Business

Secret weekend office bonk came within inch of killing sysadmin

You drained the air-conditioner where, exactly? And now I've stepped in it ...

By Simon Sharwood

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On-Call Welcome once more to On-Call, in which The Register celebrates users' many, many failures by sharing your stories of being asked to clean up behind them.

This week, meet "Matt" who sent us a story from 2004 when he "worked for a company who specialised in building high speed printers."

Matt was the new kid on the block, so his first job every day was sorting out the backup tapes.

One fine Monday morning Matt came to work and headed for the data centre to perform that chore, blissfully ignorant of two facts.

The first was that over the weekend his employer's maintenance team had installed a new air-conditioning unit in a meeting room next to the data centre.

The second was that the company's Sales Director had "inspected" the new aircon.

On Sunday.

In the company of an attractive co-worker.

The pair used the aircon to set the mood and once they finished their joint - ahem - inspection, left without a thought.

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Which became a problem for Matt because when he entered the data centre on Monday morning he heard "an audible splash as my foot disappeared into an inch deep pool of water that was now all over the floor."

"My first thought was 'huh?' followed promptly by the realisation that I was still alive."

"Never in my life have I ever been so glad that Dell server racks are just over an inch off the ground and had kept the UPS's blocks dry."

An odd combination of bad installation, bad communication and (presumably) bad sex was the cause of Matt's near-death experience. The maintenance crew had piped the air-con's run-off into a bucket in the server room, from where it over-flowed into the server room. The crew intended to put in a proper pipe, but didn't tell anyone about about the new air-con or imagine it could be left running over the weekend. That lack of communication meant the sales director had no idea that the air-con could cause a problem!

Have weekend visits to the office - amorous or otherwise - left you Monday messes to clean up? If so, click here to write to On-Call and we might just float your story here on some future Friday. ®

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