Now, assuming this isn't some weird tech guy pick up line, I answered "yes". He then proceeded to ask me to disconnect all out cables and clean both ends of the connections with a coffee filter. It makes sense: coffee filters aree lint free and do a great job of picking up any small particles or grime that might have been on the fingers of the last person to install the cable.
He mentioned that there have been numerous accounts of technicians in the field who had a greasy lunch, their soiled hands affecting the quality of the installation. Although this didn't fix our problem (the problem was a bad Ethernet cable), he claimed it has worked wonders for tons of other, now satisfied customers. [Note: a technician below has left a comment revealing the true reasoning behind this head-scratch-inducing bit of advice]
Give it a try next time things slow down for you, or remember to clean things off before reconnecting next time you move or switch around your office layout. Afterward, give this other tech tip for speeding online connections a try while you enjoy a cup of coffee (with a brand new filter, of course).
(Image: Sarah Rae Trover)
Updated; originally posted on Jul 27 2009