Nice that, for once, it's not our problem

It's the regular morning meeting for this California company's help desk group, and there's only one trouble ticket to discuss, reports a pilot fish at the table.

The complaint is from a department head: "We don't know why or what you did, but most of our computers have shut down and won't come up this morning."

Did anyone do this intentionally? Definitely not, all the techs agree.

Could this be because of some kind of maintenance done on the network? Almost certainly not.

What about the automatic shutdown that's being developed for PCs in the training room? It's supposed to turn off those computers at 9 p.m. Could that job have somehow run and affected this other department? No, says the tech in charge of that project.

"So we send a tech to look at the problem," fish says. "He returns to tell us that the circuit breaker for that department's cubicle area has tripped and all the power is off in the cubes.

"It seems that all the ladies in that department have personal heaters in their cubes and they leave them on 24/7, of course.

"Since it got cold last night in southern California, and we run minimal heating and cooling after hours, they all came on full blast. The huge suck of power tripped the circuit breakers.

"Problem identified -- now it's up to the facilities maintenance people to try to collect the heaters from the department. I hope they have flak jackets."

Sharky can't offer you a flak jacket if you send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. But I'll send you a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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