Beware Your Routine


One of the problems with chronicling Dangerous Stupidity is the off-chance you'll be caught doing something Dangerously Stupid yourself. It makes you look doubly stupid, both for the Stupidity itself and for the reasonable expectation that you should know better than the Einsteins you're writing about, because you're allegedly paying closer attention. It is in the interest of pre-empting any such Smoking Gun-driven schadenfreude that I tell the following story...

I came into work yesterday (Sunday) here at the Imperialist-Capitalist-Running-Pig-Dog-Military-Industrial-Complex because we're way behind on our task improving the US Army's ability to kill innocent brown people and blow up mosques. I was coding away on my part of that task - the Widows and Orphans Targeting Processor - when the power went out. The lights came back on immediately, but my computer didn't power up when I hit the button. I don't know what irritated me more at this point: that an essential background process which had been running for three hours and had two more to go would have to be restarted, or the fifty alarms that I could hear all over my part of the building.

[In the first moment of blackout, the Alarm Gods gave to me:
Thirty UPSs,
Fifteen High Temps,
Eight Chiller Alarms,
And a paperweight that looks like my PC.]

A little investigation revealed that my half of my floor was the only one affected. After notifying the guard desk and being told that they'd paged the on-call Facilities guy but had not yet received a response, I figured it was a good time to go home. Three flights of stairs and a walk to the parking lot later, I realized that I had left my keys in my office. So I returned to the building and, without thinking any further than "oh cool, the elevator's already on this floor" (like I always do), hopped in. About one ohnosecond after the doors closed, I realized what a risk I was taking by riding an elevator into an area with dodgy power.

Fortunately, the trip to the third floor was uneventful. Unfortunately, the doors didn't open when I got there. Fortunately, the emergency phone worked and I was able to call the guard desk. Unfortunately, they were busy and it would be 'a while' before they could send anybody up to let me out. After what seemed like an hour, but was really probably about a minute, I got the bright idea of trying to pry the doors open a bit to see if I actually had made it all the way to the third floor. I stepped up to the crack, got my feet set, got a good fingerhold on both doors, and pulled.

The doors slid all the way open so easily that I fell out of the elevator. Boy, was I glad I actually was on the third floor.


And now I see behind the curtain... and it ain't pretty.


Ahhhh, I now know why the guard warned me not to take any elevators when I walked in on Sunday!
One thing: Did you try to ride the elevator back down to the first floor and see if the doors opened there?

damn, guys, I was in on Sunday too... next time, I'll bring the chips, can one of you guys get a keg?

It was funny, the guard didn't mention the elevator to me, but as I saw its gaping maw standing open on the third floor, the interior light shining deceptively bright inside, I suddenly saw it for what it was... an angler fish, the light luring victims inside...

Yeah, the doors stayed open once I pried them apart, but it would have been like an anglerfish that couldn't close its mouth, since the doors wouldn't close again...

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This page contains a single entry by Chris published on October 4, 2004 1:48 PM.

But 'Adulterer, Adulterer, Pants On Fire' Doesn't Have The Same Ring To It was the previous entry in this blog.

So How Do You Say "The Shoe's On The Other Foot" in Arabic, Anyway? is the next entry in this blog.

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