Who'd want to know about something like that?

This library consortium provides services to more than 100 public libraries spread across a seven-county area -- and that includes some IT services, according to a pilot fish working there.

"We recently had a major data center remodel project that included UPS backup power for all of the racks, but none for the air conditioning," says fish. "Along the way there were a few staffing changes, including the building facility coordinator."

One Friday afternoon, fish and his cohorts leave for the weekend as usual. But about an hour later, fish starts getting text messages from the UPSes informing him that the power is out.

He's a little concerned, but this has happened before -- the power usually is restored within a few minutes, so he just waits for the restore message.

Not only doesn't that all-clear show up, but fish starts getting messages about over-temperature in the data center. He calls his senior engineer and heads back in, where he discovers power is shut off over several city blocks. He can even hear a few backup generators running in nearby buildings.

It's over 90 degrees in the data center and getting warmer by the minute, so fish and the engineer start shutting everything down, figuring they'll come back in the morning when power is back on and start everything back up.

But on Saturday morning, power is still out. With nothing else to do, they take a stroll around the block to chat with neighbors babysitting their generators. That's how they learn that the blackout was actually a scheduled outage, and everyone else in the area knew in advance that it was happening.

But why wasn't the library consortium staff informed? Grumbles fish, "At the after-action meeting, we found out the power company did inform us about the power cut. But the new facilities coordinator thought that, since this library would be closed by that time, it wouldn't affect anything -- and didn't forward the info to anyone."

Sharky wants to know about your true tale of IT life. Send it to me 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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