Luckily, nothing like that would EVER happen today

It's the 1970s, and this young pilot fish works the afternoon shift a few days a week as a "student assistant" in a university data center.

"It was Friday night and the regular computer operators wanted to leave early, leaving me alone to perform some tasks and then shut down the mainframe for the weekend," says fish.

"Among those tasks, I was asked to find a scratch disk pack and erase and format it. I went over to a shelf full of disk packs, selected one that had no label on it, and proceeded to reformat it. Pleased with myself, I left the pack for the next shift on Monday and departed.

"When I arrived for my next shift on Tuesday, the Chief Operator was waiting for me. 'Where did you get that pack?' he demanded. 'It was the payroll data pack and you erased all the payroll data! We had to restore it from a backup!'

"I pointed out it hadn't been labeled and I found it among the unused packs. I somehow kept my job."

Label it however you like, just send Sharky your story. I'm waiting for 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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