The company break room was, well, a company break room. Dull grey walls, acoustical tile dropped ceiling, burned coffee and a motivational poster featuring a sun setting over a beach. Leo sipped his coffee, pulled a face at the bitter taste, and muttered to Mike, "This sucks."
The Carribean island of Curaçao is known for sandy beaches, oil refining and open-air brothels. It's also notable for being a key junction where fiber lines from around the world branch off through the Americas. That last bit means that it's a popular location for running global datacenters. Leo's employer was a global business, and had not one, but two datacenters located on the island. The production datacenter handled millions of dollars of transactions every day. The backup datacenter didn't- in fact, it was being decomissioned, starting on this particular Monday.
Leo had been looking forward to decomissioning for months. The company scheduled a week for someone to run a disk shredder and pack the machines away into boxes. That basically amounted to a week long Carribean vacation, and Leo had seniority- in theory, that cushy gig was his.
It was a wonderful theory, but having seniority also meant having real work. Leo only loitered in the breakroom for a moment, dreaming of Curaçao, and then got back to the work of administering the IT resources of a global company. Leo, and his aides Mike, Rafe, and Don, were far too busy to jaunt off for a week in the Carribean. Instead, they needed to send someone they could spare. Someone who had nothing to contribute to their daily operations, but who could handle the simple task of booting machines off a thumb drive, waiting on a beach, and then boxing them up, and then waiting. On a beach.
They needed James Avery (A+, NET+, Security+, MCSE, MCSE+I, MCP, CCNA, CCNP). James had "worked" for the company since before Leo started, and would likely continue to "work" there long after. He was that peculiar class of over-certified dead weight that burrowed into an IT organization like a candiru. James was the sort of guy that felt putting the SQL Server Databases on the Internet-facing side of the firewall was fine- Windows security was really strong! He couldn't explain the difference between TCP and UDP, but he could hang every certification he ever got on the wall of his cube.
In its own weird way, sending James off to Curaçao was a bit of a vacation. Sure, Leo was stuck in the office, commuting into work in the dead of winter, but at least he didn't have to clean up after James's mess. For a week, James couldn't cause a single problem, because he'd be destroying HDDs in the backup datacenter.
Leo's phone dinged. He set his coffee down and checked his SMS alert. Before he even had it out of his pocket, it dinged three more times. A flood of texts from their monitoring system paralyzed his phone. Servers were going down, left and right. All of them.
Leo called the production DC even as Mike called the backup DC. James had never arrived at the backup DC, Mike learned. But he had definitely showed up at the production datacenter. James Avery (A+, Net+, Security+, MCSE, MCSE+I, MCSA, MCP, MOS, CCNA, CCNP, CCDE, SCSAS) had gone to the wrong address. He had flashed his ID badge, and without thinking once, let alone twice, he had started rebooting everything in a rackmount using the disk-shredding thumbdrive he brought with him.
The end result was a 24 hour outage, and a new nickname for James Avery (A+, Net+, Security+, RHCSA, MCSE, MCSE+I, MCSA, MCT, MCP, MOS, CCNA, CCNP, CCDE, SCSAS): "The Shredder". "The Shredder" didn't lose his job, but his co-workers didn't let him live down the mistake. They made it a habit of relocating the office paper shredder to his cube. He made a habit of complaining to HR about it.
Eventually, "The Shredder" had enough of this treatment, and left the company. He now adminsters the Windows network at the local nuclear power plant.