Chap blew up critical equipment on his first day – but it wasn't his volt

Where there’s smoke, there’s ire

Who, Me? The world is still turning, which sadly means another Monday has come around and many readers must resume the tedious business of exchanging their labor for currency – a tiresome necessity that The Register marks by each week offering up a new instalment of Who, Me? in which readers reveal errors they almost escaped.

This week, meet a reader we have Regomized as "Cameron" who once worked at an outfit that made stereoscopic movies by converting boring old 2D movies into 3D extravaganzas.

Among the kit on site was a prototype arcade racing game that, when players sat inside its cockpit, used eye-tracking tech to change the movie projection as players gazed in different directions.

"I was utterly dazzled by this and at the end of my first day, asked my new boss if I could hang around and have a play with it, a bit longer than the minute or so demo I'd seen in my walk around," Cameron wrote in his mail to Who, Me?

His boss allowed this exploration, so when the time came Cameron approached the machine, but noticed it wasn't connected to power. He spotted a lead near a wall outlet, and plugged it in.

Which produced "sundry sizzling sounds and some fragrant smoke."

Cameron 'fessed up to his error and slunk off home.

The next morning, he learned that his acts had proven particularly problematic, as the prototype came was to be used in a major corporate demo due to start within hours.

Thankfully, our hero had enough time to replace the relevant parts. And also to point out that he hadn't been able to use the relevant parts. His employer's engineering team admitted that his mistake was easily made – the prototype was designed to run on 110V power, not the 240V of the Australian grid where Cameron toiled.

A 240V-110V transformer was available, of course. But it was an ugly beast that had been rewired to replace its American prongs and then left on the ground dangling next to the arcade game – without any signage or other info to suggest its purpose.

Cameron's decision to pick up the nearest – and neatest – power plug was thus deemed entirely reasonable.

Have you survived a first day disaster? Or escaped sanction because you can't RTFM when there’s no FM to R? Click here to share your story with Who, Me? and perhaps your tale will make a future Monday less miserable for your fellow Register readers. ®

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