Because it seemed to make an impression with Greg Ferro, here’s the $1400 Coke Can:
This is actually the second lab attempt in San Jose. The first was in RTP, but that can mysteriously disappeared before I got on the plane. That was also a $1250 Coke can, this one is the first test after the price hike to $1400.
The joke, of course, is that I flew all the way to California, pulled my hair out for 8 hours, and all I have to show for my $1400 is a Coke can and a faded, pink name badge. Some people refer to it as the “$1400 Cisco lunch”, but I figured this can would be a reminder to me every time I crack open a workbook to study or fire up my lab to test HSRP. It’s something tangible that I can look at to remind me to keep studying and keep pushing on. It’s also a relic in some regards because my last two trips have not yielded any name tags. I guess they stopped identifying the lab candidates that way and just memorize your face while your staring at network topologies. They also started charging for the drinks in the lab break room as a cost-cutting measure, so my next relic would probably be the $1400.65 Coke Can, which doesn’t really roll off the tongue. If all goes well, though, my next trip will be the one that nets my number, a plaque, fame, fortune, women, power, and mountains of money that every CCIE is given in a wheelbarrow upon passing.
By the way, if you think it’s tough trying to go through a TSA checkpoint with a half-empty water bottle, try explaining to them why you want to carry on an empty soda can with a name tag stuck to the outside. It’s hilarious!
Oh, and the “Alfred” part? That’s a story in and of itself…