The Data Backup Massacre

frustrated female IT


Sue was a diligent and methodical worker. She arrived at work every day at 7:52 sharp, eat a modest lunch of grilled chicken and baked sweet potatoes, and leave at 5:03. She was seen as one of the most reliable and responsible employees at the office, which is why she was charged with backing up the computers every day. She was elated to be chosen for this new job, because she knew how important it would be if something ever happened to the company’s data.

As with all her other duties, she performed the backup daily in accordance with her strict regimen of tasks. For five years things went on like this without a hitch. Sue would carefully backup the entire company’s data at the end of every day just before she went home, and then come back the next day to do it all over again.

Then, on an unassuming Tuesday morning, Sue unlocked the office door, at 7:52 of course, to find the office was flooded with water. Shocked, Sue frantically trudged through the knee-deep water to assess the damage and find the source. After checking a few offices and the break room, Sue happened upon the conference room and saw a jet of water gushing from the Southeast corner of the room. And that’s when she knew what had happened.

The company on the other side of the wall had been remodeling their bathroom for the past year. Clearly a pipe had broken and had been dumping gallons of water into their office all night. “Not to worry,” she thought. “I’ll just grab the tape out of the backup and we can restore everyone’s data and work out of a temporary office for a while.”

She made her way toward the backup machine and hit eject. The tray slowly lowered and a deep panic rushed over Sue. With the tray opened, it revealed an empty abyss where the tape should have been. Sue then realized that although she had religiously completed the backup, it was all for naught because there was no tape in the machine. The office was flooded, the data was gone, and Sue was responsible.

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