Cordless phone confusion
A couple of years ago I was working IT at a hospital. Because any device that utilised electricity suddenly became IT's domain, I was approached by a nurse manager on one of the units about a cordless phone. She said the nurses were too busy to be tethered to the desk while on the phone and needed mobility. I said "OK" and brought a cordless phone to the unit. About three weeks later I was approached again by the same nurse manager. This time she stated that they loved their cordless phone very much, in fact they loved it so much that she was wondering if I could chain it to the wall to ensure it wouldn't be lost or stolen. I waited for her to tell me she was just kidding, but after several minutes without a "ha ha, don't you get my joke?", I simply said "No" and walked away.
The amazing $3000 fan
Back in 1997, I was working for a satellite office of a global software company. We had two high-end Windows NT servers in our office that were working well. Then, the airconditioning breaks down. For several months we are juggling fans and portable units until the building owner approves a replacement A/C. When the A/C issue is finally resolved, I decide to come in on a weekend, shut down our two high-end servers and blow out all the dust. So I schedule a down day, and proceed to shut down the two systems. The first one goes without a hitch, the second one, not so much. Upon powering up the system, there is a message indicating that a system fan has failed, and the server powers itself off. Upon inspection, I find that the fan is frozen due to dust. I try to clean it, but can't. I try to trick the system into staying up, no good. So the system is down, and as it's our Exchange server, it's not a good thing. On Monday, I call the hardware manufacturer to order a new fan. They say the part is backordered, and will take 4-6 weeks to arrive. One of the managers has a great idea, however. He calls a hardware vendor that rents systems for trade shows. They had one system of the model we use. So I drive down, and we rent the system for four weeks just to use the fan until the replacement fan arrives. Four weeks at $750 a week = $3000, for a $25 fan.