Thank you for not pushing the big red button



  • I used to work at an ISP. My office was just around the corner from the room that houses all the routers, modems, and servers. One day, we decided to replace our ad-hoc system of many small UPS's with two large UPS's. We managed to acquire a nice one used to be the first of two -- it needed new batteries. So we finally got the UPS in our server room and hired a local electrician to locate and install the correct batteries. He finally gets the batteries and I let him into the room, he goes about his business. When he's done, he turns on the UPS and I test it; it works to my satisfaction, and I pronounce it well.

    He starts walking out of the room and presses the big red "EMERGENCY POWER OFF" button. The room turns silent, my mouth drops open, and for about four seconds, you could hear a pin drop. I stammer, "what did you do that for". He says, "now that it's working, you don't need emergency power anymore".

    Let's see, switch first, then routers, then nameservers, then ... 

     



  • It's hard to fault his logic.  Seriously, why pay for that stuff if you don't need it. 



  • They should label Big Red Buttons with "I smell something burning". Should work, until someone brings in pizza.



  • @Daid said:

    They should label Big Red Buttons with "I smell something burning". Should work, until someone [b]microwaves popcorn[/b].

    There, fixed that for you.



  • This is one of the most amazing and succint WTFs ever posted. 

    Front page material, for sure. 



  • @GalacticCowboy said:

    @Daid said:

    They should label Big Red Buttons with "I smell something burning". Should work, until someone microwaves popcorn.

    There, fixed that for you.

     

    That's good. <g>

    We just recently had that issue here at my office. There was a terrible smoke smell (not burnt popcorn, though), and people are running around looking for smoke and talking about calling the fire department and evacuating the building. One of the admins comes out of the kitchen looking pretty sheepish; she'd put a fast-food breakfast burrito into the microwave to reheat, and had a small piece of foil on the bottom that didn't like the thought of being microwaved.

    We've called the admin "Sparky" ever since. :-)



  • Office I'm at right now (for 3 more days) has two microwaves with wildly different powers.  They look virtually identical but one is a 1000 watt machine and the other is 1700 or something like that.

    There are big signs on the 1700 and on the wall reminding people that their popcorn WILL burn very quickly if they nuke it for longer than 1:30.  It still happens at least 2-3 times a week, though.



  • @joelkatz said:

    When he's done, he turns on the UPS and I test it; it works to my satisfaction, and I pronounce it well.
     

    Do you spell out each letter, or just say it as the word 'ups?' 



  • @shadowman said:

    @joelkatz said:

    When he's done, he turns on the UPS and I test it; it works to my satisfaction, and I pronounce it well.
     

    Do you spell out each letter, or just say it as the word 'ups?' 

     

    I've always heard it pronounced "oops".  As in "Oops, I, being a beancounter, was fucking around where I shouldn't have been and kicked a plug out of the wall.  " 



  • @joelkatz said:

    He starts walking out of the room and presses the big red "EMERGENCY POWER OFF" button. The room turns silent, my mouth drops open, and for about four seconds, you could hear a pin drop. I stammer, "what did you do that for". He says, "now that it's working, you don't need emergency power anymore".
     

    You slapped him, right?

    At the very least tell me you had to restrain yourself from punching him. 



  • @GalacticCowboy said:

    There are big signs on the 1700 and on the wall reminding people that their popcorn WILL burn very quickly if they nuke it for longer than 1:30.  It still happens at least 2-3 times a week, though.

    Microwave popcorn is a WTF in itself. Most bags say something like "Microwave on high for 3 minutes, but don't leave the area because some bags will be done in as little as 1 minute." You basically get to choose between a ton of unpopped kernels or a little black hole of scorched corn in the center of the bag.



  • I choose the unpopped kernels. Always good when I feel the need to break a few teeth. My dentist loves them too.



  • @dhromed said:

    @joelkatz said:

    He starts walking out of the room and presses the big red "EMERGENCY POWER OFF" button.
    The room turns silent, my mouth drops open, and for about four seconds,
    you could hear a pin drop. I stammer, "what did you do that for". He
    says, "now that it's working, you don't need emergency power
    anymore".
     

    You slapped him, right?

    At the very least tell me you had to restrain yourself from punching him. 

     

    It's
    the original system installer's fault.  As everyone knows, when there's
    any ambiguity in an expression, you should use parentheses to group the
    terms.

    If the button had been clearly labelled as a big red "EMERGENCY (POWER OFF)" button rather than a big red "(EMERGENCY POWER) OFF" button,  the guy wouldn't have been confused.



  • @DaveK said:

    If the button had been clearly labelled as a big red "EMERGENCY (POWER OFF)" button rather than a big red "(EMERGENCY POWER) OFF" button,  the guy wouldn't have been confused.

    We wouldn't have these problems if we all spoke Lojban. 



  • @Cap'n Steve said:

    Microwave popcorn is a WTF in itself. Most bags say something like "Microwave on high for 3 minutes, but don't leave the area because some bags will be done in as little as 1 minute." You basically get to choose between a ton of unpopped kernels or a little black hole of scorched corn in the center of the bag.

    The makers of my microwave were kind enough to add a "Popcorn" button.  Press it once for a 3.5oz bag, press it again for a 2.25oz bag.  Press "Start".  Perfect popcorn every time.



  • I know someone in that situation. Movers got a server moved in. Everything was connected. Everything was going good. Then they see a big red button... I wonder what that does? push and thats why the guy I know had to stay overnight bringing servers up.

     

    They now encased the button with a big label "EMERGENCY SHUT OFF" and its child proof :)



  • I have a similar story to this.  My previous employer ran a fairly large hosted web app out of an on-site datacenter.  One day we had an electrician come in to install some new wiring.  He wasn't doing any work on our existing power infrastructure, so there was no reason to shut anything down.  I'm sitting at my cube when all of a sudden, the entire app goes dead.  We had hundreds of thousands of concurrent users all across the U.S. and this was the middle of the day.

     

    It turns out the electrician had unplugged a 7TB NFS server because he needed a place to plug in his drill.  Luckily, we had an entire mirror of the NFS system and after 30 seconds heartbeat switched it over and the app was back up.  We all breathed a sigh of relief that the failover system had worked and started making jokes about what kind of dumbass electrician starts unplugging things.  After being up for about two minutes, the app goes dead again.  Our mirror machine had died as well.  When we found out the electrician had unplugged the server we all ran back to our workstations so we could fix the problem and nobody had told him how bad he fucked up.  I suppose he realized he shouldn't have unplugged it, though, because he plugged the first NFS server back in and unplugged the second.  Ended up taking us down completely for over an hour while we repaired the damaged filesystems.

     

    The Real WTF is that the electrician was allowed to continue his work after unplugging the second server, albeit with one of the sysadmins watching over his shoulder. 



  • @dlikhten said:

    They now encased the button with a big label "EMERGENCY SHUT OFF" and its child proof :)
     

    But what if someone interprets that to mean "an emergency disablement of the door closing mechanism"?

    "OMG, the door's closing. hit that button! <bweeeeeoooooooooo.....>[silence] uhoh... and the door shut anyways. damn" 



  • @joelkatz said:

    One day, we decided to replace our ad-hoc system of many small UPS's with two large UPS's.

    So you disconnected them from the little UPSes before the big one was up and running?



  • @joelkatz said:

    He starts walking out of the room and presses the big red "EMERGENCY POWER OFF" button. The room turns silent, my mouth drops open, and for about four seconds, you could hear a pin drop. I stammer, "what did you do that for". He says, "now that it's working, you don't need emergency power anymore".
     

    This reminds me of a story a developer at work likes to tell about when he was working at an accounting firm.  They had a fire supression system that was activated by a big red button on the server room wall.  This was the extreme panic button.  Pressing it would give whoever was in the room 45 seconds to get out before automatically locking the door, disabling the power, cutting external connections, and releasing some kind of deadly gas that would choke any fires in the room.

    He said any time he was ever in the server room he was eyeing the button nervously.  He refered to it as the "don't expect to work here after pressing this" button. 



  •  "So you disconnected them from the little UPSes before the big one was up and running?"

    That's a story in itself, but the plan was to install new orange-colored outlets that would be wired to the UPS system (on/within the racks), unplug each small UPS (from the wall) and plug it back into an orange outlet, and eventually remove the small UPSes as it was convenient to do so.



  • @bstorer said:

    [quote user="DaveK"]If the button had been clearly labelled as a big red "EMERGENCY (POWER OFF)" button rather than a big red "(EMERGENCY POWER) OFF" button,  the guy wouldn't have been confused.

    We wouldn't have these problems if we all spoke Lojban. 

    [/quote]

    In germany thats even more confusing if you look at it that way...

    Here the Emergency Power off is called "Not-Aus" (Not = Emergency and Aus = Off)



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    It turns out the electrician had unplugged a 7TB NFS server because he needed a place to plug in his drill.

    Um, was your 7TB NFS server not on a UPS, or were you allowing him to plug his drill into the UPS!?!



  • @rdrunner said:

    In germany thats even more confusing if you look at it that way...

    Here the Emergency Power off is called "Not-Aus" (Not = Emergency and Aus = Off)

    So how do you cancel an emergency in Germany?





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