or Pitt-Ohio threw a wrench in the works today.  We’re not sure who mucked it up, but someone mucked it up and we’ve spent the last two days cleaning it up.

2016-05-12 11.08.44

That’s 900 Dell Chromebooks, unboxed and happy.  Or so we thought.  My boss had a conversation with our Dell rep that went a little something like this:

Rep: “Hey, I wanted to touch base about the last order of 48 Chromebooks.”
Boss: “Oh yeah, I meant to tell you, we got it yesterday!” (Yesterday being Wednesday)
Rep: “Wait, really?”
Boss: “Yeah, why?”
Rep: “Because <other district> has a packing list of 48 with your name on it.”
Boss: “…What?”

After digging through our packing lists, we confirmed it: The last order of 48 was meant for a different school district.  We didn’t notice because the bill of lading was for us.  We didn’t check the packing list; we never do.  It’s never been an issue.  Until yesterday.

900 Chromebooks.  48 of which are not ours.  All of which are unboxed, boxes destroyed, everything unpacked.  They’re still in their protective wrapping.


So Steve and I went through the arduous process of checking the Chromebooks.  We started this at 1:30pm (ish) on Thursday.  By 4:00pm on Thursday we had 28 Chromebooks of the 48 in hand.  Except we had gone through all 900.  Manually.  Twice.

They jut weren’t here.

Double crap.

The next big request comes in: we have a list of all the service tags we were supposed to receive.  Yep, you know what’s coming: manual verification of every device.  Match the service tag on the device to the service tag on our list.  Mark discrepancies.

That’s what we did today.  All day today.  We scanned in 900 Chromebooks.  Twice.  Once for Steve’s master list, once for my hastily-scripted comparison page (database storing the values we expect, input field for a hand-held scanner, takes the input, compares it to the database, and says if it’s ours or if it’s not ours).

When all was said and done: we found 54 devices that were not ours that were in our possession.  They either weren’t on our list or were on the list from the other district.  28 of the 48 are for that other district.  26 devices are just completely unaccounted for: they aren’t ours, and they aren’t the other districts. I don’t even?


Now it’s in Dell’s court.  They are already sending us 48 replacements.  We’re going to take the boxes from the 48 replacements and put some of the 56 into them, and then ship them back to Dell (per Dell’s recommendation).

It has not been a fun few days.

I am sore, my hands are cut up from cardboard, my throat is sore from saying service tags, my back hurts from standing for 6 of the 8 work hours of the day.

I am tired even though I slept from 6:30pm til 8:30pm after leaving work an hour later than usual (to catch up on the work I was SUPPOSED to be doing today).

Lesson learned: we’re going to manually verify each shipment as they come in now.

And that means our processing time just went from 200 Chromebooks/hour to something much, much less.



-M, out

Update: I made a Git Repository(per my roommate’s suggestion) of the Service Tag scanner utility I wrote.  It is available here.

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