But think of the money it saved!

It's the early 1980s, and at the bank where this mainframe programmer works, management has finally decided that ATMs and on-line teller terminals aren't just a passing fad.

"So we were rolling them out to the branches," says fish. "But our data center was located in an area that had spotty electrical service, and we endured frequent power outages. The customers started complaining about long teller lines and out-of-service ATMs caused by mainframe downtime.

"The data center director was then able to make his case for a UPS system for the computer room. A diesel-powered generator/battery backup was installed and thoroughly tested.

"A few weeks later, the power went out. The building was dark so we all congregated in the computer room to see if the UPS worked. It did -- for about fifteen minutes. Then the generator ran out of fuel and the batteries were soon depleted.

"The data center director looked at the operations manager and said, 'Didn't you arrange for the fuel tank to be filled?'

"The ops guy said, 'Um, I thought you were going to do that.'

"Senior management was not impressed."

Impress Sharky. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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