Late night server rebuild led to 'nightmares about mutilated corpses'

There's a reason some stuff is not safe for work

On-Call It's Friday, your correspondent is back from summer holidays and it is therefore once again time to welcome you to On-Call, our regular reader-written tales of things that went bump when off-site.

This week, reader “RP” tells us of the time he was asked to fix a server just as he was about to knock off for the day. And not any day: this was the day before an office move that RP knew would be rather busy.

After an hour or so checking the Windows NT 4.0 and Banyan Vines servers (Vines! - Ed), RP and the colleague he'd brought along figured out that the server's disks were corrupted and the only thing for it was a complete rebuild.

The pair spent the whole night re-installing all the software. And as the sun sank well and truly below the horizon and their eyes started to flutter, the pair decided that perhaps some of the Web's more outré content might be just the thing to keep them awake.

“I remember we browsed the web for weird things,” RP writes. “Not porn, but, disturbing things, like horrific pics of corpses. I still remember it was from a URL called, don't even ask me to test if it's still the same as back then.”

We did test it, RP. It now belongs to the American Nihilist Underground Society and is still NSFW, perhaps less so than when RP first visited.

RP and his mate finished the job and then went back to work, imagining that they'd check in and then sack out.

Instead, their boss insisted that RP stay at work to oversee the office move.

A couple of days later, RP resigned.

But he says the job stayed with him in a nasty way.

“I here discovered during the following month that the mind can get very porous to horrific images when one is tired. I had terrible nightmares about mutilated corpses for one month after this night session.”

If you've been on a job that you're still trying to forget, tell me about it and we may pop it into a future episode of On-Call. On more thing. For a while I've been wondering about a series on dead vendors like Banyan, as a bit of a retro thing. Who should I cover? ®

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