It's a long time since Victor last set foot in a school. Memories of sweaty feet, bleach, and long echoing corridors flooded back the instant he crossed the threshold of Crow Lane Primary.
His company recently signed a contract to support the school's servers - quite a coup as it was in competition with the Local Education Authority. Apparently the headmaster didn't taken too kindly to the news that the LEA's IT support function was to be outsourced offshore.
The call came through first thing that morning, from the panicky school secretary. None of the computers could access the internet.
'What's that, mate?'
Victor turns round and looks into the face of a boy, blue eyes big as golf balls in the lenses of his black-framed spectacles. No higher than Victor's waist, the kid's gelled hair sticks out like Dennis the Menace.
'This?' Victor opens his hand, revealing the Blackberry.
'It's a phone.'
The kid's eyes narrow. 'No, it isn't. Phones don't look like that.'
'This one does.'
'Has it got a camera?'
A smirk crosses the kid's face as he takes an iPhone 4 out of his pants pocket. 'Mine does. Five megapixels. Can yours do this?' He turns the phone in his hand and the image on it flips from portrait to landscape.
'No,' says Victor.
'That means it hasn't got a three-axis giro.' He leans closer to Victor. 'What are you doing?'
'Fixing your school's server - that's this big computer. There's a problem with the internet.'
'There's nothing wrong with the internet.'
'It's Mister Fiddler. He changed the IP address of the gateway. I tried pinging it from my laptop but it wouldn't.'
Victor's jaw heads for his chest. 'You know about pinging?'
The kid's eyebrows knot like spaghetti. 'Who doesn't? Except maybe Mister Fiddler.''