A 79₵ can of cat food has the power to cause untold destruction?
A dial-9 line can wreak havoc with a web tutorial?
Well did ya?
I suspected not, except Becca – she knows one of these stories…
Several years ago, at the beginning of the new century, a co-worker of mine bought a sporty red Mazda Miata. Very cute little car; not terribly expensive but not cheap either.
One day she bought a can of cat food and noticed a dent in the side. She decided to bring it back to the store to get a refund for that 79₵ – well, she’s Scottish, what I can say. So she put in the Miata (passenger side floor in the front) and promptly forgot about it. The convertible hood was up and it was summer in in the Southwest. For those that aren’t aware, cars can get up to 120+ degrees sitting in the sun. This is precisely what happened on that fateful day- she went to her car and the cat food can had EXPLODED. Rancid pâté is not a feline nor human delight.
She brought the car into the nearest car wash –had it scrubbed…to no avail. She brought it to body shop to have it detailed and scrubbed…to no avail. She even had it cleaned at the type of place that cleans after hazardous accidents (dead bodies, fires, floods – that kind o’stuff)…but to no avail. The stench of rancid cat food prevailed. She finally contacted her insurance company and they had to total the car. Why? Because the rancid cat food got it the cooling/heating vents and the bacteria it was producing was a major health hazard. So ironically, a 79₵ can of cat food can beat up a $20,000 sports car.
Where’s the Emergency, Ma’am?
Part of my job responsibilities is providing tutorials for our company’s website. We are all about data and reporting – and we had just migrated all our clients to a new website with a nifty new interface. My co-worker and I had worked for weeks brainstorming and executing the migration – we decided it would be a great idea to send everyone an invitation to join in a phone conference for the web tour. I had been giving web tours for several years, but typically I tour a couple of people at a time and don’t use a conference service; but this was a completely different way of conducting the web tour. Needless to say, I was very anxious as we could potentially have close to HUNDRED people ‘show up’.
So the big day arrived – we called into the conference number – hit the first glitch with the phone number. I’m starting to sweat a little. In the ten minutes remaining before the conference is to start, we frantically get on the phone with the conference provider’s help desk and get things settled down. At that point, I sent a mass email to everyone that we are starting the conference about 15 minutes after the hour instead of on the hour. We get things sussed out – or so I thought. I tried dialing in again – another glitch. I’m pretty much a freak at this point – and after working with the help desk again; everything is ready. I dial in again – have a fat finger error and then dial in again.
Ah! Success…I’m in and my speaker phone is on. I hear the ding of people dialing in…about 50-60 people showed up. I’m completely strung out on adrenaline at this point but I just plow forward and start the tour. I needed some comic relief at this point so that I could kind of restart myself… sometimes we get what we wish for – like the book “The Monkey’s Paw” – ya know the story where the moral is watch what you wish for as it may come true?
Well, as I’m frantically sweating and conducting the web tour with SIXTY PEOPLE I hear a ruckus outside my office…and all of a sudden a knock and the door opens and the POLICE come in. “Ma’am, is there an emergency here? We had a 911 call from this facility.” I must have looked like a deer in the headlights – I asked my clients to excuse me because the police were here – I stutter… “Um….I didn’t call 911 – everything is fine.” The police look around our offices and then leave. I continue my web tour and after 90 minutes I’m finally done.
I start to think about the 911 call and realized that it was indeed ME who accidently dialed the 911 – we use 9 to dial ‘out’ and then I was making a long distance call to the conference service – so that was where the 1 came from…then I had that fat-finger dialing episode… Oi!