Hey, a false alarm is better than no alarm at all

Pilot fish is working in the corporate data center when a call comes in from a frantic user: The power is out at the data center's backup site.

"The backup site was located a short drive away," says fish. "I informed my supervisor of the situation and that none of our alerts had signaled any kind of power loss or interruption.

"He immediately sent me to the site -- and when I arrived, I saw that lights were working on the exterior of the building and in the main hallways.

"I then proceeded to check our UPS system and the mainframe area of our remote center, only to find no errors or alarms or any indication that there had been any kind of power interruption.

"I located the caller and asked her exactly where and when the power loss had occurred. Her response was, 'Look around you, my office is totally dark!'

"I flipped the light switch up and the overhead lights came on in her office. She said, 'I don't use those, but everything is dead on my desk.'

"A little perturbed, I then looked under her desk and found the culprit: an overloaded power strip into which she had just plugged a new desk heater.

"After unplugging the heater, I reset the strip and told her to have a nice day."

Nothing alarms Sharky except the thought of running short of true tales of IT life. Send me yours at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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