Had Mike known what was coming, he should have done the smart thing and walked after the drives crashed and before he got fired. Though I suppose the smarter thing to do would have been to look for a new job before this one went south.
"It's not my job to run the train.
The whistle I don't blow.
It's not my job to say how far,
the trains supposed to go.
I'm not allowed to pull the brake,
or even ring the bell.
But let the damn thing leave the track,
and see who catches hell!"
That's because Mike forgot the most import thing to do when working in a 'chain of command' facility, CYA. Mike should have documented his suspicions about the wiring and sent a memo to Reginald and CC'd everybody else involved that without time to test the proper phase there could be problems.
You don't believe in an organization where someone could wire a power cable backward? Man, what a glorious world you must live in. Most likely, the reason the computer guy got blamed:
The CEO wanted blood for the massive cost of the drives and time. The electricians couldn't be at fault because most likely they were temporary and were already not working at that company anymore (even though for wiring a cable backward, they were clearly at fault). Barry couldn't be at fault because he was the chief electrician, and can't be expected to check every cable people make. Reginald can't be at fault because he's mission critical and the entire plant can't function without him. Mike, however, can be offered up as a sacrifice to the raving CEO, but only once he's gotten the machine back on line giving them time to look for a replacement.
Also, since at the start of the article it said, "It was an easy job: the users knew the system and needed very little support" they likely thought that he'd be the easiest to replace to appease the C-level executives who wanted answers.
Of course there could be a further fault. Anything that uses 3-phase power and needs to have the phases in sequence, SHOULD have a rotation detector in place. These things are actually pretty simple. In the device I worked on, they actually had them, but the C.E.'s always checked the phasing with a scope. So, the drive vendors should have nice contactors that would drop out on the first cycle of "backwards" power.
Of course, any "competent" electrician who understands 3-phase power should understand things as well.
If they had used a proper UPS, where the computer runs from the UPS at all times and the mains power just keeps the batteries charged, this wouldn't have mattered, or at leas wouldn't have spun the hard drives backward!
What do you consider "these kinds of things"? Simple errors leading to disastrous yet entirely forseeable consequences? I assure you they most certainly do happen. You may recall the Challenger space shuttle accident? There were people who knew exactly what might happen and said so, and yet it happened anyway.
It doesn't matter who's fault it is, it matters who the bosses friends are.
You could flood them with emails telling them exactly what needed to be done and it would make no difference. It would be your fault for not explaining what you were talking about properly.
It's reasonable to suggest that you don't want to work anywhere this dumb, but unfortunately it's not always obvious how dumb an organisation is & your next job will likely be worse. If you think your organisation isn't dumb then give it time.