Brussels - August 18th
I arrive at the Cisco offices at 7:45am. Just a wee bit early, to say the least. The doors are locked so I have to wait outside. Over the next couple of minutes more people arrive to wait outside and we all just look at each other and ask "CCIE?". The slightly nervous nod from everyone confirms that we're all there for the same purpose.
At 8am they open the doors and we get to sign in. "Take a seat over there and the proctor will come get you in 5 minutes". After a few minutes the woman in the reception answers the door phone-thingy from the other Cisco-building. "No sir, you are the wrong entrance, you need to go to the other building". A few minutes later the last person to join us sits down to wait and I once again confirm to myself that it was a good idea to scout the place the night before.
Those 5 minutes turns into 30 and at this point I'm beginning to get annoyed. Finally the proctor arrives and we move to the fourth floor and the CCIE-lab. The environment is very pleasant. Everything is clean and there's endless access to coffee and water. I think there's a vending machine as well but don't take this as a promise. I simply don't remember. I've seen a lot of discussions about the quality of keyboards and such and I have to say that the equipment I got to use didn't feel old at all. Maybe a few months at most. And yes, it's US english layout.
8:43 - lab starts. The two hours for trouble shooting passed *really* fast. I knew that I failed one questions because quite honestly I did not know what to do. I am certain that I got 7 questions correct. I know that I got the 8th as well but quite soon I realize that I broke requirements. And then there's the last one that I'm kind of unsure of. Configuration went fine. I finished in 4 hours and had 2 hours for verification. I was pretty sure that I would pass config. A few hours after the exam I realized that I probably broke requirements on that last question so I'm preparing for a fail. But I wasn't sure so I was still hoping at this point.
So I leave Cisco and go straight to the airport. I had read that the longer you have to wait, the bigger the chance of passing. So this was probably the first time ever that I was happy about not getting e-mails I was waiting for. At 19:20 I switch off my phone for that 2 hour flight home. Still no e-mail so I was starting to feel hopeful. Touchdown at around 21:45. A bootcamp friend of mine passed in April and he got his report at around 11 pm so I was kinda expecting to have an email by now. But nothing.
I drive the two hours home and I'm just continuously refreshing for new mail but nothing! I stay up till 1 am but STILL nothing! So I go to bed. Wake up the next the day and STILL nothing! Then finally at 8:45 I get the notification that my report is ready. I login and see that FAIL that I in my head knew that I would see but my heart hadn't given up hope. I passed configuration but failed troubleshooting by one question. Just as I was expecting. I was disappointed but not surprised.