the bunker visit


at the place where i work, there’s a bunker, inside of which lays the facility that controls the gas in the whole netherlands. live. all of it. i mean, it’s possible to close all the gas entries in all the cities and knock down the country with a few clicks and dos-like commands. and still have an impact on neighbouring countries, since holland has a huge reserve of natural gas and is considered the energy roundabout of europe. pretty much as in a science fiction movie.

anyway, the bunker is an autonomous underground control room, built separately from the rest of the building, with very limited access and iris scan entrance. the people working there have received training up to 5 years and know they are being watched by the national secret services.

the air seemed to be reaching it through a dozen of anti-everything filters, it felt clean and fresh, slightly artificial, in a private hospital kind of way, but without the smell. the walls had pictures of 20 years ago, when the team still worked on another location, and also pictures of the process of building the bunker (and let me assure you, buildings construction in a country below sea level isn’t easy – but that’s material for a whole new entry )

beyond the computers, the network maps in the walls and the darts target, the focused look of some people and all the support facilities around the room, there were a couple of things that made me smile.
first, an aquarium someone brought from a mixing station somewhere, when they didn’t know what to do with it there. it was big, colorful and occupied the center of the control room.
then, on one of the walls, there was a real-time video stream from the garden outside. no sound, just image. people chatting, biking, unaware they were being watched. it gave the workers down there a meter, a view of the weather and the light outside. i found the idea so humane, so nice.

as opposed to the offices upstairs, the aura there was calm, focused. i mean, people smiled at me, the stranger being guided through them as they silently watched the screens, made calls and someone delivered some fresh made coffee.

and at that point, i understood i’ll never be one of them. can you imagine the look on her majesty’s face when someone told her the reason why the netherlands was without gas… was because a dispatcher spilled a cup of coffee on a computer? :|

3 comments to “the bunker visit”

  • idlevoid says:

    lol :) that would be funny

  • J. Rentes de Carvalho says:

    Não me preocupam as consequências da queda da xícara de café sobre o computador. Antes acho divertido. Mas já agora, como há umas semanas que leio o seu blog, quero dizer-lhe que, em alguém que provavelmente não é native speaker, me surpreende a qualidade do seu inglês.
    Faço votos de que tudo lhe corra como quer.


  • ups says:

    E pelo que conheco de datacenters… uma chavena de café seria o caos!

    Suponho que também tenham que usar berbequins com aspiradores especiais quando querem fazer obras…

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