This is why we do training AND documentation


Flashback to the 1980s, when the big data center where this pilot fish works is set up to keep security simple for both users and IT operations staff.

"We had a printer area accessible to users, a badge-locked door from the printers into the large raised-floor area, and a window into an adjacent room where the operations staff had their consoles," says fish.

"The second-shift cleaning crew was not issued a badge, so they always asked the operators for access from the printers onto the raised floor by ringing a doorbell beside the badge-locked door. The operators would glance out the window into the print area, recognize the cleaners and release the door.

"One evening, a new cleaner understandably thought he had to ask equivalent permission to come off the raised floor, so he pressed a similar push-button near that door to ask to get out -- a large red button.

"Instantly, an untoward event occurred.

"The next day a new sign appeared above the Emergency Power Off button on the inside of that door frame. It read 'Emergency use only' and 'Solo en caso de emergencia.'"

Don't wait for an emergency -- send Sharky your story right now. Email your true tale of IT life to me at You'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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The march toward exascale computers
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