Misplaced mainframes, spooky systems, and other tech horror stories

System admins and tech pros are sure to break out in night sweats after reading these tales from the Off the Record archives

The majority of stories submitted to Off the Record are understandably about encounters with people: the demanding boss, the tech-challenged user, the ladder-climbing coworker.

Personality clashes and office politics prove time and again to be a major time suck and energy drain, especially if someone wants to actually -- gasp -- have a life outside of the office. (A simple search on Amazon.com with the word "coworker" yielded a number of captivating titles on how to deal.)

Off the Record submissions

But what about other major players a techie encounters daily, such as the mighty mainframe? There are times when the hardware itself can take on a life of its own, invite a series of circumstances, and plague the IT pro. And such times are ready-made for an audience's amusement.

Hardware-related tales crop up from time to time in the Off the Record blog. Here is a trip through the archives of a handful of such stories, including reminders that it's helpful to know where the hardware actually is at and, for the kid in all of us, a tech-style ghost story:

Send your tech tale -- hardware-related or otherwise -- to offtherecord@infoworld.com. If we publish it, we'll keep you anonymous and send you a $50 gift cheque.

This story "Missing inventory? Blame the tech," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more crazy-but-true stories in the anonymous Off the Record blog at InfoWorld.com.