I was at a Microsoft training course today, and all the beardy types were there too.

You know, the “we want everything for free” types. They can be found working for the government and schools.

Microsoft are on a hiding to nothing here. The Beardy types have no money, they’re just along for the free food.

Just like seagulls, “Food! Food! Free! Free!”

The trainer asked me, “What are you doing amongst this bunch”?

I had to wonder myself…

Better to have and ….
not need, than need and not have. Was something I learnt some time ago when I first started managing a shift team. Now, in the case of the shift team, the thing you need to have is knowledge. How to do things when “something” goes wrong.

Fire alarms were a prefect example in our building. The alarms were wired to power off the whole two computing floors, in 2 minutes of sounding.

The fire alarm procedure went something like this:

  1. ENSURE you have your security pass.
  2. RUN out of the computer room, down the corridor to the fire panel.
  3. READ the panel to see what tripped the alarm.
  4. ISOLATE the panel power shutdown function. By now, the 2IC will have caught up.
  5. TELL 2IC what alarm tripped. Have 2IC investigate alarm if on current floor.
  6. RUN down stairs to next level. REPEAT same process, without 2IC.
  7. AWAIT Fire Brigade.

My only alarm in 4 years, occurred at 3:15am on a Thursday morning. I was having a sleep under the desk, we did that in those days. I did the whole process in 25 seconds. A record at the time. The team said they never saw me move so fast.

It’s not just me, a number of occupations devote significant time and expense to ensure staff know what to do when it all goes pear-shaped.
(ie. pilots, train drivers & steel mill workers).