Electricity chafes…

I nominate these guys for this year…tis true. Years ago, I was working for a software house in Cheltenham.   During this time the company were undergoing some major changes, including shutting down an office in Surrey and moving operations to Cheltenham.   This meant getting 2 new buildings and setting them up from scratch.   During this time we had mucho fun getting everything ready, and very little sleep was had by myself and Matt.

I point this out as, at some point on the Sunday, Matt and I were checking all of the PCs and printers etc to make sure that everything could login and would work as expected.   The move had actually begun at 17:00 on the Friday and everyone was expecting to begin working as normal at 08:00 on the Monday morning.   Not a lot of time to move some 300 people and all of their equipment.   We managed it…barely.   Anyway, back to the checking of PCs… I think we got to the 3rd floor and went around as before switching everything on.   Matt notices that one of the PCs didn’t fire up…so as we are taking a break, he decides to whip the case off and take a look.   He didn’t take the usual precautions of unplugging the machine, grounding himself etc, but no matter…generally these things don’t pose an issue.

We are chatting away and pretty much trying to stay awake when he asks me for a screwdriver.   On hindsight, I should have questioned why, but as tired as I was I passed one to him.   There then followed this set of events:

Matt:   “Thanks, I think I see what’s wrong”
PC:   BANG
Matt: THUD
Matt: Slide
Matt: THUD
Matt:   “AAaaaaaaaargh”

He ended up about 10 feet away from where he started, with a hairstyle not dissimilar to Yahoo Serious of Young Enstein fame.   In a moment of genius clarity, he had noticed that the power supply fan was not spinning, decided to jab the screwdriver into it and wiggle around, hoping to dislodge whatever was causing the fan to stick.. Only he went too far, jabbed the screwdriver a little too deep into the gubbins of the PSU and gave himself something of a shock.   The shock sent his body hurtling backwards like something out of a film, the force of this caused him to smack his head into the desk that he was underneath, drag his hand through the gubbins of the PC and eventually smack his head into the wall 10 feet away.

After I stopped laughing, I checked to see if he was ok.   He was…although he had a lump on his head and his hand was bleeding like a good ‘un.   All that was really needed were a small flock of birds to circle around his head, throwing stars up in the air and for smoke to come off his head.

The PC started working though, so it just goes to show …mind you, his watch was never the same again.

This was the company that is essentially responsible for the Fester’esque black circles around my eyes.   Thanks to working an average (honestly) of 21 hours per day, 7 days a week for 9 weeks.   Part way through this, they tell me about the impending closure of the southern office and send me down there to arrive just as the meeting is called.

It was all very cloak and dagger, and not at all pleasant for me.   I had to wait outside and, when the meeting started..someone gave me the signal to get into the building, where I had 25 minutes to lock down and protect the data, admin accounts and even the comms rooms.   This was simply following due dilligance as instructed by the insurance company, but still…I felt like an arsehole.

It worked out ok in the end, but there were a lot of upset people there, not least of all the guys that reported in to me.

Heh, just remembered a trip back with the head of facilities.   We were driving back from Cirencester to Cheltenham in ridiculously thick fog.   It was one of those where you couldn’t see much past the front of the car, so we were driving appropriately slowly as the situation demanded.   Pete mentions that we have to be really alert, as there is a new roundabout around here somewhere..with that, a car goes flying past us and had to be travelling over the speed limit…2 seconds later we realise we are on the roundabout.   I forget the exact chain of events, but Pete points out of the car, up in the air…where we can see red lights…as we come around it is obvious that the red lights belong to the car that had gone past us a couple of seconds earlier…and is now about 30 feet in the air and falling to the ground after hitting a lamppost across the other side of the roundabout.

Pete, being the kindly soul he is…starts calling the guy all sorts of names as we wend our merry way at 5-10mph.   In fairness, we did check that the guy got out ok…but then left him to it.

I think he learned a valuable lesson right there….

2 thoughts on “Electricity chafes…

  1. The car managed to raise itself up 10 meters just by hitting a lamppost? Did the lamppost include a trampoline? I just find it hard to believe that it lifted up to the 3rd floor of a standard building Thinking

    Unless you’re exaggerating, something I’ve told you a million times not to do.

  2. No – Hitting the lamp post was the end result of hitting a large roundabout. The roundabout being sloped and…some might say…almost ramp like in it’s construction. The construction in this case being rather ornamental and large…

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