Techie saved the day and was then criticized for the fix

You can prove them wrong, but they'll still get you on a non-technicality

On Call On Call is back from an Easter adventure with another reader-contributed – and perhaps tear-inducing – tale of tech support.

This week, meet a reader we'll Regomize as "Manny" who warned us that if he revealed where his story took place, he would have to shoot us. Thankfully he did not.

His tale started with a call from a user who complained "there is nothing on the computer screens but dollar signs where the temperatures or status or percent values should be."

Manny investigated system logs – which were printed, giving us a hint about the vintage of his story – and learned that the primary server had shut down an hour back and nobody had noticed.

The errors that saw him summoned were caused by the backup box borking.

"I proceeded to a secure server room located inside of a secure room" – oooh, that sounds like more clues about why On Call is in danger if Manny revealed all!

Inside that room, Many started to sweat – because the temperature had handily topped 100°F (about 38°C), and the aircon hadn't been restarted after a power outage.

"The server racks were locked per our organization's security policy and I didn't know where the cabinet keys were located," Manny admitted. So he looked around found a jumbo screwdriver in an adjoining room.

Manny jammed the screwdriver behind the locks on the server cabinet. Archimedean inevitability ensued – the screwdriver was a lever and the cabinet provided a fulcrum of appropriate length – so the lock gave way and Manny was able to access the stricken servers.

He powered them up and they came back to life just as the aircon kicked in.

"The next day I was reprimanded about breaking the lock," Manny told On Call.

He was also told off for the server outage.

Manny responded that the servers were rated to switch off at 85°F (28.5°C), but his boss said that was wrong.

At this point, Manny decided to consult the manufacturer, which confirmed that 85°F was the point at which its machines would retire gracefully.

"I forwarded the email to my supervisor and our division chief," Manny told On Call.

Those cowardly cads did not reply to acknowledge their error.

But Manny did hear more about the locks he jimmied. It turned out the division chief had purchased discontinued server racks, so replacement locks were not available!

Have you been proven right, but still felt wronged? If so, click here to send On Call an email and we may help you to get it off your chest on a future Friday.

Don't be shy, people. The On Call mailbag contains worryingly few entries at present. ®

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