Contractor pilot fish comes back from lunch one afternoon in early December to a corporate data center that looks like it's been abandoned.

"I find the junior computer operator in shock," fish reports. "Silence reigns in IT, and Operations is clearly the scapegoat."

Fish soon gets the story: Power has gone out for the office full of programmers. They've gone to lunch in disgust, having first terrorized the junior operator with dire threats if the power is not back on in an hour.

Junior has done all she can -- called Maintenance to track down the power problem -- so she hands the problem off to fish and flees to lunch.

"Maintenance seems to be having a long lunch too," says fish. "All cubicles are still dead as doornails by 1 p.m., and programmers swarm around me buzzing angrily. The programmer team manager stops by to tell me that Operations is about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

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