I predict a riot: the dangers of corner cutting

Alastair Aitken 7 January 2014 0

A normal Monday morning, like any other Monday morning. Or was it? Traipsing from train station to my place of work – a grim box-like prefab of indeterminate vintage stuck on the periphery of an industrial estate at the edge of town – things were just that little bit twisted, somehow skewed: a paving stone missing here, a concrete bollard broken in half there and more than several windows of my office boarded up with plywood.

Half bricks and paving slabs

The early hours of Sunday morning had seen the offices of this local cable television company come under prolonged assault from a small corps of determined, drunken, angry men. The cause of their ire? They had been looking forward to the first ever pay-per-view boxing match to be broadcast on the local channel at midnight. According to police reports, the anticipation had been ramped up to fever pitch by prolonged all-day drinking. At closing time the highly inebriated boxing fans had streamed back to their abodes and called the pay-per-view order line only to be met with an unobtainable tone. As midnight came and went and it became apparent that there would be no pugilistic exhibition on their goggle boxes, the unhappy punters poured out of their homes and proceeded immediately to the previously mentioned offices to vent spleen, primarily with the aid of half-bricks and paving slab corners.

Post-action review

The post-action review revealed that whilst system testing had been extensive, there had been no peak load testing as it had been subject to corner cutting. Rather predictably every boxing fan who managed to dial the pay-per-view order hotline had done so in a very small time window between the hours of 11:50pm and midnight, and had attempted to do so multiple times.

Czech Alsatians

That’s not the only riot situation that’s touched my life. By sheer bad timing I’ve been chased by excitable Milan football fans, had to run from barking Czech Alsatian dogs and had to dodge water streaming from a vandalised fire hydrant in the City of London.

Sarf Lahndan

The only reason I was walking in the City at all was down to ill-conceived cost cutting measures. The company I was working for had decided that the quickest way to reduce office costs was to move the IT department in its entirety out of the City to a building just south of the river. Even if IT not been a completely integral part of everyday business, moving the department into a building located in a very run down area that was overlooked by a dilapidated housing estate seemed imprudent, as it proved to be almost immediately.

Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it in for me

It was another weird Monday morning. Arriving at our desks we expected to find our PCs in place, where the removal company had promised they would be. There was, however, not one computer in the building. All the machines had been collected from the City office on Friday night, delivered and installed in their new home on the Saturday and, at some point on Sunday, all the machines had been thieved. We found out later that the key culprits lived in the opposite housing estate, presumably not able to believe their luck as truckloads of expensive computers were installed into a shoddy building that had yet to see any real security put in place.

Disaster recovered

No matter though, there was a disaster recovery centre available. The only problem was is that we were standing in it, bereft of the disaster recovery machines; they’d gone too.

Alastair Aitken (124 Posts)

As a contract developer and manager I’ve worked in a wide range of enterprises in a variety of countries where I’ve encountered everything from great work, awful work, bizarre work, all the way down to quasi-legal work. If you think that you recognise your own organisation within my articles then you’re undoubtedly wrong, where you work isn’t that unique.

Leave A Response »