It's heating SOMETHING, but not space

This customer service department is located in converted warehouse space that's been turned into a cubicle farm, says a network admin pilot fish responsible for keeping things running there.

"The biggest problem we had was power," fish says. "Cubicle wiring is only rated for a certain load, and the circuits we were given to work with were adequate for the desktop computer equipment my users had but very little else.

"Of course, cubicle dwellers being what they are, personalization of workspace included more than plants and pictures: It included radios, tape players, clocks, fans and -- all too often -- space heaters.

"We usually got some warning when circuit breakers would start popping, but when the wiring in one cubicle row actually started melting, management finally acted and issued the necessary prohibitions.

"Some people obeyed the rule, but for others it was merely a challenge to see how carefully they could disguise the fact that they still had one. One particular woman was bad about it -- I busted her no less than three times before management saw fit to call her on the carpet.

"I kept a close eye on her after that, but when she went three months cold turkey with no heater I stopped by to congratulate her on her newfound adherence to the rules.

"While we were talking she stood up to get something off a shelf. That was when I noticed the heating pad she had been sitting on the whole time -- plugged into the outlet where she used to plug in her heaters."

Sharky doesn't need heat, just stories. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll snag 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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