It's the summer break for The Daily WTF! Please send in your own stories so we'll have some fun ones to share when we return. In the mean time, here’s a fun classic. "The Pie T Department" was originally published on August 8, 2007.
Many years ago, Dan B. worked at a large accounting firm that had several small, satellite offices spread throughout the world. The offices shared data -- mostly email -- via a dial-up based file synch operation that would run several times throughout the day. Since these offices were so small, they didn't need IT support on staff; instead, they'd rely on the IT staff at the central office for help.
The file synching had been going well for months, but the process began failing when attempting to synch with one of the Australian offices. Dan tried to diagnose the problem on his end, but determined that it had to be a problem with the remote server in Australia. It was going completely offline every few days and had to be manually restarted. Unable to convince his boss that a trip to the outback was needed, he had no choice but to work with the office's secretary, Sydney, to fix the problem.
For a few weeks, on and off, Dan walked Sydney through all of the common diagnostic steps. Having all but ruled out software issues, Dan started thinking that the problem could be with the server overheating.
Dan: Is there an air conditioner running in the server room?
Sydney: Yes. Well, I mean, not in the cupboard, but there's air conditioning in the room.
Dan: "The cupboard?"
Sydney: Yeah, the cupboard in the kitchenette.
Dan: Oh. That could be an issue... are there any vents or fans on the cupboard?
Sydney: Well, no. But Boyd usually leaves the cupboard doors open.
Dan: Hmm... it could still get hot in there...
Sydney: It doesn't get too hot, though, it works perfect for the pies.
Dan: "The pies?"
Sydney: Yeah, the monitor gets pretty hot, so Boyd and some of the other folks use it to warm up their meat pies in the morning.
Sydney: I'm sorry... are you... crying?
As it turned out, warming up lunch on the server was part of the problem. The other problem was the type of lunch: while scones and bagels were perfectly safe, the meat pies ended up tripping fat down the back of the server into the PSU, tripping it off until it was restarted manually.
Fortunately, Dan was able to offered simple solution: use the microwave instead.