And you thought IT governance slows things down...

This big manufacturing plant uses electric motors the size of small houses -- along with a mountain of work rules that this IT pilot fish gets to see in action when one of the giant motors needs a controller board replaced.

"Here's how it went down," fish says. "First the electrical supervisor had to lock out power to the motor.

"Then the millwright's assistant put a ladder up. Millwright climbed up, removed the screws that hold the lid on the box that holds the controller board, and climbed down.

"Electrician's assistant put a ladder up. Electrician climbed up, removed the connectors between the controller board and the motor, and climbed down.

"Controller-board service technician's assistant put a ladder up. Technician climbed up, replaced the controller board, and climbed down.

"Electrician's assistant put a ladder up again. Electrician climbed up, re-attached the connectors between the controller board and the motor, and climbed down.

"Millwright's assistant put a ladder up again. Millwright climbed up, replaced the screws that hold the lid on the box that holds the controller board, and climbed down.

"Electrical supervisor verified the work was complete and released the power lockouts.

"Meanwhile, the overhead crane operator was sitting above the motor on standby, the millwright's assistant couldn't hold the ladder for the electrician or the service technician, the electrician's assistant couldn't hold the ladder for the millwright or service technician, and the outside vendor couldn't hold the ladder for anyone else.

"And they each had to have their own ladders..."

Sharky has to have more stories -- and soon. So now would be a really good time to send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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