How do you say ‘zapped’ in French?

Cabling job is a hair-raising experience.

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It’s the big iron days of the ’70s. Pilot fish and co-workers are installing a very large IBM mainframe. The power distribution units require large 208-volt cables and connectors.
A co-worker is sitting on the raised floor and connecting power cables when he picks up one of the heavy rubber cables and says, “Look at the connector writing; it’s in French.” 

Curious, fish reaches down and grabs the cable to see what it says. But when he pulls it up, the metal connector hits the raised floor framework and sparks fly everywhere. Fish naturally drops the cable immediately, then gets his volt-ohm-milliammeter and discovers that the metal shell of the connector is 208 volts.

“Apparently,” fish reflects, “the electricians also couldn’t read French — and didn’t understand English when they were told to not make the plugs hot until we let them know.”

Sharky is tingling with anticipation, waiting for your true tale of IT life. Send it to me 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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