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This is a question IT Support

Our IT support guy has been in the job since 1979, and never misses an opportunity to pick up a mouse and say "Hello computer" into it, Star Trek-style. Tell us your tales from the IT support cupboard, either from within or without.

(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 12:45)
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Against the elements
Once upon a time there was an IT Team, this IT Team was comprised of 'Technical' and 'Developers'. There was also a building, a horrible blue and concrete building.

One day the IT Team were working in their office. Anyone with any managerial responsibility was either in a meeting off site, on leave or unaccounted for as happens fairly frequently. Attention was drawn, as it invariably is, out of the window. Comments were passed, as invariably is the case for office workers, about the weather and its gloominess. The sky had turned a deathly grey. The same colour as Norman's face and he'd been smoking 80+ fags a day for years.

Long hard rain splashings began to pound the windows, the sky became darker. Someone put on a cardigan. I decided to turn the lights on despite the mutterings from the rest of the photosensitive team. A bright flash of light illuminated the gloomy skies. I counted the seconds, "1...2....BOOM RUMBLE RUMBLE", went the thunder. "Mutter mutter," went the team. The rain began to belt the fuck out of the windows and stray water rivulets began to trickle down the inside of the window frames. A few more coats and jackets were put on, it was beginning to get a bit parky. We stood up and shuffled to the window to have a look at the ferocity of the rain. Another bright flash, enough to cause those of us at the window to squint and those who weren't to pity our poor retinas. The thunder clap followed almost instantly and we took a step back from the windows. Another two bright flashes, the latter one causing sparks to 'jump' from our building and a loud bang.

"Fuck..." said I.

"That just hit our building..." said someone else.

My attention was drawn to the phone on a nearby desk: the display was blank. A quick scan of the office revealed half the computers had rebooted and were showing the Windows XP splashscreen. We exchanged glances. Someone mumbled something about the disaster recovery plan. "SERVER ROOM!" we all shouted simultaneously and in a stunning show of athleticism rarely seen by those who work in IT we walked, rather quickly, to the server room. The developers stayed sat in their chairs mumbling about hardware issues not being their area of responsibility.

The phone switch's LEDs were flashing red-green-red-green as it does after a reboot. We were all stood in the doorway not venturing in, in case one of the servers was somehow going to explode. Suddenly there was another flash of light and a bang.

"CLICK," went the fuse box.

"WOMMMMMMM" went the UPSs (It was a very peculiar noise, and very loud. I can only describe it as the noise that you hear when Sonic the Hedgehog gets a shield).

Our eyes were lifted to the fuse box in the corner, and the three switches that were tripped. Noone moved. Suddenly Dangerous Dave leapt forward asserting himself as the only who hadn't shat his pants. "Need something.... something... rubber" I said helpfully. A plastic cover was unclipped from one of the rack mounted servers. "Close enough," said Dave, and deftly pushed the plastic fuse box covering open. Standing on tip-toes he edged the plastic server cover towards the switches. The rest of us edged closer to the the exit.

Dave pushed the three tripped switches on, we closed our eyes. There was no loud bang and Dave was still alive. The charge lights began to move upwards on the UPSs. Suddenly the Director of IT, realising that all the danger was over, appeared in the doorway of the server room. "What's happened?" the IT Director asked accusingly. My colleagues all exchange a look of WTF and Dave sensibly replies "Lightening hit the building, tripped the electricity and knocked the phone switch off". I volunteer myself to check on the status of the phones.

I sidle out of the server room and wander from department to department unplugging and replugging the cables in the IP phones. I tell people not to panic, which was quite laughable as I clearly looked petrified. Satisfied that the phones are coming back on I make a quick escape back to our room to check on the rest of the infrastructure. As I sit down at my desk and quiveringly open the page to our network monitoring tool my phone starts to ring. 'It's still working then,' I think.

"Hello IT Fireyfox speaking?...."

It's my manager. "Hi Fireyfox, I was just watching the thunder and lightening with my son when I realised those last few lightening strikes were very close to the building. Now I hope that everything is okay..."

"Well.. the electricity trip..."

My manager cuts me off before I can finish "Look, the reason I'm phoning is that I was told I couldn't have the day off so if questions start being asked about my whereabouts say I've gone home sick, thanks" and puts the phone down. Hanging up the receiver with exasperation I look at the screen and thankfully all systems are fully operational. My phone starts ringing again, without looking at the display I pick up the receiver and quite tersely say "Yes?". It's Dangerous Dave.

"Er... I think you need to come to the server room" he says, his voice full of concern. I spring from my seat and this time run (yes run) to the server room. I realise that we're in trouble when I can hear water. Dave is stood in the doorway looking concerned. As I look into the server room I can see water, and not an insubstantial amount, pouring out of the air conditioning unit into a puddle on the middle of the floor. Fortunately it is not hitting anything electrical at that moment. Instinctively I grab a plastic bin and place it under the air con.

"Better go and get the IT Director..." says Dave. I nod. Dave bounds off in the direction of his office. I get out my mobile and dial my manager's phone number. He answers. "Bit of a problem, water pouring out of the air con in the server room" "Shit," comes the reply. I pause. My manager says "I'm on my way back in, if anyone asks where I am... you don't know... I'll think of something...." As he's still bleating excuses I hear the voice of the IT Director approaching, he enters the server room looking extremely angry. I thrust my mobile phone into his hand and say "It's.... It's.... [insert name of my manager here]".

IT Director takes mobile from me and booms into the phone "Where the fuck are you when the end of the world is coming, and which one of these fucking monkeys have you left in charge?" I couldn't make out what was being said at the other end, only that it sounded pathetic and wheedling. The IT Director dismissed me with a flick of his hand. Dave and I shuffled back to our desks white faced and sweating with fear. Someone phoned the air con repair people.

Time passed.

More time passed.

The bollocking we were waiting for never arrived. Neither did our manager.

He's been on "long term leave" ever since. Funny that.

Apologies for length and any real lack of funnehs. But it's all true that. FACT.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 18:33, closed)

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