[Wolves] Shooting yourself in the foot

Andy Smith andy at lug.org.uk
Tue Mar 6 16:42:47 GMT 2007

On Tue, Mar 06, 2007 at 12:18:47PM +0000, Adam Sweet wrote:
> While perhaps not the best idea, demonstrating 
> incompetence on an archived list, I wondered if anyone
> else has some good stories.

About 8 years ago, whilst escorting a customer installing their
server in a datacentre, I was asked to connect a cable as part of
some other work.

The customer worked on getting his server's networking set up while
I went to fish the cable out from under a rack.  I couldn't quite
reach, so I leaned further forward, and heard the ominous sound of
lots of equipment being powered down.  I had knocked the power
switch of the UPS into the "off" position with my shoulder.

My mobile phone went nuclear at this point because most of a small
ISP had just been made unreachable, and on hearing my explanation
down the phone to my manager, the customer commented, "I suppose
there is no point in checking if I can ping anything yet".  It
wasn't a good day, in fact I contemplated handing in my resignation.

Then there was the time I wanted to test the monitoring of a leased
line by shutting it down, so I shut it down administratively from
the router.  Unfortunately that router was the one at the customer's
premises, so there was no way to bring it up again.  On the bright
side the monitoring did work.  And I was the customer, so it was
only my home that lost connectivity.  It still earnt me a wooden
spoon from the rest of the team.

Other than that I can't really think of any impressive sysadmin
screwups.  I guess I've just been lucky.


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