Looks like orange is the new white, too

Flashback to the late 1990s, when this pilot fish works for a big electric utility in the northeastern U.S.

"Fiber optics was the new thing, and we had to have it at the headquarters building," says fish. "The contractors came in and ran the fiber throughout the building.

"In the offices, since it is hidden from view, nobody can see the orange covering. In the basement, where we all lived, it was run overhead and through the support beams and you could clearly see the bright orange sheathing."

That doesn't bother fish and his cohorts. But one day the company president happens to come down to the IT department. He's looking around and sees the orange sheathing, in stark contrast to the white that covers the walls, ceilings and pretty much everything else.

And he doesn't like it -- and promptly orders it changed to white.

Fish and his co-workers point out to their boss that this can't be done. The fiber cable has to be orange, according to the building code.

This information goes up the reporting chain and orders come back down: A contractor will be hired to change the sheathing to white.

"Shortly after this project was completed a building inspector was making his rounds," fish says. "He asked where the orange sheathing was for the fiber optics.

"About two weeks later the white sheathing was replaced with orange."

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