Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Check the Address

Many, many years ago, I took the 5 tests required to become an Oracle 8 Certified Professional. Then a bit afterwards I got around to taking the upgrade to 8i OCP.

I've been meaning to upgrade my certification to Oracle 9i for ages. I took the very first offering of the Oracle 9i New Features class, and so should have taken the test right afterwards. But at the time, the OCP 9i upgrade test was still in beta, and I didn't really feel like taking a 233 question test (or however many it is, the beta tests are way more then a normal test). It wasn't that I thought I wouldn't pass, just that it didn't really get me anything and I had plenty of other stuff to occupy my time.

Flash forward 3 years or so, and I decided for various reasons that I had procrastinated long enough and it was time to take the OCP 9i upgrade test. I work with 9i new features everyday, so I wasn't worried about passing the test, it is just a matter of getting it scheduled. So it happened that I bucked up and scheduled the test for this morning at 9am.

The test center where I have taken all 6 of my tests so far is only like 6 miles from work, and it is easy to find, being right by a former employer's building.

So this morning at about 8:30 I left the office to head over and take the test. About halfway to the car I realized I had forgotten my confirmation e-mail, but I figured 'who needs it'. It doesn't really have any useful information on it, other then your test time and where you are taking it.

So I drove over to Minnesota Education Center and pulled into the parking lot. I walked inside the building and turned to the left where the center is.....and there was a wall. No door, just a wall.

Now the reason for the dumpster in the parking lot becomes apparent. MN Education Center moved. And since I didn't bring my confirmation sheet with, I didn't have any idea where they moved to.

Nor did I have a cell phone with, to call anyone to check the address for me. And even if I did have a phone with, I didn't have any paper or a pen to write the new address down with.

I checked out a couple of the close-by buildings to make sure it wasn't just that they moved across the street, but couldn't find anything. By this time, it is like 8:55, and I am starting to get nervous.

So I drove all the way back to work, ran inside and looked at the e-mail confirmation. Yep, it has a completely different address. Still in Bloomington, and similar enough to make me think they hadn't moved when I was picking out the testing center, but far enough away (3 miles or so) that I would never have found it just driving around.

So I race back to the car, and head over to the new location. After a couple wrong turns because of highway overpasses, I found my way to the new building only 30 minutes late.

When I walk into the test center, there are 4 guys sitting in the lobby, which is weird. Normally there isn't anyone there except me.

Well, it turns out the test center's computers are down, so no one can take any tests.

After 15 minutes, the girl comes out and says 'well, I don't know when it is going to be fixed, so you have to reschedule'.

So that was that. An hour and 45 minutes wasted, along with two trips back and forth from work to various testing centers, and I still have to go back tomorrow to take the test.


Brenden Johnson said...

But could you charge the time out to the company, that's what I want to know. Since you were trying to do something for your career and it really wasn't your fault it didn't happen.

Steve Eck said...

Of course, I am on the clock when I go take those tests. Just like when I go take an Oracle class.

In fact, the test fee is paid for by the Man too.