The 80's were a time of great technological marvels. The Walkman allowed a person to listen to music anywhere they went. The Video Cassette Recorder allowed you to watch your favorite movies repeatedly until they wore out. Then there was the magic of Fiber Optics. Advances in the light-blasted-through-glass medium allowed places like Seymour's company to share data between offices at blistering speeds.
Bill, the President of Seymour's company, always wanted them to be on the cutting edge of technology. He didn't always know the why or the how surrounding it, but when he heard about something that sounded cool, he wanted to be the first company to have it. That's where Seymour came in. As Vice President of Technological Development (a fancy job title he got for being the organization's only true techie) he made Bill's dreams come true. All he had to do was ask for the company credit card.
When Bill caught wind of fiber optics at a trade show, he came back to the office ranting and raving about it. "Seymour, we've got to link the offices up with these fiber optical things!" he shouted with enthusiasm. Since their buildings were a mere three miles apart it seemed like overkill, but Seymour was bored and needed a new project. "I've had it with these slow noisy modem things we use to exchange data! I want you to weave these fibers into our computers. You can start today!"
Seymour had to calm Bill down and explain to him what a big ordeal getting set up on fiber would be. Since there weren't any existing lines in town, one would have to be routed underground on the route between offices. Seymour got in contact with local utility and telecommunications companies and the initiative was underway.
Fast-forwarding eight months, Seymour's fiber connection was a success. The cranky old modems had been mothballed and were a distant memory. Files and reports were being sent between offices at literal light-speed. Bill made it worth all the trouble with a sizable deposit into Seymour's bank account and his own company credit card. But then one day things went awry.
Seymour's phone rang at 6:30 one morning. Bill, always the early arriver, was on the other end in a panic. "Seymour! You need to get here right now! The fibers are cooked and we can't download anything to the other office!" Seymour quickly threw on some clothes and got in his car. His commute took longer than normal because of some irritating utility work slowing down traffic but he was sure he'd have it solved in no time.
Upon arrival, he took out his trusty fiber testing kit and hooked it up to one of the pairs. Nothing. He tried the next pair. Nothing. The other 13 pairs yielded the same result. "What in the hell?" he thought to himself, with Bill hovering over his shoulder. Further inspections showed nothing was wrong with their equipment in the building.
"Seymour, this isn't acceptable!" Bill bellowed to him, growing sweatier by the minute. "First it takes you forever to get here, now you don't have any answers for me!"
"I'm sorry, Bill. I got here as soon as I could. There was this damned utility work in the way..." Seymour cut himself off as an illuminated fiber light went off in his head. "I'll be right back!" Seymour ran out to his car to drive back the way he came. The route he took to work also happened to share some of the fiber line's route.
He stopped at the dig site to find it mostly cleaned up with one construction worker remaining. Inspecting the ground, he found the utility company had done their work spray painting the correct areas not to dig. Green here, for the sewer, yellow for natural gas gas over there, and a communications line there. A new utility pole stood proudly, far away from any of the marked areas.
Well, it was a good thought, anyway. Seymour ducked under the pole's anchor cable and started back to his car- then stopped. He looked at the anchor cable, and tracked its end down into the orange spray-paint that marked a communication line. He bent down for a closer look and found shredded bits of fiber optic cable. Bingo. He flagged down the last remaining worker to point it out, "Excuse me, sir. I think there's been an accident. This line here was essential to my company's computer system."
The portly man in a hard had sauntered over, unconcerned. "Wut? This here thing? Ain't nothin but a bundle of fishing line some'un went an buried fer some reason. This ain't no computer."
"Oh, right... My mistake," Seymour offered a token apology and decided he wasn't going to get through to this particular city worker. He drove back to the office and filled Bill in on the mishap. Bill's anger was quickly channeled into an unfriendly phone call to city hall and within 24 hours Seymour's incredible fiber line was back in service. After all the effort the past several months, a getaway to use actual fishing line for its intended purpose sounded like something Seymour badly needed.