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A Halloween Horror Story
November 10, 2010 @ 08:38 AM | By Support Squad

Commuter stories can be quite frightening, and on the tail end of the Halloween season, it’s only fitting that I recount one shared by my friend Sara.  Having moved in recent months much closer to downtown Denver, Sara’s commute has transformed from a simple jaunt from nearby Boulder to a treacherous and terrifying stretch of road known in the Denver metro area only as “36.” 

Since October 29 fell on a Friday, most citizens who embrace the opportunity to celebrate Halloween chose the convenience of Friday over the end of weekend Sunday celebrations that would render the next work week painful.  Therefore, Sara set out on her new route to work dressed in convincing fashion as a zombie crossing guard—pale, deathly makeup juxtaposed against the fluorescent yellow green of her uniform. Within minutes of merging onto Highway 36 from the Boulder turnpike, Sara found herself not in slowly progressing traffic, but rather trapped in a parking lot of despair.

An accident further up the road between a man dressed like Spongebob Squarepants and a woman who represented the helium balloon made famous by the “Balloon Boy” episode in Fort Collins in 2009 had rendered 36 into a horrifying debacle.  While these individuals argued over fault, Sara noticed in the rearview mirror her pale zombie skin glowing red with impatience.  New to the commute since her move, she was unsure of an exit that would provide a quicker and more efficient route to work. As the clock ticked closer to her 8:00 AM meeting, the fruitless anxiety of frustration and dejection set in.

To compound the issue, all around her, strange creatures wailed in road rage.  A vampire in the car on her right squeezed his steering wheel until his knuckles threatened to burst, and the werewolf woman in his passenger seat pounded the dashboard while lamenting the immovable traffic.  Worse, to her left, Sara spotted the commissioner of her fantasy football league, dressed meticulously as Raggedy Anne, his makeup running with tears of frustration and denial.  All of them, these savage creatures stuck on a highway of doom, would be late.  Meetings would be missed.  Production would be impacted. 

Sara’s GPS had only mapped the most common route, and by the time the voice from her dashboard began to check traffic, it was too late. She was boxed in the middle lane with nothing to do but wait.

Using web conferencing to join the 8:00 AM meeting from home is one way people learned to avoid this very situation. Although less likely to occur online than on Highway 36, content presented in web conferences can get jammed. Without clear information on how to best route packets in a manner that maintains the integrity of anyone’s secure network, traffic stoppage can occur.  At InterCall we strive to provide information through our public-facing Knowledge Base that can enable those with home network security, or enterprise IT teams, to allow traffic to route to and from end users within the network, while at the same time maintaining security.  The link below depicts a means by which Microsoft® Office Live Meeting content can be allowed in an end user’s environment and eliminates the type of horror show that can grind a meeting to a halt. http://intercall.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/549

Jake Bendrick is a web operations manager at InterCall

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