WHY?! "Support ain't gonna be no big deal," Scott B.'s boss told him, "it's a weighbridge fer cryin' out loud! They don't got no movin' parts and they ain't gonna go breakin' in the middl'a the night."

Scott found the conversation reassuring. While he was happy to help his company expand into the business of selling and managing weighbridges, he was reticent to commit to 24x7 for emergency support, especially when support meant possible on-site visits within a fifty mile radius. But the boss was right, it's a weighbridge — truck moves on, weight slip prints out, truck moves off — it don't get no simpler than that.

That, of course, was the theory. Within a few days of installing their weighbridge, Scott got that dreaded 3:00 AM call: the console read "08AA - BEAM OBSTRCT", which meant that the laser beam emitter used to detect a truck's presence was obstructed. The operator swore up and down that there wasn't a truck or anything else that was blocking the beam.

Begrudgingly, Scott rolled out of bed, attempted to dress himself, grabbed an energy drink from his fridge, and hit the road with bloodshot eyes, nursing his drink for the whole drive. But when he arrived on site, the operator told him that the problem fixed itself and thanked him for coming anyway. Still, Scott did his due diligence and checked the emitter. It showed no signs of damage or misalignment, and the mirror looked OK too.

Itching for a full-nights sleep the next day, Scott's dreams were interrupted by yet another 3:00 AM call. It was the "08AA - BEAM OBSTRCT" message again. After waiting an hour to see if it'd fix itself, Scott rolled out of bed again and went back to the customer's site. This time he actually was able to see the message, but when he walked over to check the hardware, all systems were normal again.

The following night, Scott was all but certain that he'd get another 3:00 AM call. To his surprise, he didn't! Actually, it was a 3:30 AM call, and it played out exactly the same. Of course, by this point, almost all of the hardware — emitter, cables, receiver box, and so on — had been replaced, so there was no good reason that "08AA - BEAM OBSTRCT" should keep popping back up,

When the fourth night — and subsequent 3:00 AM call — rolled around, Scott rolled right of bed, grabbed an energy drink, and hit the road. When he got out on site, he followed the same routine with one exception: he would polish the mirror just in case the tiny spec of mud was somehow interfering with the laser beam. Flashlight in one hand, he gripped the mirror to clean it, feeling something soft, fuzzy, and slightly damp on the back. And whatever it was, it jerked away immediately. At the same time, two horrifyingly long, slender, and hairy spider legs reached over the top of the mirror in a warning position.

With an audible "fuuuuuuggghhhHH," Scott jumped back and stumbled backward, spilling his energy drink on himself, still pointing his flashlight toward the mirror. Dozens of young spiders scurried from what must've been an egg sac behind the mirror. From that day on, Scott hasn't been able to appreciate terrifying arachnosquads of infant spiders and their mothers with legs up to six inches long like he used to.

It was a huntsman spider – a species of spider most commonly found in Australia, southern areas of the United States, and your nightmares. They can move extremely fast, jump, and often live in small crevices. They're also well known for hiding behind clocks, watching, waiting for us pitiful humans to fall asleep.

After considering nuking it from orbit (he'd heard it's the only way to be sure), Scott prescribed an ungodly amount of pesticide, which would thereby end the spiders' reign of terror and let him finally get a good night's sleep.

For two full nights, Scott slept all the way through the night. But on the third night, he received another 3:00 AM call. On the drive there, he realized what must have happened: the rain washed away the pesticides, and a new spider family moved in. This time, Scott left his industrial-strength can of spray so the operator could apply it liberally to any horrible abomination that decided to live on the weighbridge's mirror. Problem finally over!

That is, until the next 3:00 AM call came, this time for an entirely different malfunction: "08AC - BEAM FAILR". Fortunately, this time was easy: the mirror was dusty. After thoroughly looking for spiders and finding none, he wiped the mirror off and advised the operator do the same next time.

Two weeks later, a 3:00 PM call. The sun was now coming in at a slightly different angle, and in the afternoon it would trip the sensor. Adding a makeshift visor to the sensor and the mirror to block out the rays solved the issue.

One month later, another call, another issue. This time it was the mist that had rolled in, condensed into beads of water on the mirror, and caused the reflection to go crazy. With a lightbulb in the housing positioned so that it wouldn't trip the sensor, the mirror stayed warm and blocked any further condensation from forming.

In the end, Scott had battled water, earth, nature, and developed an arsenal of insecticide, dust rags, light bulbs, and visors, and after many, many late nights of tedious support, and permanent spider-related emotional trauma, finally had a working solution. But I guess that comes with the territory when you're supporting a high-tech device like an ordinary mirror.

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