After the dust settled, the story emerged. Someone in the sales department was cold in her office and decided to bring in a personal space heater. It was apparently too low to the ground for her liking, so she propped it up with -- get this -- old newspapers. She went to lunch, leaving the heater on.
The fire destroyed two offices and all of the equipment inside them. The computers were covered by insurance and replaced, the servers were never in danger, and nobody was hurt. However, the fire was the last in a line of grievances against the employee, and a month later, her position was eliminated.
The chat room problem
I was on-site at another business several years back when a newly hired employee came to talk to me. I noticed he was carrying Internet filtration software.
He demanded that I install the software on his work desktop computer because he had "a chat room problem" and wanted to be able to keep himself from logging in to any. I was surprised by the request, but assured him that the firewall blocked all those protocols and he wouldn't be able to log into a chat room from work anyway.
He left, disappointed. I wasn't sure why but went back to work.
A little while later, an HR representative asked me about the situation. Apparently, the employee had gone to HR to complain that IT would not grant his request. I explained that we already blocked access to chat rooms and that users are not allowed to install new software. The HR rep thanked me and left.
A few weeks later, Mr. Chat Room was gone.
At least these particular offices are better off with such Darwin Award recipients gone. Hopefully they learned to be wiser in the future.
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This story, "You're fired! 3 terminally stupid user tricks," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more crazy-but-true stories in the anonymous Off the Record blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.