I started the day in a bad mood, again due to draconian IT policies in the office but this real-life instance made the day a bit better and worse at the same time.
Noticing that I am always a couple of minutes early for international conference calls, I asked my counterpart for their local time and found out that my system clock is 12 minutes in advance. I asked around and found that we have varying system clocks so I asked Mike, a junior member of my team, to log a support ticket for the step on how to configure our machines to synchronize with an office NTP server as I know the local domain server has that service. I know because I already did it once using w32tm on my previous project but I can’t remember the name of the server that I used. Besides, it’s the support personnel’s job.
After some time, I was already in the call. I noticed that somebody was hovering near my station. He said something about a clock so I let him do his stuff on my machine since I only need the phone. I had to restrain from laughing when the support engineer started moving my trackball like a wireless mouse. Since if I let this continue I might blurt out laughing, I just pointed to the clock and when he nodded I took over the trackball and double-clicked the system tray clock. I was already wondering how to do it from there since I already inspected it a while ago and didn’t see anything.
And then the unthinkable happened, the support adjusted my clock by 8 minutes and pressed the Apply button. I was shocked but couldn’t say anything as my Madrid counterpart was discussing something important. I just heard the engineer talking to Mike about closing the ticket so I frantically waved my hand to get their attention, and hastily scribbled the characters “N T P ?” in a scratch paper. I just let Mike do the talking as I needed to focus on the call.
After the call I asked Mike what happened and he said the engineer stated that he just took a look at his system time before coming over and synchronized all of our machine clocks. Our system clocks are still surprisingly different (duhh!) but the engineer apparently said that it’s OK to have some discrepancies. Millisecond discrepancies perhaps may be alright but a full minute? And I didn’t know that we have a gifted engineer in the company that has his body clock synchronized with a NTP server.
I feel so safe in the reliable hands of our support personnel. /lol