Complications of childbirth

IT pilot fish arrives at a remote site to re-image and configure a laptop for an employee -- and, barring any complications, it shouldn't take long.

"Another tech had delivered the laptop earlier on his way to another call and had stored it temporarily in our server room, which has a security-coded door," says fish.

"By design, one person at the site is also the custodian of the door code in case a vendor has to gain access. Little did we know that the code was fast becoming public knowledge among the rest of the people in the office."

The server room is fish's first stop when he arrives at the site. The laptop is there, but he also finds an office chair -- with a blanket on it.

Then fish checks in with the laptop employee's manager, who refers to the server room as the "storage closet." Fish gently reminds her that the room is security-coded for a reason, and she replies, "Oh, OK."

After setting up his own laptop in an empty office, fish heads back to the server room to retrieve the laptop. But now on the door there's a note: "Do Not Enter -- See Tiffany."

"About this time, another employee walked by," fish says. "I pointed to the note. She said, 'We have an employee that just had a baby. She goes in there to use her breast pump.'

"I was gobsmacked and, because of the delicacy of the situation, decided I would inform management and let them deal with it. In the meantime, I was not going to interrupt the process, lest I be reported to HR."

How long is this likely to take? fish asks the manager? "Oh, she'll be out in 10 or 15 minutes," manager says.

So every 10 minutes fish discreetly walks back by the door. Each time, the note is still there.

Finally he remembers that the room has a motion-sensitive light -- and after an hour of intermittent checking, he sees that even though the note is still there, there's no light coming from under the door.

"Gingerly I knocked on the door and, not getting a reply, entered the code, got the laptop and removed the note from the door," says fish.

"As it turns out, state law requires that nursing mothers have access to a 'lactation room.' Someone apparently decided to use our windowless server room so they didn't have to give up valuable office space that also had to be made private.

"I expect my management is going to wait for the issue to resolve itself -- at least until someone else in the office has a baby."

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