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Old 05-20-2020, 04:12 PM
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It's that time of year again. Annual performance reviews. Complete with self assessment.

I didn't catch the server room on fire. That counts for something, right?
  #2352  
Old 05-20-2020, 04:57 PM
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It's that time of year again. Annual performance reviews. Complete with self assessment.

I didn't catch the server room on fire. That counts for something, right?
That reminds me of the day someone called my dad from his work to let him know the server room was on fire. I don't think it was a big fire, though.
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  #2353  
Old 05-20-2020, 06:17 PM
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That reminds me of the day someone called my dad from his work to let him know the server room was on fire. I don't think it was a big fire, though.
There's a story I was told a couple decades back by some people who worked in NOCs (network operations center). It was of the variety of "too good to be true, but it really ought to be."

It seems this particular university had a NOC that was fairly advanced, in that it had some sensors installed to monitor things like temperature and humidity and it could call someone for help if the measurements got out of range or if a server went down or the T1 lost its connection and so on and so forth, all so that someone didn't have to be there nights and weekends.

They'd recorded a whole bunch of individual words that could be used to describe different problems so that the admin on-call would have some idea of what was needed, and the call was made by the computer over a POTS (plain old telephone service) line by stringing together a bunch of those pre-recorded words (think AT&T time and temperature—is that even a thing anymore?).

One very hot, humid night, the A/C cooling the server room lost power. The temperature level in the server room started to climb, and for some reason there was also a fire sprinkler that went off (don't ask, I didn't so I don't know why there'd be one in the room; maybe it was outside the room and the water came in under the door and anyway I think this was before non-water fire suppression systems), and eventually the combination of heat and moisture reached a level that made the automated system phone the on-call admin.

It is important to know, here, that the recorded voice happened to be female and she apparently had a breathy, Marilyn Monroe singing Happy Birthday to JFK kind of voice.

So at 3 or so in the morning, the phone rings at the on-call admin's house. Phone happens to be on the wife's side of the bed. She answers the phone and hears a woman's voice saying, "I'm. hot. I'm. wet."





The admin did get the issue fixed at the NOC. And, eventually, the issue fixed with his wife.

Last edited by Morgyn; 05-20-2020 at 06:19 PM.
  #2354  
Old 05-21-2020, 07:08 AM
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We are now looking at just changing the acceptable reliability standards. I'd be okay with some errors on T-1s carrying (non 911) trunks, but I'm trying to regroom SS7s.
How bad is it to read that and wonder whether the cables will be bound with tiny cummerbunds instead of those plastic ties?
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Old 05-21-2020, 08:42 AM
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At this rate, I'd be happy if the cables were bound at all.
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Old 05-21-2020, 08:44 AM
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So at 3 or so in the morning, the phone rings at the on-call admin's house. Phone happens to be on the wife's side of the bed. She answers the phone and hears a woman's voice saying, "I'm. hot. I'm. wet."
"It's Jake, from Allstate". Heh. Great story. Having to explain that it was the server calling, and dashing out of the house must have been a bit difficult.
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  #2357  
Old 05-21-2020, 10:57 AM
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"It's Jake, from Allstate". Heh. Great story. Having to explain that it was the server calling, and dashing out of the house must have been a bit difficult.
Nitpick: It's Jake, from State Farm.
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:09 AM
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Sure, it is.
  #2359  
Old 05-21-2020, 12:14 PM
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That reminds me of the day someone called my dad from his work to let him know the server room was on fire. I don't think it was a big fire, though.
For several months after my dad left a management position at one company for a better position at another, he would still get alerts by phone from the security firm that monitored the smoke detectors and fire alarms at his old workplace. These calls (which weren't automated -- he spoke to actual people) inevitably happened in the middle of the night. The first few times, he made an effort to contact someone who he thought might be in charge of such things; once he realized that no one cared that he was still the primary contact with the security firm, he would answer the calls, thank the security people for calling, and go back to sleep.

(It's worth noting that a good chunk of the factory was extremely old, with questionable wiring, and was known for having false alarms.)
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Old 05-21-2020, 03:33 PM
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So at 3 or so in the morning, the phone rings at the on-call admin's house. Phone happens to be on the wife's side of the bed. She answers the phone and hears a woman's voice saying, "I'm. hot. I'm. wet."
I still tease one of my coworkers about the time I called him at ~3am to tell him that there was a problem with one of the processes in a unit he managed. As I was explaining what I knew and what I needed to look up, he said "Pull up the trends on (reactor) 900 and tell me what the temperature and pressure are."

To which I replied "I just said I was starting my trends."

And then he said "No, not you; I meant my wife."

So apparently he woke his wife at 3am to look at work trends for him. She doesn't work for our company. She's not an engineer, but apparently he'd "trained" her to read engineering process trends.

Somehow, he's still married.
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:44 PM
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Lightray: Do you mean reactors as in nuclear reactors? If so, that's a bit more serious than just training someone who doesn't work for the company.
  #2362  
Old 05-21-2020, 10:08 PM
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IIRC, Lightray's reactors are chemical ones.

Big pressure cookers, basically. Depending on what's inside they can be extremely pacific or pretty nasty, but in any case it does take a special person to accept being awakened at 3am by your SO saying "love of my life: open my laptop, use my password, open a program you're not supposed to have access to and give me the readings. Thank you, dear."

Last edited by Nava; 05-21-2020 at 10:08 PM.
  #2363  
Old 05-22-2020, 10:37 AM
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IIRC, Lightray's reactors are chemical ones.

Big pressure cookers, basically. Depending on what's inside they can be extremely pacific or pretty nasty...
You can say that again.
  #2364  
Old 05-22-2020, 02:45 PM
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IIRC, Lightray's reactors are chemical ones.

Big pressure cookers, basically. Depending on what's inside they can be extremely pacific or pretty nasty, but in any case it does take a special person to accept being awakened at 3am by your SO saying "love of my life: open my laptop, use my password, open a program you're not supposed to have access to and give me the readings. Thank you, dear."
They are indeed chemical reactors. That particular reactor could potentially overpressure and release flammable gasses, which would of course be required reporting to the EPA and Very Bad. But for the incident here it was merely off-specification product that had to be disposed of.

Although I must note that password requirements for our laptops are... somewhat lax. So it's possible that all that was needed was to nudge the mouse and "wake up" the laptop. Still should not have spouses, children ( I suspect), or others looking at it, though.
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