b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Expensive Mistakes » Post 96029 | Search
This is a question Expensive Mistakes

coopsweb asks "What's the most expensive mistake you've ever made? Should I mention a certain employee who caused 4 hours worth of delays in Central London and got his company fined £500k?"

No points for stories about the time you had a few and thought it'd be a good idea to wrap your car around a bollard. Or replies consisting of "my wife".

(, Thu 25 Oct 2007, 11:26)
Pages: Latest, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, ... 1

« Go Back

T'other week
I work at the local college, where in these days of paperless offices everything is done on the puter: the databases, exam entry, pretty much all communication, taking the class registers is done online, and even the door locks are done on the same system (ID cards and electric locks).

So imagine my horror as, when I reach over to the door release button to buzz a teacher in (they never remember their cards) I accidentally knock over my tea, and watch as it pours down a crack in the desk directly into a mains socket. Fucksocks!

Panicking, I whip the plug out with my foot. Phew! Problem solved, right? It can just dry out.

Except looking up, my computer (plugged into another socket) is off. In fact, as I test them, all the computers in the office are off. And it's somewhat darker... the lights are off. In fact, absolutely everything had shorted out - the radiators, phones, printers, faxes... even the door locks. Ah.

It could be OK though, my other co-workers were on holiday for half term or currently at lunch. But oh no. I could hear cries of confusion. Looking into the next offices, I'd shorted out them too. And the reception desk, with students waiting impatiently. In fact, I'd shorted out every single office and department on my side of the building. I panicked: my boss, who we shall call Angela (for that isn't her name), would be coming back from lunch soon!

Now, here's the thing about the door locks: they're very sensetive and efficient, so people are used to waving their cards in the general direction of the scanner and walking straight through.

So my pièce de résistance was timidly asking the recepionist "Do you think we can sort it out before the boss notices?" just as Angela herself whacks head-first into the door with an audible *THUD*, her hand still waving her ID card futily at the scanner.

Apparently she noticed.

Length? Fixed after about an hour, but I was still laughed at for days.
(, Fri 26 Oct 2007, 10:35, 5 replies)
I refuse to belive that spillng a cuppa on a socket would cause the whole of the college to loose power!
(, Fri 26 Oct 2007, 12:09, closed)
Very Jurassic Park...
(, Fri 26 Oct 2007, 12:31, closed)
It wasn't the whole college
Just my side of the building (the management building). But of course that's where all the big scary powerful people live, so that didn't make it any better.

Apparently it was a safety thing - if one socket blows, all of them on the same circuit (or whatever it is) turn off, to stop electrical fires.

The maintenence guy told me he was pleased to see the safety stuff was working properly :)
(, Fri 26 Oct 2007, 18:30, closed)
So if theres a fire and the power gets cut off everyone burns to death locked in the classrooms?
(, Tue 30 Oct 2007, 15:50, closed)
No, because the locks keep people OUT, and are perfectly openable manually from the inside, as all electric door locks are.
(, Wed 31 Oct 2007, 12:17, closed)

« Go Back

Pages: Latest, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, ... 1