Re: used the wrong serial cable
See your UPS serial cable and raise you a box of visually identical but mutually incompatibly wired Sun SPARC null modem cables.
Every flippin' time remote console access was required there was a ten minute mix-n-match cable to server fiasco. Nearly drove me nuts. I offered to label the cables and was told in no uncertain terms not to do so "in case the labels caused confusion".
Same crew kept the departmental dry erase markers in a ziplock baggie with permanent markers. Every presentation started with a ten minute shout fest as eveyone warned everyone else in the room about the pens while the one who wanted to draw a f*cking diagram madly searched for the one usable dry erase in a bag of unfit-for-purpose.
I eventually bought my own pens (4 bux from Staples) and an eraser (about the same) and my next visual presentation was given to an incredulous repeating chorus of "you bought your own pens????" that drowned out my narrative.
All Unix SAs of course, regarded themselves as the bees knees but were seen by everyone else as the Laurel and Hardy of the enterprise. I never met a less agile or more reactionary team.
They achieved new highs of "popularity" when they informed the Grand High Muckety Muck that they could not shut down our Unix server farm "by application, in a rolling fashion" because "that was a windows server methodology". Truth was no a single person on that team had the faintest idea of who was running what applications on each server since they never did any kind of assay when provisioning a new server.
All changed now. New brooms at the top levels (along with that impossible rolling shutdown debacle) enforced more control and monitoring. You probably heard the wailing on the other side of the Atlantic.