A lovely spring day

No animals were harmed in the retelling of this tale.

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It’s a lovely spring day, and pilot fish who works for a company’s software division located in its own hillside office building set in suburban woodland is enjoying the view from his third-floor office, hoping that this lovely spring day will be duplicated when Saturday comes around. Shortly before lunchtime, a loud “BANG!” reverberates throughout the building, and the lights go out.

It’s a lovely spring day and the computers aren’t working, so fish and most of the building’s other occupants head out of doors, to enjoy the lovely spring day and have a look around.

They notice that two of the three circuit breakers on top of a power pole have blown open, and eventually the office manager lets it be known that the transformer located on the first floor has shorted out, and it’s going to take the rest of the day for the electric company to bring in a replacement. With that news, nearly everyone takes off to enjoy what’s left of a lovely spring day.

The next morning they learn that power was restored not too long after they all left. Regrets are few. And then they learn that it was the lovely spring day itself that gave them the gift of an afternoon off on a lovely spring day.

It had been the sort of day that leads someone to prop open a ground-floor door to let in some rare fresh air. It had been the sort of day that leads a chipmunk, dubbed Charlie by those who found his electrocuted body in the electrical room, to go out in search of a bountiful springtime meal.

The discovery of that little corpse made the sequence of events easy to reconstruct. That open door couldn’t stop Charlie. And another open door, this one leading directly to the electrical room, couldn’t stop him either. The cage around the transformer was designed to keep humans away from the high voltage, not small woodland creatures, so it couldn’t stop Charlie either. But then Charlie got too close to the transformer, and the resulting spark did stop him. His body, though, was a pretty good electrical conductor, so it didn’t stop the current that then shorted out the power lines that ran underground to the transformer.

In the end, the electric company only had to reset the circuit breakers on top of the power pole. And someone had to dispose of poor Charlie.

But just about everyone agreed that it had been a lovely spring day.

Sharky enjoys lovely spring days, too, and your true tales of IT life. Send them 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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