And how did she fail to find the Big Red Button?

It's a few years back, and this data center houses a pair of mainframes along with the midrange systems that are this pilot fish's responsibility.

"The dual mainframes were set up so that one handled the company's reservations system, with the other one used for development and as a backup system," fish says.

"In the event that mainframe number one went down, the reservations system would automatically switch to mainframe number two, in the process losing all unsaved work on mainframe two.

"One evening it was quiet, and people would occasionally enter or exit the computer room via the door near my cubicle.

"Suddenly all the mainframe guys were excitedly running in and out of the computer room. When I asked what was going on, one said that the cleaning lady was looking for a plug for her vacuum cleaner and had unplugged mainframe one.

"To this day, I wonder how she could mistake the big 220-volt plug for the normal 110-volt outlet she was looking for."

Sharky gets his power from your true tales of IT life. So send me your stories at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll score a sharp Shark shirt every time I use one. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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