When Alex was a fresh young admin, he was assigned to provide network support for a team of master developers. These guys had years of experience and knew what they were doing, so when they asked for something to be set up, you could bank on their request being correct.

Alex recieved a request from one of the master developers to set up a VM for him and his team. Since it was a development machine, the developers were given root access.

A couple of months later, Alex found out that their machine was unreachable because of IP conflicts with another team in the same pool, a mistake he would've avoided if he weren't new. At the time, Alex didn't think anything of the fact that the developers never complained that their machine was unreachable.

Alex changed their IP settings to another pool and had the machine grab the IP via DHCP, but every time he rebooted the machine, it would use the old broken IP. Perplexed, he checked ifcfg-eth0, and that was fine.

He mentioned on IRC how this happened every time he started up a new Terminal session. Someone joked "Maybe they set it up via the bashrc file, but that's just mean."

Eager to solve the problem, Alex checked the .bashrc file, and at the very bottom, he found:

  ifconfig eth0 <broken IP> netmask 255.255.0.0

Alex died a little that day.