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Hell desk thought PC fire report was a first-day-on-the-job prank

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Okay so once upon a time I worked for a UK media business that was based in Central London. We had during the dotcom boom a plan to update and revamp our online offering quite substantially. To do this we hired some talented people and had our own kit separate from the main server rooms (by one floor) for work before it was installed elsewhere both in the building and elsewhere. A small room with good aircon was chosen for storing the now powered up equipment because it was one of the few places where the floor was reinforced enough to take the weight.

We had a system for out of hours call outs, someone had written a small prog that alerted reception something had failed and they then called the out of hours mobile number. There was I think one call out in the first week when a cleaner switched off something by accident. So we get to the weekend and I'm on call phone rings and they say they're showing multiple failures. I got in (I was nearby) and found someone left the door open and things overheated and thermally cut out. This was during the summer so the aircon was working overtime and that had cut out too. I reset everything and went back shopping.

Next weekend I was on call again and the same thing happened, had a call from reception multiple failures. I was a bit further away but I was able to get in quite quickly. This time the door's closed but the aircon is off and it's a far cooler day. Again I reset everything and go home and hear nothing all the rest of the weekend. This pattern continues for two more weeks when whoever is on call is phoned with multiple failures. This seems malicious now so I suggest locking the door, with the key being held on reception in the key safe for access if needed. Doesn't stop it though and the key has never left reception so it's a bit of a puzzle. We view the security camera footage and no one is seen near the door so very odd.

The next weekend I'm the unlucky sod who will get the call and I realise from reviewing the call log on the phone that they're all coming in at roughly the same time ±5mins. It happens at around 6pm on the Saturday and I decide I'm going to catch whoever is doing it. I get in at 5pm get the key and unlock the door the plan being to wait for the micreant to come in and I'll surprise them. I take a book a chair and settle down all murder tv show style to wait for the handle to turn. At 17:30 there's no handle turning but mysteriously the aircon dies and the room starts to warm up. I start digging into the aircon panel options and discover that whilst there isn't an auto on time set, there is an auto off. No one (and certainly not the person who was given the responsibility) had bothered to check if the auto off was set because the auto on wasn't.

The person concerned who was supposed to check was made the "voluntary" on call person for the rest of the time we had the kit on our floor. Then the week after it had gone to the main server room etc, this person was still in possession of the phone when they should have handed it back. As it was a weekend the boss called and asked reception to call him and say there were "multiple failures" showing again. They made it halfway in before realising that they'd been had.

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