How could it be mechanical? That might cost money!

One of the responsibilities this IT pilot fish has inherited is his site's security system, which includes an automatic gate with key-card access.

"The gate system was installed in the late 1990s and not changed since then," says fish. "Management doesn't want to sink money into repairs, because it's working, right?

"The gate has been misbehaving for a year, and each time it failed to open or shut it was reported to me to 'fix it.' I would dutifully go out, look at the relays and logic board and report back that it wasn't the programming or relays, it was the gate itself -- the wheels that the gate sat on need to have their bearings replaced.

"I would be told, 'This isn't a mechanical issue, it's your problem.'

"Now that the gate hasn't been working for a month, I finally got a maintenance person to come out with me to look at the gate. I showed him that the relays are good, the logic board is good, the programming is fine. We tested the gate opening and shutting.

"After an hour of observation, the maintenance person said, 'It looks like the bearings are going out on the gate wheels. We'll order some and get it repaired.'

"I guess it was mechanical after all."

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