Overtime will never be this much fun again

Flashback a few decades, to the days when this recently married IT pilot fish is consulting on a factory automation project that suddenly grinds to a halt because of a labor strike.

"Eventually, the strike ended, the factory resumed production, and they wanted to restart the automation project," says fish. "Unfortunately, the members of the original team were all working with new clients.

"But being newly married, I figured I could use a few extra dollars, so I was willing to pick up a bit of overtime, but I didn't want to be driving to the factory after my normal workday and then the long drive home every night. Did I mention being newly married?

"The solution was to install a dial-up 1200-baud modem at the factory, so I could do most of the work from home. While my wife wasn't overjoyed at the extra work hours, the extra income came in handy, and during long compile-and-link cycles, or whenever there were system or communications problems, I spent the time with her.

"The system did have an interesting bug -- in the system monitor display, the I/O screen would cause the OS to crash. And because we used plain old 1200-baud modems without error correction, occasionally junk characters would be sent -- including 'I,' which triggered the I/O screen and crashed the system.

"We weren't paying for support, and somehow that bug never did get fixed...nudge nudge, wink wink..."

Sharky doesn't mind working overtime if you send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google+ community, and read thousands of great old tales in the Sharkives.

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