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jpolvino
Junior Member


Reged: 12/11/02
Posts: 108
Loc: Rochester, NY
Funny workplace stories
      #717924 - 10/11/12 05:13 PM

This is a true story. Would love to hear yours.

At my previous job, I had a window cube. Ok, the bookcase covered 90% of it, leaving a small paper-sized portal, but it was a window cube to me. Anyway, I'm plugged into my N3P player and really in the zone setting up a performance test script. Nerdy, but true.

I happen to look out my little window and noticed people gathering outside by the parking lot, just hanging around and chatting. Didn't give it too much thought, and went back to the warm glow of my 17" CRT and my music.

A few minutes later, there are more people, some of whom I recognized. I admit I was a little irritated, thinking there was some party and I wasn't invited. They seemed to be having fun, too.

Having run out of water, I got up and made my way toward the breakroom. The normally calm and fun coworker ran toward me with wide eyes and a look of panic. "What are you still doing here?!?" Wut?

Turns out there was a fire alarm for a real fire, but the alarm on our half of the building never sounded. So some facilities guy ran through and manually told everyone to get the heck out because there was a REAL FIRE. But I didn't hear a thing, and even at that time, I only faintly heard something from the other half (building were connected by a corridor). I convinced her that we should pull this building's alarm in case anyone else was left behind.

I get outside and pretty much everyone was laughing at me. No, they weren't concerned, they were laughing! I had a smirk as well and played along: "If you had issue with my work performance, I would have hope you'd have told me in person, rather than have me incinerate in a fire!!!"

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The worst form of failure is the failure to try.


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broop
Member


Reged: 01/03/01
Posts: 195
Loc: Grandville, MI, USA
Re: Funny workplace stories [Re: jpolvino]
      #718127 - 10/16/12 08:15 AM

Same thing here. We were growing very quickly and running out of room in the original offices. So they moved my team over to an older warehouse that they renovated for more office space. They took a corner of the warehouse and built walls, a ceiling and added desks.

One day there was a small fire in the back of the warehouse. Sprinklers were going off and the alarm was sounding... so much so that the original building could hear it, but because of the new walls and ceiling being so well insulated, we, inside the building, couldn't hear it.

The maintenance crew finally ran over to tell us to exit the building as we were being met in the parking lot by the firemen.


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broop
Member


Reged: 01/03/01
Posts: 195
Loc: Grandville, MI, USA
Re: Funny workplace stories [Re: broop]
      #718128 - 10/16/12 08:25 AM

A better story is when the air conditioning went out in August (in Michigan) one year when I was working for my last company. They were very stodgy and required that every employee, at least all the way down to technical support representatives, had to wear shirts and ties.

So when the A/C went out, all of the developers went home and worked from home over the next couple days. But we tech reps had to sweat it out in our khakis, dress shirts and ties. Yup, the dress code was not flexible... no excuses. We received the corporate emails warning us that anyone in violation of the dress code would be reprimanded.

So on day two, they decided to help us out. They broke out a couple of non-removable windows and setup these huge shop fans down the corridor to move some of the stagnant and quite pungent air. It really only served to push the stench down the hall, no relief from the heat was observed.

Plus, they didn't install any window screens.

So we had little birds flying through the building as they made their way in and couldn't readily find their way back out. Picture a maintenance guy with a fishing net trying to capture a chickadee and that's how my hottest workweek on record went!


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jpolvino
Junior Member


Reged: 12/11/02
Posts: 108
Loc: Rochester, NY
Re: Funny workplace stories [Re: broop]
      #718150 - 10/16/12 10:19 AM

Another funny story involved environmental chambers we used to certify operating conditions for equipment. These had controls for heat and humidity, and we ran the machines to understand how those affected the machine during operation. A lot of times, tests would run for extended periods, overnight and weekends, pushing the environmental limits.

One Monday we came in and the area had a lot of commotion: doors wide open, fans everywhere, fans even a couple hundred of feet down a long hallway. Turns out they were running an unmanned (scheduled) heat test over the weekend, and the chamber's internal temperature exceeded the fusible link in the sprinkler head. So the head opened, flooded the chamber, and ended up running free for HOURS until somebody noticed. This particular system wasn't hooked up to the fire department, for some reason.

--------------------
The worst form of failure is the failure to try.


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cmeisenzahl
Super Member


Reged: 07/22/02
Posts: 1437
Re: Funny workplace stories [Re: jpolvino]
      #718154 - 10/16/12 10:48 AM

Wow, amazing, I couldn't get past this.

>> "... 17" CRT ..."

You're still using a CRT?! :-)


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jpolvino
Junior Member


Reged: 12/11/02
Posts: 108
Loc: Rochester, NY
Re: Funny workplace stories [Re: cmeisenzahl]
      #718158 - 10/16/12 11:45 AM

Quote:

Wow, amazing, I couldn't get past this.

>> "... 17" CRT ..."

You're still using a CRT?! :-)



No, that incident was at my previous employer, circa 2004.

--------------------
The worst form of failure is the failure to try.


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Rich W.Moderator
Veteran


Reged: 03/05/04
Posts: 5815
Loc: West Coast of the East Coast!
Re: Funny workplace stories [Re: jpolvino]
      #718383 - 10/19/12 05:12 AM

My story is slightly off topic, but has always amused me. When I was in the Coast Guard around 1974 I was stationed on Governor's Island, (off the tip of Manhattan), there was a gas embargo and it became a bit scarce as well as expensive. The base Commander ordered that all of the maintenance department workers would refrain from using gasoline as much as possible. This meant that the tax payers purchased new electric lawn mowers among other things. I personally witnessed a young worker who, after searching for a very long extension cord, a great deal of innovation. He procured a gas driven generator and utilized it to run his mower while cutting the commanders yard. Unfortunately he received a severe reprimand for his ingenuity.

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Personal Comment

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
~ Winston Churchill ~


...Rich Wagner


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