Rudely, the shrieks of my iPhone alarm awaken me. Like a Drill Seargent barging into the barracks, it shocks me.
It’s 4:15 AM at the Fairfield Inn. In-the-middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania.
I stumble out of bed to the rough stubble of the carpet on the bottom of my feet. Coffee is calling my name. I add water, from the bottle I purchased last night, to the inadequate in-room coffee maker.
The black void that is my coffee disappointingly drips onto the paper cup. It’s too early. Within 15 minutes, I’m fully packed, cleaned, and dressed. Having been in my room for a total of 10 hours, I begin the check out process.
The elevator door opens to a group of cheerful Japanese tourists, and I wonder what’s on their agenda today in Pennsylvania. I walk across the lot to my black truck, like a zombie looking for its next victim.
I drive down the quiet roads of Pennsylvania, past the quaint brick homes. A large squared building appears from the dark. Forty-five minutes ago, I had jumped the gun. I’m early. My email indicates the installers came swiftly through the night and migrated access points to their rightful locations based on my Wi-Fi design.
Within 15 minutes, a black sedan pulls up. The bass is pumping. Why had I not thought of that? Must be a pleasant way to wake up.
We illuminated the warehouse racks with light.
I tickled the laptop keyboard keys, swiftly configuring channels, transmit power, and RF profiles per my design. Who would have thought Meraki would make their way into warehouses. The dashboard appeal is strong.
I weigh out the next steps. Do I first validate the design and configuration with the Ekahau Sidekick? Or do I go for the test to rule them all? Start with the scanners. We roam the racks, half fueled by burnt coffee and a bulky rectangular scanner device in-hand. The warehouse is busy with the early morning shift. They appear more awake than me. The IT guy and I lift our arms, weakly, to press the button of truth. Activated, the red LED is shot out against the skinny black tree-like pattern of a barcode.
I partially sweat with nervousness. I question whether my previous efforts will pay off bountifully. The IT guy is looking sharply at the screen. Then at me.
The result is relieving.
We continue to walk lazily but hopeful, down each section; testing, scanning, and talking as if we’re taking an evening stroll through town, except it’s a warehouse. Was there an ounce of doubt it would not work?
After validation with a real device safely behind me, I open my Peak Design backpack to whip out the iPad. It’s tethered to its partner, the Ekahau Sidekick. The hardware, like an overly sized nicotine patch, is strapped to my body; resting on my backside.
I spend my time gingerly walking down each hallway, looking upwards at the ceiling like a fool, avoiding eye contact with any human being. I can’t help to think that the pickers may be thinking I’m documenting their work effort as I follow them down the pick path. Three hours have passed, and I had only consumed one coffee. I squint to search for a freshly brewed carafe. It’s only a tad better than what was poured out from the hotel room.
I’m happy with the survey results. I’m so glad the users are delighted. After the usual goodbyes, I resort to rewarding myself with only the best airport food.
Tragically, the waitress gives me below-than-average chicken tenders that make McDonald’s nuggets taste Michelin star worthy. I can’t end on a low note.
I concede to a corner, perusing the news on my iPad, the battery quickly dwindling, with a cup of fresh Pretzel nuggets. I can’t wait to be back in California.