The expert

This IT manager pilot fish has plenty of experience with Windows, but not so much with the Unix servers in his data center.

So he does the smart thing: "We outsourced out Unix support to a local IT consulting agency that claimed expertise in all things Unix," says fish. "When we had a drive go bad, I ordered the drive and arranged for their tech to come in and swap it out."

The tech shows up unannounced on a Friday afternoon and says he's ready to do the drive swap. "Don't worry that it's not backed up," he tells fish. "It's a simple procedure."

Fish is dubious, but he watches as the tech swaps the drives and then enters a command. Then he reboots the system.

And the server won't come up.

Unfazed, the tech reboots again. Same result.

That's when fish glances away from the hardware and sees the look on the tech's face. He knows that look -- something bad has happened. He just doesn't know how bad.

"He then left for his company Christmas party," fish says. "I spent that night and most of the weekend rebuilding the system from a day-old backup. My bosses weren't happy we lost a full day's work. I was even less happy that I spent an unpaid weekend rebuilding a server this 'expert' destroyed.

"Needless to say, the Unix support contract was terminated Monday morning."

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