• Coyne (cs)

    Clearly, the cure was worse than the disease.

  • The Nerve (unregistered)

    But I don't get it.

    1. The boss decided that they couldn't have an emergency cutoff switch.
    2. Boss hires electrician to eliminate the switch.
    3. Electrician doesn't understand electricity and destroys UPS in elimination of switch?
    4. Without UPS, servers magically draw more current than with UPS and trips circuit breaker?
  • anoldhacker (unregistered)

    Sorry, TRWTF was letting anyone who would drill into a live UPS touch anything else in the building, ever again, starting RIGHT NOW. I don't care if they got things back online quicker with what they did. They were clearly lucky.

  • Stupid (unregistered)

    I don't get it

  • Catch (unregistered) in reply to The Nerve
    The Nerve:
    But I don't get it.
    1. The boss decided that they couldn't have an emergency cutoff switch.
    2. Boss hires electrician to eliminate the switch.
    3. Electrician doesn't understand electricity and destroys UPS in elimination of switch?
    4. Without UPS, servers magically draw more current than with UPS and trips circuit breaker?

    The UPS had acted as a current-limiting capacitor, of sorts.

  • anoldhacker (unregistered) in reply to The Nerve
    The Nerve:
    But I don't get it.
    1. The boss decided that they couldn't have an emergency cutoff switch.
    2. Boss hires electrician to eliminate the switch.
    3. Electrician doesn't understand electricity and destroys UPS in elimination of switch?
    4. Without UPS, servers magically draw more current than with UPS and trips circuit breaker?

    No, the short in the UPS magically draws more current.

    Or (possibly) all of those systems trying to spin up at the same time drew more current than during normal operations.

  • Michael (unregistered) in reply to Stupid
    Stupid:
    I don't get it
    Neither do I.hmmmmmmm. :-(
  • John (unregistered)

    I think for #4 above, the circuit couldn't handle the load of all the hardware coming on-line at once. But I'm a programmer not an EE.

  • Robert (unregistered)

    TRWTF is saving throws

  • vydf (unregistered) in reply to Robert
    Robert:
    TRWTF is saving throws

    When I DM a d20-based system there are no saving throws agains stupidity but only intelligence checks.

  • DrJDX (cs)

    Hint, in case you haven't figured it out by now:

    1. Click "Uninterruptable Power Supply"
    2. if (TDWTF.Article.Author.name == "Remy Porter") { view_source(); }
  • pallen (unregistered)

    THWTF0: To Hit WTF of 0 -- this electrician is in the single digits

  • Anonymous Coward (unregistered)

    TRWTF is Lady Gaga

  • The Nerve (unregistered) in reply to anoldhacker
    anoldhacker:
    Sorry, TRWTF was letting anyone who would drill into a live UPS touch anything else in the building, ever again, starting RIGHT NOW. I don't care if they got things back online quicker with what they did. They were clearly lucky.

    I'm making a major assumption here in thinking this story is real, but it would seem that the power was cut when he flipped the circuit breaker. That is stupidity on the level of not understanding how cutting power is going to affect regular business operations, but NOT stupidity on the level of a licensed electrician not understanding that he needs to cut off power before starting work. I am not a licensed electrician, and I know that much.

  • Mr Brit (unregistered)

    Maybe it's because I'm British and only understand Real English (TM), but not much of this article really made a lot of sense to me.

    Many of the sentences are awkwardly constructed or use a turn-of-phrase that is not very comprehensible to me.

    I don't really understand who was heaved to the ceiling, or why. The reference to 'him' in the quote is odd, and at that point we as readers don't know why the ceiling is of any interest anyway.

    Meh, an average story made worse by poor copy-writing.

  • highphilosopher (unregistered)

    I'm not sure this story is plausible. I am thinking that no one with the mental capacity to run a drill would be listening to Lady Gaga.

  • by (unregistered) in reply to Mr Brit

    No. I have no idea why this story was edited the way it was. The original is much better written, and actually makes sense! If I were Simon, I would be livid at such a bastardization of my work.

    Simon:
    The Big Red Button “Simon, can you ping the exchange server?” I wrestled myself away from thedailywtf.com to open a command prompt and perform the necessary. “No Noel, I can’t” I said, growing concerned. Exchange servers work at their finest when they are contactable. “Simon, can you ping the file server?” I tapped. Request timed out. “No Noel, I can’t.” I checked an app server. Same result. “Noel – “ I turned to my left to discuss possible root causes and best strategies. I found an overturned wheelie chair and a heavyset yet determined man travelling towards the server room at a not inconsiderable pace. I quickly considered my options. Soon, close to two hundred of our dear users would discover that the internet was no longer accessible. Shortly thereafter they’d discover that work was impossible. To be the sole sysadmin at base camp in such a situation is unwise. I ran to the secure server room and sealed the door behind me. Inside I found the stream of language I’d hoped to avoid outside. Noel was shouting at a wall in a manner that was likely to cause spontaneous animation, followed shortly by the first building-led workplace harassment claim. This was growing odd and I was still relatively new to the organisation. I edged closer. Noel’s bulk was concealing an electrician. A terrified electrician, the colour of a monthlong South African vacation recently drained from his face. He cowered, clutching a drill with a grip implying he no longer knew how to release the hand. “What in the name of sanity had you drilling into a metal box with uninterruptible power supply clearly labelled on it? You cut power to the whole room!” Noel ran out of swear words for just long enough to accidentally update me on the root cause. He then tapped into a previously unused reserve of profanity and continued with renewed vigour. Time passed. Parentage was questioned. An anatomically impossible suggestion was made involving the drill. I tried the power switch on a nearby backup drive. No joy. “Noel, still no juice!” I said, wary while interrupting him midstream. I’ll spare the gentle reader Noel’s exact phrasing, suffice it to say he did not welcome the news. Our electrician may have been motivated by a sense of professionalism. I feel it more likely he was spurred on by fear of Noel. Whatever the cause he made a sudden and unexpected dart for the circuit breaker, flipping a switch and causing a crescendo of flashing lights and churning disks. Noel stopped. “Right Simon, this is gonna be messy. Odds are not all of them will come up and the sales guys are probably shouting by now. We’ll have to...” Noel stopped, listening. It was quiet. A little too quiet. The noise that failed to envelop us was noted as entirely unlike what one would expect spinning discs to make. The loose change in our electrician’s pocket jangled as he shook. He flipped the circuit breaker again. Same result. His hand reached for the third attempt but was stayed by Noel. Servers don’t especially enjoy unexpected powerdowns and it was Noel’s opinion that one every few minutes would increase his workload unduly. “It can’t handle the load” was the reasoned root cause as identified by our electrician. Noel looked to the ceiling. Some fifteen feet above us ran the twist in plugs feeding power to the organisation’s IT infrastructure. A large man, in his kinder moments he referred to me as a skinny runt who probably had worms. Without saying anything I realised I would be the one to rise to the challenge in a rather literal sense. He still objected when I stood on his shoulder, but seemed much relieved when we restored power, one bay at a time. So what was the root cause? The facilities department had learned of the existence of a large red emergency power stop button by the server room main entrance. True, the room was accessible to only seven and we were fully briefed as to its presence and function, but this was deemed an unacceptable risk. They decided a cover was required, and required urgently. So urgently in fact that they broke change control and sent in an electrician to work on a live power box at 3pm on a Thursday afternoon. Since then the electrician moved on, facilities were barred from entering unescorted, Noel’s blood pressure declined and I drafted a thoroughly plausible explanation as to why my shoeprints could be found above the two metre level.
  • anoldhacker (unregistered) in reply to The Nerve
    The Nerve:
    anoldhacker:
    Sorry, TRWTF was letting anyone who would drill into a live UPS touch anything else in the building, ever again, starting RIGHT NOW. I don't care if they got things back online quicker with what they did. They were clearly lucky.

    I'm making a major assumption here in thinking this story is real, but it would seem that the power was cut when he flipped the circuit breaker. That is stupidity on the level of not understanding how cutting power is going to affect regular business operations, but NOT stupidity on the level of a licensed electrician not understanding that he needs to cut off power before starting work. I am not a licensed electrician, and I know that much.

    Yeah, the more I think about it the more trouble I have with this story. Modern servers don't come up when power is applied specifically to protect them from this sort of idiot. If the story was from the mid 90's, then sure.

  • Severity One (cs)

    See, that's why IP-based phones are so great: if the network is down, nobody will ring you about it. That's progress for you.

    But, um, I don't get it either what happened. I concur with 'Mr. Brit' that the copy-writing leaves somewhat to be desired.

  • Eaten by a Grue (unregistered)
    how many users were useless at the moment

    Of course, he probably neglected to mention how many users had been useless before the power was cut.

  • Larry (unregistered) in reply to Eaten by a Grue
    Eaten by a Grue:
    how many users were useless at the moment

    Of course, he probably neglected to mention how many users had been useless before the power was cut.

    Which is a given, considering this occurred in England.

  • Hasteur (cs)

    And this is why ISO-9000 procedures are put in place. The fact that the electrician got into the office building, into the server room, and was doing electrical work that could have caused an inturruption of service during business hours without letting the IT department know shows that the business is set for failure soon.

    We have 3 levels of security to get to the server room. A key-swipe that most people in the office have to get into a sensative area of the building, a entry log sheet next to the server room, and a different key swipe (requiring a different key). The people who hold the 2nd key swipe cards are very hesitant to let anybody in the server room, and for good reason.

  • Severity One (cs)

    Right. Compare the article:

    and decided to do an end-run past change-control to "fix" it
    to the original:
    They decided a cover was required
    The difference? I don't know WTF the edited version is about.
  • AA (unregistered) in reply to The Nerve
    The Nerve:
    anoldhacker:
    Sorry, TRWTF was letting anyone who would drill into a live UPS touch anything else in the building, ever again, starting RIGHT NOW. I don't care if they got things back online quicker with what they did. They were clearly lucky.

    I'm making a major assumption here in thinking this story is real, but it would seem that the power was cut when he flipped the circuit breaker. That is stupidity on the level of not understanding how cutting power is going to affect regular business operations, but NOT stupidity on the level of a licensed electrician not understanding that he needs to cut off power before starting work. I am not a licensed electrician, and I know that much.

    Do you know enough to realize that drilling into a box that powers the server room when the power is out is still a bad idea even if you've disconnected said box from the mains?

  • The Nerve (unregistered)

    Really confused about the units...how does "above the two metre level" (6.6 feet) translated to 15 feet? And why would an Englishman mix the two?

  • Kyle Z. (unregistered)

    TRWTF is Exchange server.

  • arnemart (unregistered)
    It was hectic, and he may have trampled an intern.
    This made me laugh.
  • The Nerve (unregistered) in reply to AA
    AA:
    The Nerve:
    anoldhacker:
    Sorry, TRWTF was letting anyone who would drill into a live UPS touch anything else in the building, ever again, starting RIGHT NOW. I don't care if they got things back online quicker with what they did. They were clearly lucky.

    I'm making a major assumption here in thinking this story is real, but it would seem that the power was cut when he flipped the circuit breaker. That is stupidity on the level of not understanding how cutting power is going to affect regular business operations, but NOT stupidity on the level of a licensed electrician not understanding that he needs to cut off power before starting work. I am not a licensed electrician, and I know that much.

    Do you know enough to realize that drilling into a box that powers the server room when the power is out is still a bad idea even if you've disconnected said box from the mains?

    It would be a bad idea for me, but not necessarily for a trained electrician. I'm not sure how this is relevant to the switch. Of course the original story says they were installing a cover for a switch, which I would not think would even require an electrician or cutting power. In fact, installation of said cover is not even a WTF at all.

  • CT (unregistered)

    Even with the original story posted, I still don't get how we go from "big red switch next to the door needs a cover" to "some electrician drilled into a UPS". Do these two parts of the story relate to each other at all ? Did the electrician plan to use parts of the UPS to fashion a make-shift cover ? Why would he drill into the UPS instead of unscrewing it's screws ?

    None of this makes any sense. Terrible submission made worse by the editor.

  • Medinoc (unregistered) in reply to The Nerve
    The Nerve:
    Really confused about the units...how does "above the two metre level" (6.6 feet) translated to 15 feet? And why would an Englishman mix the two?
    Simon's feet were "above the to metre level". His hands were at 15 feet.
  • justsomedude (unregistered) in reply to The Nerve
    • 1 to Mr. Brit
  • DeaDPooL (unregistered)

    Drill into a UPS? I have trouble believing this. I can buy an electrician turned off power to the server room, but literally drill into a box of electricity? Cmon

    captcha: eros ... hey what ever happened to them?

  • Alex Jones (unregistered) in reply to CT
    CT:
    Even with the original story posted, I still don't get how we go from "big red switch next to the door needs a cover" to "some electrician drilled into a UPS". Do these two parts of the story relate to each other at all ? Did the electrician plan to use parts of the UPS to fashion a make-shift cover ? Why would he drill into the UPS instead of unscrewing it's screws ?

    None of this makes any sense. Terrible submission made worse by the editor.

    Yeah, this seems like the kind of explanation that the government would have come up with in the Roswell era. They've become much more adept at cover-ups that don't raise red flags these days. For example, people TO THIS DAY still believe that airplanes brought down the twin towers.

  • Erayd (unregistered) in reply to CT
    CT:
    Even with the original story posted, I still don't get how we go from "big red switch next to the door needs a cover" to "some electrician drilled into a UPS".
    The switch was probably mounted on the side of the UPS, and the electrician was drilling into the side of the UPS, immediately adjacent to the switch, in order to fasten the cover.
  • Ren (cs)

    Yes, the original story is much, much better written. It should be a featured comment ASAP.

    The copywriting here almost equals the horrible standards of /b/, and that's terrible.

  • Bert Glanstron (unregistered)

    Dear LADYGAGALOVER

    In case you can’t tell, this is a grown-up place. The fact that you insist on drilling into a live UPS clearly shows that you’re too young and too stupid to be using a drill.

    Go away and grow up.

    Sincerely, Bert Glanstron

  • The Nerve (unregistered) in reply to Ren
    Ren:
    Yes, the original story is much, much better written. It should be a featured comment ASAP.

    The copywriting here almost equals the horrible standards of /b/, and that's terrible.

    Agreed.

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to CT
    CT:
    Even with the original story posted, I still don't get how we go from "big red switch next to the door needs a cover" to "some electrician drilled into a UPS". Do these two parts of the story relate to each other at all ? Did the electrician plan to use parts of the UPS to fashion a make-shift cover ? Why would he drill into the UPS instead of unscrewing it's screws ?

    None of this makes any sense. Terrible submission made worse by the editor.

    I'm guessing that the big red switch was on the UPS itself (and the UPS was near the door).

    I mean, where the hell else would the big red switch go? It can't be upstream of the UPS, because then it wouldn't cut power to the room.

  • COHERENCE_NOT_FOUND (unregistered)

    I read this story, then re-read it.. then re-read it, then went to the comments wondering if I was the only one who couldn't understand what was going on.

    Apparently not.

  • JSR (unregistered)

    Love this line from the "original" story.

    "Soon, close to two hundred of our dear users would discover that the internet was no longer accessible. Shortly thereafter they’d discover that work was impossible."

  • operagost (cs)

    TRWTF is moving everything to a different circuit instead of performing power-up in stages to avoid the surge.

  • OD (unregistered)

    TRWTF is the re-written version.

    The situation is meh, but at least the original story is entertainingly-written.

  • Anon (unregistered)

    TRWTF is this story

  • The Nerve (unregistered) in reply to COHERENCE_NOT_FOUND
    Hear a Blog - We are currently narrating this post.

    I can imagine the narrator reading this story, shutting off the microphone, and shouting "WHAT THE F***?!?!?"

  • Udas Riest (unregistered) in reply to Anon
    Anon:
    TRWTF is this story

    TRWTF is Remy Porter.

  • Larry (unregistered) in reply to Ren
    Ren:
    Yes, the original story is much, much better written. It should be a featured comment ASAP.

    The copywriting here almost equals the horrible standards of /b/, and that's terrible.

    +1

  • by (unregistered) in reply to Udas Riest
    Udas Riest:
    Anon:
    TRWTF is this story

    TRWTF is Remy Porter.

    Careful. He's sensitive about it. He'll start deleting comments in a minute.

  • THG (unregistered)

    We had a big-red-switch in our data-center (at a previous job). It was identical to the big-red switches used at my college that release the magnetic door locks, which we pushed to exit the buildings.

    I was lucky: I saw. I thought. I asked. I did not push.

    When the VP was giving a tour of the datacenter to a prospective customer ... not so lucky.

    (We did not sign that customer.)

  • The (unregistered)

    THIS is the featured comment? This article could not get any stupider.

  • frits (cs) in reply to The
    The:
    THIS is the featured comment? This article could not get any stupider.

    lol

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