"Do you want to tell me all about this thing you want me to do with Exchange?"
"Mmmm. Well, we need to get back the contents of some mailboxes that were deleted about eighteen months ago."
"Oh, right. Well, we can do that. When do you need them by?"
"The fifth of January?"
"Ah. Can you let me have the server?"
"You can't have the server. But they'll let you have the tapes."
"Right, we'll build a copy of the server then. What version of Windows and Exchange does it run?"
"It's NT4, SP6a -- and Exchange 5.5"
"And when those tapes were cut, was it running Exchange service pack three or four?"
"We don't know."
"And this backup ... was it an offline or online backup of the information store?"
"It'll be online. It's a full backup of the server, while Exchange was running. But there was a backup agent installed."
"What's the backup software?"
"We don't know. Probably Backup Exec or ARCserve, we think."
"How many tapes?"
"We don't know. It's either on one tape, or it's raided across a few."
"You don't know? I thought you said they had the tapes they wanted us to use?"
"Yes, but we don't know which ones yet, we're not sure of the dates. HR are on holiday at the moment."
"Ah. And when will you be able to let us have the tapes?"
"Ummmm ... beginning of next week?"
"And you want the contents of these mailboxes by the fifth, yes?"
"And by which date will we have the tapes?"
"That'll be ... oh."
"You know that we use Domino here, that I'm the only person here who knows how to do this sort of thing with Exchange?"
"I was expecting that, yes."
"Right. Well, I go on holiday tomorrow, and I'm not back until the tenth."
"Ah. Shall I tell them that they won't get their mailboxes on the fifth, then?"
"That sounds like a good plan."