'I found the intern curled up on the data centre floor moaning'

Plus the strange case of the wrong number, the right admin, but the wrong database

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register's Friday morning folly in which we usually feature a reader's tale of gigs gone goofy.

But this week we're going to bring you two, because they're all both good but individually not quite enough for the usual On-Call experience.

Let's start with “Pete” who once worked for “a large Airline” with “a warehouse that was attached to the Data Center.”

One day, an intern was sent to that warehouse “to find cabling and rack screws.”

An hour later, he wasn't back. So Pete went looking, but could not find him.

Later that evening he noticed a missed call and voicemail on his phone. When he listened in, it transpired that the intern was locked in a server cage. And as he had a fear of small spaces “was literally screaming.”

Pete ran back to work where he “found him lying on the floor moaning.”

All's well that ends well, in this case with “a week off with pay, and a gift card for the pain and suffering.”

Wrong number, right person, wrong database

Next, meet “Laura”, a database systems programmer who on one cold, dark night received a call from someone in operations calling about “a job that just blew up.”

Laura couldn't quite make out the caller's name, but operations had a big team with lots of turnover so it was reasonable not to recognise it.”

“Half-asleep, I said to read the input card,” Laura recalls. “It was a load replace, so I said to start it from the top.”

By now she was more awake, so asked for the job name again. The caller duly provided the name, but Laura was now worried because her company did not have any jobs with that name.

So Laura asked the caller to repeat his name.

“He was an operator at some bank,” she recalls. “I told him I don't work for them, and he should really call his own people. He said that was okay and he liked my answer.”

Laura now asks Reg readers to consider the odds of operations at one company dialling the wrong number for the right person, at the wrong company.

“It was years ago, and we still laugh about it.”

As you ought, Laura. As you ought!

Can you top Pete's tale of terror? Or Laura's tale of error? If so, write to me and there's a decent chance you'll make it into a future edition of this never-ending story. ®

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