Sometimes you really can tell by the smell

IT pilot fish is called to this business's main building. Problem: "Network is out!"

"On the walk over, a smell hits me -- like a barbecue gone wrong," says fish. "Ugh!

"But network duty calls. Walking into the building, I see a clue: The lights are out. I go to the main user's office and see lots of sunlight from the window, but room lights are off. PC is running and the UPS is beeping.

"Thing is, key users and the in-house server are on UPSes, but the hallway hubs and the link to the rest of the world are not, thanks to 'budget lag.'

"I calmly explain that when power goes out, things go wrong and users should shut down their PCs gracefully, before the UPS runs down. I've explained this before, but they forget.

"So why was power out, just in the one building? That was the smell. Turns out a possum had found a loose cover in the building's power transformer and moved in. One wrong move and there was possum-scum all inside the box. The electricians who had to clean the stinky mess were not happy.

"I've had a skunked dog, dead mice in the walls and a squirrel rotting inside a radon fan. Popped possum tops them all."

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