Emergency. Giant crack in the basement. Evacuate!



  • I've been working on the 5th floor for almost two months now, with construction next door of a new building. There's often movement and shaking of our building. Today the big boss walked in with two civil engineering types and announced that the building has a crack in the basement, and that we maybe should leave in the next hour or so. So I finished up some stuff, had a water cooler type chat with some workmates then got into the lift. All quite calm. On my arrival to the ground floor there was a commotion of people freaking out, and one person activated the fire alarm panel to evacuate people properly.

    I'm not sure if the under-reaction or the over-reaction is the WTF yet. I guess I'll find out tomorrow when I get an email whether I'm coming into the office or not!



  • @Zemm said:

    I guess I'll find out tomorrow when I get an email whether I have an office or not!

    FTFY

    Also: I'm in almost the same situation as you - except it's 4th floor (on the roof, actually), and they're building an underground parking lot rather then a building. We often see the the bulldozer drivers literally ramming into our building's support beams by accident.



  •  Who said office life is boring?



  • @configurator said:

    We often see the the bulldozer drivers literally ramming into our building's support beams by accident.
     

    BANGG

    whoops lol

    BANGG

    tehee i'm so drunk

     



  • Well it got me out of the office a few hours early. Though I did come in early with the intention of slipping out a little early anyway!

    The best part was my boss came in and said "did you guys hear ... Oh I'll wait until David gets off the phone ... " took a good 15 mins until the big boss came in and we found out the building could collapse at any moment.

    (The building next door is in the "dig the basement out" stage so essentially the same as your underground parking lot. All the buildings in the area are 5 storeys max)



  • In my previous job they were actually working on the building while I was still in it.

    The organisation had recently come into a large chunk of money for renovating its old 1970s vintage concrete monsters and had started work on the tower opposite when they decided my building also needed a refurb, they were correct, most of the doors were broken, the lighting was terrible and the ventilation system left a lot to be desired.


    One minor problem was a lack of space on site, after rehousing the entire population of the 16 story building opposite there wasn't a corner or cabin not already occupied, so they had the bright idea to refurbish my building in phases, relocating people around the building as required.


    It was a comparatively tiny 6 story affair with an outdoor lab located on the roof but being a smaller building meant that wherever you went, construction of some sort was going on nearby. Some of the hardier (Russian) staff actually gave up trying to get any work done IN the building and relocated their group to a small shelter on the rooftop. This is WTF tale in itself as they wanted network access up there and there was nothing in place, the best we could offer them in the end was a long shielded patch cable thrown over the edge of the building and into an office on the 5th floor below.


    It was a year of hell, first of all as an IT person turning conference rooms and canteens into temporary office space and somehow trying to connect them up when the rest of the building was being torn apart. Oh sure it would be great when it was finished, we would have new fibres running up the building, a new purpose built data centre in the basement but because all this wonder was coming no-one wanted to spend too much keeping the current network working.


    What I ended up with was a big sack of those self adhesive aluminium cable clips, another of RJ45 plugs, 500 metres of CAT5 cable, a toolkit and some switches which other people had relegated to the scrapyard.


    Preparations made, then came the actual physical moving of people and their associated IT, as the building was being overhauled floor by floor this was an ongoing process of relocating people to the finished floors and temporary spaces ready for work on the next level.


    This was done in a crazy order because of the need to keep access to certain areas of the building used by outsiders at certain times of the year. The upshot of this constraint was that the 5th floor was refurbished before the roof, which led to multiple leaks undoing the work on the 5th floor and wrecking hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of equipment. One of the (RF) an-echoic chambers had to be rebuilt three times.


    One morning I came in to find the ground floor reception flooded, the cause was a burst water pipe due to work on the roof which had flooded its way down the building taking out a few rooms on each floor as it went.


    The thing that REALLY got me though, wasn't the constant fire (or rather water) fighting. Fixing the tech was part of the job, working on a construction site however was not what I signed up for.

    At first it wasn't too bad, there was some inconvenience as services were interrupted and occasional noise but for the most part the construction stayed confined to the floor undergoing renovation.

    At some point however, building services like ventilation, sewage, water and power had to be replaced and although some parts could be done floor by floor and connected up later, some parts, like the central water and sewage services, had major backbones which needed to replaced throughout the building.


    That is when it really got bad, power kept coming and going, at one point we hired a diesel generator to keep the power on. Even when we had power, it was employed by the construction crews to bore 2foot wide holes through the concrete floors of the building in preperation for the new central waste pipe. This process is neither quick nor quiet and is not the kind of thing you want going on outside the door of your office for a week.

    Eventually I got relocated to a room on the newly refurbished 5th floor, unfortunately so did my boss.

    For months we ordinary IT people had to pretend we were working, the Mariokart tournament had to be put on hold, the model helicopter assault course dismantled, even motown monday was deemed too disruptive!

    Recalling all this I forgot to mention the constant evacuations. The builders had a habit of forgetting to isolate the fire alarms, isolating the wrong floor or cutting through cables, it got to the point that the fire department started charging us for bogus call outs and finally stopped coming out at all when the alarms triggered instead waiting for a phone call to confirm an actual fire. In the end we abandoned the fire alarm system all together, the building manager just put bells at the end of each corridor and issued a notice instructing everyone to simply ring the bell if they spotted a fire.


    So I'm working out of this room on the 5th and as I mentioned they are working on the roof level, when it came to start installing things such as new water tanks and air conditioning they were constantly rolling and occasionally dropping heavy equipment directly above me, one time the room started to sway and shake to the extent I genuinely feared for my life. Ceiling tiles were shaken down and I thought this was a small earthquake and actually ran for cover in a doorway. I ended up taking time off as the constant noise was starting to rattle my nerves.



  • Mother of God.... Where did this happen and do they have Health and Safety laws there?



  • @LoremIpsumDolorSitAmet said:

    Mother of God.... Where did this happen and do they have Health and Safety laws there?
    My guess is: in the land of The Holy Freedom of Expression (but we'll sue you for everything else).


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @TGV said:

    @LoremIpsumDolorSitAmet said:

    Mother of God.... Where did this happen and do they have Health and Safety laws there?
    My guess is: in the land of The Holy Freedom of Expression (but we'll sue you for everything else).

     

     " wrecking hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of equipment" suggests not.  This somewhat dated reference suggests England.

     



  • They also "hired" a generator instead of "renting" one, so you can't blame the US on this one.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @TGV said:

    the land of The Holy Freedom of Expression (but we'll sue you for everything else).

    Where's that?



  • @PedanticCurmudgeon said:

    @TGV said:

    the land of The Holy Freedom of Expression (but we'll sue you for everything else).

    Where's that?

    I hear the Holy Freedom of Expression lives in the Vatican.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @PedanticCurmudgeon said:
    @TGV said:

    the land of The Holy Freedom of Expression (but we'll sue you for everything else).

    Where's that?

    I hear the Holy Freedom of Expression lives in the Vatican.

    +1



  •  Okay, here are replies to the above points... and before I start I should point out I have drunk a load of scotch and am currently chilling out to Kind of Blue so please don't get pedantic about spelling/grammar fuck ups, these are to be expected when you've had downed 3/4 bottle of single malt.

     

    As some of you have probably guessed from my profile/post history and the language used in my post, yes, this was England. Birmingham University to be exact, the 16story building mentioned was Muirhead Tower (google it) and my building was the adjacent Gisbert Kapp building (named after their first professor of electrical engineering). To be fair, after the refurb and after sorting out all the bugs with the elevators it actually turned out rather well, it was just going through that refurb that was a PITA.

     

    To adress the health and safety point... this does actually make me laugh because we english consider our h&s regulations to be over strict, nannying even... but when the law gets too much, so do the ways to get around it and restore some real life balance.

     

    They justified it on paper by saying the affected areas would be sealed off and the contractors would be 'responsible' (whatever the fuck that means).

     

    As for the vatican, well... no, no I should resists. Making any kind of point here would just be trolling. I remember the rules for a happy relationship...

     

    Never discuss religion, politics, or toast.

    And if you get that refference, then you are my kind of person ;)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    They also "hired" a generator instead of "renting" one, so you can't blame the US on this one.

    But then he misspelled "storey" so I can and will blame the US!



  • @Zemm said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    They also "hired" a generator instead of "renting" one, so you can't blame the US on this one.

    But then he misspelled "storey" so I can and will blame the US!

    But you left out a comma so I do a double reverse super ultimate take-down!



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Zemm said:
    @blakeyrat said:
    They also "hired" a generator instead of "renting" one, so you can't blame the US on this one.

    But then he misspelled "storey" so I can and will blame the US!

    But you left out a comma so I do a double reverse super ultimate take-down!

    ↟ ↟ ↡ ↡ ↞ ↠ ↞ ↠ B A


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @EncoreSpod said:

    ...yes, this was England...

    @EncoreSpod said:

    ...bugs with the elevators...

    You're lying - we have lifts, not elevators.



  • @EncoreSpod said:

    Never discuss toast.
     

    Peanutbutter on toast is fucking heavenly. Gets me right chuffed to bits.



  • @EncoreSpod said:

    ...when you've had downed 3/4 bottle of single malt.

    That seems silly. After the quarter of a bottle or so, the subtleties of a single malt are lost on the senses of the inebriated, and he should switch over to pure grain alcohol.



  • @boomzilla said:

    because I'm cheap like that
     

    I believe the PC term is "conservative spending plan"



  • @dhromed said:

    @boomzilla said:
    because I'm cheap like that

    I believe the PC term is "conservative spending plan"

    I'll take 5!



  • I got 9.


     



  •  Lol, "I'm loving it" as the COMMERCIAL says. This thread is actually quiet fun. :)

     

    Yes I did say ELEVATOR instead of LIFT but I do still spell COLOUR with a U.

     

    Trust me I am English, I just have so little social life I spend most of my time on the interwebs and as such have developed some kind of international English 'accent' (if there is such a thing in text). I've done a similar thing with my real life voice,  I grew up in Birmingham with friends from the black country but was majorly influenced by the heavey Jamaican and Indian population. Combine that with the fact that all my stupid mother used to watch on TV was a combination of Cockney and Australian soap operas and you get a pretty weird combination.

     

    And yeah you are right about the scotch, after a certain point the subtlety of the flavour of a good single malt is lost but to be fair to the whisky, this isn't a good single malt. It is technically a single malt but its the cheapest one known to man. I just don't like drinking the cheap blended stuff because it tends to get me angry, I find a single malt gets me more mellow. As for switching to pure alcohol, grain or otherwise, no thanks. I used to do that shit but one time I drunk so much Irish potcheen I actually shat myself. As alcoholic as I am, I still like my booze to have a little flavour because it reminds the brain how much I've drunk. Switch to the neat stuff and its too easy to go too far.

     

    A few years back I spent some months drinking nothing but absinthe, now that is the best/worst of both worlds... it has flavour to remind you how much you've drunk, but at 80% alcohol you kind of have to re-adjust your mental flavour to alcohol ratio. Then even when you do, the wormwood fucks you up for the next couple of days irrespective of the alcohol.

     

    Still that is not the worst thing (in fucked-upped-ness terms) I ever drank.

     

    The craziest shit I ever had was something I brewed myself out of brown sugar and hashish, distilled into the craziest spirit known to man. When you drank it, your neck went numb, when it kicked in, you were too stoned to move, when it wore off you had the hangover of a lifetime. I used to brew a lot of crazy things, elderberry wine, cider from my own apples but hash-rum was the ultimate fucker-upper.

     

    Still that is nothing compared to the time I mixed Slivovice (its a plum thing, look it up), magic truffles (like the mushrooms but in underground form) and a pipe full of concentrated Salvia. I saw infinite versions of myself and the fabric of the universe and my heart stopped for two minutes.. I may also have been on crack at the time, I honestly can't remember but with that combination its not surprising.

     



  • @EncoreSpod said:

    The craziest shit I ever had...

    Ever mix salmiakki with vodka?



  • @EncoreSpod said:

    This thread is actually quiet fun. :)

    As opposed to loud fun?

    @EncoreSpod said:

    heavey Jamaican and Indian population

    Who heaves them? Or do they heave something else?



  • @derula said:

    @EncoreSpod said:
    This thread is actually quiet fun. :)
    As opposed to loud fun? @EncoreSpod said:
    heavey Jamaican and Indian population
    Who heaves them? Or do they heave something else?
     

     

    :)



  • @boomzilla said:

    @EncoreSpod said:
    The craziest shit I ever had...
    Ever mix salmiakki with vodka?

     

    No but I've eaten Spunk whilst drinking JD. (Read into that what you will...)





  • Well anyway, I found out that something major had moved over 7 cm, which caused a major crack in the roof of the B1 carpark/floor of the "Ground" level. I've since noticed minor cracks in several places in the building, including on the 5th floor.

    Will this work?

    The wall you in the background is the boundary wall where there is currently a large excavation. From memory those pipes go to the female toilets on the ground floor, so I don't know if there's any damage in there! :)



  • Sure it will, hardware hacks always work!




  • I'm presently in an office in lower Manhattan on the 34th floor. We just got our grid power back on Monday. Yes, it's been out since November. It's been temporary offices and flaky Diesel generators in the meantime. Let's just say there have been about, oh, four? occasions on which I've had the opportunity to sing "34 bottles of beer on the wall" on the way downstairs, one of them in a dark stairwell, which was fun. Seriously got to work on my quads there for a while.



  • Australia is very seismically sound, so buildings probably aren't as tolerant to shaky ground compared to Japanese or loss Angeles constructions. And I'm currently a good 10+km from the coast so no storm surges foot me!



  •  You see that dell server story floating around the interwebs? Damn thing got caught in a flood and raped by salt water, battery acid, overlfowing sewage etc.

    Dude decided to just do what you'd do with a laptop keyboard that got coffee on it, hose the mother down and dry it out and hope for the best.

    He packed the thing with dry rice to absorb the last of the moisture then vacced it out, wadya know, it only bloody worked!

     

     

     





  •  Personally, I would want to keep this server working in some capacity, even if not in production, as a testament to its survival and long service.

    In my first job, I used to build cheap PC's, we got a lot of dodgy power supplies and every time a shitty one would blow a fuse, we would take out the fuse and tape it to the wall as a testament to the brave fuse that prevented a fire.

    I did a similar thing when I was working at that uni mentioned above, when they retired old servers I would grab them out of the scrap... change all the LED's for nice new blue ones, strip apart the casework and take it away to be re-sprayed, then re-assemble the old beast to do some meaningless task just to keep it alive.

    Yes I know its mad, yes perhaps I am anthropomorphising machines, no I don't have any real friends.

    Its kinda like those people who pimp classic cars, I like to pimp old computers. I had one I named C3PO because I had the case resprayed metallic gold. It was some old Compaq (back when compaq was still compaq before HP) piece of crap, I kept that thing alive for years, it was the basis of a network booted install system in the workshop for ages, it did the dhcp, the tftp and served up the images.

    Its other job was to do the 'pips'. It synced its time up over the net and every hour on the hour it would play out the series of beeps like you heard on Radio 4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwich_Time_Signal

    I like to think C3PO had character. :)

     



  • I've uploaded some old vids to google, here is a thing I pimped. I got load of old pc104 boards from this group researching wearable computing for the military and turned it into a media centre for my own my own enjoyment,

    And here is c3po with flashy lights, sorry for the poor quality, this was a while back before we had good cameras on phones.

     https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9DhUXo36rheX0pyeE4yZ2NLZFU/edit

     



  • The latest development in my building saga: 4.25pm the fire alarm went off and we evacuated. Fire department got there by 4.30 so it's not all bad. I go home at 4.30 anyway so I just left. No one knew what set it off. In on a bus home now. Great start to the weekend!



  • Wait, what? You get to go home for a Fire Alarm?

    Inconceivable!



  • @Zemm said:

    The latest development in my building saga: 4.25pm the fire alarm went off and we evacuated. Fire department got there by 4.30 so it's not all bad. I go home at 4.30 anyway so I just left. No one knew what set it off. In on a bus home now. Great start to the weekend!
     

    I hope you're planning on making up that 5 minutes next week, or its coming out of your paycheck.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    I hope you're planning on making up that 5 minutes next week, or its coming out of your paycheck.

    Having to use the stairs instead of the lift should be billable time!


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