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Are you sure there are servers in this cold, dark basement?

And why are all these cables cut? AND WHERE IS YOUR IT MANAGER?

On-call Welcome to On-call, our getting-a-bit-more-regular look at the odd things readers experience when called out to do things at night.

This week, reader Pauly tells us that “a couple of Mondays ago I was asked to go and install some temperature-monitoring equipment at a prestigious hotel in Knightsbridge”. That's the posh bit of London where legendary department store Harrods resides. That job was easy, other than the £60 for a couple of hours parking.

Next: a request to sort out a server issue in Covent Garden, smack bang in the middle of central London.

“I found the company and asked if anyone there knew where their servers were located,” Pauly recalls.

“Nobody had a clue and were just sitting around doing nothing, so I got put on to the boss, who was in America. He said the person in charge of them locally had left on the previous Friday, but that the servers were located in the basement next to a cold store. So down the dark spiral staircase I went.”

Pauli says there were no lights down in the basement, so by the light of his phone he found... nothing.

“Nothing was flashing or blinking, there was not a sound and it was freezing cold,” Pauly recalls.

He was told the basement should house at least three servers. Further enquiries joined the dots between the missing servers and the chap who'd finished up the previous week.

“It turned out that the IT manager had left on Friday and stripped the servers from the racks and loaded them into his car. The boss hadn't mentioned that he had been fired. On his way out he had also unplugged every CAT5e cable and cut the plugs off probably over 200 cables.”

“There was no way I could get them up any running, so I called base and reported the missing kit.”

“'THAT'S THE SECOND BLOODY TIME THIS YEAR!' they exclaimed, and my heart sank.”

What's happened to you when you've worked on-call? We're always on the look-out for tales like Pauly's. Share yours by contacting me with this form. ®

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