Not-so-Big Gulp

It’s not raining now, therefore it won’t rain in the future.

It’s January, dry season in Colorado, and when this company moves to a new building, the server racks come along, of course, including the built-in air conditioning unit. But whereas the AC tubing in the old building ran up to the ceiling and connected to a drain, as recommended by the manufacturer, pilot fish’s manager sees that the tube is bone dry, and says that won’t be necessary — no money to do it.

Put the drain tube into a Big Gulp cup, manager tells the overloaded fish, who complies and then forgets all about it.

June brings rainstorms and more humid air. And of course it’s a Sunday when fish gets an alarm from the AC. Arriving at the office, she finds a big puddle on the floor. The Big Gulp cup had overflowed, the lid had been tight enough to create a back-pressure situation, and that had set off the alarm on the AC. Thinks fish: We’re going to need a bigger cup.

An office wastebasket serves for a time, but it’s too small to get through a rainy weekend without overflowing. So a large kitchen trashcan is bought, and fish’s boss has to empty it, because it’s too heavy for fish to lift when it’s full.

Inevitable outcome: After a few weeks of that, fish’s boss manages to get funding to connect the tubing to a pump and a drain. Moral of the story: When your boss ignores bad situations, find a way for those situations to affect him. 

Sharky wants a whole bucket full of your true tales of IT life. Send me yours at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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