This is what comes of having an open door policy

It's the late 1980s, and this computer room has a large UPS unit in one corner -- the size of a really big chest freezer, says a pilot fish working there.

"The batteries in it were scheduled for annual preventive maintenance," fish says. "You had to pass through the IT area to get to it in the room housing all the servers, which ran the entire organization.

"The month for the battery check came and one day we noticed two maintenance guys pass through the office and into the glassed-in server room. Before we could get up and into the room to see what was going on, all the lights went black and the mainframes shut down immediately.

"It seems that one of the maintenance guys had opened the door to the UPS's battery compartment, not knowing that the door had a safety switch that killed the power circuit.

"The rest of the day was spent restarting equipment and assessing damage -- we lost a large mainframe drive.

"From that day on, a large sign was placed on the front of the UPS that read DO NOT OPEN DOOR -- and entry into the computer room was controlled a little closer, too."

Sharky's door is always open for true tales of IT life. Send yours 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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